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Nathaniel Essex
Sinister, Mr. Sinister, Robert Windsor, Arnold Bocklin, Mike Milbury, Apocalypse, Steven Shaffran, Edmond Atkinson, Nate, Administrator Pearson, Nosferatu, Nathan Milbury, Pale Man
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Current Status
Alive
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Affiliations
Marauders
Nasty Boys
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First Official Appearance
(Name only) Uncanny X-Men #212
(In Shadow) Uncanny X-Men #213
(Official) Uncanny X-Men #221
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Powers & Genetics
Sinister is a genius geneticist, a brilliant biologist, and a skilled surgeon who is well practiced in the science of cloning.
Following genetic alteration by Apocalypse, Sinister possesses enhanced durability and an extended lifespan. Over the years, Sinister has used the genetic material of other mutants to grant himself a vast array of powers including telepathy, telekinesis, superhuman strength, the ability to project concussive energy from his hands, and total control of his body at the molecular level.
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Universe
Earth 616, Gambitverse
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OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
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The following characters are also associated with Sinister:
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Apocalypse
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Courier
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Fontanelle
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Marauders, The
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Mystique
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Sabretooth
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Scalphunter
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Note:
This history is in the order of Gambit's life, not Sinister's. Due to time travel it changes slightly for each character.
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CHARACTER INFORMATION
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Nathaniel Essex was a biologist in Victorian England who developed advanced theories on human evolution and was 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 & hemophilia) drove him deeper into his work. He approached many groups in search of funding, including the Hellfire Club, though all turned him down. He hired a group of thugs, whom 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 experiment on him. A geneticist of unparalleled genius, he foresaw the coming mutations that would transform mankind. Society and caused his wife to shun him. These rejections led him to ally himself with Apocalypse, an immortal mutant who has witnessed virtually the whole of human history. Apocalypse transformed Essex into an ageless being of extraordinary pallor at the cost of what remained of his humanity. 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.
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HISTORY BREAKDOWN
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Remy first met Sinister, at the time going by the name, Nathaniel Essex, when the scientist hired the Thieves Guild, specifically a teenage Remy LeBeau, to break into the Weapon X facility and take back a book of medical notes that Essex had left behind. Remy did manage to get into the facility and find the book, but met some trouble on the way out. During his escape was the epic breakout of the newly altered Wolverine. The rampage of the escaping Weapon X gave room for Remy to escape the facility with the book. After seeing the inner workings of the Weapon X facility and the information inside the book, the young man decided no one, including Mr. Essex, needed access to that kind of knowledge. Remy destroyed the book and returned empty handed, lying to his Father and Essex saying he never found the book. I did not upset Sinister, but it seemed to all be a art of the master plan.
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After being banished from the guild and home, a very apathetic Remy found himself on his own, taking jobs that the Thieves Guild refused. Remy also found his powers growing out of his control. Gambit searched out the help of Essex, hearing that he had the abilities to help him. Meeting in Gouffre Saint-Bernard, a location deep in the mountains, they discussed the growing power and how Sinister could help the young man. After seeing the great power that Remy was burdened with, Essex decided to strike a deal with Remy. In exchange for brain surgery that would bring Remy's charging powers to a workable level, Gambit would work for the doctor. Both parties agreed and the surgery was undergone. With the removal of cells from Remy's brain, the young mutants powers were at a level that he could control.
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Once the surgery was done, Gambit became a pawn in Sinister's game. He worked for Essex, doing unknown jobs, until the job Remy believed to be his last. Sinister had Gambit collect a group of men and women, all being dangerous and ruthless in their selective professions. Remy was not told why he was collecting them or what they were being hired for, but he was uneasy with the mission. It is now believed that the group of people Remy was sent to collect, minus Sabretooth, were created by Sinister himself when Remy was a young child, if not before. In the past it was believed that those people were real human beings that were cloned only after their real bodies were killed in the Massacre itself. It is unclear why Sinister had Remy collect people that he already had some control over or could have collected easily himself. Remy brought the new group, then dubbed the Marauders, to Sinister. Remy demanded that his work with Sinister be over and his debt paid. Sinister gave Remy his payment, the cells removed from his brain stem, but demanded one last job from the young man. He asked that Gambit lead the new found group through a series of tunnels, getting them into their final location so that the Marauders could fulfill their mission. Gambit was not told of the details of the job, which was the massacre of the mutants living below the city. Gambit did agree to take them, for an unknown payment.
