Sins of Sinister: Dominion #1

Issue Date: 
March 2023
Story Title: 
Part 11: Deadly Sins

Kieron Gillen (writer), Paco Medina and Lucas Werneck (artists), Bryan Valenza (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller and Jay Bowen (design), Leinil Francis Yu (cover artist), Salvador Larocca & Matt Milla, Steven Segovia and Rain Beredo (variant covers), VC’s Clayton Cowles (production), Lauren Amaro (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: 

1,000 years in the future at the Storm System: Aware that Mr. Sinister will try to destroy the timeline, Beast contacts Professor X, who now turns his attention on the Storm System. Juggernaut, who was sent into space 1000 years ago, smashes through the Storm System, destroying the forcefield around the Moira lab. Mr. Sinister is now in a race with Moira X, afraid she will reset the timeline before he has the chance to upload data for his past self. He is further stopped by the still-alive Ironfire. Sinister offers him a deal: let him go in exchange for an Iceman power upgrade, which will give him more protective blood in his battle against Xavier. He takes the deal. Sinister finds and engages Moira standing over the clones. After a fight, he finally gets his point across: if he doesn’t upload the data before they end the timeline, his past self will make the same mistakes again. He uploads the data but, when he is about to kill the Moira clone, he sees another option. The lab includes a killswitch for all mutants with the Sinister strain; this unprecedented mass murder would allow him to achieve Dominion status. He does it, killing every mutant in the galaxy, save for Wagnerine, her child and Ironfire, and ascends – only to find a Dominion already occupies that space and assures him it is not him, before sending him back. Beaten, he kills the Moira clone. The timeline resets to the last save point in the present, when Sinister has just killed four Quiet Council members and is now in his lab. When he starts playing the intel he just downloaded, he receives a message from Moira X, telling him what happened, telling him how she corrupted the machine with the heart virus from Mother Righteous (by feeding her into it instead of the Golden Child) and revealing that he will fail at achieving Dominion status. To make matters worse, the virus depowers all his Moiras and blows up the lab, but not before creating a final clone, one with the powers and memories of Rasputin IV. Of course, Rasputin immediately captures Sinister. When the rest of the Quiet Council comes out for blood, Rasputin happily hands him over. In the meantime, Mother Righteous unexpectedly gets all the information sent back from the future, thanks to Moira sending back the heart virus. Soon after Hope, Professor X, Emma and Exodus are resurrected and Sinister is sent to the Pit. Rasputin and the Council exchange information and she introduces them to Mother Righteous as the true heroine who made sure the Sinister timeline would fail. The Quiet Council thanks her, however she has another bombshell to drop – Hope, Xavier, Emma and Exodus now carry the Sinister strain and are dangerous. The four decide to self-exile in the Pit, until the others have found a way of removing the Sinister strain from them.

Full Summary: 

1,000 years later, the Storm System, hovering next to the corpse of Galactus:
The Storm System is burning, everyone is dead. Is that what he wanted? Moira X asks Mr. Sinister, the other survivor from a hiding place. No, he replies seriously, that it’s a hell of his making doesn’t make it less of a hell. And speaking of hell, where the hell is she? he curses outside the vault. With all eyes on him, they lost track of her.

She tells him not to panic. She can’t get in his lab yet - it’s sealed. The Arakkii aren’t letting anyone in. She’s not sure they could if they wanted to. Any luck in changing Ironfire’s mind about that? He replies that, alas, he changed Ironfire’s mind by pushing it out of his skull. He could get in himself if he had a bit more time, the one thing he doesn’t have. C’mon, c’mon! he mutters. Emma’s fashionably dead, but McCoy will be making a play soon… Oh Irene, where is it?

What does he mean? Moira asks. He explains Destiny’s message hinted she’d arranged a way into his sealed-off lab. Moira tells him the Marauder has picked up something coming their way. He gets an image: it is the Juggernaut. Long ago, they fired him from a rail gun to kill Thanos. He must have been constantly building momentum… He recalls that they found Thanos’ exact position because of a recognizant. Confirmed it but never knew who had the original vision. A blind lead. Blind! he chuckles. Maybe they should be on the same side, he finally admits, then warns Moira to brace for impact.

