Renegade with Letters
#5 – Bane

Batman (various comic book titles, video games, cartoons, and movies, 1993-now)

The boy born in a prison with no name to speak of… except BANE! Bane has always been one of my favorite characters in comics for several reasons. I will say that he is commonly misrepresented in popular media and sometimes even lesser comic book story arcs as a big-dumb-steroid abusing guy when he is actually a brilliant self-taught master of mind and body who has fought off the addictive properties of the strength enhancing drug called Venom since 1995 (two years after his introduction). He’s even been described as Batman’s intellectual rival and holds a scientific acumen equal to leading experts in some fields…Yep, you would have never guessed that from watching the 1997 film, Batman and Robin, huh? Why else do I like him? Well he was raised in a hardened prison to serve out a life sentence and despite all reasons to not have hope he chose to develop his own hand-to-hand fighting style, his own calisthenics program, his own form of meditation, he chose to develop his mind by using what little resources were provided for him (via a church library under the prison) and learned six different languages as well as many other disciplines. Screw Hal Jordan, this guy should have received like a dozen Green Lantern rings already, because THAT is willpower. Since I view my childhood as somewhat overly sheltered (because I’ m an introverted person by nature) I kind of relate a lot to Bane in the aspect that he had to have spent a lot of time within the confines of his own imagination and self-pondering. While I’ve talked about good villains such as the Joker and Owlman mirroring Batman, Bane pretty much IS Batman with the exception that Bane was born with a much darker inheritance from his parents.

He wouldn’t learn this until several decades later, but Bane was the child of the British supervillain/martial artist, King Snake. While hired as a mercenary to fight and train rebels against the communist government of the (fictional) Caribbean island of Santa Prisca, King Snake had impregnated one of the local rebels and fled the island after an attack on their camp. Bane (who had not been born yet) and his mother were sentenced to carry out King Snake’s punishment for his crimes in the “most dangerous prison in the world”, Pena Duro. And that is how you justify someone being born in prison… Obviously the laws of Santa Prisca were a little harsh. Luckily, Bane’s mother was able to care for her child in the prison infirmary for six years before she died. After that he was thrown to the wolves with the other inmates. After being pushed off a railing Bane went into a coma where he had a dream of his older-self advising him that he would eventually become a physical and mental paragon and the living embodiment of human superiority. His older-self told him that in order to do this he must conquer fear which came in the form of a giant glowing eyed bat creature in the dream.
Bane's Origin

When he came back from the coma he traded his fears for determination and set out to kill the inmate who pushed him. After his first kill at the age of six, he was sent to isolation for ten years in a room that would flood every night because it was below sea level and under the prison. No one had previously survived their time in the isolation room but his dream of conquering fear pushed him to survive. When he was finally released he spent his next few years learning as much as he could, developing his body, and gaining a trustworthy gang to have his back. One day during a prison riot, Bane was able to defend himself by killing thirty men with his bare hands. When the warden became frightful of what Bane could accomplish he forced him to undergo the experimental treatment of introducing the Venom compound into his bloodstream (another something no one else had yet survived). When he was able to survive the drug, Bane devised a plan of getting off the island to conquer Gotham, which he saw as a hardened place much like he was accustomed to that happened to be enthralled by fear.

After escaping with his gang made up of Zombie, Trogg, and Bird; Bane set out to defeat the current “ruler” of Gotham; Batman. By besting Batman (AKA metaphorical fear), Bane would achieve inner peace as the superior man from his dream. Although his gang was able to recreate the Venom compound so Bane could utilize it as a strength enhancing weapon, the drug was highly addictive and it would be required to be fed into his bloodstream every 12 hours at the risk of severe pain, weakness, and disorientation. Bane then came up with the strategy of breaking down the walls of Arkham Asylum and allowing a majority of Batman’s villains run rampant so it would in turn exhaust Batman physically and mentally trying to recapture them before a face-to-face confrontation. Before Batman was done rounding the criminals up, Bane had deduced Batman’s true identity as Bruce Wayne and ambushed him in his own home. Here Bane utterly destroyed Batman in a brutal fight that resulted in an epic back breaker that… broke Batman’s back as well as his spirit.

