Invulnerability: Sinister can control the flow of his body’s molecules to such an extent that he suffers -1CS to all damage recieved, in addition to his Body Armor (see equipment). He recieves the following abilities.
Telepathy: Unearthly power and range.
Create/Erase Memories: Unearthly ability, uninterupted concentration for 2 rounds.
Mental Block: After 1 year of preparation, the subject is unable to harm Sinister. The victim must make an Unearthly Psyche feat to break this block.
Can telepathically prevent a mutant from accessing their powers for 1d10 rounds.
Telekinesis: Poor ability to lift objects from a distance. However, Sinister has developed the following:
Force Bolts: Unearthly damage and range.
Force Field: Remarkable protection from Energy attacks, Excellent protection from Physical attacks.
Morphing: Limited shapechange: human form, Monstrous ability.
Astral Projection: Sinister has +2CS in astral space.
Body Armor: Remarkable protection from Physical attacks, Good protection from Energy attacks.
Base: Sinister can mentally control every aspect of his base and form restrains or weapons with Monstrous ability.
Mutant Detection Device: Unearthly
Medicine, Engineering, Psychiatry, Bio-Chemistry, Genetics, Cloning, Computers, Electronics, Resist Domination, Leadership
Apocalypse, Marauders, Nasty Boys, Four Horsemen
Nathaniel Essex was a 19th-century scientist in Victorian England obsessed with Darwin’s theory of evolution, though he felt Darwin and his contemporaries were shackled by too many moral constraints. While pursuing his own research in 1859, he discovered that humanity was undergoing increasing mutation, due to what he called “Essex Factors” in the human genome. His theories were mocked, making him bitter; his son’s death (at the age of four from numerous birth defects, including crooked bones and hemophilia) drove him deeper into his work. He approached many group in search of funding, including the Hellfire Club, though all turned him down. He hired a group of thugs, which he named Marauders, to kidnap people off the streets of London so he could perform experiments on them; he even went so far as to dig up his dead son and experimented on him. During this time, Essex came into contact with Apocalypse (whom the Marauders had stumbled upon and awoke), accidentally educating that ancient mutant about the facts surrounding his nature. The two subsequently formed an alliance, during which Apocalypse used his advanced technology to activate dormant mutant traits within Nathaniel. With his new abilities and dispassionate outlook, Essex took a new name – Sinister, the last word his wife spoke to him as she died, after discovering the horrors he’d been engaged in. During his “uplifitng,” a time-traveling Cyclops and Jean Grey interrupted the procedure — Cyclops’ optic blast struck Essex soon after he emerged from the machines, damaging his “newborn” form. Cyclops and Jean also freed many of Sinister’s captives, two of which traveled to America and took the name Summers. Apocalypse’s first command was to create a plague to destroy the weak of the world, but Sinister would not do it – he had clarity of purpose, and cruelty for its own sake was not part of it. The plague Sinister created attacked only Apocalypse, driving him into hibernation. 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. Soon after, he left for The United States.
For over a century, Sinister continued his work, just as often allying with Apocalypse as against him. In 1891, he moved to New York, and posed as an obstetrician named Nathan Millbury (and alias based off the name of the manor of his former wife); here he had unrestricted access to an abundance of generational genetic material to study, including that of Amanda Mueller, the wife of the now-adult Daniel Summers. It was in 1891 that Sinister came across another pair of time traveling mutants from the future, the X-Man Gambit and a shape changer called Courier. Using his scientific equipment, Sinister managed to replicate the shape shifting abilities of Courier; before that, he’d hidden his pale complexion with common makeup. Gambit needed help getting back to the present, and to do so had Sinister re-implant a piece of tissue into his brain. Once the piece was restored, Gambit’s powers increased exponentially and he was able to return himself and Courier to the present. A century later, Gambit and Sinister would meet again.
In 1915, Essex went back to England and granted Jacob Shaw the ability to shapeshift. Jacob was the brother of Esau Shaw, and was extremely envious of his bother’s better lot in life, such as having been recruited into the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle by Sir Waltham Pierce. Jacob uses his newfound powers to imitate Sir Waltham Pierce, then killed his brother Esau. Jacob planned to then take on Esau’s place, but first he shapeshifted into a woman and planned to kill Waltham. Before he could finish his deed, however, Union Jack — Montgomery Falsworth, a friend of Esau’s — stepped in and accused Pierce of sedition against the crown and the murder of Esau. Before Waltham could answer, Jacob shot at Union Jack, then ran off into the night. Jacob Shaw is the father of Sebastian Shaw; Sir Waltham Pierce may be an ancestor of Donald Pierce.
In the 1920s, Essex encountered a man named Herbert Edgar Wyndham, who dreamed of doing what Sinister had already accomplished — breaking the genetic code for human DNA. Essex worked side by side with Wyndham, who would later become better known as the High Evolutionary. By 1928 Wyndham had begun crude experimentations on lab animals with radiation exposure with little success. During a trip to an international conference on genetics in Geneva, Switzerland, Wyndham suddenly felt ill. Stumbling out into the street he 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 exist in that time – a blueprint for breaking the genetic code.
In the 1930s, he spent some time in California, gathering subjects for his experiments; while in Los Angeles, he met and fell in love with radio comedienne Faye Livingstone, though he never admitted his feelings. Discovering his secret laboratory one night, Essex confronted her with the truth — 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 Essex kept her prisoner. Months passed, filled with degrading examinations; affected pity gave way to foul contempt. Essex broke her in mind and spirit, and made 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 Carlysle Nursing Home in San Diego, California, her mind and body falling to cancer. Due to her love for Essex, Livingstone had never married, and never 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. Genesis forced Sinister to confront both her and himself about the relationship, but Sinister refused, adamantly maintainnig that she was nothing more than a useless husk to him. After sharing a telepathic dance with Essex, Faye passed away in his arms.
