Dr. Nathaniel Essex aka Mr. Sinister is Victorian scientist and contemporary of famed naturalist; Charles Darwin. He is best known for his study into the Homo superior and the discovery of the Essex Gene. He was genetically mutated by Apocalypse, who shared his philosophy of Social Darwinism the "Survival of the Fittest". He is considered one of the greatest geneticist to have ever lived; skilled in the manipulation of DNA from enhancing powers, cloning and creating life itself.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 2.1 19th Century
- 2.2 20th and 21th Centuries
- 2.2.1 1900s
- 2.2.2 World War I
- 2.2.3 1920s
- 2.2.4 1930s
- 2.2.5 World War II
- 2.2.6 1946
- 2.2.7 Teaching at Oxford
- 2.2.8 1968
- 2.2.9 State Home for Foundlings
- 2.2.10 Xraven
- 2.2.11 The Perfect Mutant
- 2.2.12 Birth of Cable
- 2.2.13 Mutant Massacre
- 2.2.14 Inferno
- 2.2.15 Nasty Boys
- 2.2.16 Legacy Virus
- 2.2.17 Age Of Apocalypse
- 2.2.18 Death of Apocalypse
- 2.2.19 Weapon X
- 2.2.20 Neo
- 2.2.21 Rasputin Blood Line
- 2.3 House of M
- 2.4 Decimation
- 2.5 Miss Sinister
- 2.6 Kingdom Sinistrus
- 2.7 Extraordinary X-Men
- 2.8 House and Powers of X
- 3 Personality
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 Paraphernalia
- 6 Notes
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Links and References
Nathaniel Essex was born at Milbury House on the outskirts of London. As a child, Nathaniel traveled to Greenwich Park, south of the River Thames in London, and was amazed by the endless number of people, walking what he believed to be preordained paths for them. Essex believed that the sanctity and purity of it was Heaven on Earth. He gained a full scholarship to Oxford University and later became a biologist in 1859 Victorian England. He developed advanced theories on human evolution and was obsessed with Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, though he felt Darwin and his contemporaries were shackled by too many moral constraints, and that science was beyond morality. Dr. Essex dreamed of bringing the perfection of the evolution of the human race to the masses. After Dr. Essex's son, Adam's, death at the age of four from numerous birth defects, including crooked bones and hemophilia, Dr. Essex was driven deeper into his work.
As a member of London's Royal Society, Dr. Essex was regarded by some to be the greatest scientific mind of his generation and, by others, a dangerous man twisted by the obsession of his own research. An atheist, Dr. Essex believed in Darwin's theory of evolution and discovered that humanity was undergoing increasing mutation due to what he called “Essex Factors” in the human genome. Dr. Essex also believed that in the offspring of certain racially superior individuals, these parcels will, within a hundred years or so, mutate. Dr. Essex's theories were mocked, making him bitter, and his disclosure of an unorthodox experiment resulted in his ousting from the Royal Society. Even Darwin himself suggested that Dr. Essex see a physician due to the trauma of losing his son. Angry, Dr. Essex stated to Darwin that if becoming a monster was what was required for science to progress, then he would become a monster.
After meeting Cootie Tremble, Dr. Essex was taken underground, where the Marauders were collecting freaks, fools, and all types of misshapen folk off the streets of London. Dr. Essex hired the thugs to continue their work so he could perform experiments on the victims in the name of science. After awaking, the immortal mutant, En Sabah Nur, ordered the Marauders to take him to Dr. Essex; meanwhile, the time-travelers, Cyclops and Phoenix, arrived, believing that they were to prevent Dr. Essex’s future transformation into Mister Sinister, unaware that Madame Sanctity of the Clan Askani had sent them to the past to stop Nur from conquering England. As Mister Sinister, Dr. Essex was necessary for the birth of Nathan Dayspring, the Askani'son, who Madame Sanctity worshiped. Dr. Essex even went so far as to dig up his dead son and experiment on him. Growing more curious of her husband's work, Rebecca Essex checked in Dr. Essex's lab to find the body of their son in an incubation tube. After digging up Adam's grave to prove her suspicions, Rebecca passed out from the shock of finding the coffin empty, and Nur approached Dr. Essex, stating that he was interested in his work.
Left with the choice of continuing his work or his wife shunning him, Dr. Essex allied himself with Nur. Dr. Essex explained to Nur that he believe he was the first born in, what Dr. Essex suspected, would be a great mutation in the human race. After taking Nur to the Hellfire Club, Nur demonstrated his power before the men and explained that Dr. Essex's theories of mutation were nearer than he believed. After defeating Cyclops and Phoenix, Nur left them to Dr. Essex as test subjects, and Phoenix explained to him that if he accepted Nur's offer, the world would be destroyed. Deciding to leave his life of unorthodox science and dedicate his life to his wife and unborn child, Dr. Essex returned home to learn that his wife had freed all of his captives, prematurely had their baby, and was dying of stress. Asking for forgiveness at her side, Rebecca denied him, stating, "To me, you are... utterly... and contemptibly... sinister!", with her dying words. Dr. Essex then agreed to Nur's offer and was ordered to create a plague to destroy the weak of the world, as Nur's first prelate. Apocalypse painfully transformed Dr. Essex into an ageless being of extraordinary pallor, using telekinesis in his Alien Ship, asking him to shed his past name and choose another. With his new abilities and dispassionate outlook, Dr. Essex took the new name, "Sinister," Rebecca's last words to him.
