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Mr. Sinister

X-Men Legends
by yo go re

Somebody's gotten un upgrade!

A scientific genius with evil intentions, Nathaniel Essex genetically alters his human form to become the shape-shifting telepath known as Mister Sinister.

Jonathan Hickman's Powers of X has radically redefined what we know about Mr. Sinister. Rather than working by himself since the Victorian Era, Nathaniel Essex had an entire island's worth of clones of himself, each performing different tasks. When Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr came to request he begin cataloguing the DNA of every mutant, he turned them down: he wasn't particularly interested in mutants. He'd experimented with introducing the X-gene into his own genetic structure, and didn't like the results. He was then killed and replaced by the Sinister who had the mutant gene (which came from Thunderbird, oddly enough), meaning that's the Mr. Sinister we've seen in the comics for years, not the (deceased) original.

In a shocking turn of events, Mr. Sinister is not made using the same molds as the 80th Anniversary Colossus figure. You'd think with Hasbro's penchant for stock bodies, Sinister's "banded metal" look would have been a prime candidate, but nope, this is new. From head to toe, he's his own thing. His giant shoulder pads are glued into place, but the diamon in the center of his chest is molded. His belt is just floating around the waist, and the upper edges of his gloves are created by pieces slipped around the wrists. One of the weirdest features of his already-weird appearance is also one of the easiest to overlook: Mr. Sinister wears thigh-high boots, but then he also wears shoes that flare out at the ankle. What the huh? His odd stringy cape, with its collar taller than his head, is permanently attached, so you'll have to work it through a slot in the tray when you open him.

The last time we got a Mr. Sinister, it was the ToyBiz days. Dave Cortes sculpted that one with a mean, imperious look, while this modern version skews more... flamboyant. He's still got the flat top hair, the red gem on his forehead, and the pointy black triangle on his chin, but he's got a broad smile that shows off his sharpened teeth.

The paint's nice, too. Unlike ToyBiz's bright blue, this one gets a dark metallic blue for the body and black for the "cloth" parts of the costume. His skin is actually white, rather than being painted with blue shadows, and there's a separation between it and the rest of the body, rather than a blurry transition. His eyes, gems, and belt are a bright shade of red, while the inside of his cape is darker. My figure has a splotch of black on one of the strands of his cape, which isn't too distracting.

Mr. Sinister moves at the head, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins, and ankles. All the joints move easily and hold their position well, but you'll have to be careful posing him with that heavy cape falling off his shoulders and reaching all the way to the ground. His left hand is a fist and his right hand is open. There are no alternate pieces (a long-haired Sinister would have been neat, but probably wouldn't have worked with this collar) or accessories of any sort, because what accessories would Mr. Sinister even use? A microscope? A gene sequencer? The canister Stryfe gave him that had the Legacy Virus inside it? Even '90s ToyBiz didn't give anything, and they're the company that gave Sauron a caveman club.

He does have a piece of the Build-A-Figure: Wendigo's right arm.

Mr. Sinister is definitely a character who needed a modern Marvel Legend. Getting his recent "Victorian fancy man" costume would have been interesting, too, but we're not going to fault Hasbro for at choosing to make the classic version first.

-- 09/20/19

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