Sinister was a scientist working for Norman Osborn who specialized in stealth and mind-altering drugs. He might have experimented on Gambit during the mutant's youth. Sinister’s outer appearance is striking; he is a muscle-bound, heavily tattooed bodybuilder. He has the word Sinister tattooed on his forearm, hence his name. He experimented on himself and acquired superhuman powers, namely the ability of mind control—so strong that even Professor X could not neutralize him, enabling Sinister to throw him down a flight of stairs—and being invisible to anything but the naked eye. His powers are strong enough that he can kill a person by telling them, “Choke yourself.”
However, he also lost his sanity in his process, and began to hallucinate a Lord Apocalypse, who “ordered” him to kill mutants. After shooting several young mutants (possibly Marrow, Maggott, Synch and Destiny), he failed to kill Jean-Paul Beaubier and tried to kill the X-Men, but was incapacitated by Rogue and imprisoned in the Triskelion of the Ultimates. It is there that he sees visions of Lord Apocalypse. Ironically, the vision commanded him to choke himself, and he complied. Sinister survived his suicide attempt and was placed on suicide watch.
Despite being on suicide watch, Essex managed to fake his own death and escape from the Triskelion, to complete his mutant murders. Upon killing a certain number of mutants, he transformed into Apocalypse, but was defeated by Phoenix, revealing his human body within the body of Apocalypse.
Roxxon Brain Trust
In the wake of Ultimatum, Dr Essex apparently reformed enough to be hired by the Roxxon corporation for a think tank. He now wears a long-sleeved shirt, to hide his tattoos, and is habitually clean-shaven. After the destruction of Roxxon Corporation, Nathaniel and other members of the brain trust were witnesses of the "bio-incident". They noticed the presence of Spider-Woman at the time of the attack and the emergence of Jessica Drew, who under the name Julia Carpenter entered Roxxon after the attack. After that, Nathaniel with the participants of the Brain Trust, of the investigation in Roxxon, where the latter are grouped Julie Carpenter, but because of the attack on the Baxter Building, isolated in a safe place, where all know, Jessica. 
Together with colleagues Nathaniel explains to Jessica everything that they know about Roxxon, trying to earn her trust and get to know her personality, but she spotted the ruse and bound them in webbing and ran away. But with the help of Dr. Sterns with the power of the Hulk, Nathaniel with colleagues managed to get rid of the web, and Sterns caught Spider-Woman. 
Later, in a Roxxon laboratory , Essex and participants of the Brain Trust tried to experiment on Jessica. Jessica woke up, and Otto Octavius was revealed to be the leader of the Trust. He tells those present of his connection with Jessica that he was her creator. Then Spider-Man entered and saved Jessica. When both run away from Roxxon, an alien creature attacked the building, apparently killing the entire Brain trust except Otto Octavius.
It is later revealed at least Nathaniel Essex and Layla Miller survived the attack. Nathaniel gets to the mental hospital and kills all the staff and patients, then visits Alex Summers in the white room in the company of the Ghost of a Scott Summers. Nathaniel takes Alex himself, and holds it in headquarters Roxxon, to Layla Miller. Layla agreed that Alex knew who this "fourth mutants", and reminded Nathaniel, that they need to find two more mutants, Essex claims that they have entered into a contract with Rasputin. Returning home Nathaniel communicates with the Apocalypse.
Sinister can hypnotically immobilize anyone, and compel them to do whatever he says, although this power may be limited to relatively simple commands. He is invisible to any electronic detection, and is incapable of being tracked. Sinister has remarkable strength and endurance, but it is unclear if it reaches superhuman levels. He also demonstrates the power to absorb the life of others.
Essex is a scientist.
He often carried firearms.
- 19 Appearances of Nathaniel Essex (Earth-1610)
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