Emerging from Nur's machines, Mister Sinister stated that he willingly allowed whatever humanity he had to be carved out of him, all for the sake of science. Cyclops escaped and began to fire his optic blasts intensely at Mister Sinister, prompting Sinister to question what he did to make Cyclops hate him so much, realizing that Cyclops held hidden knowledge. After escaping, Mister Sinister returned and killed Cootie, whom Phoenix was attempting to telepathically ease his pain, stating that her supposed kindness caused more suffering than any tyrant and one must be willing to be cruel to search for the truth. Cyclops pleaded with Sinister not to create the plague and Sinister realized, with the ease that Cyclops spoke his name, that he had met him before in the future, starting an obsession to dissect Cyclops or any of his bloodline. After the time-traveling duo defeated Nur and began to shift back to their own time, Mister Sinister appeared and stated to Cyclops that he was sure they would meet again. Returning to Nur's ship, Nur demanded to know why the plague was not complete and Mister Sinister stated that he manipulated the plague so that it would affect only Nur himself, but his immune system quickly adapted to it. Nur asked why and Mister Sinister replied that cruelty for no purpose was ignorance and ignorance was the greatest enemy of science. As Nur began to return to his hibernation, he stated that Sinister's defiance was a sign of his strength, but it would not be tolerated again. Nur warned Sinister to never forget who had the true power and, that when he returned, it would be the dawn of the Age of Apocalypse and Sinister would be his servant.
In 1882, Sinister was present at Darwin's funeral, reveling in the irony that the man who was once vilified was being buried in Westminster Abbey, the highest church of England. As he walked away, Sinister mused why he kept a small box containing a picture of his wife if he truly left his humanity behind. He discarded the box, reminding himself that Essex, his wife, and his children were dead. Soon after, Sinister left for the United States.
Still obsessed with the Summers' bloodline, Sinister operated an obstetrics clinic, Essex Clinic, in New York in the late 19th century, and performed side research on society's deviants. Renamed Nathan Milbury (an alias based off the name of the manor of his former wife), Sinister had unrestricted access to an abundance of generational genetic material to study, including that of the adult Daniel Summers, the first Summers in America and a former victim of his experiments in London, and his wife, Amanda Mueller.
Search for the Perfect Mutant
Feeling threatened by the power of Nur, Sinister conducted numerous experiments in his time, searching for a powerful mutant to oppose his master and the means to improve himself. For a time, Sinister continued to advance his master plan to serve Nur (and his own ends), but in general preferred to let bloodlines breed naturally (rather than hastily transforming them), in order to produce the most genetically-supreme beings.
In 1891, Sinister came across another pair of time traveling mutants from the future, the X-Man Gambit and a shape changer called Courier. Gambit traveled to New York to find Sinister before the Thieves Guild could, on the orders of Candra, who hoped to learn about Apocalypse from Sinister himself. In exchange for the lives of the Thieves' Guild members who got caught by Sinister, Gambit traded in a sample from Courier to Sinister in exchange for the information which was given to the now-freed Guild's members who went off to find Apocalypse's hidden sanctuary protected by Ozymandias. Sinister and Gambit followed in order to stop Candra and, on Gambit's part, to save the Thieves' Guild. Afterward Sinister erased the Guild members' memories of Apocalypse's hideout, and implanted these memories into Gambit's subconscious when he noticed Gambit had previous surgery in which Sinister recognized the technique as his own. Sinister disappeared soon afterward, leaving Gambit and Courier to fend for themselves.
In 1899 in England, Sinister helped awaken Apocalypse from his slumber. Apocalypse thanked him for his servitude over the years, saying that of all his servants, Sinister was the most loyal. He offered Sinister a reward, but Sinister bitterly refused, stating, "No my lord, I exist to serve you, and you alone" with a scowl on his face, showing obvious contempt for his position. Later that same year Sinister successfully infected Apocalypse with his new techno-organic virus bred at Apocalypse's behest. Unfortunately for Sinister Apocalypse's ability for his molecular structure to adapt was able to fight the virus, leaving him only weakened. He threatened Sinister if they were to ever meet again, Apocalypse would kill him. Sinister fled while he could. This partially drove his desire to find and create a powerful mutant in order to defeat Apocalypse later on.
20th and 21th Centuries
In 1907, Mr. Sinister surfaced in Canada on the hunt of a clawed wild man known as Logan. He sent his Marauders to hunt him down to learn his secret, that he was a mutant. Two years later, Sinister's muscle Sabretooth found Logan and brought him to Essex's workplace at the Ravencroft Institute. Sinister lobotomized Logan and experimented on him, until his co-worker Dr. Claudia Russell was able to free Logan. When Dr. Russell revealed herself to be a werewolf after being confronted by Sabretooth, Essex subdued her to use her in his experiments. He sent a letter to Dr. Jonas Ravencroft under Dr. Russell's name claiming to have resigned.
In 1912, Essex travelled to Russia to learn more about Grigory Rasputin the "Mad Monk", suspecting him of being a mutant. While there, he encountered two more powerful mutants, Ivan and Elena. Essex able to convince him of his work to create a race of superhumans from his descendants. Rasputin impregnated various women, including Elena as part of his project.
World War I
In 1915, Sinister went back to England and granted Jacob Shaw the ability to shape-shift, which he used to murder his brother, Esau Shaw. What Sinister hoped to obtain from aiding Jacob Shaw remains a mystery.
In the 1920s, Sinister encountered and influenced the work of a man named Herbert Edgar Wyndham, who dreamed of doing what Sinister had already accomplished: breaking the human genetic code. During a trip to an international conference on genetics in Geneva, Switzerland, Wyndham suddenly felt ill. Stumbling out into the street, Wyndham met the hypnotic gaze of a man in a top hat and coat, shrouded in darkness. From this stranger, Wyndham was handed a gift that should not have existed in that time: a blueprint for breaking the genetic code. Whether Wyndham's benefactor was Sinister or not remains unrevealed.
In the 1930s, Sinister spent some time in California, gathering subjects for his experiments; while in Los Angeles, he met and became interested with radio comedienne, Faye Livingstone. Discovering his secret laboratory one night, Sinister confronted Faye with the truth, that she carried the x-factor in her genes and her offspring would produce special children, children that would be more than human. Horrified, Faye tried to leave, but Sinister kept her prisoner. Months passed, filled with degrading examinations, and affected pity gave way to foul contempt until Sinister broke Faye in mind and spirit. Sinister made Faye (not let her) see behind the illusion that was Nathan Essex. Then, in the middle of a raging storm one night, Essex flung the door open and released her, without speaking or gesturing. In time, Faye was brought to the Carlyle Nursing Home in San Diego, California, with her mind and body failing to cancer. Due to her love for Essex, Livingstone had never married or had children. The offspring Sinister so eagerly anticipated never came to exist. Once a year, a "Mister Essex" would come and visit her, though he would never admit to anyone (not even himself) why.
