What is Essex Corp and what does it mean for the future of the Marvel franchise?
As Marvel viewers know by now, you don’t leave at the “end” of the movie. You watch the ending credits until they give you a sneak peek of the next big film.?And if you waited until the end of “X-Men: Apocalypse,” then you saw the big nod to Essex Corp.
In the midst of soldiers cleaning up the Alkali Lake Facility, the audience saw men walking around the shredded bodies Wolverine left behind to take samples of different mutants’ blood and other medical data. Then before the clip ends, they zoom in on the name imprinted on the mysterious suitcase: Essex Corp.
As a brief overview, Essex Corp was created and ran by Nathan Essex, a mad scientist that works hand in hand with Marvel villain?Apocalypse (also known as Nur). This corporation uses their resources to try and create the best mutants possible for battle. They combine the principles of evolution (i.e. procreation and environmental pressures) and expedite the gene mutation process through future telekinetic splicing machinery to achieve their goals.
Well, here’s what we know about Essex?Corp and Nathan Essex so far.
His Life When He Met Apocalypse
Nathaniel Essex has?always been a man without morals. In 1859, Essex graduated from Oxford University with a biology degree. Essex obsessed over genetics and Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. However, unlike other scientists in his time, he didn’t believe in scientific ethics. His love for science far outweighed any conscience?he might have had. This obsession with making the “perfect” evolutionary specimen at any cost only got worse when his son died at four years old due to many birth defects. Finally, one of his experiments was so inhumane that London shunned him from the Royal Society.
This only made his experiments worse because now he had no restrictions. He tested and tortured anyone he could get his hands on, even his own dead son’s corpse. When his wife found out about his tests on innocent people and their dead son’s body, she shunned him too.
So, he turned to Apocalypse, a man who confirmed his belief that mutations of the human genome could lead to superhumans.
His Life After He Met Apocalypse
Things started to get too real for Essex after Phoenix explained to him that the world would end if he continued to work with Apocalypse. So, surprisingly, with what little humanity he had left, he went back home. He decided to rededicate his life to his wife and their unborn child. Unbeknownst to him, his wife gave birth to the child prematurely from the stress of knowing her husband’s deeds and now she was dying. Essex got there right before she died. Distraught, he begged for forgiveness, but instead, with her dying breath, she said, “To me, you are utterly and contemptibly sinister!”
Of course, after this, he went completely crazy. He took up Apocalypse’s offer to create a plague for the “weaker” species of non-mutants. And as a reward, Apocalypse turned him into an immortal with the telekinesis powers we saw in “X-Men: Apocalypse.” ?The body-morphing transformation cut out all of his humanity. So, to celebrate this transition, he ditched?his human name, Nathaniel Essex. He decided from that moment on to officially become the mutant, Mr. Sinister, in memory of his wife’s last words to him.
Mr. Sinister didn’t have the plague created before Apocalypse left him with the cryptic edict that Mr. Sinister must act as his servant during the end of times and that the plague had better be finished by then.
Mr. Sinister, however, didn’t want to be anyone’s servant. So for the next couple of centuries, Sinister continued his research on his own. He tortured and created super-powered mutants and, along the way, made himself more powerful.
As time passed, he perfected the procedure Apocalypse taught him by splicing mutant genomes and?merging them?with his own to accumulate a long list of powers:
Superhuman stamina, speed, durability, strength and reflexes
Telekinesis (moving things with your mind)
Telepathy (reading, controlling and paralyzing other minds)
These don’t include all the things he picked up in 170 years as a multi-skilled genius. He’s a master surgeon, a trained combatant, genius-level geneticist and a skilled mechanical engineer. It looks like the X-Men truly have their work cut out for them now that the next big bad is Essex Corp, which is ran by an?Alpha-Level Mutant.
Initially, Sinister was intended to be Wolverine’s big bad?in his last installment, “Logan.” However, the “Logan” director, James Mangold, already had his story laid out and Sinister wasn’t a part of this plan.
And to make matters worse, Sinister’s appearance in the movie caused confusion among the Marvel fandom due to commentary made by Bryan Singer. Apparently, it started when Singer, the director and a producer of “X-Men: Apocalypse,” said in the commentary reel of the X-Men DVD that Sinister would act as the villain in “Logan.”
This, then, prompted James Mangold to take to Twitter to clear up the confusion for fans, which, unfortunately, confused them more than it helped them.
Mangold Clears Confusion After Confusing People Even More
This tweet caused people to scratch their heads and many just assumed Mangold was trolling everyone. However, it quickly became clear that Sinister would actually not make an appearance in “Logan” after his second tweet, stating, “I hear he’s in my movie. Going back to the cutting room to find him,” and his third follow-up tweet poking fun at those who took Singer’s dated commentary as newsworthy facts.