While the Christopher Nolan movie, The Dark Knight Rises, spent a few scenes on Bruce Wayne’s recovery and being in a mental slump in a sort of montage fashion, the comics left him out of commission for months even depicting him as fearfully telling his replacement Jean-Paul Valley (AKA Azrael) to stay away from Bane because he was way too dangerous. Of course, Valley confronted Bane and got his ass kicked but the fight left Bane with severe blood loss on account of the Azrael-Batman’s metal claws he appropriated onto the batsuit. As a result, Bane panicked and attempted to increase his dosage of Venom as a restorative replacement for blood while Valley hastily came back for a rematch in a completely metal batsuit. By severing Bane’s Venom tubes this fight leds to Bane’s first defeat where he was then imprisoned in Blackgate. During this time Bane faced incredible amounts of withdrawal but used his prison time to remold his body into physical perfection without Venom. WILLPOWER.

He eventually broke out of prison only to become a short lived anti-hero in a quest to rid the world of the addictive drug that gave him so much weakness. Here he swore off Venom and helped Batman bring down a local drug ring of Venom in Gotham. This convinced Batman to let Bane go, as he had decided his new mission in life was to search for his father. His search eventually led him to the doorstep of the League of Assassins where his reputation impressed Ra’s al Ghul so much that he offers him not only the potential inheritance of his legacy but his daughter, Talia, in marriage. Of course since Batman had come back out of retirement Ra’s pitted Bane against him only to lose this time around. After the shocking defeat Ra’s denounced Bane’s engagement to Talia and disowned him. When Bane gets back on track about finding his father he entertains the possibility that Thomas Wayne, Batman’s father, may be his biological father as well. During this time Bane undergoes a DNA test from Batman and forges another alliance with him until the results come back negative and Bane leaves peacefully yet again. Shortly after this, Bane found out that his father is King Snake. After randomly killing a superhero named Judomaster with a back breaker during Infinite Crisis, Bane returns to his life of crime and eventually winds up back in his home of Santa Prisca where he leads the country into a civil war. Later, he is recruited into the Suicide Squad and the Secret Six where he developed a fatherly relationship with Scandal Savage to the point of breaking his vow not to use Venom in a last ditch effort to save her life.

In DC Comics reboot, the New 52, Bane was first shown allying himself with a new female villain, White Rabbit, as they were feeding the inmates of Arkham small daily amounts of Venom and fear toxin which gradually increased their strength and made them immune to fear. Since the New 52 is a reboot, Bane has been revamped as the Venom using giant he’s always portrayed as but it doesn’t seem to be as addictive as it’s past incarnation. It’s more of a tool in his arsenal these days. After discovering the presence of the Court of Owls, Bane became obsessed with conquering them and taking control of their assassins, the Talons, for his own. Bane returned to Santa Prisca and recruited an army to specifically go to war with the rest of Gotham’s criminals to obtain Talons that have been stored at Blackgate Prison. In an attempt to strike fear in Gotham’s criminal underworld, Bane has recently donned a batsuit of his own design (which is a little silly because it looks like a giant Batman busting out of a suit that’s too tight… but cool in a way). And that’s pretty much his comic book history in a nutshell.

Looking back; Bane’s track record is very wishy-washy when it comes to who he is aligned with or what his goals are. One minute he’s obsessed with Batman, one minute he’s obsessed with taking over the League of Assassins, one minute he wants to find his father, etc. etc. Most of the time he was actually a pretty good guy despite how horrifically shitty his life is. Another string of odd occurrences show Bane depicted with Venom tubes attached to his head despite denying the use of Venom since 1995. I would accredit both of these “flaws” as writers and artists of DC not paying much attention to the core of the character. I’m a big fan of Bane’s first few appearances along with the Bane of the Demon series where he’s trying to win over Ra’s al Ghul’s respect (which had a lot of influence on The Dark Knight Rises as well) but like I said; Bane is repeatedly misrepresented. If he’s Batman’s intellectual equal (and I’d argue physical superior) why isn’t Bane forming his own groups of anti-Justice Leaguers or running around with Lex Luthor double masterminding plots that the Justice League would never figure out? I get that he’s a big guy and his code of honor probably begs him to be down in the gritty thick of things but he should be on a Batman-level. Highly capable in both the shadows and on the field. He should be more of a standalone villain that is able to take on multiple heroes at once despite not having any powers (Venom doesn’t count; he quit!). That’s what I think of Bane. Everytime I see a new cartoon or movie where Bane is defeated by getting his Venom tubes cut (or his mask… punched?) it makes me put my head down in shame! He is better than that! If you want to see a perfect Bane, I strongly suggest playing the video game, Batman: Arkham Origins… which is brilliant until the very end where he is reduced to a big dumb guy as a result of experimental amplified Venom overdose and memory loss.

X-Men: Apocalypse Has Cast It’s Title Villain!