World War II
In 1944, as a Nazi scientist, Sinister worked along with geneticist Josef Mengele, earning the nickname "Nosferatu" from the captive children at Auschwitz. One of his characteristics was he liked to play a piece of Franz Schubert. Due both to his pale visage (believed to be albinism), Sinister frightened even the Nazis, often giving children candy in exchange for their blood as a means of bribery. Young Max Eisenhardt witnessed Nosferatu's actions.
"Nosferatu" roamed the camp and picked people at random, looking for mutants for experimentation in his quest to catalyze the mutator gene. He could even pick those heading to the gas chambers without interference of the guards who were terrified of him.
Those he picked were never seen again, and it was believed by some that he was a hero, helping people to escape.
Max Eisenhardt didn't trust him and, consequently, became a Sonderkommando to avoid selection. Cleaning out the furnaces of the crematoria, he discovered the bodies of his friends who had been picked, turned into monsters.
Later Sinister created Experiment N2, a clone of Namor the Sub-Mariner, which could forcibly suck the water out of Namor and use it to douse the android Human Torch's flames. To Sinister's considerable surprise, though, Captain America was able to defeat N2. It was during this period, in 1944, that Sinister came across a man named John Greycrow, who would become Scalphunter, his first "new" Marauder.
After the war, Max Eisenhardt became a Nazi hunter, in order to find "Nosferatu", in vain. Each time he heard the piece of Schubert (such as the time Dark Beast attacked the Genoshan Excalibur and listened to it while experimenting on Karima Shapandar), it made Max (now known as Erik and Magneto) wonder if it is the time he will find "Nosferatu".
In 1946, a Dr. Nathan Milbury was involved with Project: Black Womb, a secret government project headed by Amanda Mueller and aided by Dr. Alexander Ryking, Dr. Kurt Marko, and Irene Adler, which studied, but did not alter, thousands of children, mostly mutants, in post-natal holding tanks. Dr. Brian Xavier was a colleague of Dr. Ryking and Dr. Marko at the project, which was based in Alamogordo, New Mexico, but whether he was involved with Project: Black Womb remains unclear.
Teaching at Oxford
He worked as a lecturer at Oxford University teaching Genetics and Biophysics. Two of his students were Charles Xavier and Moira Kinross. It had also been hinted that Essex interfered with Moira and Xavier's relationship. Charles was suspicious of his new professor as he could not read his mind.
In 1968, Sinister was present in Vietnam, where he and the ever-loyal Scalphunter kidnapped both soldiers and villagers to perform experiments on, giving Sinister the alias White Devil. Victor Creed was hired to investigate the disappearances, but his employer was beheaded by Scalphunter, who gave Creed a large sum of money to buy him off and recruit him as one of Sinister's "enforcers".
State Home for Foundlings
For decades, Sinister secretly observed the development of mutant children, as they grew (many of which had been “earmarked” by Project: Black Womb) in the State Home for Foundlings in Omaha, Nebraska. Creating a cutting-edge laboratory underneath the Orphanage, which seemed to have some quasi-biological properties, Sinister cruelly manipulated the children's childhood developmental processes and even tried to control their adult lives, so they might become his minions. Another notable test subject was Emma Frost, who Sinister had admitted to his Essex Clinic. After years of perfecting his own body, studying the Summers' bloodline, and manipulating others, Sinister had become a megalomaniac, but still quietly feared the wrath of Apocalypse.
One evening, while in his laboratory, Sinister registered the same optic blast that Cyclops had fired a century ago and, learning that he was recently orphaned, began the process of studying the young Scott Summers. After surviving a plane crash, Scott and his younger brother, Alex Summers were hospitalized for injuries sustained during their landing. Scott and Alex, both, suffered traumatic amnesia regarding the plane incident. Alex left the hospital after two weeks, but Scott remained in the hospital for a year, where Sinister began experimentation on him for a year. At one time, Scott awoke from his injuries and destroyed the roof of the hospital, at which time, Sinister began creation of ruby-quartz lenses for the youth to function in society. Upon recovering, Scott was placed in the State Home for Foundlings and was subjected to batteries of tests and experiments by Sinister. Sinister, also, placed mental blocks on Scott and took-on the role of Nate, aka "Lefty", who was Scott's roommate and would bully him at the orphanage. Sinister arranged for Alex to be adopted, while keeping an eye on him, while Scott remained. After allowing Scott to be adopted, by Jack Winters, a mutant criminal known as the Jack O'Diamonds, Scott began to suffer from severe headaches and was sent to a specialist, Sinister, who provided him with lenses made of ruby-quartz.
Sinister lost control over Scott, after a display of Scott's power had attracted the attention of the mutant telepath, Professor Charles Xavier, who teamed up with FBI agent, Fred Duncan, in their mutual attempt to find Scott. Scott was rescued from Winters' clutches and was enlisted by Professor Xavier as the first member of the X-Men, a team of young mutants who trained to use their powers in Professor Xavier's dream for human/mutant equality, and second student to enlist in Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, to become Cyclops. Sinister continued to monitor Scott, even becoming a long-time neighbor of his grandparents. At some point, Sinister spliced mutant genes from Alex, into Ahmet Abdol, who became the Living Monolith, able to absorb cosmic energies and use them to grow to enormous size.
At one point, learning through underworld contacts, Remy LeBeau approached Sinister, who Sinister immediately recognized as a younger Gambit, for help in controlling his powers. Sinister reversed the surgery that he performed years earlier and removed some of Remy's brain tissue, to reduce his power levels and afford him a greater degree of control. It is possible that Sinister agreed to help him in order to insure the series of events that lead to Gambit (and Courier) going back in time, which allowed Sinister to gain Courier’s powers. As a result, Remy was now in the geneticist's debt.
