A Suit of Sinisters
Mister Sinister isn't one of a kind. Meet Doctor Stasis, Orbis Stellaris, and Mother Righteous, his fellow clones who aim to beat him at his own game in 'Sins of Sinister.'
The future of the Marvel Universe looks positively Sinister. In SINS OF SINISTER, Mister Sinister has taken over the world and turned most of mutantkind into his personal army as part of his plans to become one of the most powerful beings in the Multiverse. However, this Sinister is not one of a kind. Upon his death in 1895, Nathaniel Essex created four clones, each with a different playing card suit symbol on their forehead and a different approach to overcoming the eventual, inevitable rise of the machines.
Now, we’re taking a closer look at how Mister Sinister and the other Essex clones have wormed their way into the X-Men’s world. We’ll also explain how they fit into SINS OF SINISTER, just in time for their paths to collide in NIGHTCRAWLERS #1 by Si Spurrier, Paco Medina, Jay David Ramos, and VC's Clayton Cowles.
Boasting a distinctive red diamond symbol on his forehead, Mister Sinister has been fascinated by mutants for over a century. Through twisted experiments, countless rounds of cloning, and genetic engineering, he has empowered himself and become the authority on mutant genetics. Then, after working from the shadows for years, Mister Sinister made himself known as the mastermind behind the vicious Marauders in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #227 by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, and Dan Green.
Many years later, when they were laying the foundations for the mutant nation Krakoa, Charles Xavier and Magneto approached Sinister about cataloging the entire mutant genome in POWERS OF X (2019) #4 by Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, and Marte Gracia. Once Krakoa officially formed, Sinister’s collection of mutant genes played an essential role in developing the Krakoan Resurrection Protocols, which can revive almost any deceased mutant. In return for access to his genetic database, Sinister was made a member of Krakoa’s Quiet Council, a group of 12 mutants that governs the island.
During this time, Sinister secretly created several clones of Moira MacTaggert. Thanks to her mutant power of reincarnation, these Moiras have the ability to create “save points,” which reset reality whenever she dies and allow her to be reborn in a new timeline with the knowledge she had previously acquired. Sinister used Moira’s unique ability to run through his plans numerous times until they were successful.
In the lead-up to SINS OF SINISTER, Sinister corrupted the resurrection process and took control over several mutant leaders. Then, when SINS OF SINISTER kicked off, Sinister brought most of mutant- and humankind under his control, eliminated his potential rivals, and effectively took over the world. This is all part of Sinister’s plan to evolve into a Dominion-level intelligence, a godlike transcendent being of unimaginable power who exists outside of reality on a Multiversal scale.
Sporting a black club symbol on his forehead, Doctor Stasis has focused his studies on humanity’s potential to evolve, primarily through genetic manipulation. In sharp contrast to Sinister’s fascination with mutants, this Essex clone is one of the leaders of the anti-mutant organization Orchis. Believing himself to be the original Essex, Stasis views mutants as an infection and thinks that their future—if they have one at all—lies primarily off-world.
Stasis debuted as Orchis’ Director of Human Resources in X-MEN (2021) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia. Shortly after his birth in the 19th century, he established a permanent base of operations underneath New Jersey, where he pushed human mortality to its limits through cruel experiments. In addition to dramatically extending his own life, Stasis surrounded himself with genetically modified animal chimera and a cloned wife and son, all of whom he regularly killed and replaced.
After deducing that Krakoa could resurrect dead mutants, Stasis aimed to leak those secrets to the press to turn public opinion against them and attacked the X-Men with his animal chimera in a public assault that left Cyclops dead. In a brief attempt to keep the resurrection process secret, Cyclops temporarily operated as the hero Captain Krakoa. He and his teammate Synch ultimately traced Stasis back to his lab and unmasked him as a Sinister clone, during which time Cyclops also revealed some details about Krakoa’s resurrection capabilities.