It’s official! Upcoming Star Wars actor Oscar Isaac (we here at ACR like to call him Llewyn Davis) has been cast as the villain Apocalypse in the 2016 X-men film.

Isaac joins the cast which will include returning mutants like James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and it has been said that the studio is also working to cast young actors in the roles of Jean Grey, Cyclops, and others. Bryan Singer will also return as Director.

If you’d like to learn more about Apocalypse, we highly suggest you check out this highly detailed article by our very own Max Morrison.

What are your thoughts? Good casting? Bad? Oscar Isaac is a fantastic actor no doubt, but this casting also comes straight from thin air.

Stay tuned here at ACR for more updates!


Renegade with Letters
#6 – Owlman

Justice League (various comic book titles and cartoons, 1964-now)

OWLMAN!? Let me explain that I chose this character to be so high on a list of villains specifically based on his appearance in the animated movie, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (which won’t mean anything to you unless you’ve seen it or I spoil it for you now… so definitely pick it up for some intense and unexpected Owlman/Batman action). Since both Marvel and DC both explore the concept of alternate realities, Owlman is essentially “the Batman” of his home reality, Earth-Three.

Earth-Three just so happens to be the reality where the “good guys” that we’re use to are the “bad guys.” When you look at the black and white of it; sure, an evil version of Batman and the Justice League as a whole is kind of one of those whacky inevitable things you get from comic books that make people say, “Really? Did they just run out of ideas?” But when you explore the deeper psychology of the characters and look at what would make them so radically different from their good counterparts (especially Batman) you get some interesting background information. While the Joker is believed by practically everyone to be Batman’s polar opposite in terms of order vs. chaos, Owlman is almost identical to Batman but his opposite in terms of how they view life and death. Simply put, Batman is stubborn as hell about not killing anyone, but on the other hand, to any diehard Batman fan (including myself); Batman is the one human character that can pretty much beat anyone in a fight (superpowered or not) and wriggle out of any situation with the advantage because… HE’S BATMAN! If you take that and mix it with someone who is not only okay with killing but views the existence of all life as meaningless, that’s a Batman you wouldn’t want to meet. That’s Owlman.

So back when he was introduced in the 60’s, yes, he was a cheesey evil Batman knock off designed with an owl motif. He was designed this way because owls are the natural predators of bats. His Pre-Crisis shelf-life also established that he was part of the evil version of the Justice League of America known as the Crime Syndicate of America. After the Crisis of Infinite Earths event took place the Owlman character shortly returned to the comics and was given a well laid out backstory. This time he and his Crime Syndicate teammates came from an antimatter universe that mirrored the events of Earth-1. Owlman began as Thomas Wayne Jr., the older brother to Bruce Wayne. In this reality the infamous alleyway scene of Batman’s origin played out a little differently as well. It turns out a policeman would be responsible for shooting and killing young Bruce and his mother when Thomas Wayne Sr. refused to be questioned by the authorities. As a result Thomas Jr. fled the scene and was raised by a low level street criminal, Joe Chill (who was the guy who killed Batman’s parents in the normal reality). After a lifetime of training in the crime rings and enhancing his cerebral capacity through drugs, Thomas became Owlman armed with an enhanced super strengthening exosuit with built in gadgets such as hypnotizing owl eyes. Also I would compare the antimatter version of Joe Chill as a replacement stand-in for Batman’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth. What a twist!

An additional twist established that Jim Gordon wasn’t the commissioner but rather a crime boss who aided Owlman in his efforts against the police of Gotham, which were headed by Thomas Wayne Sr. as the chief of police. Viewing his father as the reason behind his brother and mother’s deaths Thomas Jr.’s goal behind his career in crime was to torment him as his hated enemy. Eventually Owlman would cross the boundaries of reality and see that the Earth-1 reality version of Thomas Wayne was long dead. Upon seeing his father’s gravestone in an alternate reality Owlman began believing that no choice or action made within the multiverse has any real value and that nothing matters. Throughout the years on his parallel Earth, Owlman acted as the brains behind the Crime Syndicate and held an uneasy alliance with the leader, Ultraman (evil Superman). Owlman even had a not-so-secret love affair with Ultraman’s wife, Superwoman (evil Wonder Woman), and blackmailed him in order to not seek retribution. It’s pretty ballsy to bang an evil Superman’s wife when he knows about it.

