Immortal X-Men #9

Issue Date: 
December 2022
Story Title: 
The X Lives of Moira VI

Kieron Gillen (writer), Lucas Werneck (artist), David Curiel (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller and Jay Bowen (design),Mark Brooks (cover artist), Phil Noto (Quiet Council cover), Art adams and Edgar Delgado (variant cover), VC’s Clayton Cowles (production), Laure Amara (associate editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Mr. Sinister has decided to take the next step in his plans, which includes murdering several members of the Quiet Council. Aware of the difficulty of his task, he prepares two iterations of Moira engines to give him several attempts. He can use each one ten times. However, each time he is thwarted either by Destiny, Storm or his own incompetence. Finally, when using the last iteration of Moira VI, he has created a highly complex scenario in which he has made sure that Storm is absent, Shaw is plying everyone with alcohol (to take the edge off) and Sinister asks the telepaths to read his mind to clear himself of being connected to Doctor Stasis. By belittling Hope, he makes sure that, out of sheer contrariness, she will enter his mind as well. He uses a trap and his chimeras to murder Hope, Exodus, Xavier and Emma, the other chimeras keep the rest of the Council busy and he flees. Kate Pryde leads the rest of the Council on the hunt for him.

Full Summary: 

A session of the Quiet Council. Everyone is gathered, except for Mr. Sinister.

Kate Pryde is musing to herself that everything is just normal, or as normal as things got since Judgment Day. Xavier still refuses to talk about Magneto. No one has any idea about why Kurt has grown horns and he isn’t telling. And she has no idea that in two minutes they’ll all be picking brain out of their hair.

Xavier asks Storm about the situation on Arakko. They are hurt and proud and satisfied. She talks about the treaty with the Eternals: reparations and the keys to Uranos for an hour. Magneto’s death is a tragedy but it seems to have convinced them of the Krakoans’ sincerity. She may be optimistic, but she thinks they understand each other better now.

Nothing wrong with a little optimism! Kurt chimes in. The Arakkii are looking at him differently, too. He thinks they realize immortality isn’t always cowardice.

Shaw raises his glass to optimism.

Kate agrees. They have won the Eternals war, and despite the Reykjavik near disaster and Orchis’ new role, she agrees.

Not everyone does, though. Exodus sniffs that sharing the gift of immortality with the humans is an abomination.

Kate has enough. Calling him “Mr. sulky pope,” she announces Jean running the Phoenix Foundation is good. It’s just a small fraction of resurrection, given to those who really deserve it. Kids in a coma after a car crash or landmine injury. Whatever your ethical calculus is, that’s good. If you have a soul rattling around your heart, it’s just a good thing to do. Who doesn’t want to save children? Even Emma, on her worst day, wants that. If you swapped your heart for a spreadsheet, it’s good optics. They do foreign aid. Shaw toasts to optics. And if you’re perverse, giving it to the poor instead the rich absolutely drives those bastards mad, she directly addresses Exodus.

With a grin, Hope tells him to let it go. Didn’t he tell her about “JC” sharing his miracles with the lowly? Trying hard not to smile, Exodus sniffs he didn’t share his theology with her, so she could use it against him. Everybody laughs except for Destiny and Mystique, and Kate thinks to herself maybe this Quiet Council can really work.

And then Mr. Sinister walks in. Emma wryly greets him and wants to address the subject of Dr. Stasis. Walking past Kate, he snarks let’s not talk about his crucial part in them all surviving Judgment Day. Let’s spend time chewing over an impostor. As if all of them haven’t had an evil version ruin their name before…

When he comes closer to their side, Destiny addresses Exodus and announces Nathaniel is about to kill Hope.

Just going for his gun, Sinister curses her. The next moment, Exodus telekinetically detonates Sinister’s head.

Disgusted and covered with blood, Emma wonders if that was meant to be some kind of plan. A furious Hope kicks the corpse. Kate figures it wasn’t a surprise. Shaw has even been running a betting pool on how long it would be until Sinister would betray them badly enough to be thrown into the Pit. Sinister has always been the dumb kind of smart, but this? What’s going on? Kate wonders.

Death of Moira Vi.1
Destiny finds Sinister standing on a cliff and asks why he is so glum. They survived Judgment Day. And while their scheme didn’t work out as hoped, they worked well together. “Yes, yes, yes, we must be on the same side,” he quotes annoyed and sighs, then asks if she got judged. She replies she failed, for an assortment of mistakes. Him? He reveals the Progenitor didn’t judge him. Destiny calls him a monster and comfortingly adds that she will always be there to judge him. She tells him not to give up. As a parting shot, she wonders aloud if Dr. Stasis was judged.

Sinister steps into his secret lab and seethes he has had enough The Dr. Stasis situation needs a permanent solution. He decides to erase the timeline and go back to before Magneto left the council, to Moira V. Perhaps even earlier to Moira I and take another route to…

He recalls Destiny telling him not to give up. He really doesn’t want to go through Judgment Day again. The Progenitor had the power to stop his Moira engine. That was rude! Plus, he feels particularly judged not being judged. As if he’s not the most important person in existence. The gall!

He decides that the first step is a success. He has his Moira engines, Hope’s on the Council… he sinks down and pet Cy-cat and Professor Plod. Let’s see if he can get the second stage up and running. He gives the order to prepare two Moira Engines.

He uses Velocidad serum to speed-grow Moira VI, leaving Moira VII aside for now. He orders Cy-cat to take notes. Being a cat, it refuses, so Professor Plod, the turtle, has to do the job.

For some reason, the clones wear down the more often they are cloned, so any individual clone has ten deaths at best. So, he has ten shots to murder the Quiet Council. He can make that work!

