Can this reviewer be genuine for just a second? Have you ever felt like you were surrounded by friends that were all in on a joke that you somehow didn’t get? That’s EXACTLY how this critic felt after considerable (countless actually) reread’s of this week’s POWERS OF X #4. I felt as if I was “supposed” to get all of Sinister’s Secrets… but I just couldn’t. I felt like I was “supposed” to see the relationships made to the Year 1000 story… but I couldn’t. Was this comic fan the only one confused? Was this issue, or even series, made specifically for hardcore X-Men fans only?
To be truthful, my X-men fandom peaked in the early ’90s… and then High School ensued, as well as College, Marriage, Work, Kids, and here we are… almost two and a half decades later. Sure, this critic has reread many X-Men storyline’s between the era I once skipped. Nevertheless, a diehard fan I am not. This “reboot” or “relaunch” of a franchise was (still is) so exhilarating to this reviewer, as I assume it is for many other readers. But again, POWERS OF X #4 left this analyst standing on the outside looking in. Sure, HOUSE OF X #1 was certainly a lot to take in and had its illogical moments. However, it was the story itself that was confusing making everyone on the same playing field from jump street. All readers entered the story feeling equal. POWERS OF X #4 felt like I just moved to town and had to make new friends with kids that all wore capes and red shoes (not that there is anything wrong with that).
So, this reviewer did what any good critic would do: research. I scoured the deepest, darkest, corners of the cosmos (internet) to find whatever kernels possible to place together what appeared to happen after this somewhat campy, over the top, and satirical fourth issue. Just a quick side note: my investigation found so many explanations that seemed more obvious after the fact. However, in my humble opinion, a comic shouldn’t cause readers to have to reread the issue a dozen times, look through the deep recesses of the Internet, or wait for a podcast/interview from the author to explain exactly what the issue was about (and no… Hickman didn’t do that BUT some writers we all know NEED to do that in order to make sense of their writing.)
So, here is what this reviewer learned from many others online:
FACT 1: Bar Sinister was actually first created (to my knowledge) by Jonathan Hickman in SECRET WARS (2015) and is stated herein issue 4 again. Click HERE to take a look at my most recent reviewer of SECRET WARS #3 (2015), as well as issue #1 and #2.
FACT 2: There appears to be some connection between the future Year 1000 Library, Sinister creating the DNA/genetic codes of mutants, and the Krakoan pod people growing back in HOUSE OF X #1. Think about it. Why would Jonathan Hickman place a scene with Charles and Magneto trying to persuade Sinister to collect mutant genetic material AND a flash forward to the future Library? There must be a connection to set them within the same issue of the story side by side.
FACT 3: Many have speculated after this week’s INVADERS #9, that the current Marvel 616 is Moira’s 10th life. However, this analyst is still on the fence about that premise. Yes, INVADERS #9 makes reference to Krakoa. However, Moira has done many of the same things in each of her past lives. From going to the same schools, or talking to the same people, the simple mention of Krakoa doesn’t necessarily mean that Moira’s 10th life is the current 616.
Furthermore, why would Hickman “okay” Chip Zdarsky to place that line in another unrelated comic? They may be working at the same company but this reviewer doubts Hickman would allow someone else to unzip a clue to something that has been so quiet. Heck, review copies for this comic come out Monday Night at 5 pm, which gives reviewers less time to spoil anything. That’s how hush Marvel is about this relaunch. This fan wouldn’t read into anything from another unrelated book.
FACT 4: Something this reviewer missed on his first couple of reads was that Cypher can actually change the Krakoa when he touches it. The plants become techno-organic in a way.
FACT 5: There appear to be more connections to demons, Madelyne Pryor, and INFERNO with the “new” creation story of Krakoa. Furthermore, it also appears to note that Apocalypse was also there at its origin, which many could notice with the “A” on his belt. Point is; the big players moving forward in the X-Men relaunch appear to be Sinister, Apocalypse, Madelyne Pryor, Krakoa, and now this INFERNO storyline with it’s subtle ”secret” references, which we will hit on later. And again, look no further than the story in MARVEL COMICS #1000 written by Jonathan Hickman Himself taking about the First Horsemen. These are the key players moving forward.
FACT 6: Doesn’t the floating orb back in POWERS OF X #3 that made the baby look like a machine in that church also look just like the floating orb from the Phalanx in the Year 1000 storyline?
FACT 7: HOUSE OF X #5 is red!! The last time we read a “red” issue was when readers received the big reveal about Moira’s mutant ability. So, what will be the big reveal this time? Readers should expect something huge. Again, the color-coding of the reading order doesn’t make sense. This reviewer still believes (until next week maybe) that the red issues are actually Moira’s unlisted and current 11th life. Additionally, it’s the 11th life that is the current 616 and what the X-Men Franchise will spin out of moving forward. This reviewer still believes (for now) that the X-Men that died in HOUSE OF X #4, were in Moira’s 10th life and the current 616 is the storylines happening right now like WAR OF THE REALMS and ABSOLUTE CARNAGE.
FACT 8: There is a website called “Crazy Days and Nights”, which appears to be a gossip column written by someone in Hollywood who writes vague secrets about some of the most high profile actors in Hollywood. To my knowledge (I’m new to this site so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), no one knows who this person is. However, many of the gossip found is said to be true.
Enter “Sinister’s Secrets”, which appears to be a gossip column about our favorite lovable mutants while he catalogs along the way. Honestly, after a dozen reads, this still went over my head. However, those individuals more up on pop culture than I, as well as much more in tune with the X-Men Universe have helped this reviewer share in some of the “possible” Secrets. This reviewer is not claiming these ideas as his own. However, the overall purpose of this article is to share what I’ve heard all in one place and to keep Weird Science Marvel Comic fans as up to date as possible! So, here goes.