Years ago Mister Sinister hired Kraven the Hunter to obtain a DNA sample from the original X-Men. Mister Sinister, using the DNA of Kraven the Hunter, the original X-Men and the sample of the Carnage Symbiote created Xraven, but left him in his tank to use him for another time.
The Perfect Mutant
Sinister eventually realized Scott and Jean Grey's mingled genes would create a mutant of unparalleled power, to destroy Apocalypse and thus free him from the yoke of that ancient tyrant. Around this time, Jean, actually the Phoenix Force, was acting reckless, so Sinister created a clone of her. Sinister's plot was to produce a child from the union of the clone and Scott, whom he believed would become a genetically superior mutant. To Sinister's disappointment, the clone had no life and did not develop any mutant abilities at puberty, as he had hoped. Sinister left the clone in her incubation tube, under the orphanage, as a failed experiment.
Birth of Cable
It was at the moment of the Dark Phoenix's death that a spark of the Phoenix Force was accidentally bestowed on the clone and renewed Sinister's interest. Sinister named the clone Madelyne Pryor, as a pun on her "prior existence" as a cell sample taken from Jean, and arranged a set of false memories for her. Mister Sinister played a part as matchmaker, by giving Madelyne a personality he knew Scott would like and placing her where they were sure to meet, as a pilot for his grandparents. Madelyne met Scott in Alaska and the pair eventually wed, giving birth to Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, Nathan from an implanted suggestion by Mister Sinister in Madelyne. Young Nathan Summers was so powerful that, upon his birth, he woke Apocalypse from his hibernation. After losing a battle of leadership to Storm, Madelyne convinced Scott to move with her back to Alaska and live out their lives there, a subconscious suggestion implanted by Sinister—the remote location made it easier for him to study and if need be, abduct the child.
After learning of the existence of the Morlocks, Sinister recognized that someone, Dark Beast, had been perverting his own "signature" in genetic experiments, unaware that Dark Beast was the student of an alternate reality version of Sinister, and, to prevent further unauthorized usage of his theories, orchestrated the massacre of all of them. Sinister ordered Gambit to assemble a new group of Marauders, Scalphunter and Sabretooth, with new members, Arclight, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Prism, Riptide, Scrambler, and Vertigo. Sinister also gained genetic samples from all of the members. Remy did not realize that Sinister would employ the Marauders to massacre the underground mutant community and, seeing the horrific results of his actions, Remy attempted to stop the massacre, but was almost killed by Sabretooth and fled. Gambit did this and many other tasks for Sinister to repay his debt. Sinister's massacre was almost a complete success, but stopped short, by the X-Men, X-Factor, and Thor, which resulted in the deaths of many of his Marauders. Though some of his Marauders died during the Massacre, Sinister’s mastery of genetics and cloning technology enabled him to recreate his Marauders again and again.
After the unexpected return of Jean, Sinister aimed to eliminate Madelyne before the truth of her creation was revealed, and sent his Marauders to kill her and kidnap her son. Maddie was hired by Sinister to fly a cargo to San Francisco for a large sum of money and, at the last minute, decided to take Christopher with her. Maddie used her latent psychic powers to defend herself, but lost baby Christopher to her enemies. Maddie was shot multiple times and left for dead, then taken to a hospital in San Francisco, as a "Jane Doe". Sinister took Nathan to his secret lab hidden under the orphanage, where he experimented on Nathan for months. Sinister was thorough and erased all existence of Nathan and Madelyne. Scott, later, attempted to reconcile with his family, but there was no existence of them except a baby toy in their old home.
While Nathan was Sinister's victim, Cyclops was informed of his whereabouts and attempted to rescue him, but demons escaped with baby Nathan, instead. While investigating Nathan's disappearance, N'astirh appeared and took Madelyne to the orphanage basement, revealing Sinister's laboratory and an incubation tube with her name on it. In the lab, Mister Sinister revealed himself and bound Madelyne, explaining her existence as Jean's clone to her. After being told that he would experiment on her, Madelyne used her considerable power to break free of Mister Sinister's bonds and N'astirh presented her with her son. As the Goblin Queen, Madelyne descended into madness after Sinister revealed she was only a tool modeled after Grey and returned to New York, where she battled X-Factor and the X-Men, blaming Jean and Scott for the misery in her life.
After Madelyne's death, Jean began to scream in pain and Storm ordered Psylocke to take Scott and the X-Men into her mind, where Mister Sinister was attempting to erase all of Jean's memories, until Jean defeated him on the Astral Plane. Following Mister Sinister's psychic trail, Marvel Girl tracked him to the School for Gifted Youngsters and X-Factor and the X-Men were ambushed by the Marauders. While interrogating Malice/Polaris, Mister Sinister destroyed the school. Scott, soon, learned that Mister Sinister ran the orphanage in which he was raised, provided the ruby-quartz lenses, and the truth about Madelyne's creation, while Sinister mentally locked-off access to Scott's optic blast and attempted to claim Jean. While X-Factor and the X-Men battled Sinister and Malice, Scott was bound. With Alex bombarding Scott with his plasma blasts and verbally agitating him, Scott seemingly killed Sinister with an unchecked optic blast.
Before Sinister could reclaim young Nathan, however, Apocalypse infected Nathan with a Techno-Organic Virus, which would start a time paradox that ensured his own creation. The virus threatened to consume baby Nathan, until a member of the Clan Askani, Sister Askani, appeared from the late 37th-early 39th century to Cyclops, claiming that Nathan would become a savior in their time and that the Clan would cure him of the virus. Choosing to save his son's life and believing that he would never see him again, Cyclops agreed and Nathan was taken into an alternate future ruled by Apocalypse.
Later, a group of mutants known as the Nasty Boys appeared, working alongside an evil duplicate of James Madrox. The evil Madrox wished to kill the true Madrox to ensure his continued independence and sought Sinister’s help in doing so; he sent the Nasty Boys to aid Evil Madrox by fighting X-Factor. Eventually, the Evil Madrox was re-absorbed by the original Madrox, and subsumed into him.
