Now that X-Men: Apocalypse has finally clawed its way into cinemas worldwide, fans can decide for themselves if Bryan Singer's latest stab at the franchise deserved the average reviews it received prior to release.
However, whether you loved the film or prayed that a real apocalypse would hit at the halfway mark, it's time to move on now and look forward to the next instalment in Fox's ever-expanding comic book universe.
As promised by writer/producer Simon Kinberg, X-Men: Apocalypse included a not-so-secret post credits scene that introduced a new threat for the X-Men, one that will surface in the upcoming film Wolverine 3 and beyond. As the credits finished rolling, we return to the Weapon X base, where a mysterious man takes a vial of Wolverine's blood, placing it in a briefcase labelled "Essex Corp".
For casual audiences, this could have been the most boring post credits scene of all time, but for fans of the X-Men comics, the name Essex immediately revealed what many of us suspected all along, that things are about to turn rather 'sinister'.
The introduction of Mr Sinister into the franchise has huge implications that will be felt in Wolverine 3 and beyond, but for those of us who shrugged their shoulders at the big reveal, let's take a look at exactly why Mr Sinister poses perhaps the biggest threat yet for everyone's favourite band of merry mutants.
That's Doctor Sinister To You!
Before Apocalypse transformed Mr Sinister into one of Marvel's creepiest villains, Dr Nathaniel Essex worked as a brilliant geneticist and a skilled surgeon whose research stood light years ahead of his 19th century contemporaries. Apocalypses's intervention granted Mr Sinister an extended lifespan, which he dedicated to experimenting on other mutants in order to enhance his own abilities.
Over the years, Mr Sinister has proved himself to be more than a match for the X-Men, displaying a wide range of formidable powers, including telepathy, telekinesis, concussive energy blasts and control of his body down at the molecular level. Despite his considerable power set, Mr Sinister prefers to work in the shadows, instructing others to carry out his bidding while he presumably sits in the darkness, laughing maniacally while twirling an imaginary moustache.
Sinister's Mutant Massacre
The X-Men first encountered Mr Sinister's handiwork in the Morlock tunnels, where his personal hit squad the Marauders slaughtered a number of innocent mutants in one of the most devastating massacres ever seen in Marvel comics.
The attack had huge repercussions for the X-Men, destroying Angel's wings, sending Nightcrawler into a coma and even turning Colossus temporarily quadriplegic, but that's not even the worst thing that Mr Sinister has done.
This Is Where Things Get Complicated
After researching the mutant gene pool for decades, Mr Sinister arrived at the conclusion that a child created by Cyclops and Jean Grey would become a mutant of immeasurable power, so naturally Mr Sinister sought to harness this for himself, interfering in both of their lives like a creepy Cupid who just doesn't know when to quit.
One of the most famous Mr Sinister story lines involved the good doctor cloning Jean Grey after her death, so that her DNA could still be combined with Scott Summers to create a child that Mr Sinister could steal away. For a while, Cyclops became romantically involved with the clone, later named Madelyne Pryor, and the two eventually had a child together, but Scott still rejected Pryor once Jean returned, because no one wants a knock-off when they can have the real deal.
Poor Pryor couldn't handle being sloppy seconds and turned into an evil villain inexplicably called the Goblin Queen, but that's on Cyclops for being a terrible boyfriend. We can't blame Mr Sinister for everything.
Before Mr Sinister could take the couple's child for himself, Apocalypse infected the boy with a life-threatening techno-organic virus, forcing Cyclops to send his only son into the future where he could be saved. Eventually, the boy known as Nathan Summers returned to the present as an adult warrior called Cable, who audiences will see for the first time on screen in the upcoming sequel Deadpool 2.
Mr Sinister and Weapon X
Over the years, Mr Sinister has been involved in a number of other memorable story lines too, including Stryfe's attempted assassination of Charles Xavier and his involvement in the Inferno crossover, but his other most notable contribution is the part he played in the creation of X-23, a female clone of Wolverine who has become a key player in recent years.
Whether Essex Corp creates X-23 in Wolverine 3 or not, what we do know is that the introduction of Mr Sinister will have significant repercussions across multiple movies in the X-Men franchise, which is great for the fans, but doesn't bode too well for everyone's favourite mutants.
Catch a glimpse of Mr Sinister in action on the animated show Wolverine and the X-Men below.