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Well into his joining the X-Men, Remy's big secret was about to get out through his off again, on again, girlfriend, Rogue. After absorbing Remy's memories through a kiss, Rogue ends up road tripping to Seattle, a place that holds great significance to the relationship of Gambit and Sinister. Remy decides to chase Rogue, and her then companion Iceman, to try and stop his secret from getting out. Threnody is informed of Remy's arrival and tells Sinister as she was instructed. Sinister arrives in Seattle as the argument between the X-Men unfold. As Remy leaves defeated but his secret safe, Sinister offers his support in hopes of pulling the mutant back into his ranks. Gambit refuses, but is reminded by Sinister that he still has debts to pay and soon he will be forced to pay.
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Gambit, Beast (Dark) and Bishop had an accidental meeting with Sinister in an attempt to stop a deadly virus from spreading from a New York subway into the city itself. The virus, which spontaneously turned on the mutant genes in a normal human, with mainly horrible results was on a bullet train, with a target of changing everyone in city. Gambit and Bishop foiled the attempt by working together, but it left them weak, vulnerable to capture. When they wake they find them inside Sinister's lab and realize he was the person behind the attack. Gambit decides to use his relationship with Sinister to their advantage by faking a painful illness. He gains Essex's curiosity and is released from his bonds so the the scientist could examine him. After his arms are freed Remy destroys all of Sinister's current research and frees the others.
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-Gambit later seeks out Sinister for help again, but this time to help the X-Men. After finding out that Professor X feels there is a traitor in the X-Men, he fears that Xavier is yet again turning in Onslaught. He wants a way to find out and Sinister is the only one that could the knowledge to do it. Using an ailing Sabretooth to track down Sinister's lab, he comes face to face with Essex again. Sinister agrees to help him and Sabretooth in exchange for the DNA of Sabretooth, something Remy had destroyed in their last encounter. Gambit refuses, but offers Essex the DNA of Courier, a mutant that can manipulate every cell in his body. Sinister agrees and gives Remy a injection probe (used later in Uncanny X-Men #375 to show Wolverine was actually a Skrull) and Sabretooth a booster for his healing factor. In exchange, Gambit cuts off Courier's finger and gives it to Sinister as payment. After leaving the lab, Remy gives Courier the order to destroy the finger they had left behind, successfully robbing Sinister of his payment.
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Soon after their last encounter, Gambit and Courier traveled back in time to save Remy's Father and Tante Mattie in their past. While there they ran into Sinister, at the time going by the name Dr. Milbury, an Obstetrician. To get close to the doctor, Courier shape shifted and posed as a woman patient. Sinister recognized a mutant almost instantly and took Courier prisoner, transferring him to his secret underground lab. After tracking his friend down, Remy found Courier in a liquid form. Sinister made a deal with Gambit to return Courier to his normal state in exchange for a part of Courier. After returning Courier to, what Sinister believed to be, his normal state they gave Sinister a part of Courier. They attempted to pull the same double cross as before and destroy the cells, but it failed. The part of Courier that Sinister was given gave him the ability to genetic alter himself. Sinister now had the ability to change any cell in his body and shape shift, something he was unable to do until then. Sinister used that ability to attack Candra, who was attempting to collect the knowledge of the Old Kingdom. In the end, the Old Kingdom knowledge was removed from the minds of all Guild members and hidden away deep in Gambit's mind, only to be removed again by Sinister.
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Stuck in the past, Gambit had no choice but the regain his full powers so he could return to his time. He again asked for the help of that time's Sinister. He underwent another brain surgery under Sinister's hand to replace the cells originally removed from his brain. Regaining his full abilities he was able to return himself and Courier to their proper time. He had a little more control over his powers then before, but they were slowly becoming a problem.
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Gambit and Sinister had managed to avoid contact for a long period of time, until Apocalypse reemerged. Gambit volunteered to become Apocalypse's new Death. After the battle was over and Apocalypse was destroyed, it left a newly changed Gambit and Sunfire in limbo between lives. Sinister came in to offer them a place to fall. Sinister managed to turn both Horsemen back to normal, which has yet to be explained in depth. They also stayed by Sinister's side, joining the new Marauders, on a mission to retrieve Hope. Gambit battled against the X-Men, always avoiding the conflict or making sure no one died in the process, showing his reluctance to be in Sinister's ranks. In the end, Gambit and Mystique double crossed Sinister, killing him. Mystique used the child to save her daughter, Rogue and Gambit then turned the child over to Professor X.
