Ah, the X-Men film franchise. Filled with such wonderful villains as Magneto, Magneto again, Apocalypse, Sebastian Shaw (?), Magneto… Again? Okay, sure. The point is, under 20th Century Fox, the X-Men’s fascinating rogues gallery was done a significant disservice. Rich and terrifying antagonists like Reverend William Stryker were turned into mindless army men, who simply wanted to wipe out Mutants because they were annoying. While Fox did a good job with characters like Magneto and Bolivar Trask, as an avid X-Men fan myself, I found their attempts at the antagonists to be incredibly disappointing.
Now that Marvel Studios have the film rights to the X-Men, I feel that this is all about to change. While I am doubtful that Marvel will explore the rich and incredibly relevant themes of the X-Men (i.e. persecution and bigotry), I have no doubt in my mind that we will see villains Fox were never even sure existed. For years, Marvel and Fox have been obsessed with Magneto, and rightfully so. He is, in my mind, the greatest comic book character ever created. He is a Shakespearean protagonist, who somehow found his way into a Stan Lee comic book. All this said though, I think we can give Magneto a little bit of a break. I think Marvel Studios will instead focus on a villain fans have been clamoring to see since the beginning of time itself: Mister Sinister.
Mister Sinister’s Time In The Sun
Born Nathaniel Essex, Mister Sinister is a glorious villain, obsessed with crafting the perfect Mutant race. Of course, if you have seen the 1990s animated X-Men series, I need not explain Sinister to you. The character first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #221 in September of 1987. Upon creating the character in the late 80s, Chris Claremont stated the following: “I was tired of just going back to Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the same old same old.” When you look at this quote from Claremont when compared to the X-Men on film, it kinda seems pretty relevant, don’t you think?
Mister Sinister’s time in the sun has come close before. There were rumors that Sinister was the main antagonist in James Mangold’s Logan, but those were debunked by the director as he felt the character did not fit the story they were telling. The Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation is featured in Deadpool 2 as an orphanage that abuses and tortures the mutant children in its care, and according to many insiders, Jon Hamm was set to play the character in New Mutants (setting up a Dark Phoenix sequel) before the 20th Century Fox/Disney deal.
Because Mister Sinister debuted in the late 80s, to get a 9.8 version of his first appearance will not set you back like an X-Men #1 will. In fact, for a 9.8 copy of Uncanny X-Men #221, you would only be looking to pay anywhere from $239 – $300 (USD). On eBay at the moment, there are plenty of 9.8 copies, as well as a few signed ones from Chris Claremont.
Sinister is a character who will always be popular amongst X-Men fanatics, and in all honesty, it is shocking that we have not seen the character on screen yet. My theory is this: Look at how Marvel has handled Spider-Man and his villains. In Homecoming, we saw Vulture, the Tinkerer, and the Shocker on screen for the first time. In Far from Home, we saw Mysterio, another villain not yet seen in a Spider-Man film. If this is the case with the X-Men under Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige, I would argue it’s Mister Sinister’s time in the sun.