A more remastered version of the Post-Crisis Owlman showed up in the Justice League: Crisis of Two Earths movie where he actually discovers the existence of the multiverse and deduced that the very first reality, “Earth-Prime” (as it’s called in the movie, but it’s a very different thing in the comics), was the source of every other reality’s creation. Here’s where Owlman’s nihilism makes him out to be one of the best villains out there. Owlman decides that since everything is meaningless, the only logical thing to do is go to this Earth-Prime, detonate a planet exploding bomb of his design, and in doing so erase every reality that did or potentially could exist (which probably would have scored the highest death count on this list if he was successful in this plan). That’s not just killing you and everyone else… It’s killing EVERY you and everyone else in ALL alternate realities that could have existed. It’s pretty heavy stuff all coming from a mortal man. THAT’S WHY YOU DON’T PISS BATMAN OFF!

Most recently the New 52 version of Owlman and his Earth-Three associates attempted to take over Earth-1 again and almost succeeded in the Forever Evil storyline. This Owlman remained Thomas Wayne Jr. but this time had personally killed his parents and brother with the help of a more deranged version of Alfred (who resembled an awkward Joker-esque minion) in order to inherit the Wayne fortune before his father burnt through the family money by giving it away to charities. Upon the Crime Syndicates arrival on Earth-1, Alfred had organized a Secret Society of Super Villains and had trapped the Justice League within the Firestorm Matrix. With the heroes seemingly dead, the Crime Syndicate easily shut down communication across the globe and gathered almost every established supervillain under their command.


The Syndicates reason for leaving their own world behind was due to it being destroyed by the Anti-Monitor, who has yet to show up in the New 52’s Earth-1. Owlman didn’t really accomplish much during the events of Forever Evil but was pretty much the cause of the Syndicate capturing Nightwing and revealing his true identity as Dick Grayson to the world. While a lot of the members of the Crime Syndicate were either killed or imprisoned, Owlman was mentioned to still be at large with the mainstream DC Comics reality as his new home. Something tells me something awesomely Owlman will happen in the near future. Another thing that’s been established in the New 52 universe is the presence of an illuminati-like secret society called the Court of Owls running the inner workings of Gotham with the use of their seemingly immortal assassins called the Talons. Owl motif team-up anyone? Owlman takeover of the Court of Owl’s assets perhaps? Well here is the tricky thing with that… The Court of Owls already have a Talon that claimed to be Bruce’s YOUNGER brother from the mainstream universe but his legal name turned out to be Lincoln March. After some investigation, Batman found that this Lincoln March Owlman could quite possibly be his misplaced brother that was long thought dead, but that’s besides the point. I want to see the full fledged Earth-Three Owlman that wants to kill everything take over the Court of Owls! (even though Lincoln March’s costume looked way more badass).


Mike Nichols: 1931-2014


Mike Nichols, the acclaimed director of such films as The Graduate and Carnal Knowledge, has died at the age of 83.
That doesn’t just mark the passing of a great director, it marks the passing of a great pioneer in the history of American movies. When we go back and watch The Graduate, we enjoy the love story, the coming-of-age confusion and urgency of Ben Braddock, and the wonderful soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel. And all of those things are great. But the film also marked a titanic shift in film. It was released in 1967, the same year as Bonnie and Clyde and two years before Easy Rider and The Wild Bunch, all of which were involved in the transformation of the old studio system of Hollywood to the newer, more independently-minded films of the 1970’s. The movies of the late 60’s and early 70’s focused less on the grandeur of glamour and instead on the minutiae of everyday life.
With that film, Nichols helped define an era of unlikely heroes and recognizable stories.


A Second Chance Revelation

When I initially heard the new Angels and Airwaves song “Bullets in the Wind” I thought, “Yeah…it’s not bad. Catchy I guess.” And that subdued, non-reaction was coming from an AVA fan. Someone who has supported the band since its beginning, buying all the albums and even showing up to the screening of their film Love when it played for one night only a couple of years back. The reaction was strange. Was I really not into a band I used to follow so religiously? Is it them? Is it me? Where is the disconnect?
Then I went back and listened again. And again.
This time I found myself singing along with the chorus, imagining frontman Tom DeLonge’s signature airplane arms swirling around the stage while crazy lights flashed around him. And it got me excited. “Bullets in the Wind” is a fun song. It made me remember the power of giving something a second chance and what that really means.
I feel like in the last couple of years I lost the passion and excitement for music like I had when I’d go to the store and walk out with a freshly shrink-wrapped copy of a new album. Lately music has been off my radar almost entirely, not to mention the lack of new stuff to sink my teeth into. My passion got replaced with that very contemporary epidemic of craving instant gratification. I listen/watch/read something once, and if it isn’t instantly Citizen Kane or The Great Gatsby, if it’s not pure magic or some kind of creative relocation, it’s not good. And boy is that dumb.
Yes some things just click and some things suck. But sometimes things need to be investigated. Watch it again, listen again, scroll beyond the headlines. Good art or good anything will benefit from you bringing something to it beyond a two-second attention span. A surface reaction will bring about surface results.
Who knows. But I can say with fresh and even surprising conviction that, for the first time in years, I might go out on December 9th and buy myself a CD. And that alone is an exciting thing.