The Juggernaut collides with the forcefield. Moira announces there is an entrance now. She is going in! Sinister orders her to wait. He has plans to upload. She isn’t interested. Someone has to reset the universe!

Suddenly, Sinister is impaled by a blade from behind courtesy of Ironfire. How did he survive? Sinister gasps. He can turn his blood to metal, Ironfire retorts. And, before a battle like this, he makes sure to give his bones a little coating. His blood is useful. Sinister’s blood? He draws him close. All it’s doing is keeping him alive. That’s no good at all!

Sinister shouts for Moira. His plans! She ignores him and Ironfire tells him any plans he has that don’t involve dying are over.

Somewhere on the Red Queen’s flagship, Beast has made himself comfortable on Emma’s throne. One of the Cuckoos peevishly warns him that the empress will not appreciate him sitting on the throne. And she will definitely not appreciate him molting all over it. Probably, he shrugs, but Mother Emma is now invulnerable, unstoppable, sentient, diamond dust, so her opinions don’t really matter much… Perhaps it is for the best, having the Beast rather than the beauty in charge in these fateful hours. That projectile’s opened the way to the Moiras. The best part of their forces are tied up with Galactus, which he thinks is a distraction. He decides they can deploy the Namornauts to retrieve the Moiras, but they need their own distraction too, and for that they need an alliance!

He orders the Cuckoos to dismantle the Quiet Council psychic barricades. One of the Cuckoos warns of the risk. There can be no conversation with him, only assimilation! But he dismisses her advice, besting he was trained to resist Charles a long time ago. He knows the risk.

The frontline of the 47th enforced Serenity War:

Powered by a crowd of meditating psychics, Xavier is contacted by Beast. He reads Hank’s mind. When he learns about the Moira clone, he stops grinning and decides he has to take over. He uses Beast as a conduit to psychically project through, as he orders his dreamers to convene on him, turning him into what seems to be a sentient globe which attacks the Storm System.

Inside, the tremors momentarily let Sinister slip from Ironfire’s grasp. With their psychics gone, Ironfire realizes they are in trouble from Xavier’s psychic assault. He has his own defenses, Sinister mocks. Ironfire is in trouble! He did have an omega psychic, Sinister muses. She could have protected him. She’s dead now. “Regrets, I’ve had a few,” etcetera.

Nothing can stop an idea, Ironfire quotes Xavier. He knows one thing: He makes a cut on his forehead. As he is the leader of the Brotherhood, he should look the part! He creates a Magneto helmet from his blood.

Good trick, Sinister admits. Ironfire is very interesting. He wishes they had more time to get acquainted. Agree to disagree, is Ironfire’s reply as he creates a blade, ready to kill Sinister. Sinister pleads he can help him stop Xavier! Grabbing him by the lapel, Ironfire demands what he means. Sinister points out that his fine Magneto tribute hat is one thing but he can’t fight Xavier as he is. He needs more power, and as his blood is power, he needs more blood, and blood is ninety percent water. He produces a syringe and explains a dose of Bobby Drake will get him all the chilled water he needs… if he lets him go.

He forestalls any foul play by adding he can see Ironfire thinking that maybe he is quick enough to take it and smart enough to activate it himself. And he knows if he lets Sinister go, he will run off to try and reset the universe. But maybe someone will stop him. He is one man. He can be stopped. Charles isn’t. If he gets the Moiras, it’s game over for everyone. Sure, the universe will exist but it will be Charles’s universe. With the Moiras, he will be unstoppable. If Ironfire doesn’t stop him, they will all be forever trapped in his sick dream.

Ironfire swears as he realizes Sinister is right. He lets him go in exchange for the vial and vows he is going to kill him. He uses the vial to create a bloodarmor around himself, then flies to attack the sentient globe surrounding Xavier. Erik? Charles asks when he sees the helmet. Nah, Ironfire replies as he rushes through the globe, but Charles should know – he was right!

Sinister runs through the corridors. “Kill him?” he repeats Ironfire’s threat. Join the queue! Today, everyone is going to die!

He reaches the lab to see the forcefield around it has broken. Barely interested, he notices lots of old bones from the Nightkin on the ground around it. He wonders what happened, but then gets angry when he sees Moira X standing in front of his lab. He fires his gun at her and orders her to get away from his Moiras. Furious, she grabs a gun and shouts he turned her into a machine! She turned herself into a machine, Sinister replies cruelly (but not incorrectly).