Meanwhile, Quicksilver's powers were being secretly overcharged by Senator Steven Shaffran, who was trying to discredit X-Factor in order to spur on his political career. Unknown to Shaffran, though, Sinister took the senator's appearance and revealed Shaffran's deeds to the team. Shaffram later confronted Sinister, and planned to kill him, but only succeeded in killing himself when his bullet ricocheted off of Sinister's armor. Later, Sinister sent his Nasty Boys to track down a rogue Malice, who was trying to break free of Sinister.
In an earlier confrontation with X-Factor, Malice had possessed Polaris, but Polaris’s powers prevented the possessing entity from departing Lorna Dane’s body—something Sinister knew would happen. Malice did eventually break out of Dane’s body, and was determined to escape Sinister’s control—for a being used to existence as an incorporeal energy being, entrapment in a physical body, even one as powerful as Polaris’s, was Hell for her. A massive fracas between Sinister and the Nasty Boys, Malice, and Havok and Polaris broke out. Both Alex and Lorna tried to absorb Malice (in order to prevent the other from being possessed), but the strain wound up fatally disrupting Malice’s energy form (as planned by Sinister). Seeing as the conflict had no meaning anymore, Sinister and his minions withdrew.
Sinister unwittingly unleashed the Legacy Virus upon the Earth, a plague engineered by Stryfe, a clone of Cable. Sinister revealed to Cyclops Stryfe's trick, and mentioned Cyclops' "brothers", something Cyclops picked up.
Genesis forced Sinister to confront both Faye and himself about the relationship, but Sinister refused, adamantly maintaining that she was nothing more than a useless husk to him. After sharing a telepathic dance with Essex, Faye died in his arms.
In parallel, Sinister hired Siena Blaze on Muir Island to steal the DNA of Proteus, Moira MacTaggert deceased son. Although Blaze failed her mission, confronted by Rachel Summers, she managed to scratch her. Initially angry at Blaze's failure, he changed his mind when Siena told him of her confrontation with Rachel and reclaimed Phoenix II's DNA from her fingers.
Sinister later took in the mutant Threnody and used her unique powers to track down victims of the Legacy Virus, which he could then study and work on to develop a cure. Moira MacTaggart, long-time ally to the X-Men and one of the top genetic immunologists on the planet, eventually developed a cure for the Virus. This cure was released thanks to the sacrifice of the mutant Colossus. Sinister offered to clone him to his fellow X-Men as a form of gratitude (though he may have had ulterior motives), but they refused.
Sinister considered a similar course of action for the Genoshan Mutates, who were created by the Sugar-Man using the same alternate reality Sinister's technology as well, but decided against it, because the process had turned the mutates infertile. Consequently, Sinister did not consider them a contamination of his work.
Age Of Apocalypse
After its creation and apparent collapse, Mr Sinister had to deal with the aftermath and the survivors of the alternate reality Age Of Apocalypse. He battled one of his alternate reality counterpart's creation: X-Man (Nate Grey).
Death of Apocalypse
Fortunately for Sinister, Cable also had a deep grudge against Apocalypse, and when Apocalypse merged with Cyclops at the climax of The Twelve gathering, Cable and Jean Grey tracked the merged being back to Apocalypse's birthplace of Egypt. Jean separated Apocalypse's astral form from Cyclops' body, and Cable sundered the freed spirit, fulfilling his destiny as written by Sinister. This gave Sinister the freedom he'd long sought, as Apocalypse had always kept him on a tight leash.
It was revealed that Mr Sinister had involvement in the Weapon X Project as Dr. Robert Windsor, Sinister supposedly helped a number of prisoners escape from Weapon X's concentration camp Neverland. However, Sinister merely took these mutants to his personal labs to perform experiments on them. At the same time, Sinister created a group of super-powered beings called The Children, which he was forced to give up to John Sublime, after Sabretooth killed the first of the Children: Hans.
When the High Evolutionary activated a satellite that stripped all Homo superior of their mutations. Essex, who had come to support his student's work, revealed himself as Sinister and modified the beam to mutate every human on Earth, hoping to create an entire planet of lab subjects. Soon after, the mysterious Neo attacked many of Sinister's facilities.
Rasputin Blood Line
He paired with Mikhail to kill off all of his living relatives to allow the essence of Grigory Rasputin to be concentrated in one host and reincarnate. After the brothers fought Sinister’s influence, it was discovered that the reason he wanted Grigory in power was to stabilize his own failing abilities. Sinister admitted that he was weakened — being unable to shapeshift or teleport and actually sustaining injuries from Colossus' attack — but vowed vengeance for when he did have his abilities restored.
House of M
Mister Sinister had a small, yet significant, presence in the divergent House of M reality. While remaining a physiologically altered geneticist, this Sinister was a quite genteel, friendly person — even to the point of offering the visiting trio of Deadpool, Cannonball, and Siryn a (drugged) barbecue dinner. Sinister was apparently rejected from society for experimenting on mutants, which was taboo under Magneto's rule, and lived on a secluded Nebraska farm. Despite the difference in personality, this Sinister was also responsible for the birth of an infant Cable, who Sinister believed was a potential savior for the world of the House of M.
The Scarlet Witch returned the world to normal but with the Mutant population greatly reduced. Sinister enhanced himself with mutant DNA samples, which may have been affected by the Scarlet Witch "no more mutants" decree.
Sinister returned and convinced Gambit and Sunfire to join his Marauders, consisting of members old and new, in exchange for helping them overcome their conditioning as Horsemen of Apocalypse. After a battle between the Marauders vs. Cannonball and Iceman, he was disgusted at how the Marauders were almost being beaten, so he left Guthrie's mind in a blank state as a threat to the X-Men.
After the birth of the first mutant child since M-Day, Mister Sinister and his Marauders were among the factions that moved to capture her. They succeeded, and the child fell into his possession, but he was betrayed by Gambit and Mystique, who killed him in order to use the child to cure Rogue.
However, Sinister had long since made arrangements in case of his death, and after his death, one of his contingency plans activated, which if successful, would allow him to transfer his consciousness into Professor X, Juggernaut, or Sebastian Shaw, three candidates he had prepared since their childhood.
