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X-Men: Before The Fall - Sinister Four #1

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 8 critic ratings.


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. When they start to…date?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
35 pages
Amazon ASIN

8 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 98

    Comic Watch

    If you want to read the perfect villain-centered story, this astonishing piece of art is for you.

  • 90

    Major Spoilers

    The creative direction taken with the Sinister storyline is commendable, and Kieron Gillen seems up to the challenge of balancing the intricate ideas presented without overwhelming the reader. The engaging narrative leaves us eagerly anticipating what will happen next.

  • 89

    Multiversity Comics

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the creative team at work, but “X-Men: Before the Fall – Sinister Four” is a great comic. It’s a villain-focused issue that adds depth to the characters and their place in Marvel’s history, while building towards the “Fall of X” nicely. For those following the current X-Men-adjacent events, you’ll want to read this.

  • 89


    As the title X-Men Before the Fall suggests, change is coming. Many years ago one man made an attempt to alter the course of history. His decision led to an adventure that ended with four individuals emerging with powers. Individually their stories would go on to become the stuff of legends in the Marvel Universe.

    The Sinister Four

    Sorry, they can’t all be Fantastic.

  • 85

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    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.

  • 80

    X-Men: Before the Fall — Sinister Four #1 finally sheds some light on the existence of these four suits of Nathaniel Essex clones — Mister Sinister, Mother Righteous, Orbis Stellaris, and Doctor Stasis. Mister Sinister’s origin has always been a quagmire of conflicted intentions and seemingly extraneous design. Kieron Gillen’s story cuts through the narrative clutter to offer an explanation that’s both succinct and expansive, even explaining why Mister Sinister would go by such a malevolent moniker. Doctor Stasis’ date with Mother Righteous — the heart-branded member of the Sinister Four previously revealed to have been made in the image of Nathaniel Essex’s wife, Rebecca, rather than Essex himself — is the crux of the issue. As one might expect of a meeting between two Essexes, the conversation is a cunning game of each trying to feel out the other, gain information, and acquire favors. Gillen cleverly plays with readers’ expectations and understanding of what they think they know as much as the two Sinisters play with each other. At first glance, Paco Medina’s art style feels too superheroic for this conversational subterfuge. However, he pulls it off well, focusing on each character’s expression until he can put those superhero bona fides to work in the issue’s action-oriented climax. It’s a stellar issue that does well at building the tension for the coming Fall of X.

  • 60


    X-Men: Before the Fall — The Sinister Four #1 provides an interesting look into the dynamic between Mother Righteous and Dr. Stasis, but it is just contributing to the oversaturation of the Sinister brand. The art is superb and the writing remains a high point of the X-Men: Before the Fall series, but it never manages to hit the notes that it is desperately trying to achieve.

  • 60

    But Why Tho?

    X-Men: Before the Fall – Sinister Four #1 is let down by its structure. There is nothing necessarily wrong with the concept of date night or the idea of the four Sinisters at all, but the execution of this first issue is so poor it could deter some from what comes next. The pacing is slow and cumbersome. The date itself is overly long, stretching to the point that the great pieces of dialogue and character development become bogged down. The idea of an awful person finding the person that led to them becoming so despicable in the first place is a wonderful idea, but it is disappointing that so much of it is this tiresome.

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