Mister Sinister looked to be the best big bad in the X-Men movies before Disney bought Fox. The comics shed some light on this fantastic villain.
It appeared that the Fox X-Men movies were headed toward making Mister Sinister the next big bad guy. However, with Disney buying Fox and the X-Men likely coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that isn’t guaranteed to happen. This is a tough break for fans of the X-Men comics because Mister Sinister has been a long-time fan-favorite villain.
Mister Sinister is not only a villain who tormented the mutants for years, but he is also instrumental in many historical events that plagued the X-Men throughout their existence. With the legendary bad guy hinted at in movies like Logan and The New Mutants, comic book fans know that Mister Sinister would have been a great big-screen villain.
Before Mister Sinister became an X-Men comic book villain, he was a scientist who lived in the Victorian Era with his wife and son. Nathaniel Essex was one of the most brilliant minds of the 19th Century, but when his son died at the age of four, Essex took a bad turn.
He began experiments that made society consider him dangerous, as he started to seek ways to help humans evolve quickly, hinting at mutants that arrived in the future. His wife learned he dug up their dead son and experimented on him. She freed all his test subjects and died of the stress, refusing to forgive him and calling him “sinister,” which he adopted as his new name.
It might be a surprise to non-comic book fans, but Mister Sinister is not a mutant. He didn’t even have any powers outside of his high intellect when he was experimenting on his test subjects. That all changed when he met one of the planet’s first mutants in Apocalypse. Mister Sinister had men working for him called the Marauders and they awoke the immortal En Sabah Nur.
When Sinister’s wife died, he agreed to allow Apocalypse to transform him into an immortal using Celestial technology. This was when he became Mister Sinister.
Characters in the X-Men comics have always made mistakes when it comes to time travel. It seems that someone is constantly trying to change things by traveling through time, and it creates something bad. It happened in Days of Future Past and again in Legion Quest.
That is one reason Mister Sinister caused so many problems for the X-Men as Cyclops and Jean Grey went back in time to stop him. However, it was this time-traveling moment that was when Mister Sinister became obsessed with Scott Summers. The X-Men turned out to be responsible for this rival’s targeting them.
When Cyclops and Jean Grey went back in time, it proved that Mister Sinister was always right about the possibility of mutants arriving. Sinister went on to try to find these mutants, but at that time there were not many — at least not in the open. That all changed with Wolverine.
Mister Sinister had the Marauders working for him and they found Wolverine. Sinister began to experiment on Logan, vivisecting and tormenting him. Wolverine escaped and seemingly killed Sinister, but since he is immortal, the villain returned.
One of the smartest characters in Marvel Comics is a man formerly known as Herbert Wyndham. Using the name of Dr. Essex, he began working with Wyndham and offered him papers showing him how he could break the genetic code of humans.
Thanks to Sinister, Wyndham built a genetic accelerator. When he received more resources, he ended up becoming the High Evolutionary, one of the greatest minds in the world when it comes to genetic cloning.
Mister Sinister has never been on anyone’s side but his own. He has never cared about anything except for his own research and perfecting his cloning techniques. Mister Sinister lived in the United States after the Great Depression but moved on to Germany during World War II.
While there, Sinister worked as a Nazi scientist where he picked up the nickname Nosferatu. It was a good fit with the Nazis’ interest in the occult allowing Sinister to have plenty of test subjects. It was here that Magneto first noticed him as a child, as the villain deformed mutants.
Since Mister Sinister met a time-traveling Cyclops, he became infatuated with the young mutant from the future. This was bad news for Scott Summers because it meant Sinister just had to wait for his birth and then move in to start his work.
He took control of an orphanage called the State Home for Foundlings and that is where Scott ended up following his parent’s death. Sinister befriended Scott using the name Nate and kept him there, eliminating anyone trying to help Scott find a new family. If not for Charles Xavier recruiting him, there is no telling what Sinister would have done to the boy.
Mister Sinister reformed his Marauders and began to work on his experimentations in New York City. That is when he targets the group of misfit mutants living in the tunnels under the city known as the Morlocks. Tricking Gambit into revealing their location. Sinister sent his mutant team of Marauders to wipe them out.
In the end, the Marauders killed hundreds of mutants in the tunnels before the X-Men showed up to fight and save a handful. This became known as the Morlock Massacre. It later turned out the massacre was because the Morlocks were results of experimentation that Dark Beast conducted using Sinister’s own techniques.
One of Mister Sinister’s most sinister plots involved cloning Jean Grey. After the Dark Phoenix Saga, Sinister cloned the now dead Jean Grey and sent her to Alaska. He named her Madelyne Pryor and programmed her to believe she was a real woman.
Scott showed up and met her, falling in love and eventually marrying her and having a child. Sadly, when Jean Grey returned to life, Scott left his wife and child and Madelyne ended up gaining powers and becoming a supervillain while their child, Nathan, was sent to the future, where he became Cable.
While Mister Sinister was not born a mutant, he perfected his cloning technology years ago and created several clones of himself. He even created one clone using a sample of DNA from the deceased X-Men member Thunderbird. As a result, he ended up with the X-Gene, making him a mutant.
This allowed Sinister access to Krakoa when the mutant island developed. While there, Sinister continued his cloning experimentations without anyone knowing, creating more clones of himself. When one Mister Sinister dies, another steps in to replace him, giving him an endless supply of bodies with his consciousness in them.
NEXT: 10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About Juggernaut
Shawn S. Lealos is a senior writer on ScreenRant who fell in love with movies in 1989 after going to the theater to see Tim Burton’s Batman as his first big screen experience.
Shawn received his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Film Studies. He has worked as a journalist for over 25 years, first in the world of print journalism before moving to online media as the world changed. Shawn is a former member of the Society of Professional Journalists and current member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. He has work published in newspapers such as Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma Gazette and magazines such as Vox Magazine, Loud Magazine, and Inside Sports Magazine. His work on the Internet has been featured on websites like The Huffington Post, Yahoo Movies, Chud, Renegade Cinema, 411mania, and Sporting News.
Shawn is also a published author, with a non-fiction book about the Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers and has begun work on a new fiction series as well. Visit Shawn Lealos’ website to learn more about his novel writing and follow him on Twitter @sslealos.