The Essex Corp Leader In X-Men Lives Up To His "Sinister" Name
Just about everyone knows that these days, if you watch a superhero movie, you're going to want to sit through the credits because the movie usually doesn't end when the credits roll. The latest X-Men film, X-Men: Apocalypse, was no exception to this rule, with a mysterious end credits scene showing some businessmen entering the bloody Weapon X complex and retrieving a vile of Wolverine's blood, placing into a briefcase marked "Essex Corp." Comic book fans know Essex to be the last name of Mr. Sinister, but for everyone else: who is Mr. Sinister, really?
Simply put, Sinister is one of the X-Men's most iconic and most formidable villains. His real name is Nathaniel Essex (hence the Essex Corp.) and he was born in the 1800s in London. He is not a mutant, but rather a gifted scientist and geneticist (hence his interest in Wolverine's blood). He begins experimenting on himself in order to alter his lifespan and abilities, which become further augmented after he teams with Apocalypse (given that Apocalypse was asleep in the movies during the 1800s, the films may forego their connection). Later on, in more modern times, Sinister develops a kind of obsession with Cyclops and Jean Grey — which could be bad news for the new movie versions of the characters.
In the comics, Cyclops grew up in an orphanage, and eventually learns that he had been experimented on as a child by the head of the orphanage — a disguised Mr. Sinister. Later, after the death of Jean Grey, Sinister creates a clone of her named Madelyne Pryor, whom Cyclops unwittingly marries and has a child with. Basically, Mr. Sinister has been screwing with Cyclops's life for as long as he can remember, and has a history of being desperate for the chance to experiment on him again. In other words, this guy is truly deserving of his evil name — but what can he do?
The better question is what can't he do. Thanks to 150 years of using mutant DNA to alter his own body composition, Sinister has become basically immortal. He can rearrange his cells in ways that allows him to shapeshift and heal from basically any injury, making him nearly impossible to harm. He also has vast telepathic and telekinetic abilities, super strength, and can fire devastating concussive energy blasts from his hands. He's one tough cookie.
So who could potentially play such a villain? Luckily, one of best actors working today has already expressed interest. Last year, during New York Comic Con, Bryan Cranston was asked which Marvel villain he would like to play, and he didn't hesitate before saying Mr. Sinister. This was well before any movie plans for the character were known, but hopefully Cranston and Fox would be able to work out a deal. Another option would be to gender-swap the character. In one comic book storyline, Sinister seemingly dies only to come back to life as Miss Sinister. A female supervillain would make for an interesting change of pace for the X-Men; especially one as powerful as Sinister.
Apocalypse may have been defeated, but there's still a major threat lurking for the X-Men in the form of Sinister. At this rate, the team will be lucky if they can even make it to the '90s.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Disney—ABC Domestic Television Distribution