‘Sins of Sinister’ moves fast and breaks things

Sins of Sinister #1 laid out the premise for the spring X-Men event of the same name for which it spawned the first chapter, but it’s the second installment, Storm and the brotherhood of mutants #1 creating expectations for how this eleven-part event with five different titles will function. The first issue takes place ten years after the timeline moment that in Sins of Sinister simultaneously provides a clear perspective on the event gathered by the survivors of Arrako’s destruction under Storm’s leadership and builds out the wider story and connects characters who will shape “Sins of Sinister’s” thousand-year struggle for supremacy. This is, in fact, the second chapter of a mini-series, in much the same way Forces of X #1 was the second own chapter. Once readers understand that positioning, it’s an easy issue to enjoy, as it makes for a promising saga for the future – one that even rivals the earlier comparison.

(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Beyond some framing at the start to contextualize the status quo within Sins of Sinister #1’s framework and a juicy cliffhanger at the end, Storm and the brotherhood of mutants #1 revolves around a robbery. It provides a juicy target through Mystique and Destiny, introduces Storm’s crew to The Brotherhood, and puts the plan into action. That familiar structure ensures the song reads as satisfying in its own right, and provides an abbreviation that leaves plenty of room for details about the crossover event in progress.

The plot plays out in a fast-paced version of writer Al Ewing’s approach X-men: red with a plethora of reversals and intrigue, but with no hiccups between the setup and the punch line. Given the terrifyingly long history ahead, it also makes for much more cynical outcomes compared to the heroic heights of Magneto’s death in Red.

Artist Paco Medina deserves a lot of credit for how quickly this single track of (roughly) standard format can process so much material. From Asteroid S to the heist itself, Medina builds an inhabited world that sets a clear tone and outlook for The Brotherhood and the event to come. It’s a grim life that’s still filled with wonders, and Medina never loses the thread that this is a superhero adventure, no matter how grim the proceedings get. With apocalyptic outcomes and stakes already on the table, it remains easy to enjoy Storm and the brotherhood of mutants.

Medina also neatly fits his style into a continuum that most Krakoa X events have developed, with colorist Jay David Ramos helping to match the aesthetic approach with the likes of Inferno, Forces of XAnd House of X. In this way too, “Sins of Sinister” feels like a major transgression in the X-Men lore and essential to a wider story involving many of the main characters from this issue’s closing sequences.

The second chapter in “Sins of Sinister” prepares readers for an event that will reshape the X-Men in amazing and terrifying ways. In one issue, it sets the bar high for what each individual chapter could accomplish, and reaffirms the continuation of excellent work from creators who have already made this era of X-Men memorable. There is a lot to happen in the coming months.

Published by Marvel comic books

On February 8, 2023

Written by Al Ewing

Art by Paco Medina

Color through Jay-David Ramos

Letters through Ariana Maher

Cover Leinil Francis Yu

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