In 1944, Essex came across a man named John Greycrow, who would become Scalphunter, his first “new” Marauder. While working with the Nazis, he earned the nickname “Nosferatu,” due both to his pale visage and his habit of taking blood from everyone; he frightened even the Nazis. Oddly, he often gave children candy in exchange for their blood. During this time, he 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.
In 1946, a Dr. Nathan Milbury was involved with Project: Black Womb, a secret government project headed by Amanda Mueller and aided by Brian Xavier (father of Charles Xavier) and Kurt Marko (father of Cain Marko), and (possibly) Irene Adler (the blind precognitive known as Destiny), which studied, but did not alter, thousands of children, mostly mutants, in post-natal holding tanks. 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. He cruelly manipulated their childhood developmental processes and even tried to control their adult lives so they might become his minions. The hero Cyclops was among his subjects; one of Scott’s roommates in the orphanage was named Nathan, and another alias of Sinister’s was Mike Milbury, neighbor to Scott’s grandparents (Phillip and Deborah Summers) up in Alaska. It was from his laboratory under the orphanage that many evils issued, and most likely will issue.
At some point, Sinister spliced mutant genes from Alex Summers into Ahmet Abdol, who became the Living Monolith, able to absorb cosmic energies and use them to grow to enormous size.
Sinister is responsible for the Morlock Massacre, ordering his band of Marauders to kill all of the sewer-dwelling mutants. It was later revealed that Gambit was the one who had assembled Sinister’s Marauders. Gambit did this, and many other tasks, for Sinister because he owed the geneticist a huge debt. When Gambit’s powers first manifested, they were largely uncontrollable. He heard through underworld contacts of Sinister, and approached him, asking for help. Sinister agreed, and removed a portion of Gambit’s brain, which reduced Gambit’s power but allowed him a greater degree of control over his abilities. In exchange, Gambit had to perform many tasks for him, such as assemble the Marauders for the Morlock Massacre. It is possible that Sinister recognized Gambit from a century prior, and agreed to help him in order to insure the series of events that lead to Gambit going back in time – which allowed Sinister to gain Courier’s powers – occurred. As for the reason behind the Morlock Massacre — due to various twistings of time and dimensions, the Dark Beast from the Age of Apocalypse timeline arrived in the mainline reality twenty years prior. Many of the Morlocks were experiments of the Dark Beast’s. Since AoA Beast had learned genetics from AoA Sinister, and AoA Sinister’s methods were similar to mainline Sinister’s, Sinister could see his “signature” in the Morlocks. To prevent further unauthorized usage of his theories, he had the Marauders kill the Morlocks. Though some of his Marauders died during the Massacre, Sinister’s mastery of genetics and cloning technology allows his Marauders to live again and again and again.
Sinister is obsessed with the Summers genetic line, including Cyclops and Havok, in part because it is “his” — Daniel Summers is a direct ancestor of Scott and Alex Summers. For a time, Sinister continued to advance his master plan to serve Apocalypse and his own evil ends. Sinister prefers to let bloodlines breed naturally to produce the most racially supreme beings, rather than hastily transforming them; he believes that Scott Summers’ and Jean Grey’s genelines would create a Mutant of unparalleled power, one that could destroy Apocalypse and thus free him from the yoke of that ancient tyrant. To this end, he created Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey, though he was disappointed that the clone manifested no powers at adolescence and he considered the whole project a waste of time and effort. Upon “Jean’s” death on the Blue Area of the Moon (at the culmination of the Dark Phoenix Saga), the Phoenix Force left her body and entered Madelyne’s, much to Sinister’s delight. He arranged a set of false memories for her, and left her where Scott would eventually encounter her.
Eventually the two wed and produced a child, Nathan Christopher Charles Summers. 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. Sinister eventually took the child, then lost it to Madelyne (now the Goblin Queen), then regained it (following her death), then lost it to Cyclops, who blasted him with a supercharged Optic Blast and reduced him to a skeleton. It is unknown how Sinister came back from that — it may well have been a clone he had sent in his place for that battle, or he may have teleported away at the last second and placed a body in his place as Cyclops’ blast struck — but return he did, now safe under the cover of presumed death. Before Sinister could re-claim young Nathan, however, Apocalypse awoke. Sensing the threat posed to him, he infected Nathan with a technorganic virus which threatened to consume him. The only hope of saving him was for Scott and Jean to a woman known as the Askani, who spirited him away to the future. Nathan survived, and came to be the man better known as Cable.
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, 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. Seeing as the conflict had no meaning anymore, Sinister and his Nasty Boys withdrew.
After the events of the X-Cutioner’s Song saga, 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 let slip of the existence of a third Summers brother. 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.
Fortunately for Sinister, Cable also had a deep grudge against Apocalypse, and when Apocalypse merged with Cyclops at the climax of The Twelve stoy arc, 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.
While Sinister has succeeded in his quest to eliminate Apocalypse, this has by no means ended his task. Mister Sinister desired research above all else in his world of genetics; bloodlines and gene pools are his chess pieces. Apocalypse was a threat to this work. Now without hindrances, Sinister can truly begin his work in genetics, now matter the cost in lives or suffering. By eliminating Sinister’s former master, the X-Men may have unleashed an even greater threat to the world.
Sinister continues his research into mutant genetics.