You’ve just sat through FOX and Bryan Singer’s X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Disappointed or not, your butt is planted in a seat, dead sure that they’re going to work a post-credits scene that will undoubtedly set up the next huge deal in this franchise. Aww yes. Here it comes. Man in a business suit. Grabbing himself some Wolverine and Weapon X DNA samples. Stashing them away in that briefcase. Yeah, you close that case mysterious suit guy. “Essex Corporation”.
Aaaaand… that’s it? Really? We don’t even get to see a new bad guy?
I saw this film with the rest of the BadCoyoteFunky bunch, and they’ll all tell you the first reaction from an audience member was “I DON’T GET IT”. More savvy viewers like myself recognized the name on the briefcase immediately. So imagine my eye rolling admonishment of said plebeian X-Fan when I shouted “It’s ‘Mister Sinister‘. Go Google it!” to a dispassionate arrangement of “Thanks, nerd.”
Nathaniel Essex, aka Mister Sinister, is the basically unkillable, instantly recognizable right hand in Apocalypse’s big bad organization of powerful mutants. Also he’s been seriously rocking the dark lipstick shtick (lipshtick?) since the 19th Century, and if his name didn’t already indicate his general badness, a brief rant-style look into his character history will point out that he is pure calculated and concentrated evil.
Sure, ol’ En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse) has got his rotating stable of Four Horsemen, and sometimes he has a living stone manservant named Ozymandias, but most of the time you’ll see Big A making some mutant machinations with master geneticist Nathaniel Essex. And in the vein of every villain’s second-in-command in the history of second-in-commands, he chronically schemes against his master. This guy makes Starscream look like a German Shepherd. Mister Sinister is a villain who has probably more mutant deaths to his name than any X-Villain not named Cassandra Nova, with two major claims to fame including the Mutant Massacre of the Morlocks living beneath Manhattan and releasing the closest equivalent to the AIDS-meets-X-Gene, the Legacy Virus. Written at his best, Essex has dedicated himself to ruining Cyclops’ life by manipulating his entire childhood, making him literally the worst family man. Overlooking the fact that he already stalked and manipulated poor Scott from birth until he was 15, Sinister would go on to take genetic material from his dead girlfriend to make a domestic-minded clone so they could fall in love, consummate up a baby that would someday get sent to the future and kill Apocalypse (twice), and when Scott’s real girlfriend was revealed totally-not-dead the entire time, has his clone wife gets crazy jealous enough to make Hell on Earth.
Sounds like a lot? There’s more. There’s oh-so-much more in such a sordid and expansive pool of X-History the screenwriters could pull from if they plan on using Mister Sinister as the villain in the next film. But trends being what they are, all you have to say is “Mister Sinister” and “X-Men in the 90s” for me to think we’ll get the Savage Land just like in the cartoon.
What do you think? Is it all just one big set-up for the Gambit movie? Say it ain’t so.