An iconic superhero team-up! Fans have wanted the X-Men to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years now. Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox made that possible, but the beloved mutants have yet to appear in the MCU. Looking ahead, the X-Men could join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in battling a dangerous enemy in the unconfirmed but nevertheless inevitable Avengers 5. Let's dive in.
Mister Sinister may be one of the deadliest villains in Marvel comics. First introduced in 1987’s Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1 #213. Born Nathaniel Essex, he was pretty obsessed with evolution and developing humans to their full genetic potential in the 19th century. Essex wasn’t well-received by the scientific community, who didn’t believe humans were mutating.
However, his ideas were exacerbated following the death of his young son from birth defects. Essex begins conducting human experiments and later allies himself with the resurrected En Sabah Nur (aka, Apocalypse), the ancient villain believed to be the first mutant in existence. Apocalypse genetically alters Essex, officially transforming him into Mister Sinister, an immortal villain with the powers of telepathy, telekinesis, and superhuman strength.
Having lost everything, the antagonistspends the next two centuries continuing to experiment on humans in a bid to forcibly evolve them by mingling human DNA with that of mutants. Mister Sinister also becomes disturbingly obsessed with the X-Men’s Cyclops and Jean Grey, whose child he believes will be the perfect mutant and the best example of what humanity can aspire to genetically. He is also associated with the Marauders, a team of mutant assassins who have done a lot of Sinister’s dirty work including kidnapping.
While Mister Sinister’s evil history is long and most notably tied with the X-Men comics, a major comics crossover with the Avengers could finally put them front and center. In 2012’s “Avengers vs. X-Men,” the arrival of the Phoenix Force, a powerful cosmic entity, pits the two superhero factions against each other. While the X-Men believe the Phoenix Force’s presence is good for mutants, the Avengers think it’ll only lead to Earth’s destruction.
During this big battle, Minister Sinister plots to steal the powers of the Phoenix Force for himself and employs clones of some of the X-Men to do so. There is a lot more to the story and Mister Sinister plays a small role when compared to everything else going on. That said, Avengers 5 could adapt the story a bit differently so that it’s Sinister who is the primary antagonist and not the Phoenix Force.
The X-Men movies have already done the Phoenix story twice now and it was underwhelming each time. On the other hand, Mister Sinister might be the breath of fresh air that the MCU needs, cleverly weaving in the X-Men while providing a refreshing take on the heroes vs. heroes storyline. It’s also possible that Mister Sinister could be introduced in a post-credits scene in Phase Four, taking samples of Avenger DNA at each point before we discover what he’s actually up to. Maybe instead of having the Avengers battle the X-Men, the two superhero teams could join forces to fight Mister Sinister before he builds an army of superhumans.
It might be wishful thinking for now, but it's about time to welcome the mutants and their antagonists into the MCU for good.