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Rasputin, a Mutant with the powers of Colossus, Kate Pryde, Unus the Untouchable, Laura Kinney, and Quentin Quire all at once, hefts her soulsword and prepares to fight four clones of Mystique at once in Immoral X-Men #2 (2023). Image: Kieron Gillen, Andrea Di Vito/Marvel Comics

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X-Men’s best throwaway character returns to destroy mutant government

Twist: Krakoa is evil in this timeline

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Marvel’s Sins of Sinister was always meant to call back to small details of House of X/Powers of X, the founding text of the modern X-Men line. And yes, technically, Rasputin, a kickass genetic experiment who looks like a cross between Colossus and his sister Magik, was a “throwaway character,” destined to live only in a limited glimpse of a possible future timeline. But it’s not a slam. Characters are not necessarily less cool just because they don’t stick around — and Rasputin is a great example of the strengths of brevity.

HoX/PoX was a story in which alternate futures and timelines rose and fell so often that writer Jonathan Hickman and his collaborators straight up gave the reader a chart to keep track of them. What made HoX/PoX work was a commitment to making those timelines extremely memorable. We might not have spent much time in them, but we would sure as hell know they were cool.

So, while Rasputin, with her crystal-clear visual design, might have had a smaller role to play than expected, it was a good freakin’ time. Which is why I’m so happy to see her back for another finite alternate-future plotline in Sins of Sinister. I get more Rasputin, a badass gene-splice with five different mutant gifts — but there’s no chance of her outstaying her welcome as a completely overpowered and bizarre character with five different mutant gifts.

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.)

Immoral X-Men #2

“Where to now, sir?” Rasputin says from the captain’s chair of a starship. “To save the universe,” answers Mister Sinister, saying that it’ll only take “Five years. I think,” in Immoral X-Men #2. Image: Kieron Gillen, Andrea Di Vito/Marvel Comics

Also, Kieron Gillen is lacing Rasputin’s plotline with Star Trek references, like it was specifically made for me.

The Forged #1

Our five heroic Forged Troopers, all buff women, ready their specialized mech suits for a mission, arguing mightily with male techs before their leader, Vic, calls them to attention and orders them to sound off, in The Forged #1 (2023). Image: Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann, Mike Henderson/Image Comics

I will always give a Greg Rucka book at least a chance, and his new series with artists Eric Trautmann and Mike Henderson is space-y and sexy and mech-y and weird, weird, weird. Huge Warhammer and Dune vibes, with an intergalactic quasi-religious empire with genetically engineered mecha strike teams and sex oracles — plus an all-female main cast who get to be buff as hell, a central mystery, and gorgeous colors from Nolan Woodard. I’m very interested to see more.

Superman: Lost #1

“You’re back,” Lois Lane says to a shocked Superman, standing stock still in their apartment. “Pretty quick as missions go.” After a long silence, he finally says “Quick? I... I’ve been gone twenty years.” Then the doorbell rings, in Superman: Lost #1 (2023). Image: Priest, Carlo Pagulayan/DC Comics

Priest’s writing can be hit or miss for me, but if there’s one thing I like about him it’s that he lets moments breathe. The whole pitch on Superman: Lost is that Superman loses 20 years of time on a strange adventure while no time passes on Earth — for Priest and artist Carlo Pagulayan to still devote four pages to the weight of that realization is a flex, a very dramatic and uncanny one.

Wolverine #31

“X-Force is no more,” Beast says to four other Beast clones who are overseeing several vats of growing Wolverine clones. “I will call this new program... Weapons of X,” in Wolverine #31 (2023). Image: Benjamin Percy, Juan José Ryp/Marvel Comics

Congratulations Hank McCoy for joining the ranks of Marvel Comics characters who are such huge assholes that the only people who can stand to be around them are other versions of themselves. It’s an exclusive club that includes Kang, Reed Richards, and Mephisto. I hope you’re real happy, Hank.


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