Seeing the bodies of Banshee and Mother Righteous, he asks why Mother Righteous is bleeding over his nice clean floor. Moira aims her gun. She broke in with a scheme…, Moira replies, but her stooges turned on her. She had a plan and it went all wrong. That’s nice, he replies. She was so smug.

Smug with a plan that went wrong? Moira points out his hypocrisy. With the heart on her forehead, she did remind Moira of someone… Touché, he admits. Now, let him upload his… Hell no! Moira shouts and fires at him under cover. He shouts he needs to upload his files, then they can reset-- Moira refuses to let him learn from this. He turned her into a glorified harddrive!

To be glorified is by definition a glorious thing, he shouts. He also pleads that, if he doesn’t send the intel back, it will happen again. A one thousand year rerun. Plus, every second they stay here and prove how witty they are, they risk Xavier getting hold of them and trapping them in his heaven.

They both feel a psychic shockwave and he warns, this is Ironfire going down in his fight against Xavier. After a little break for a hypocritical speech about his dream, Xavier will be on his way. Failing that, Emma’s Namornauts will be scurrying here.

This is the least-worst option. Take it!

Moira is convinced but warns him he will pay for this. She orders him to demolish this abomination the moment he gets home. She tells him to hurry while she fends off the arriving Namornauts.

At the computer, Sinister sees a thousand years’ of uploaded data. With the upload complete, Moira tells him to start the engine. He hesitates. He could do it. This universe taught him a lot. He has seen exactly how badly things can go astray. His best intentions simply aren’t… perhaps he should change.… or maybe he could become a god!

A mutant circuit consisting of enough mutants could do anything. All the mutants with his modified X-gene carry the Inferno failsafe, that can clear up any experiment that runs out of control, or if there is a sufficient number of Sinister-mutants (which now there is), he can effectively harvest the psychic essences and use them to push himself outside of this reality to a state normally reserved for AI gods or in other words Dominionhood.

Moira is horrified but is busy fending off the Namornauts.

Not god god, he corrects himself A better god. A scientific god! His psychic Inferno failsafe is still there and the controls are here in the lab. It will kill every person in the universe with his modified X-gene and use them as fuel. He tells Moira not to look so horrified. They were going to wipe this dimension anyway. One final trick before last calls. He pushes the lever.

And everyone across the universe with an X-gene and the Sinister strain burns: The Namorauts, Xavier, his Lotus Eaters: the remnants of the Nightkin burn. Wagnerine and her child do not burn.

The Exodus clones burn, the Madroxes burn, in his hell Sebastian Shaw burns. Standing tall, Jon Ironfire does not burn.

Every death is a step out of reality, from which Sinister’s mind now ascends. He gloats as he feels becoming more than a god, becoming a Dominion. He rises and leaves time behind and suddenly finds himself stopped by a wall. The space filled by another Dominion. What is it? he demands and is told it is the being that is harvesting the powers Sinister stole. Whatever is Sinister’s is its now. It is a being of infinite perspective and knowledge. It could tell him everything! Instead, it will share a single fact: “Who am I? Not you.”

With that devastating reply, Sinister is sent back to his body in the lab. He is too late! he rambles. A Sinister Dominion exists already outside time and space! It happened in an earlier timeline. And as it is outside time and space it can act across all timelines! It’s too late! It isn’t him!

He and Moira are joined by Ironfire. He killed a galaxy, he accuses Sinister. He did, Sinister admits. For nothing. One of the others does it. Stasis, Mother, Orbis. Not him. Kill her, kill Sinister, kill himself. Nothing matters anymore!

Raising his blade, Ironfire replies that he is wrong. Death always matters! He decapitates Sinister.

A thousand years and he learned nothing! Ironfire states, disgusted. He learned that he is nothing, Moira corrects him cynically. Let’s hope he remembers that. She fires her gun at the primed Moira engine and a universe ends.

