Warning! Spoilers for Hellions #15 ahead!
The X-Men’s Resurrection Protocols have been one of the most wondrous developments in the franchise’s history, but they are being corrupted by Mister Sinister. In Hellions #15, on sale now in print and digital, the team learns just how much they have been manipulated by Sinister. After Psylocke was revealed to be in league with Sinister, readers now learn that he has taken the Protocols and twisted them to his own ends, using them to gain leverage over Psylocke.
Mister Sinister is one of the X-Men’s greatest foes. Born in 19th century as a human named Nathaniel Essex, he took an interest in genetics, and eventually began experimenting on humans. This led him to developing clones, not only of other mutants but of himself as well. The real Mister Sinister is believed dead, but one of the clones happened to have an X-gene, making it a mutant. This clone came to the mutant homeland of Krakoa, and now sits on its ruling body, the Quiet Council. While Krakoa operates on an “all is forgiven” policy, it also assumes everyone is working together towards the best interests of Krakoa. Old habits die hard, and Mister Sinister has been scheming to his own ends and now his team the Hellions have learned the depths of his manipulations: he sent them on a suicide mission to steal Arraki DNA; when they inevitably died, they were resurrected but their memories of the incident were wiped. And to make matters worse, Psylocke is being blackmailed into helping Sinister, using a perverted version of the Resurrection Protocols.
In Hellions #15, written by Zeb Wells, with art by Roge Antonio, colors by Rain Beredo and letters by Ariana Maher, Psylocke is revealed to be in league with Mister Sinister, knowing of the suicide mission and doing nothing to stop it. Psylocke then reveals that Sinister has taken her daughter hostage and will kill her if Psylocke does not comply. Readers learn that Sinister has reduced Psylocke’s daughter to a digital version of herself and that he has stored her in his computer; if Psylocke steps out of line, Sinister will simply delete the file. He compares it to the Cerebro backups used to store the consciousness of mutants for resurrection.
Being reduced, body and soul, to a digital file that can be easily erased is a horrific fate, and only someone as vile as Mister Sinister could think of it. What Sinister has done to Psylocke’s daughter really is no different than what Cerebro does with their souls—only in Sinister’s case there is no backup. It is terrifying that Sinister has taken this technology, which has saved many lives, and corrupted it to his own ends. What Mister Sinister has done also demonstrates the downside to the Resurrection Protocols, showing the various ways the technology can be abused.
The Resurrection Protocols were one of the greatest gifts that the founding of Krakoa gave to the mutants of the world. Mister Sinister‘s impulse to take the technology, corrupt it and turn it against one of the X-Men shows the dark side of this gift, as well as the dangers of accepting all mutants no matter their past sins.