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Soon after Sinister's supposed death, Professor Xavier, who is also presumed dead, begins having problems with being hunted by assassins. Gambit arrives to protect Xavier after finding out through the Guild that Xavier has a price on his head and is not the only one being hunted. Worried about Carter, a friend that is also on the list, Xavier travels to Ryking Institution, where he resides, Gambit in tow. With Sebastian Shaw's help, the group finds that the list of people on the kill list are all people involved with Sinister's Cronus Device. A machine that allows Sinister to transplant himself into a new body upon his death. They find that Amanda Mueller sent out the order to the assassins, so that she would be the only person left for Sinister to jump into, wanting his powers and abilities for herself. Instead, Sinister jumps into Professor Xavier's body even though the Professor is injuried. Gambit and Shaw manage to destroy the device, freeing Xavier. Later, it is revealed that Sinister jumped to Claudine Renko, a daughter of Sinister's.
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Gambit first ran into the newly transformed Claudine Renko, while on a road trip with X-23. Lured in with information about her mother, Laura followed Miss Sinister into her underground lab, followed reluctantly by Gambit. While searching for information on the real reason they were brought there, Gambit is attacked by Claudine. When X-23 joins the fight and injuries Claudine her form changes to Sinister. They find that Claudine and Sinister are fighting for the same body and Claudine is slowly losing the fight. That is the reason she wanted to capture X-23, so that she could transfer to her body and be immortal using the healing factor. The body transfer goes wrong, ridding Claudine of Sinister, but not transferring her to X-23, leaving her to die. Gambit and X-23 grab the innocents in the lab and leave before it self destructs. What they don't realize is Sinister has jumped to yet another clone and is hiding in wait.
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ALTERNATE UNIVERSES
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In the Mutant X Universe, Gambit and Sinister had a somewhat recognizable relationship. Gambit did work with Sinister to bring the Marauders to the Morlocks. The story was not explained deeply, but was made to sound exact to the normal universe. One thing different in this universe was Remy being hired by Sinister to collect two children that he wanted for their DNA. Upon bringing the children to Sinister he only wanted one, the male child he called X-Man, and demanded that Remy kill the other to protect his experiments. Gambit refused and fought Sinister for the life of the little girl he had kidnapped. His new found vampire abilities were revealed and Sinister backed down, only threatening to collect the child at another time. Gambit took the girl in as his own and raised her as his daughter, Raven.
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The End Universe, which was suppose to be a look into the possible future of the X-Men, was very Gambit and Sinister heavy. In the first volumes, Sinister calls in his last marker for Gambit. Remy kidnaps his own two children and the children of Cyclops and Emma, taking them to Sinister. During his dealings with Sinister, the scientist reveals that he is Remy's Father. Sinister created Remy from his own DNA and the DNA from Scott Summers, creating a new vessel that he could use for further experiments and quests for the perfect mutant. Apocalypse sensed the danger of Remy being in Sinister control and had Gambit kidnapped and removed from Sinister's care. Angered by this and fearing his children will be used for further experiments he grabbed the children and made for their escape. In the scuffle, Rogue is killed by Sinister in Gambit's form. Mystique kills Sinister, removing his head to make sure the scientist was gone for good. Remy decides to take Sinister's place to infiltrate and destroy those Sinister had allied with.
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#100 of the What If series features a short story about Gambit returning to Sinister's ranks. After stealing Cerebro's files and taking them to Sinister, he is pushed out of the X-Men. He made the deal with Sinister to work for him again in exchange for the cure of the Legacy virus. Thinking his job was over, Sinister baits Remy with the cure for Rogue. He is asked to collect the last text in a collection of old books holding untold information in exchange for the cure. Gambit agrees and collects the last text and returns it to Sinister. Rogue takes the cure and after kissing Gambit, finds it does not work.
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RECOMMENDED READING
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The following titles will catch you up on the history of Sinister and Gambit.
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Gambit, Vol. 3 #8 - Gambit, Vol. 3 #9 - Gambit, Vol. 3 #13 - Gambit, Vol. 3 #14 - Gambit, Vol. 3 #16 -
X-Men Origins: Gambit - Uncanny X-Men #325 - Uncanny X-Men #350 - X-Men, Vol. 1 #45 - X-Men, Vol. 1 #52 -
X-Men, Vol. 1 #187 - X-Men, Vol. 1 #203 - X-Men, Vol. 1 #213 - X-Men, Vol. 1 #214 - X-23 Vol. 3 #5 -
X-23 Vol. 3 #6 - Weapon X: First Class #3 - New X-Men #46

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