The death of Moira VII.1
Length of timeline: 1000 years
Peak mutant population: 8,662,221,825,176,193.
Mutant casualties in psychic inferno: 8,662,221,825,176,190.
Dominion ascension attempt:1
Successful ascension attempt: 0

The present: Sinister’s secret lab:
Moira VII.2: year 0:
Hunted by the X-Men and the rest of the Quiet Council after having murdered Hope, Xavier, Exodus and Frost Sinister is priming the next Moira version for a safe point. He’d hoped for more, but he can handle the situation. He is not going back to bloody Judgment Day!

The computer tells him the clone is activated and there is one upload. He grins in anticipation, when he sees it is a large file covering a thousand years, and asks for a download.

What he gets is an unexpected detonation and a message from Moira X from 1,000 years in the future:

She tells him how she found his lab and watched the end of his rival’s – Mother Righteous – scheme. She was going to insert a mythic virus into his machine. She’d spent a thousand years finding the tools she needed to do it. She failed at the last second – stabbed in the back and the throat. She needed to sacrifice a specific soul to finish. She had prepared one to do the job. “A radiant soul saturated in the purifying faith of fanatics without number.

And Moira looked at her dying and thought of all the awful things she had done and the church she had built around herself and realized that the description applied to Mother Righteous as well. So, she fed her into the heart and corrupted the machine. Future Sinister interrupted het before she could reset the timeline, but Moira is glad she failed, because she saw something he just has to know: Sinister made an attempt to ascend to Dominionhood and failed. The last thing before burning the timeline was having the machine take a reading of his mind.

Sinister looks horrified and with empty eyes as he hears his dreams shatter. The message continues that his future version had realized something profound. This is all he is going to learn from that future and Moira stresses that this is her story. And his story is over.

The other Moira clones detonate and Sinister finds reality still exists, meaning the virus neutralized their X-genes before killing them. He finds the files are uploading by themselves and the machine speed-grows what seem to be another clone with an unknown designation, RPIV. He wonders what that is about.

The answer comes a moment later, when a naked and very angry Rasputin IV cuts her way free with her soulsword.

She introduces herself and announces he is wanted for the murder of mutantkind. He will pay for his crime!

In her Sanctum Malefica, Mother Righteous is reading one of her journals. When she looks up, she sees a door which is ajar. The door is new. She peeks behind she finds a new wing full of more books. Who does she have to thank for this little gift? She looks to find the same name on all the book spines. “Why, thank you, Mother Righteous,” she smirks.

On Krakoa, the surviving members of the Quiet Council are hunting for Sinister. Kate Pryde orders they have to keep the murder quiet as they can. Shaw fears they are too late. People know there is trouble. Them being coated with blood carries a lot of subtext. Jean can give them a telekinetic shower, Kate grimly replies but agrees they should inform the X-Men and X-Force. Get a message to Storm and get her back here. Nightcrawler suggests, informing Dr. Nemesis to see if they can get Hope back and her father, Cable, of course. Kate agrees.

Destiny suddenly moans and they ask what’s wrong. The future, she replies. There’s more of it!

That moment, Rasputin IV steps out of the gateway carrying her prisoner. By the gene sacristies of Hope herself, it’s real! she marvels and breaks out into a smile. Krakoa is real!

Kate greets her with a smile. She doesn’t know who she is. but she is loving the whole look. The Sinister accessory is fire. Who is she?

Rasputin introduces herself as being from the future. She came from a thousand years in the future to make sure this criminal does not escape his crimes. They are numberless and he must be punished for every single one! Oh, this is one of those, Kate replies knowingly. If she wants justice, she thinks they can do that.

Several resurrections later, the whole Council (as well as Rasputin and her prisoner) are gathered in the Grove. Xavier announces, sadly, he supposes it would have always come to this. Does Sinister have anything to say for himself?

Sinister begs them not to do this. It would be a huge mistake! Too late, Emma sniffs. He tried to murder her. Into the Hole, snap-snap!

Krakoa’s vines already reach for him from the ground. Sinister rambles, they don’t understand. He doesn’t matter! He isn’t the threat! He’s not the one they need to be afraid of! It’s the other Sinisters, not him! He is nothing!

As he is dragged down, he continues screaming that one of them succeeds. There is a Sinister Dominion outside time and space! A stain on existence! It’s already there! They’ve already won! Oh god, it’s too late! He reaches out to Destiny, begging her to stop them. It’s down to her now! But it’s already happened, so it’s too late and… He begs her to find a way. On the same side, remember? He knows she understands! Only she understands! With only his head above ground, he begs them not to do this. He is not even a crumb between the teeth of god! He is nothing! No… He is gone.

