Mr. Sinister

Mr. Sinister

(pop culture)
When Mr. Sinister first appeared in Uncanny XMen #221 (1987), written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Marc Silvestri, he was quite an enigma. (The name “Mr. Sinister” follows the same formula as “Dr. Doom,” but in later stories he has more often simply been called “Sinister.”) The issue revealed Sinister to be the employer of the Marauders, a mutant team of assassins who had earlier massacred many of the Morlocks, a community of mutant outcasts dwelling in tunnels beneath Manhattan. Nearly a decade later, writer Peter Milligan revealed Sinister's origin in the Marvel Comics miniseries The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix (1996), in which the two X-Men traveled back in time to England in 1859. By then Charles Darwin had published The Origin of Species, in which he originated the theory of evolution. Using Darwin's theory as a basis, another scientist of that time, Dr. Nathaniel Essex, controversially proposed that human procreation should be controlled in order to produce a genetically superior superrace. One of Essex's motivations appears to be the death of his first son, which was caused by a genetic defect. Not only was the British scientific community horrified by Essex's proposal, but so was his own wife, Rebecca, who died after their second son likewise perished. Dr. Essex finally met someone who was willing to support his genetic experiments: the long-lived evil mutant Apocalypse, who genetically altered Essex into a superhuman being who seemingly does not age. Essex took as his new name what Rebecca had called him on her deathbed: “Sinister.” The time-traveling Cyclops and Phoenix, Scott Summers and Jean Grey, persuaded Sinister to break off his new alliance with Apocalypse. But as a result of meeting them, Sinister grew fascinated with the Summers and Grey genetic bloodlines. Over the ensuing hundred years Sinister developed highly advanced methods of genetic engineering, including human cloning. Sinister also worked with Nazi scientists during World War II. Sinister secretly controlled the orphanage where Scott Summers lived as a boy. Following the apparent death of Jean Grey, Sinister utilized a sample of her genetic material to create her clone, Madelyne Pryor. As Sinister planned, the bereaved Scott fell in love with Madelyne, and they married and had a child named Nathan Summers. Sinister plotted to capture and control this genetically superior child. Jean turned up alive, Madelyne perished in combat with her, and Nathan was transported into the far future, where he became the adult warrior Cable. (The version of Sinister found in the alternate reality known as the “Age of Apocalypse” used genetic material from Summers and Grey to create the young mutant Nate Grey, known as X-Man.) Through his own experiments, Sinister has endowed himself with an unknown measure of mental control over the molecules of his body. This power enables him to alter his physical appearance and even to render himself invulnerable to various forms of injury. A leading nemesis of the X-Men in the comics, Sinister also menaced them on television in X-Men: The Animated Series (1992–1997).