Unforeseen complications arose however, in the form of Juggernaut being immune to the transfer process due to the properties of his magical helmet, and Black Womb attempting to usurp the process in order to gain Sinister's essence and powers for her own devices. Both her and Sinister's plans were foiled when Sebastian Shaw and Gambit destroyed the machinery. Sinister briefly managed to seize the body of Xavier, but was driven out and thought to be destroyed.
However, it was revealed later that Claudine Renko was drawn to a machine that implanted Sinister's essence in her, transforming her into Miss Sinister. Sinister began steadily gaining control of her, and in order to escape his possession she attempted to transfer her own consciousness into X-23. This was revealed to have been Sinister's plan all along, since he wished to possess the body of a mutant with a healing factor. The plot failed however, and X-23 drove him out, with help from Sinister's long time adversary Gambit. Sinister instead possessed a clone, and promised to "take care of" the injured Miss Sinister.
A separate distinct set of machines resurrected Sinister as well, in the lab where he did research into the Phalanx Hivemind, multiple iterations were created and destroyed seemingly based on prognostication ability checked against actual events. These Misters Sinister eulogized some of the recently deceased X-Men and correctly guessed on the paths they took as a species.
Later, he returned to San Francisco, and using the head of the Dreaming Celestial, Sinister transformed a section of the city into an all-Sinister zone, a sort of hive-mind of Sinisters, declaring that he had succeeded in creating a species greater than Homo superior. Meanwhile, Cyclops was alerted of an incoming threat by Agent Brand; the Celestials were coming to Earth. Sinister offered a ceasefire for a conversation, despite knowing that the X-Men had planned a trap for him. Sinister revealed his plans and seized control of the Extinction Team's minds, but failed to control Emma Frost whose diamond form prevented telepathic intrusion. This allowed Hope Summers to shoot Sinister in the head seemingly killing him. Another of the Sinisters merely assumed the role of leadership, declaring that the X-Men could not kill him since he was no longer an individual, but a system.
The X-Men continued fighting Sinister's clones, with the primary consciousness simply transferring from one body to another. In the heat of battle, Sinister let slip that he based his new self on Cyclops' brain patterns, which prompted Emma Frost to telepathically invade and destroy his mind, since her great familiarity and experience with Cyclops' brain gave her easy access.As soon as the first iteration of Sinister's new species was destroyed however, a new version emerged from his machine, immune to Emma Frost's telepathic intrusions. He declared that his machines had been set to analyse the data gathered by his last iteration, prompting his new self to be created without overt reliance on Cyclops' brain patterns. He stole the Museum of Fine Arts before committing suicide, since a new version would merely sprout from his machines.
The next sinister iteration returned to his old lab activating the self-destruction device as he passed through. This allowed the Phalanx unit captured long ago for study to escape and destroy a whole U.S. town before being destroyed. It is unknown if he found out or for that matter if he would care if he did.
Sinister then hid underground, deep beneath Anchorage, Alaska. Creating a city, Sinister London, inspired by 19th century London in the Moloid Caverns. Here, Sinister ruled the city which was populated by his clones and reinforced with advanced technologies, powered by Celestial energies. Sinister planned to capture the newly returned Phoenix Force in order to use it for his own purposes. He lured the Phoenix Five down to his underground city and after weakening and capturing them through use of advanced technology, partly based on clones of X-Men and Marauders, used a device to siphon the Phoenix into 6 clones of Madelyne Pryor. Emma Frost, one of the Phoenix Five, enters the mind of one of the Madelyne's and communicates with the Phoenix, managing to convince it that Sinister only means to keep it trapped forever and reminding it that it had a purpose for coming to Earth in the first place. The Phoenix leaves the clones and returns to the Phoenix Five who incinerate Sinister, all of his clones and destroy his city.
Sinister was revealed to have survived the Phoenixes purge by replacing Cyclops' head of PR, Kate Kildare, with himself, remaining dormant in her mind until after the Phoenix had left Earth, after which he seized control of her body and eradicated her consciousness. After Cyclops lost the Phoenix Force, he was imprisoned by the Avengers and Sinister visited him in jail, telling him that only he could stop him and daring him to either stay in jail as a political prisoner or break out and take him on before vanishing. Cyclops vows that it isn't over.
With the release of the Terrigen Mist into the atmosphere of the Earth, it was discovered saturation of this substance in the environment was incredibly toxic for mutants, resulting in M-Pox. Mister Sinister began experimenting on unwilling subjects, trying to make Inhuman and Mutant DNA co-exist in order to allow the creation of a genetically superior species.
Sinister caught the attention of the X-Men after the disappearance of Colossus and Magik at the hands of the Marauders. When Sinister was confronted by the group of mutants, he deployed his only successful specimen, a clone of the recently deceased Cyclops. Most of the X-Men tried to contain the clone as it went to the surface and began to wreak havoc, and Colossus remained underground fighting Mister Sinister. The clone ultimately exploded due to its instability, and Mister Sinister was subdued by Magik. The X-Men would later arrange with S.H.I.E.L.D. the detention of Mister Sinister and the Marauders.
House and Powers of X
During sometime in the past, Sinister was approached by Professor Xavier and Magneto regarding the genetic collection of mutant DNA that he had acquired over the years. Xavier wanted Sinister's help in prioritizing all the material he had into a comprehensive database that would be safe, secure, and redundant. He offered to provide samples that Sinister would have trouble getting on his own including Magneto and himself.
Mister Sinister wasn't interested in the deal but was suddenly killed by another Sinister who was enticed by the proposal since he himself possessed a functional X-Gene (Thunderbird's). Sinister agreed to the compromise but ended up having his memories of the encounter repressed so he would be sent on his course without knowing Xavier and Magneto's involvement until the day they told him to remember.
Sinister was eventually welcomed to the new mutant island of Krakoa, created by Xavier, Magneto, and Moira X. He entered through the teleportation gateway alongside other villainous and fractious mutants who had been invited to join the nation in order to heal mutantdom and start over as a whole species together.
