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Bring on the Bad Guys 2011

Psych Ward: Mister Sinister

A look back at the psyche of the powerful and twisted mutant geneticist dedicated to making sure only the strong survive

By Tim Stevens


Thank you for the invitation to speak to your class “Criminological Theory in the Age of Costumed Offenders.” I am excited for the lecture and discussion. Enclosed is a brief write up on the deceased criminal known as “Mister Sinister.” Please distribute it to the students and ask them to read it in advance of class as I will be referring to it and calling on them to participate. Again, thank you, and I will see you next week.

The subject presents as an adult male of above average physical fitness. He is of indeterminate age, but he claims to be several centuries old. During that time, he has employed numerous aliases and currently uses the name “Nathaniel Essex.” It is unknown if this is his “real” name or not. In any case, he seems to prefer his costumed identity “Mister Sinister” so, for the sake of clarity in this paper we will refer to him as Sinister throughout.

Sinister is a gifted geneticist who has shown considerable disdain for acceptable medical practices when it comes to genetic experiments and live human subject trials. He appears disinterested in the moral questions his work raises. This attitude appears to extend to all aspects of his life as he consistently engages in antisocial behaviors including psychological torture, emotional manipulation, vast deceptions, and physical assaults. The most glaring of these is his orchestration of the slaughter of several outcast mutants known as the Morlocks. Evidently, the subject had felt that these individuals bore the mark of his own genetic manipulation techniques and would not allow others to steal from him. Thus, to him, the wholesale slaughter of these people seemed to be the quickest, most appropriate solution. It is on the basis of actions like these that this writer would not hesitate to offer a preliminary diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Sinister also demonstrates unusual attachment cycles. For instance, his relationship to the mutant terrorist known as

Apocalypse appears rife with both dependency and a desire to destroy. The most intriguing of these attachments is between the subject and the Summers family, especially Scott Summers who is also Cyclops, leader of the mutant rights group the X-Men. Dating back to Summers’ time in as an orphan, Sinister has repeatedly attempted to insert himself into Cyclops’ life, wreaking emotional havoc along the way. Why the fascination with Summers in particular is unknown as is why the subject seems content to toy with but never try to kill him. If there is a proverbial button to press with Sinister this would appear to be it, although how he would react to such attempts is difficult to predict.

Overall, the subject is smart, arrogant, and nearly entirely without empathy. Rehabilitation is highly unlikely. The only reliable means of “controlling” him would seem to be to give him a project that captures his imagination and give him the free rein to explore it fully. However, what he might do in his quest to solve that problem and/or when he became bored would be, undoubtedly, wholly unacceptable.

Those interested in knowing more about Mister Sinister should check out the seminal work by Doctors Kieron Gillen and Carlos Pacheco, UNCANNY X-MEN #1. It is available in November.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Community Mental Health Facility and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.

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