Storm & the Brotherhood #1 is an exciting start to the trio of three-issue miniseries that will form the core of the “Sins of Sinister” event. Of course, overall the story here isn’t a radical departure from the prologue, Sins of Sinister #1, which covered a lot of groundwork in its double-size format. Still, it’s beautifully told, and there are surprise twists by the end. Judging from this issue, we can expect the other #1’s will also establish the Year 10+ status quo for this Sinister-dominated future before giving us a twisty cliffhanger leading us to a ninety-year jump—and then skipping on 900 years for the final issues. This is going to be heady stuff.
“Storm’s Seven” (echoes of Ocean’s Eleven)
Credits: Al Ewing writes; Paco Medina draws; Jay David Ramos colors; Ariana Maher letters; design by Tom Muller with Jay Bowen; cover by Leinil Francis Yu and Sunny Gho
Impressively, the amazingly talented Paco Medina (regular artist on Al Ewing’s New Avengers, 2014) has drawn each of the mini’s #1’s—so the visuals for Year 10+ will be consistent. This is unique for an event, but already the event’s very structure is highly original, mirroring the timeline format of Hickman’s Powers of X but with a fun-house-mirror twist, for this is a radically different but instantly recognizable future timeline.
One element of instant recognition for you “Age of Apocalypse” fans out there is Sugar Man, whom we already saw in Sins of Sinister #1; Storm & the Brotherhood starts with the same scene, the destruction of Arakko/Mars (by Sinister’s forces), now drawn in Paco Medina’s chic dynamic style, rather than Caselli’s. Recall that this atrocity was five years into the Sinister-dominated future…
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Another five years on, so +10 Years from the present Earth-616, Storm and her Brotherhood are off to break into Sinister’s lab beneath Moira’s Muir Island complex, with the aid of Destiny and Mystique… SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW.
Sins of Sinister #1 ended with Sinister realizing someone had stolen his Moira clone lab, and in this issue we find out who pulled it off and how. What’s wonderful about this is that takes the three most prominent fan speculations, which most of us saw as mutually exclusive—but here Ewing neatly ties them all together with an agonizing twist of the knife in Machiavellian treachery.
Destiny and Mystique almost gleefully betray Storm and the Brotherhood after the latter break into and steal the lab for them—and they’re in cahoots with… Orbis Stellaris?!
In Sins of Sinister #1, after Storm fled the Sinister-fied Council (sometime before Arakko’s destruction), Destiny and Mystique approached her with the offer of an alliance—and she allowed herself to be convinced that it wasn’t the time right then for an Arakkii assault against Sinister’s Krakoa. As we find out here, she still marshaled her forces, but Sinister got the jump on her and Arakko; the resulting atrocity saw the loss of Storm’s closest allies (including Sunspot, Nova and the Great Ring), except for Cable, Khora and Wiz Kid; indeed, the Arakkii seem to have been almost completely wiped out—although (multiple?) Ora Serrata apparently slaughtered her own people as a Sinister ally or lackey (it’s just the one panel, so who knows).
So, Storm & the Brotherhood opens some five years later (in a new venue, Asteroid S, hidden in the rubble that was once Arakko) with Storm, looking more regal than ever, questioning Destiny’s motives. After all, the only explanation for Destiny being wrong in her advice is that her predictions are woefully fallible or they’re not at all.
The woman appearing as Destiny, however, keeps mum—until a member of the Brotherhood debuting here for the first time, Jon Ironfire (of the molten metal blood), impales her, revealing Mystique, who of course gets better right quick (But then, this turns out not be Raven, after all! See below).
And now, we find out how Sinister’s Moira farm went missing: Destiny and Mystique’s plan is for Storm and her Brotherhood to bust infiltrate the Muir Island complex, specifically, the secret underground facility Sinister has kept there since the present day (and about which only Destiny and Mystique know). Inside, they’ll destroy the clones and reset the current timeline to Earth-616’s present-day reality (which means saving Arakko too).
With Destiny and Mystique, things do not go according to plan, naturally. They merely let Storm think that she’s gotten to the bottom of their ruse with the reveal of Raven posing as her wife. The reality is far worse, and our heroes suffer for it.
To be clear, Destiny and Mystique are the primary antagonists of this issue, and Destiny heads in particular will be upset how self-centered she comes off here—but it’s entirely unsurprising given her history. However, there is the bigger question of what she’s trying to gain for mutantkind, since she clearly did hew to ideals once upon a time. But who is she now? That’s a question for issue #2.
Once the team has bodyslid to Muir Island, Ironfire does begin questioning Mystique, but oddly enough, Wiz Kid intervenes to derail this voicing of doubt.
Another Brotherhood member unfamiliar to readers is Quick—given name Loolo—who has been seen once before, in X-Men Red #6, where she’s a small child protected by NASA scientist Craig Marshall while Uranos’ forces wreak havoc across Arakko. We see here that she adopted his surname sometime after that.
The interstitial page providing the team roster gives us some titillating info not found elsewhere in the issue: After Arakko’s destruction, Cable “bonded with the collective mind Xilo to become living history.” Fascinating—but again, we don’t know what this means in practice yet. But the old man is definitely looking a bit, um, rooty.
On Muir Island, the team is set upon by a delightfully nasty pack of Sinister chimeras: an amalgamation of Maggot and Marrow—throwin’ bone daggers with maggoty piranha mouths!
The team finds another sort of chimera below ground in Sinister’s lab; a black “living forcefield” surrounding the unseen Moira clone farm, it was created from the genes of Unus the Untouchable (or erstwhile Acolyte Carmella Unuscione, his daughter)—possibly along with samplings of Skids and Armor.
Jon Ironfire has impressive showing here, and apparently he fought in something called the “Genesis War,” which Storm experienced as well—so it’s something that occurred in this alt-future timeline. Hopefully, we’ll find out more about this next time!
That’s right: Apocalypse and Genesis might show up… Or we’ll at least get an alt-future flashback. After all, if they’re still around, why aren’t they in the fight now, too?
Wiz Kid wows everyone by simply teleporting the Moira clone farm elsewhere, forcefield and all, seemingly so that they can penetrate it at their leisure—but it turns out that Takeshi probably died years ago, unknown to all but Destiny and Mystique—who’s taken his place in all that time since—and the Mystique figure nearby is simply a hard-light hologram!
Storm’s Brotherhood is left betrayed and humiliated; Storm herself is at death’s door, likely crippled. And the Moira clones have been whisked away all the way to the far-off World Farm of the Progenitors, that is, Orbis Stellaris’ home base—where Destiny takes tea through her mask while gazing on at scenes from dystopian and mad-science venues beamed in on floating screens.
Her companion, the Sinister of Spades, has his own designs—and they are Dominion…
This is not a double-sized issue, and there’s only the one plot thread, albeit sufficiently complex for now, and it’s actually nice that the dramatic action is clear, complete and coherent. This is unusual for an event comic and a good sign for the issues to come. What’s most exciting, of course, is where all these twists and turns will be taking us—and how the three miniseries narratives braid together by the end. The event’s trajectory remains delightfully unpredictable, and we still have vast tracts of space and time to cross with our faves turned on their heads and made strange by Sinister doings.
NEXT: Nightcrawlers #1 by Si Spurrier and Paco Medina
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