Emma muses that his panic seemed particularly convincing. Rasputin replies that he lied to her for nine hundred years and suggests they not believe anything he says. Destiny quickly agrees. He is trying to throw suspicion at her. Active malice on the way out is certainly in character. So, she doesn’t know what he is talking about? Nightcrawler demands. She doesn’t know specifically what he is talking about, Irene amends.

Kate asks Rasputin to fil them in about their latest dark future. How did she come to be their savior? Rasputin corrects her: she is but a soldier, not a savior. With a smile, she introduces their real savior and Mother Righteous walks down the stairs, claiming this is all news to her as well. She introduces herself as a humble little wizard lady. She was having a nice cuppa when suddenly she got a download from the future. Seems that Mr. Sinister fella has been cloning Moiras. He stores data about the timeline in her noggin, then kills her to reset to the past. The past him pulls out the facts he needs and then tries again.

The council members are horrified at that revelation, except for Destiny who agrees and claims she was trying to find a way to stop him while not giving away that she knew. Xavier is distrustful but decides to pick that up later. He asks Mother Righteous to continue.

She narrates how Sinister took over the world and lost his Moira engines. The galaxy went mad for a thousand years. Sinisters everywhere. Apparently, her future self learned about what was going on and managed to find the Moiras before him and uploaded a virus. When it was turned on, it made the Moiras lose their X-twinkle and sent their stories to Mother Righteous… and also cloned tall and shiny here, to make sure he didn’t leg it. Three cheers for magic. Pip pip!

This is all mindboggling! Kurt bursts out. How did she do it? Humbly, she claims she had some help. Pulling together to save the universe seemed the right thing to do; it’s in her name after all.

Most illuminating, Xavier remarks and asks her to leave, so the council can discuss this. She interrupts, stating there is one more bit of bad news. She hasn’t said how Sinister pulled off the world-conquering bit. By offing the redhead, he managed to get some clever gene-malarky up and working. He’s got a copy of himself in the four he killed. He can take them over. He can warp them. They may not even know it. She grins sheepishly and adds, he really is a rotter.

With her gone, the Quiet Council discuss the situation Emma jokes, he would have her wearing black, and that cannot be borne. Xavier tells her to be serious and asks if they can believe this. Shaw points out, while he doesn’t trust Mother Righteous, they do owe her. He volunteers for checking her bonafides. He has certain contacts in the magical world. “Hellfire” has connotations and some of them are quite literal.

That’s something, Storm agrees but stresses they must all be very careful. They can’t have anyone who may be compromised in power. Xavier disagrees. That’s not nearly sufficient!

A little later, they call Mother Righteous back. Xavier, Emma, Hope and Exodus stand in the center of the Grove. She asks what the plan is. Xavier explains that, as long as they carry Sinister’s influence, they must be held safely. No matter how unpleasant it is, the Pit is their safest place.

Storm tells Mother Righteous she has done Krakoa a great service. How can they repay the debt? Don’t mind her, Mother Righteous simpers. A ‘thank you’ would do her. Storm thanks her in the name of every mutant on the island, while Krakoa’s vines drag the four into the Pit.

Characters Involved: 

1,000 years in the future:
Mr. Sinister

Moira X
Jon Ironfire
Professor X
Sebastian Shaw
Exodus clone

Mystery Dominion

The present:
Mr. Sinister
Colossus, Destiny, Emma Frost, Exodus, Hope Summers II, Kate Pryde, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Storm (Quiet Council)
Sebastian Shaw
Rasputin IV
Mother Righteous

On screen:
Moira X

Story Notes: 

This is the last part of “Sins of Sinister,” happening after – and in some parts – parallel to Nightcrawlers #3.

The story continues in Immortal X-Men #11.

Juggernaut was sent into space to destroy Thanos in Sins of Sinister #1.

Moira turning herself into a machine refers to events in Deaths of Wolverine limited series.

The identity of the mystery Dominion will be revealed in Immortal X-Men #18.

The timeline moves back to events in Immortal X-Men #10.

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