The list of ways in which 2019’s House of X/Powers of X succeeds as a comic book story is long. Jonathan Hickman and his collaborators delivered original world-building, deep-lore payoffs, the twistiest plot twists, electrifying action, and instantly iconic character moments. But if something about HoX/PoX is still underappreciated, it’s that Hickman wasn’t just eating — he was meal-prepping for those who’d come after.
This week, in X-Men comics, Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck delivered the first course of a long-awaited dinner with Sins of Sinister #1, the kickoff issue to the Sins of Sinister crossover. Evil glam geneticist Mister Sinister is here to chew scenery and fuck up the future, and he shows no sign of running out of either in an issue that shows him overthrowing Krakoa, Mars, all human governments, every human superhero team, and several extra-solar powerhouses like Thanos, Hell, and Asgard itself in a mere decade.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
The joy of Mister Sinister is in expertly applied contrast, as Gillen proved when he delivered the definitive modern take on the character in his 2011 Uncanny X-Men run. Sinister is knowingly camp, a cape-wearing monologuer who lives for drama, flirting with the fourth wall but never quite crossing over it. He’s objectively funny, a villain who demands reader attention with captivating flair and fascinatingly intricate plans.
He’s also maybe the only mutant villain with delusions of godhood and the ambition to make it so left in the Krakoan era. Because, as Gillen codified a decade ago, like Magneto and Apocalypse and Orchis and Nimrod, Sinister’s goals are genetic supremacy. The difference is that Sinister doesn’t believe that humans should replace mutants or vice versa.
He thinks he should replace both of them. He’s an incomprehensibly selfish ego bent on universal genocide of every sentient thing except for his genetic code — and god, Gillen and Werneck make him fun to watch, from his grandiose plans (shrinking the Juggernaut and opening a wormhole to fire him through Thanos’ skull at point-blank range) to his stupid little rages (“OH, FIDDLE &%&% BASTARD @#%&# STICKS!” he bellows on one tear) to his Krakoan Island of Doctor Moreau hairless cat with Cyclops’ eyes.
What I’m trying to say is that the first two pages of this comic, an homage to the opening scene of House of X/Powers of X, but with only clones of Cyclops and Sinister in Professor X’s place, bastardizing the X-Men’s warcry into grammatical mush as he looks directly into the camera, is sublime.
My parents got me a couple rabbits when I was a kid, and none of the feet of my Barbies went unchewed. I don’t want any of the rabbit owners out there to miss this targeted message for them.
This week’s Action Comics revealed that Lois Lane keeps her husband’s skimpy, chain-forward costume from his time on Warworld in their bedroom closet and I just want to say, I love this for her.