In the Marvel fans’ defense, Singer’s commentary as a director and producer for the franchise holds weight. It’s just that in this scenario, with all the big aspects of “Logan” still being hashed out in its early production stages, things didn’t end up the way they were initially planned. All of the commotion was just water under the bridge since “Logan” did feature Sinister and Essex Corp, albeit indirectly.
The company, Alkali-Transigen, must have gotten the blood and DNA samples from the other mutants, including Wolverine, from the exchange we witnessed by Essex Corp at the end of the “X-Men: Apocalypse” movie. Their activities perfectly line up with Mr. Sinister’s goals of creating ultra powerful and weaponized mutants through inhumane experiments. The unethical way they used the X-23 children in 2018 also aligns with Mr. Sinister’s M.O.
From reading Collider’s interview with Simon Kinberg, writer and producer of upcoming X-men film “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” Sinister “could show up in any host of different X-Men films.” This information may actually tie more into Kinberg’s latest movie, “Dark Phoenix” than we initially realized.
After the audience’s negative reaction to Kinberg’s loose adaptation of Chris Clairemont’s “The Dark Pheonix Saga” in “X-Men: The Last Stand,” Kinberg plans to align the “Dark Phoenix” installment of the X-Men franchise closer to its comic roots. You can never go wrong with following canon.
Also keep in mind that?Mr. Sinister and Essex Corp’s stories are intertwined with Cyclops and Phoenix’s stories. As I explained in the first item about Sinister’s history, Cyclops and Phoenix are old friends of his. They went to the past to stop Sinister from becoming the immortal, mad genius that will help end the world. And although they weren’t victorious, their interactions piqued Sinister’s interest and put them on his radar.
*Potential Spoilers Ahead*
At the end of Clairemont’s “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” when Phoenix dies, Sinister takes her cells and makes a clone of her. He not only does this so he can replicate her powers but so he can get his clone Phoenix, Madelyne Pryor, to seduce Cyclops and make a child that will become the ultimate mutant, named Nathan Summers.
And here’s where this connection gets crazy. Cyclops sent his child to the future as Nathan Summers to heal him from the virus Sinister created. And then later, Nathan returned back to the present time as the superhero Cable. Yes, the exact same Cable who will show up in “Deadpool 2.”
So, it seems Essex Corp might make an appearance in the second installment of the Deadpool franchise. According to CinemaBlend’s intel on the next Deadpool movie, Cable will be played by Josh Brolin, and he’s a superhero whose entire arc revolves around stopping the inevitable demise of the world in the future.
Another potential place Sinister might show up, according to Kinberg’s same Collider interview, is the Fox’s “Gambit” solo movie, also produced by Kinberg. Although there hasn’t been much development on the film since it was first introduced in 2014 with Channing Tatum as the star, Flickering Myth grabs some great quotes from Doug Liman, the former director of the film and Hutch Parker, the X-Men Producer, explaining that the movie is still on Fox’s slate. They’re just waiting on it because it’s?taking longer to put the movie together and make it unique enough to attract its own audience in the myriad of superhero movies out today.
DC and Marvel’s Character Creation Patterns
This is more of a fun fact than the rest of the news. But we felt like if you made it this far into this information-packed article, then you deserved a treat.
So, everyone in the superhero comic world knows that almost all DC heroes and villains have a Marvel counterpart?– now, this doesn’t?necessarily mean DC made up these heroes first.
There actually isn’t a clear pattern of who created the heroes and who copied them. It’s a perfect balance of one copying the other as if they had a pact or something. For example, Deathstroke has Deadpool, Red Hood has Winter Soldier, Green Arrow has Hawkeye and Black Canary has Mockingbird – although, many have successfully argued that Black Widow better compares with the DC martial artist.
Mr. Sinister’s DC Counterpart
So, we did our digging and found Mr. Sinister’s DC Comics equivalent:?Anton Arcane. Sadly, DC didn’t create an Essex Corp equivalent company, but the scientists’ similarities are uncanny.
DC’s Arcane was just as?deprived as a child as Sinister was, maybe even more so. Arcane?actually went as?far as sexually abusing his younger sister, Aniela. Additionally, he had an obsession with biology but didn’t agree with the ethics that are supposed to come with science.
He wanted to torture people in peace. However, he knew couldn’t do that in the public eye with his peers. Therefore, he turned to a darker source that would allow his villainy. In Arcane’s case, that meant Adolf Hitler. After creating his own army of mutated people called Un-men under Hitler (similar to Sinister’s mutant weapons), he did more research and harnessed enough dark magic to make himself immortal. However, his immortality didn’t last. He got to attack his arch enemy, Swamp Thing, one last time before he finally died.
What do you all think about Mr. Sinister and his prospective upcoming movie appearances? He’s such a large character with such a deep history, Mr. Sinister might even get his own solo movie to explain all of his background information.
But regardless of what happens, we do know that when he does show up, he’ll be a scary and damn near impossible adversary to take down. It might be a job for The Avengers and the X-men. *Cue gasps* Wouldn’t that be absolutely epic?
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