- March 30, 2022
Immortal X-Men #1 Review
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Art by: Lucas Werneck
Coloring by: David Curiel
Lettering by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
The Immortal X-Men is about to be a classic in the making. This comic feels like the original X-Men #1 by Jonathan Hickman. The events of this issue feel momentous, they feel important, and they feel like they’re pushing the story forward. Gerry Duggan’s X-Men is doing that, but that book feels like it’s still setting the groundwork for more to come.
One possible problem though, is that the main character and narrator of this issue is Mr. Sinister, who, while hilarious under Kieron Gillen’s finger, may rub people the wrong way. While yes, this is a clone, it’s a clone of a Nazi, like a really bad Nazi. At the same time, he is a villain who no one in the Marvel Universe itself likes.
There’s this narrative going around online that the X-Men are friends with Sinister, and that’s not true. They use him because they think they can control him and make him help revive all the mutants who’ve ever died. This makes him, understandably, too useful to kill. Now that may rub people the wrong way, but that’s always been the point. His existence and place in Krakoan society is a classic example of characters dealing with the devil they know. As Immortal X-Men #1 shows though, the problem is that you never really know the devil.
So it is hard to grapple with that conundrum. Mr. Sinister is a fun narrator because he’s evil. Worse, he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, and in many ways he is. He is rigging the game, he is playing to win, and he may the only guy who knows how to do it. But’s one of the evilest characters ever. I find it readable because he is so cartoonish while surrounded by so many self-serious characters. If he were written as a serious character this couldn’t work, but because he’s not, it does.
To a lesser extent, this writing also extends to other characters in the cast. Selene poses a great and real threat because she is almost as cartoonishly evil as Mr. Sinister. But Mr. Sinister can be reasoned with because of his science-based intelligence. Selene… isn’t, but she’s just as dramatic so she’ll do crazy stuff, and it’s incredibly fun.
Kieron Gillian truly is a master of setting dynamics up to utterly clash. Having chaos and cartoon villainy incarnate with Selene and Mr. Sinister run up against the rest of the Quiet Council’s self-seriousness makes Immortal X-Men a book that’s both incredibly intriguing and laugh-out-loud fun. Destiny of X has started with a banger. Which of the other Destiny of X books are you excited for?