X-Men: Before the Fall – Sinister Four #1 Review

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Art: Paco Medina, Edgar Delgado, Protobunker’s Fer Sifuentes-Sujo, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Tom Muller, Jay Bowen, and Lucas Werneck,

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Release Date: July 5th, 2023

As the nineteenth century drew to a close, the dying Nathaniel Essex unleashed four clones of himself into the world. They’ve been haunting it ever since, while lurking in the shadows. We know what Sinister has been up to. What about the others? In this issue, we delve into their past…and discover their latest atrocity as X-Men: Before the Fall – Sinister Four #1 by Kieron Gillen begins to unfold. Let’s dive in and take a look.

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Is Sinister really a love story? Is that the angle X-Men fans are being fished now? As we open X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four #1, readers see a young Nathaniel Essex courting Rebecca in hopes she can make a decent man out of him back in 1852. However, aren’t stories always about love? Isn’t that always the backbone of every good narrative? Well, here we are discovering that Stasis (who thinks himself to be the original Nathaniel Essex) still has a thing for Rebecca and thinks that there is a shot that Mother Righteous is actually the real Rebecca (or at least has her feelings and memories).

Quickly, readers get the inner workings of Stasis and see just where his heart hangs. Plus, the eerie parallels between Stasis’ love for science and Nathaniel’s as well as Rebecca’s love for the occult and pagan lore with her Mother Righteous’ powers, tattoos, and whimsical attributes. The point being: that’s what appeared to be Gillen’s driving force behind the conversation at the beginning of X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four #1. Gillen wanted to plant seeds of doubt in the reader’s minds as to who these characters really are… and it’s working well.

Ultimately, X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four #1 gives fans a reasonable summary and background of the four Sinister Clones, or should I say the three clones of Nathaniel Essex and the one clone of his wife Rebecca. We also get the heartfelt story involving how Sinister became who he is and why along with the story centered around the other clones. It’s an interesting turn of events that help draw a bit more humanity back into Mister Sinister as well as the clones. Additionally, after reading X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four #1, I couldn’t help but feel for Stasis as well as the desire to see him win. He seems less sinister than the rest with better motivations and intentions to match. Was that Gillen’s intent?

Now, as X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four #1 concludes, we continue to see glimpses of the plan behind the scenes from Stasis and Orchis. Even though I still find this Sinister angle quite intriguing, it’s still becoming a bit too tiring as I stated in my X-Men #24 Review this week. Things are getting a bit too convoluted and complicated within this Krakoan Era with a setup that’s beginning to unravel at the seams. Again, the potential is there but we need to wrap this up fast and move onto a new non-Krakoan Era soon. Sales and numbers alone prove that interest is dwindling fast.


X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four #1 provides fans with some much-needed clarity involving these clones of Nathaniel Essex. Additionally, Gillen elaborates on the history intertwined between Nathaniel and Rebecca that appears to have woven its way throughout the very fabric of the X-Men Universe. Moreover, the dynamic created with these characters by Gillen as the crux of this Fall happens to be quite intriguing. Nevertheless, the longevity of this Fall and the over-saturated conundrums that weigh down the X-books are becoming taxing.

Bits and pieces of that were shining through towards the end of X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four #1, however, not as bad as some of the other X-books on the market right now. We need some pep in our step in order to get this show on the road before it’s too late and this setup is slow-moving. Hopefully, we Fall fast without any dangling plot threads to tug on later. Give fans a good, clean, easy-to-follow, straightforward, story that ENDS! And then, let the next writers start fresh. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!


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