Immortal X-Men Writer Kieron Gillen Explains the First Issue’s Shocking Last Page

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The final page of Immortal X-Men #1 delivered a shock to fans, and writer Kieron Gillen is explaining just what happened. Immortal X-Men was the first new series to launch out of Marvel’s Destiny of X, a new era for the X-Men line following Jonathan Hickman’s departure from the franchise last year. The series by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Lucas Werneck follows the Quiet Council, Krakoa’s ruling body. The Quiet Council has undergone some roster changes, most notably with Magneto stepping down. The selection of his successor brings with it a new revelation, which readers learn from our point-of-view character Mister Sinister, who has been making multiple clones of Moira MacTaggert.

The importance behind Mister Sinister cloning Moira MacTaggert has to do with her being the catalyst for the X-Men’s redefined status quo under Hickman. House of X and Powers of X revealed Moira has secretly been a mutant with the power of reincarnation. Every time she dies, she resurrects at the beginning of her life while also maintaining memories of her past lives. The Inferno miniseries saw Moira’s secrets discovered by the other members of the Quiet Council, and the precog Destiny and Mystique dish out their revenge. They took Moira’s gifts from her and turned her back into a human on the run. However, since Mister Sinister has Moira’s DNA, he’s able to create multiple clones of her that he uses to tinker with the timeline as he sees fit.

Gillen was a guest on AIPT’s X-Men Monday column, where a fan asked exactly how Moira’s clones affect the timeline. “It’s okay! I’m glad to help, Joshua. It affects the timeline badly,” Gillen joked before answering the question. “Okay, serious answer? It’s a quicksave. The timeline resets to the moment that clone was created and had their gene activated. Whenever Sinister wants to create a save slot, he makes a new clone. He can choose where to go back to by killing whatever clone he wishes. He’s save scumming his way through the Marvel Universe.”

The analogy “save scumming” Gillen uses comes from video games, where a user would save a game whenever they get a result they like, and restore a saved game whenever an outcome they don’t like is presented. Gillen also helped craft this campier version of Mister Sinister during his time on Uncanny X-Men, though he admits that he didn’t think it would become a character-defining trait.

“You don’t expect anything. When I’m doing big reworks on a character, I’m normally writing with a back door so other writers can rewind the clock rather than write what I did. With Sinister, you even see him tweak his personality at the start of my run. One of my things was stressing that he’s a living petri dish, and that always gives a chance to change the recipe. If someone wanted to dial him back to what he was before, they could. In fact, they did — the first appearance of Sinister post-me was Business As Usual,” he said.

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Gillen continued: “That said, there’s no more sincere compliment in WFH comics than other writers using your ideas. The first time I realized for sure Jon [Hickman] actually liked my work was when Sinister arrived in his high-camp multi-body glory in Secret Wars. Thanks, Jon, you sweetie. So I’ve been delighted to see folks run with that, and folks pick up from there. I thought it was a neat way to take him, and I’m glad folks seemed to agree.”

What did you think about the big reveal in Immortal X-Men #1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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