He was later asked to join the Quiet Council as part of the Winter section. The Winter section consisted of himself, Exodus, and Mystique, representing the more zealous, criminal, and/or morally ambiguous elements of mutant society. Exodus did not particularly like Sinister, threatening Sinister with harm if he spoke to him directly again.
Despite the recent development of an apparently witty, light-hearted, and flamboyant persona, Sinister is a ruthless and sadistic man who has no compunctions about ruining or taking away the lives of others to get what he wants. He prefers to operate in the shadows, letting lackeys and unsuspecting dupes do his dirty work. He is very cruel, confident, unsympathetic, and expects total obedience from his underlings. He is known to have collaborated with members of the Nazi party, as well as other depraved individuals who share the same twisted worldview as he does. All he truly cares about is himself, and is known to callously experiment with innocent humans or mutants, all to his sick glee.
|Power Grid |
- Genetic Enhancements Using Mutant DNA: Following genetic alteration by Apocalypse, Nathaniel Essex was transformed from human into superhuman. He has continually improved upon his original transformation over the years, incorporating the genetic material of certain mutants into his DNA to gain their abilities, or performed other self-experiments to alter his genetic capabilities.
- Cellular Shape-Shifting: Mister Sinister possesses the ability to control every molecule of his body, Enabled via Implanted X-gene taken from the bio-molecular meta-morph Courier. This allows him to assume the form of any one he wishes. He can reduce himself into a semi-liquid state, or harden his body like living armor.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Mister Sinister is able to rapidly regenerate damaged or destroyed tissue with much greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. Sinister can fully heal from injuries that result in massive tissue damage or loss such as multiple gunshot wounds, slashes, puncture wounds, broken bones, and severe burns within a matter of moments. Apparently an extension of the cellular control he derived from Courier, Sinister's healing factor is such that he no longer requires the functionality of his brain or other internal organs to survive. In the past, he has been blasted in half or had holes blown through the center of his head without consequence.
- Superhuman Stamina: Mister Sinister's muscles produce considerably fewer fatigue toxins than the muscles of ordinary humans. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several days before fatigue begins to affect him.
- Superhuman Speed: Mister Sinister is capable of running at speeds far greater than those of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Durability: Mister Sinister's muscles and tissues are far more durable than those of an ordinary man allowing him to resist gunshots, physical damage, shocks and energy blasts. His durability can be enhanced by his regeneration ability, telekinesis, and force fields.
- Superhuman Strength Mister Sinister possesses superhuman strength, which may be a product of his shape-shifting. Sinister has been categorized as able to press lift within 2 to 10 ton range. Later classification has identified him having an upper limit of possibly 25 tons. 
- Superhuman Reflexes: Sinister's reflexes and agility are enhanced to levels that are beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Telepathy: He can read minds and project his own thoughts into the minds of others within a radius of 250 miles (on Earth). With extreme effort he can greatly extend that radius. Mister Sinister is resistant to other's telepathic powers.
- Mental Paralysis: He has the ability to induce temporary mental or physical paralysis and project pain into the minds of others.
- Telepathic Illusion: Ability to create realistic telepathic illusions and cause people to experience events which are not actually occurring.
- Telepathic Cloak: Can mask his presence from being detected by others. Can extend these defenses to others around him as well. Stryfe's abilities can, at times, go undetected or be counteracted by other more powerful telepaths, depending on their level of skill in using their own psi abilities.
- Mind Link: Ability to develop a mental link with any person, which remains as a connection to that individual.
- Telepathic Camouflage: Ability to mask himself and other people's' presence from those around him. Can telepathically disguise himself, making his appearance to those around his quite different (changing the appearance of clothing, as well as more involved disguising).
- Mind Control: Ability to control the minds and even voluntary and involuntary bodily functions of sentient beings (such as other Humans).
- Mind Trap: Ability to take another person's mind from their body and effectively trapping that mind within his own.
- Mind Possession: Ability to possess the mind of another, and use that beings body as his own.
- Mind Alteration: Ability to alter the minds of others by force of will.
- Mental Amnesia: Ability to cause loss of particular memories and amnesia in another person or even in a group of people.
- Psionic Shield: Ability to erect a psychic shield for protection of himself and of others minds. Stryfe has proven very difficult to psychically assail, as he is very well skilled in shielding his own mind from mental-attacks (such as attempts to read, control or harm his own mind), and has been sufficient to protect himself from other psychics.
- Psionic Blasts: Can project psionic force bolts which have no physical effects but which can affect a victim's mind, so as to cause the victim pain or unconsciousness and can even kill an adversary.
- Astral Projection: Ability to astral travel and communicate with others astrally through his own will or through contact with the thoughts and memories of others. In the Astral Plane, he can use his powers to create "ectoplasmic" objects. Stryfe has a mastery of astral projection, and is able to remain on his own plane of existence or to traverse into any of the so-called "Astral Planes".
- Mental Detection: Can sense the presence of another superhuman mutant within an as yet undefined radius of himself, by perceiving the distinctive mental radiations emitted by such a being.
- Dilate Power: He has the ability to mentally paralyze a foe he's touching and the ability to psionically "turn off" the superpowers of any mutant, creating a mental block. He can also create mental links with others and even to objects and locations like the bases he has used over the years.
- Telekinesis: He possesses telekinetic abilities enabling him to levitate and psionically manipulate living beings, inanimate objects, and to some extent energy. He can “lift” as much as 100 tons of weight and possibly even more and can achieve other effects. Capable of very fine control over objects, including himself.
- Concussive Blasts: Mister Sinister can fire blasts of concussive force from his hands. These blasts are powerful enough to match Cyclops´s energy blasts at their full power for a considerable period of time and have a great destructive power.
- Force Fields: Mister Sinister can erect multiple force barriers to repel, reflect and defend against incoming onslaughts. They are potent enough to stand against Cyclops's optic blasts with ease. He normally uses them on a personal level but it is assumed he can not only increase and decrease the protection level but also enhance the size of the shield to englobe others and even entire areas.
- Telekinetic Flight: By levitating himself, he can “fly” for indefinite amounts of time and at varying speeds.