The Machine announces Moira VI’s X-gene is activated and a safe point stored. As Sinister grabs a gun he asks for download information. With no information coming, he realizes he is the first iteration. He orders if his life signal is cut for five seconds, activate the Moira failsafe and kill the timeline. Well, here goes, he decides, A little later Destiny tattles and Exodus explodes his head.
Death of Moira IV.1

Moira VI.2:
Sinister has learned that Destiny will interfere. One way to sidestep that. He has a bomb donate in the Council chamber, but Destiny has warned the rest of the Council beforehand then told them where to find Sinister. And before they can question him, Exodus again explodes his brain, leaving Kate to wonder what is going on.
Death of Moira VI.2

Moira VI.3:
Everything is normal then Sinister comes in. Destiny shouts, he plans to kill her and Hope. Mystique immediately grabs him and proves he is carrying a weapon. Xavier sighs, this is a disappointment. But hardly a surprise, Emma adds. Hope borrows Exodus’ gift. Xavier doesn’t like that, causing Hope to hurl some insults at him before she enters Sinister’s brain. A failsafe makes sure his head explodes. What the hell is going on? Kate wonders.
Death of Moira VI.3

Moira VI.4:
Sinister rages, and wonders if he can arrange for Destiny to be absent, then he begins to understand. If he avoids direct confrontation entirely, she just saves everyone. If he comes for Destiny, she’ll stop him before the plan can kick in at all, but if he goes for someone else, she gives a warning but late. Enough time for the plan to actually go into action. She wants to be above suspicion. “We must be on the same side,” he recalls. When this is over, he will come for her, he decides, but until then? Let’s dance!

He attacks the Council wearing a battle armor and kills Exodus. Hope copies Storm’s power and fries him.
Death of Moira VI.4

Moira VI.5:
Sinister enters the Council wearing battle armor and carrying a huge weapon and kills Exodus and Hope. With a sigh, Storm fries him.
Death of MoiraVI.5

Moira VI.6:
Sinister enters the Council battle armor and carrying a giant gun that immediately starts fritzing out. He curses Celestial tech and then shoots himself with a smaller weapon.
Death of Moira VI.6

Moira VI.7:
Suddenly, someone starts shooting Council members with a high-tech sniper rifle. Hope and Emma are hit. Exodus finds the shooter - Sinister - who swears “oh, for flip’s sake!” and shoots himself.
Death of Moira VI.7

Moira VI.8:
Sinister announces he can clear his name if someone scans his mind. Xavier does so and his head explodes. Emma turns into her diamond form and pushes her fingers through Sinister’s eyes into his brain.
Death of Moira VI.8

Moira VI.9:
A tentacled monstrosity covered with energy beam-blasting eyeballs attacks the Council. It kills half the Council. Mystique takes Destiny to safety, Kate phases and Exodus teleports himself and Hope away. The monster screams in frustration and explodes.
Death of Moira VI.9

Sinister’s master plan has changed. His order of killing is now Hope, Xavier, Exodus, Emma and he doesn’t really care about the rest. He figures Storm needs to be distracted and Shaw’s alcohol habit can be used…

Moira VI.10
Sinister is in his lab, standing over a board with pieces symbolizing the members of the Quiet Council. This is quite impossible! he rages. What does he think? he addresses the head of the Dark Beast, who demands he let him out and threatens to murder him. Unimpressed, Sinister tells him he isn’t even the darkest Beast anymore. One last try, and then he has to go back to Moira V and do Judgment Day again. And that is not happening! That was a lot of work. He tells himself to make a better plan. Be sneaky!

The council is in a partying mood. Shaw has gotten a crate of cocktails which he was sharing with everyone (except for Hope who is a minor). Storm left for some Arakkii situation… some mercenaries causing trouble. Then Sinister comes in, announcing he wishes to clear his name. He has been accused by a psychic imprint from Scott. He will use one to prove his innocence. He asks the telepaths to examine the psychic signature in his head. Real psychics, not plagiarists like Hope, he adds, making sure that the contrary Hope of course borrows Exodus’ power and goes along with Emma, Exodus and Xavier.

Connected to his brain is a battery of clone Xaiver brains, stunning the telepaths. A moment later, the brains send the order “telekinetic pulse, torso height.” The rest of the Council dive for cover but the paralyzed telepaths cannot. Hope and Exodus are indestructible, Xavier and Emma are killed.

Flying Cyclops eyeballs with wings come flying in, wildly attacking the other Council members. Sinister puts a wafer into Exodus’ mouth made of Gambit’s cells, turning mass into energy and Leland’s, increasing mass. Exodus explodes from the inside.

With Exodus dead, Hope no longer copies his gift and Sinister simply shoots her with a forcefield bullet based on Unus the Untouchable, which tears her apart.

After ranting about how he brought them paradise, he announces he is nothing like Dr. Stasis, and they are nothing without him! He teleports away.

Horrified Kurt points out that, without Hope, resurrection will no longer be possible. Colossus replies that there are contingencies. If they can bring her back, it will be fine. But if they can’t…

What the hell was that man thinking? Shaw asks nonplussed. Don’t worry, she knows what’s going on, a blood-covered Kate announces. Someone is about to win Shaw’s betting pool.

Destiny states she can find him. Good, Kate replies, taking charge. Then let’s dig him out of whatever hole he is hiding in and throw him into theirs

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Destiny, Emma Frost, Exodus, Hope Summers II, Kate Pryde, Mr. Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sebastian Shaw, Storm (Quiet Council)

Dark Beast

Story Notes: 

While the POV character is officially Kate, this is really another stealth Sinister issue.

Nightcrawler’s mysterious horns are a plotpoint in Legion of X.

The Reykjavik near disaster refers to events in A.X.E. Judgment Day #3

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