Following that encounter, Stasis returned to Orchis, where he and mutant-hating villains like Nimrod, Feilong, and the corrupted Moira MacTaggart continued to work against Krakoa. In the SINS OF SINISTER timeline, Stasis continued to lead Orchis even as it morphed into a guerilla operation, using a vast arsenal of hi-tech weaponry to keep away from Sinister and his forces.
As Orbis Stellaris, Nathan Essex—the Sinister clone with a black spade symbol—turned to the deep reaches of outer space. Despite his frail human body, Orbis Stellaris made himself an intergalactic power player and a cosmic arms dealer. He dramatically prolonged his life by creating a floating orb that made him part of an organic-mechanical construct. After selling weapons like armies of cloned cybernetic warriors, Orbis took control over the deep-space World Farm and the Progenitors that lived there. This also gave Orbis a seat on the Galactic Council as the representative of the Galactic Rim Collective.
Shortly after he debuted in 2021’s S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #6 by Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti, and Marte Gracia, Stellaris started working with Abigail Brand as part of her plans to disrupt the cosmic order. On Brand’s orders, this Essex clone ordered the Progenitors to retrieve the Omega-level mutant Vulcan and mentally reprogrammed him into a sleeper agent for Brand.
While Stellaris was part of the Galactic Council that voted to recognize Arakko as a mutant planet, he also sent the Progenitors to attack Arakko itself in order to steal part of Cable’s techno-organic virus for research. However, that attack ultimately proved to be the Sinister clone’s undoing, since Cable was able to track the stolen virus sample. Around the same time Brand tried and failed to unleash Vulcan, Cable and a small team traveled to the World Farm and fought Stellaris and the Progenitors.
After regrouping, Orbis Stellaris survived long into SINS OF SINISTER’s future. With help from Mystique and Destiny, Stellaris stole Sinister’s lab and its Moira MacTaggert clones. He also had Doctor Stasis killed by their fellow clone, Mother Righteous. With the infinite processing power of the World Farm, Stellaris also hopes to figure out a way to become a Dominion-level intelligence that transcends reality, much like Mister Sinister.
With a dramatically different appearance from her clone siblings, Mother Righteous boasts red skin, a white heart symbol on her forehead, and a deep knowledge of arcane magic. While the details of her early life are presently unknown, Mother Righteous debuted in LEGION OF X (2022) #1 by Si Spurrier, Jan Bazaldua, and Federico Blee, with a design by Jamie McKelvie. In her early appearances, Mother Righteous came to several mutants on the psychic astral plane, where she offered gifts and other boons in exchange for thanks and signs of faith.
After making deals with Selene, Sebastian Shaw, and the Arakkii mutant leader Ora Serrata, Mother Righteous turned her attention to Legion, who had built a mutant gathering place called the Altar on the Astral Plane, but failed to tempt him with a vision of his possible future. She found far more success with Banshee and convinced him to merge with the Spirit of Variance, a former Spirit of Vengeance who rejected the idea of revenge, leading him to become Vox Ignis.
After being rejected by Legion a second time, Mother Righteous focused her attention on Nightcrawler, who was one of several mutants going through monstrous transformations due to a mystical hex. In SINS OF SINISTER’s future, Mother Righteous broke that spell, which inadvertently allowed Mister Sinister to begin incorporating Nightcrawler’s DNA into his Chimera creations. With his Scream O’ Change, Vox Ignis freed several of those Chimera creations from Sinister’s control by speaking to the spirit of Nightcrawler within them. Later, Mother Righteous had one of her new Chimera followers, Wagnerine, kill Doctor Stasis in exchange for information about Sinister’s ultimate plans from Orbis Stellaris.
Following the death of the Spider-Man/Nightcrawler Chimera known as Wallcrawler, Mother Righteous ordered her followers to gather powerful mystical relics like Thor’s Mjolnir and the Eye of Agamotto to build a Reliquary Perilous that could purge Sinister’s DNA from the world once and for all.
See all four Sinisters lay their cards on the table in NIGHTCRAWLERS #1, on sale now!
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