- Teleportation: Mister Sinister has exhibited the ability to transport over large distances, however Beast believes this is a function of his headquarters and this fact remains to be cleared.
- Technology Interface: Mister Sinister is able to directly interface with various technologies he has at his disposal, mentally activating or summoning them. One example would be if his teleportation ability is purely technological (above).
- Immortality: Mister Sinister is functionally immortal in the sense that he is immune to aging and disease and he can rapidly regenerate almost any damaged bodily tissue. However, it was possible for him to be killed. This ability originated from his healing factor and from his exposure to Celestial technology from Apocalypse.
- Genius Intelligence: Mister Sinister is a genius with expertise in various fields of science, mainly genetics with years of his research at his command, mutations and their powers, human and alien biology, cloning, all levels of physics, engineering (including mechanical, genetic and electrical engineering) and more. His intellect has been said to match Reed Richards and Doctor Doom and he is one of the smartest people on Earth. Sinister, having lived for over 150 years has acquired vast knowledge over many known fields, being a formidable scientist and a talented inventor. Considered the most brilliant mind of his time, Dr. Essex was already a genius with a PhD and an M.D and other honors in biology and genetics and was a member of the British Royal Society. His intellect later grew to new levels after his time with Apocalypse and the advanced Celestial technology he had access to, mastering not only this and all technology from Earth (allowing him considerable expertise in cybernetics, robotics and computers) but also new sciences to aid him in his goals to create the perfect mutant.
- Genius-Level Geneticist: Mister Sinister is a genius and a geneticist of the highest order, able to predict genetic mutations and splice DNA. It is quite probable his powers are the result of self-experimentation - his shape-shifting power is due to a procedure he performed on himself with help from a time-traveling Gambit. He can also produce large amounts of clones; he has done so with all his Marauders, and with Jean Grey and he is an expert on the art of cloning and also on mutants, with vast knowledge of powers, genes and more due to the hundreds of samples of mutant DNA he has access to. He is normally described as the world's greatest geneticist and along with Professor X, is one of the leading authorities on mutants of the entire world.
- Master Surgeon: He is a master surgeon, having excised a portion of Gambit's brain, only to later restore it (although from Sinister's point of view, he restored a portion of Gambit's brain and later excised it, as Gambit was traveling back in time when the restoration was completed; possibly a predestination paradox). Besides this area he is also a skilled doctor, one of the best from his time in England with honors in medicine and later in biology.
- Skilled Mechanical Engineer: having created devices that seem to have been taken from the tales of Jules Verne, his inventions include advance ships, devices that negate all mutant powers except for his own or transfer them, perform healing and almost resurrection, teleportation, genetics, project energy blasts and other attacks using mutant powers from many of the X-Men, aircraft and many more. Although his inventions are not as spectacular as those of Iron Man, he is a very talented inventor and engineer with a skill rivaling that of Iron Man among many others.
- Master Manipulator: He possesses a good deal of knowledge in psychology, and is a skilled manipulator, being able to conceive others with simple words and facial expressions. Mister Sinister is also a capable leader and a master strategist, capable of creating plans with ease and even outmatch brains like those of Professor X, Cyclops, Apocalypse, Storm and Magneto, being several steps ahead of his opponent.
- Trained Combatant: Mister Sinister trained himself in martial arts and unharmed combat, capable of defending himself from stronger opponents and even other trained combatants.
- Class 10; while the exact amount has never been revealed Sinister can lift within 2 to 10 ton range. He can further increase his strength by using his telekinesis.
- He at one time possessed tissue samples of thousands of people, dating possibly as far back as the 1860s, including several American Presidents.
- Many of his bases seem to have some quasi-biological properties, able to "grow" tentacles from a surface to hold a prisoner at Sinister's mental commands.
- Sinister augments much of his technology with clones of mutants, primarily from the X-Men and Marauders, such as a device harnessing Dazzler's ability to turn sound into light in order to render people mute, or a gun firing the cloned eyeballs of Cyclops as explosives.
He was believed to possess the power of teleportation, but it was revealed this was not an innate ability, but a function of his tesseract headquarters.
- Due to his involvement in mutant affairs, his use of mutant henchmen and his powers, it is often believed that Sinister is himself a mutant, and he is even listed as an Alpha-Level Mutant. Although technically Sinister was altered by Apocalypse and was not born a mutant he should be classified as a mutate.
- In a flashback scene in Powers of X #4, Professor X and Magneto met with Essex on Bar Sinister to discuss cataloging the mutants who were already born and those who would be. The de facto leader of Sinister's clones denied their request, while another Sinister killed him and took his place. This Sinister agreed, and explained that he had implanted himself with Thunderbird's X-Gene, effectively becoming a mutant himself due to his own genetic manipulation.
- Magneto compared the image of the apparently benevolent Nosferatu to Oskar Schindler.
- The meaning of the term "sinister" in modern English is largely as a synonym for the terms "inauspicious", "ominous", "unlucky", "illegitimate" (As folk etymology, Wikipedia:Bar_Sinister Walter Scott links it to the terms "bend sinister" and "bar sinister" which are associated with illegitimate children and lines of descent and bastards), "evil", or seemingly evil, dangerous or harmful. However, the term is a loanword from Latin (and its derivative languages), where "sinister" is a masculine adjective and means "left". The feminine form is "sinistra" and the neuter form is "sinistrum". For some reason, the left side of the visual spectrum (and the left hand) came to be associated with perversity, badness, adversity, and hostility.
- Due to "sinister" meaning "left", its Latin antonym is "dexter" which means "right". Just as "sinister" came to be associated with negative qualities, "dexter" came to be associated with positive ones. The secondary meanings of "dexter" include the terms "skillful", "fortunate", "favorable", "proper", and "fitting".
- Sinister seems to enjoy drinking as he is seen drinking wine or other beverages on multiple occasions.
- 219 Appearances of Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616)
- 34 Minor Appearances of Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616)
- Media Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 202 Images featuring Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616)
- 24 Quotations by or about Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616)
- Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- uncannyxmen.net Bring on the Bad Guys: Sinister Observations
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