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Powers of X #4 finally reveals the series’ most anticipated villain

It’s time to visit a very glam castle

Last week’s House of X #4 teased some imminent revelations about a major X-Men villain waiting in the wings. One who’s been referenced pretty significantly throughout the House of X/Powers of X saga, but had yet to actually appear.

Until now, that is, with Powers of X #4. And he’s fabulous.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Powers of X #4.]

A castle on an island — both appear to be cut from the same upward-growing red crystal, in Powers of X #4, Marvel Comics (2019). Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva/Marvel Comics

Yes, Mister Sinister takes a starring role in Powers of X #4. The long-time X-Men villain is best known for his genetic meddling and pursuit of a warped biological perfection. Most notably, he’s significantly meddled in the lives of Jean Grey and Cyclops, believing that their offspring would be a genetically perfect mutant.

At nearly the very beginning of House of X/Powers of X, Sinister was given a big story beat — but only in the book’s graphic designed dossiers of exposition. Powers of X #1 explained that Sinister was a huge force in the Human-Machine-Mutant War, running a mutant breeding program that created several generations of genetically engineered mutant soldiers. The final generation went very very wrong, destroying Mars and 40 percent of the mutant population. The same dossier pages state that Sinister not only created that generation to explosively fail, but that “it is now believed that most of the ‘random’ circumstances that led to the creation of Sinister’s program were, in fact, orchestrated by him.”

So, attentive readers have been waiting expectantly for Sinister’s machinations to show up in other ways, outside of the Human-Machine-Mutant War timeline. Powers of X #4 reveals that the villain does have a place in Professor Xavier’s new plan for mutantkind, and has from its very beginning.

Oh, and Mister Sinister is freakin’ hilarious

Mister Sinister expresses desire for a cape, and then orders the execution of an advisor — who is also a clone of Mister Sinister — for not advising him to get a cape, in Powers of X #4, Marvel Comics (2019).
Mister Sinister reacts to Magneto’s outfit.
Image: Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva/Marvel Comics

If there’s one thing to know about Mister Sinister other than that he’s one of the biggest genetic manipulators in the Marvel Universe, it’s that he’s flamboyant as heck.

Powers of X #4 shows a young Professor Xavier and Magneto visiting him at Bar Sinister, which appears to be a castle on an island made entirely of red crystal, just like the diamond on Sinister’s forehead. And on Bar Sinister, everyone is Sinister, from the lowliest guard to the one on the throne.

Mister Sinister, in a shirt slit to his waist and carrying a red-jeweled scepter, declares “Everything is Sinister!” Behind him is a city populated only by clones of himself, powered by the massive gold head of Celestial, which has been altered to also lo
Mister Sinister in Uncanny X-Men #2.
Kieron Gillen, Carlos Pacheco, Jorge Molina, Rodney Buchemi/Marvel Comics

This harks back to the first arc of Kieron Gillen’s 2011 run on Uncanny X-Men, in which the villain used Celestial technology to create a perfect, albeit Sinister-only, society.

And House of X/Powers of X architect Jonathan Hickman appears to have a liking for this specific, clone-loving interpretation of the character, using it in Marvel’s 2015 event series Secret Wars. This is also where the idea of Bar Sinister, Mister Sinister’s courtly headquarters and, presumably, bar, first appeared.

Mister Sinister lounges seductively in a throne, saying “Ah... the law. How very trashy,” in Secret Wars #2, Marvel Comis (2015).
Mister Sinister in Secret Wars #2.
Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic/Marvel Comics

As Professor Xavier and Magneto chat with this younger version of Sinister on his red crystal throne covered in a white fur throw, he seems uninterested in their request that he refocus his research on the mutant genome instead of the human one. That is, until he is executed by an apparently higher-ranking Sinister with a very big cape.

This Sinister says he will craft a mutant genetic database for them — after which Professor X erases Sinister’s memory of he and Magneto ever visiting Bar Sinister, leaving only his interest in a mutant genetic database.

So, somehow, Professor Xavier’s plan involves coercing Mister Sinister into creating a comprehensive database of all mutant DNA. What does that mean? We’ll just have to wait for another issue of House of X/Powers of X to find out.

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