Sinister Secret 1:
The “red shoes” seem to have no direct connection right now other than humor. Nevertheless, this Victorian Era man still fancies himself with a wonderful cape and a spirited pair of red shoes. If there ever was a villain who would adore a bit of flair, it would be Mister Sinister. That said, there is no other connection that I have found.
Sinister Secret 2:
Supposedly, this is about a mutant fashion designer named Jumbo Carnation. Honestly, this reviewer has no clue other than he appeared in New Mutants and died of a drug overdose. Furthermore, Hickman has oddly talked about ”mutant fashion” in the past couple of months. And additionally, there was some overly campy discussion of red shoes and capes earlier… so maybe there is another connection there too. Who knows?!?!
Sinister Secret 3:
Many individuals online have theorized that this ”secret” is about Madelyne Pryor, who is Jean Grey’s clone that made a deal with a demon at one point in her past. Her son is Cable and was most recently seen in SECRET WARS on BATTLE WORLD. Madelyne was the Goblin Queen and appeared to be mentoring Hank McCoy in the art of Black Magic. Therefore, this ”secret” could be referencing the most recent version of Madelyne Pryor since Hickman’s SECRET WARS event. No one online appears to know what she may have “left behind” but only time will tell.
If you look at the covers of the November releases, there appear to be some demon/goblin-looking creatures on the cover. Who knows?
Sinister Secret 4:
This could be something washing up on Bar Sinister or Krakoa. Again, no one appears to be sure. Some even stated a reference to Carol Danvers washing onshore of Bar Sinister in SECRET WARS. Additionally, Revanche and Psylocke were also mentioned online AND both “appear” to be in the Dawn of X story coming up.
Sinister’s First SECRET REVEALED:
Mister Sinister appeared to get his mutant gene from John Proudstar, otherwise known as Thunderbird. Keep in mind, Thunderbird died two issues after GIANT-SIZED X-MEN #1. Will we find out that Sinister was somehow to blame? Additionally, Minister Sinister’s abilities are really only enhanced strength, enhanced stamina, and enhanced speed, which Sinister “sort of” portrays. However, this reviewer isn’t entirely seeing the connection between the two characters.
Sinister Secret 5:
This secret appears to be referencing the love triangles between Logan, Scott, Jean, and Emma. However, after seeing Wolverine, Scott, and Jean in HOUSE OF X #5, there didn’t appear to be any tension. Maybe there is another love triangle on the horizon involving Moira, Charles, and someone else?
Sinister Secret 6:
This could be referencing a mutant named Ernst, who is a child that has a condition of premature aging. This one, like Secret 2, was totally baffling to me. This critic has honestly never heard of Ernst and never would have made this connection. However, word on the mean streets of the internet is that Ernst once stole genetic samples from the X-Men and gave them to Sinister. This would make sense given that he’s trying to cultivate a massive library of mutant genetic codes.
Sinister Secret 7:
This is probably talking about the Summers brothers… or as many said only “trolling”. To my knowledge, there are three: Scott (Cyclops), Alex (Havoc), and Vulcan. However, Sinister may be playing at the idea of more than three brothers. However, is Hickman creating more? It was speculated many times over that Adam-X was a Summers brother, as well as Gambit, who at one time was believed to be a clone of both Scott and Sinister. But who the heck knows anymore… which is why this relaunch is so needed!
Sinister Secret 8:
This secret happens to be about Apocalypse and his love for his Horsemen, specifically his FIRST horsemen, which was made reference to in MARVEL COMICS #1000.
Sinister Secret 9:
This secret appeared to be the vaguest and had the least amount of guesses online. Some referenced Jubilee due to “fireworks”. Many others referenced a relationship between Cypher and Warlock. Some other individuals online referenced Cannonball and Boom Boom. However, no one appeared to take a firm stance on this secret.
Sinister’s Second SECRET REVEALED:
Hickman is circling back to Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen, and making reference to a huge storyline called INFERNO. Notice the similarities with the techno-demons in the INFERNO storyline and even what appears to be happening with the Year 1000 storyline and the Phalanx. Furthermore, not only did Hickman play with Madelyne Pryor within SECRET WARS and BATTLE WORLD, but she appears to be a big focus of at least two of these secrets. Something seems fishy with this connection moving forward. Additionally, INFERNO ended with Sinister being the sneaky villain who was pulling the strings in the background. Could that be the case again?
Sinister Secret 10:
This secret was the most straightforward and made the most sense to this reviewer. Xavier attempted to erase part of Sinister’s memory in order to have him work on the “library” of mutant DNA/ genetic codes BUT not remember who he’s doing it for. However, somewhere along the line, Sinister switched places with a copy of himself and is now fully aware of Xavier’s plan.
This should make for an interesting twist as the story unfolds. Could it also be that Sinister has Moira’s genetic code and is using it in a similar way? Therefore, he also contains memories from past lives every time he dies. Just something to think about…
Additionally, seeing that Sinister was the puppeteer controlling Madelyne Pryor in the shadows of INFERNO, this idea makes even more sense seeing that Pryor appears to be a focus of these ”secrets” moving forward.
This comic still did what any good comic would do: cause readers to think, speculate, discuss, and generate theories. That said, this reviewer still holds true to his original score of his review of POWERS OF X #4. However, this felt more like a chore to research than actual fun, which was draining and time-consuming. The good news is that this critic comes out of this Vision Quest with more X-knowledge than before. Nonetheless, I’m still royally confused and searching for answers like never before while also still mesmerized and captivated at the same time. I can’t wait until this week’s RED issue to see what big reveal is waiting on the horizon! Get your popcorn ready folks.