Sinister is a character from the Marvel universe that is perhaps the most evil of all the X-Men's foes. Sinister has shown up at various times, always wrecking utter havoc wherever he may appear. His one true goal is that only the strongest mutants survive.

Mr. Sinister´s life is one of the most tragic in all of X-continuity and, even knowing of the terrible villains he is, one cannot feel sorry for the path destiny took him. A brilliant scientist in the nineteenth century, Nathaniel Essex was a man that saw the future as few did. In 1859, still during Queen Victoria's reign in Great Britain, Charles Darwin was making revolutions in the way men saw the world and nature. With his Theory of Evolution, Darwin claimed that all creatures were somehow related, coming from different branches of an ancient father. Evolution would take small steps in even slower mutations that took centuries to make some change that could be noticed in a living being. In this point, Essex disagreed: he though that every human had something inside him, what he called the Essex Factor, that, if mixed with another "superior" human being, could create great mutations in two generations.

All society mocked him, but his mind changed for the worse when a disaster came to his life: his son, Adam had died, born with a negative mutation. His wife, Rebecca, felt very bad, almost responsible for the loss. Every day, Nathaniel put more distance between them, working harder on his projects. He said that Darwin would not succeed thanks to his moral restrains, so he did not let that stop him. Using a group of thugs, whom he called Marauders, Essex kept capturing bumps and creeps from the sewers of London, to conduct experiments on them. One night, Essex violated his son's grave and took his body, to try to bring him back to life. His wife Rebecca discovered this terrible action and fainted in the arms of her husband. In that moment, a new and crucial character came to his life: En Sabah Nur, more widely known as Apocalypse. Awakening from his sleep, Apocalypse found out that Essex was making advances in the area of genetics, claiming that new creatures would soon be born with incredible powers. Apocalypse saw himself as the ancestor of this race, finally understanding where he belonged: as the ruler of a powerful caste. He joined Essex, asking him to show their goal to the most powerful men in Europe: the Hellfire Club Society.

Apocalypse began to put roots of his plans: the Hellfire Club members would be his pawns to create worldwide wars and crisis, so a culling, that only the strong could survive, took place. Meanwhile, Rebecca was pregnant of their second child, but Essex paid no attention to them. Returning to his home, not accepting Apocalypse's ideal of the future, Nathaniel saw his wife die, saying that she could never forgive him. With her last breath, she called him "Sinister." With his mind in chaos, Essex returned to Apocalypse and took the offer the age-old monster had made him: to change into an immortal being with strong flesh and power. Even with the efforts of future X-Men Cyclops and Phoenix, sent by the Askani Clan to the past, Essex became Sinister leaving all emotions behind. However, he still could not accept Apocalypse's plans, so he made a virus that made him sleep for another century. In this time, Apocalypse gave the obligation to Sinister to keep his work to find the strongest of all and kill the weakest.

For the end of the century, Sinister kept working in genetics, creating the Milbury Institute to make further studies. The name of the place was homage for the name of his house with Rebecca. A turning point took place when Sinister was monitoring new mutants' powers manifestations: he saw the exact moment where young Scott Summers used his powers to save him and his brother from a plane crash. Sinister decided to study the boy and took him to his orphanage, giving Alex (Scott's brother) a foster home. He would create the condition in which Alex's powers would emerge, but his work on Scott was far more substantial. Creating the known glasses of Cyclops, the powers were contained during his teen years. Sinister also found out about a young girl, Jean Grey, with powerful abilities. However, Charles Francis Xavier took her first. Years later, Xavier would also take Cyclops from Sinister´s institute, when he formed the X-Men. But Essex kept his work on the Summer DNA.

More years passed until Sinister took DNA samples from Jean Grey, creating a clone of her, with the name of Madelyne Pryor. When the Phoenix "died" in the moon, the life force of her gave life to Madelyne. Sinister, knowing how fragile Scott would be with the loss of his love, sent Maddie to work with his grandparents in Alaska, where she and Scott met. Madelyne thought that she had a past, which Sinister planted in her head. Scott and Maddie married some time after and she became pregnant soon after. This boy was the fruit Sinister had been waiting for: not only he would be the most powerful mutant, but also Sinister´s weapon against Apocalypse. But before that, Sinister grouped other mutant, with the help of Gambit, an associate of his, that he named Marauder. These killers hunted the Morlocks in the tunnels, as Sinister kept serving Apocalypse to kill the weak. Shortly after, the Marauders kidnapped Scott's son, Nathan. Madelyne got vengeful and, with the loss of her husband to the living Jean Grey, made a pact with the devil Nastyrth, creating the whole Inferno crisis.

X-Men and X-Factor stopped the menace and saved Nathan. Cyclops also saw Sinister again, remembering him from the orphanage, and apparently killing him. Sinister would appear again leading the Naughty Boys against the new X-Factor, with unknown plans. Some time later, Sinister would make a deal with Stryfe, Nathan's clone from the future, and accidentally release the Legacy Virus in the atmosphere. He also let it slip to Cyclops that he had a third brother or sister. Essex began to study Nate Grey, noticing the Summer's DNA on him, making further plans to the future. His tentacles of influence reach everywhere, as his database contained information on almost, if not all, mutants alive.

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