The MCU’s best choice for the X-Men‘s first villain was already teased various times by Fox. Now that Disney owns the rights to all of Fox’s properties, the MCU can utilize elements from the Fantastic Four and all mutant-related titles. This is the ideal opportunity to take a different approach to Fox’s X-Men franchise and introduce individual characters before assembling an official lineup in an MCU X-Men movie. The main villain for this highly-anticipated cinematic event should be one the Fox franchise already foreshadowed but never got the opportunity to directly feature: Nathaniel Essex, aka Mister Sinister.
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Mister Sinister has quite an intricate comic book history since his 1987 full debut, having been powered by Apocalypse, resurrected multiple times through the use of clones, and having interacted with the time-traveling Cyclops and Jean Grey many years before they were born. Nathaniel Essex was originally a Victorian-era scientist obsessed with the theory of evolution and genetic mutations. He predicted and studied the rise of mutant-kind before investigating the potential of young versions of prominent mutants such as Magneto, Wolverine, Juggernaut, Colossus, and Magik.
Fox’s X-Men franchise first teased the existence of Mister Sinister in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, where Wolverine’s blood was collected and secured in an Essex Corp briefcase (which was originally supposed to play an important role in Logan). In Deadpool 2, it was revealed that Russell Collins and Domino were tortured at the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation, while Dr. Reyes worked for the Essex Corporation in The New Mutants. Nathan Essex himself, however, never appeared onscreen. Besides the novelty of having a major X-Men villain appearing in a live-action film for the first time, Mister Sinister’s introduction to the MCU would provide a familiar point of view for the audience who, like him, witnesses the arrival of mutants to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, he could come up with solid scientific explanations for why they are only beginning to appear just now and for how their mutations are possible.
Mister Sinister’s encounters with major characters throughout the years could give them valuable backstories. For instance, Nathaniel Essex’s presence in the 19th and 20th centuries could help explore the traumatic childhood of Magneto and Wolverine, so their next appearances have more time to focus on new events rather than their already known origin stories previously explored. Mister Sinister could also underline the importance of the mutant gene in the past to develop the MCU’s mutant history without the need for entire movies to set it up. After all, one of the biggest questions surrounding the MCU’s mutants is how future titles will explain their absence.
Like many MCU villains, Nathaniel Essex is a non-mutant who acquires his powers through artificial means. The MCU would likely simplify his origin story to avoid Apocalypse and time travel. However, Mister Sinister would be the bridge between classic MCU and the age of mutants. This allows popular X-Men antagonists like Magneto, Bolivar Trask, and Dark Phoenix to take a breather before playing bigger roles in future X-Men movies within the MCU.
More: Every Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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