Renegade with Letters
#7 – Mr. Sinister

X-Men (various comic book titles, video games, and cartoons, 1987-now)

Sorry Dr. Doom, the spot of greatest Marvel genius supervillain scientist has to go to Mr. Sinister. Like Doom, I would argue that Sinister’s objectives are really quite noble, it’s just his sadistic means of obtaining these goals that should make you worry. We’ve seen Professor X stand for mutant and human coexistence, Magneto stand for mutant superiority, tons of anti-mutant groups standing for human superiority, but what about the humans that support mutants? Well most of the time they’re allies to the X-Men. What about a fanatic 19th Century human geneticist altered by Apocalypse that only cares about upgrading mutantkind (and essentially humankind as a whole) to their apex? That’s where you get the “mutate” (not mutant) Mr. Sinister. The reoccurring basic theme revolving around the X-Men seems to be recognizing racial differences and moving towards equality, right? Well if Mr. Sinister was allowed to experiment on the people of the world, the survivors would essentially be equal on a genetic level; making all the troubles the X-Men face obsolete. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Superpowers for everyone! But, sure, Mr. Sinister (if you hadn’t guessed by his name) isn’t a nice guy. While he will admire genetic perfection for years on end, anything below his standards is considered genetic fodder only to be lethally poked and prodded to further his research.

During his time in the 1800’s as normal human being, Dr. Nathaniel Essex had radical evolutionary theories similar to Charles Darwin. His passion for diving into the human genome to look for evidence of mutation not only led to his dying wife calling him “sinister” in her last words upon discovering his lab, but also caught the attention of the immortal and first mutant, Apocalypse. As Apocalypse was living proof of Essex’s theories, the two allied with one another. Apocalypse used the technology of the Celestials to grant Essex immortality and telepathic/telekinetic powers for his servitude. While Apocalypse decided to undergo a heavy sleep until more mutants would spring up throughout the world, Sinister vowed to speed up the process in his absence. By taking a tissue sample of the mutant known as Courier, Sinister was able to replicate the mutant’s abilities within his own genome, which allowed him full control of his body giving him shapeshifting and instantaneous healing abilities. During World War II Essex found himself funded by the Nazis and encountered another genetic anomaly; the human/atlantean hybrid, Namor. After capturing Namor, Essex was able to produce a clone that he labeled N2. Fortunately, Captain America was able to defeat the clone and most of Essex’s lab was destroyed. However, Essex’s salvaged notes during this era would fall under the care of the Weapon Plus program, the U.S. government’s supersoldier program that produced Captain America and was essentially the granddaddy of the Weapon X program that gave Wolverine his adamantium claws.

From that point in time till his introduction little is known about what Sinister was doing aside from stalking and arranging the meeting between Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey. Predicting the vast amount of genetic potential in the pairing of these two mutants drove Sinister to obsess over them procreating. When Scott had lost his parents in a plane crash, Sinister shapeshifted between being the owner of the orphanage where Scott was raised and a boy that was Scott’s age named “Nathan” until it was arranged for Professor X to recruit Scott as well as Jean as his first X-Men in New York. Mr. Sinister finally brings himself to the X-Men’s attention in the 80’s when he uses Gambit to recruit the Marauders, a team of capable killer mutants designed to eradicate the Morlocks. The reason behind this “Mutant Massacre” was explained after the introduction of the Dark Beast having been the former student of Sinister’s in the Age of Apocalypse timeline. Viewing the Morlocks as an unsanctioned practice of his own methods, Sinister wanted them all slaughtered. Similarly, another student of Sinister’s from the Age of Apocalypse, Sugar Man, had been experimenting with mutates on the island of Genosha, but since this brand of mutates were unable to reproduce he deemed their eradication unworthy of the effort.

Although he was only mentioned in the Mutant Massacre, he revealed himself fully as the master planner of the event and MUCH MORE during a storyline called the Inferno. Before the events of the Inferno, Jean Grey had long been dead after becoming the Dark Phoenix and Scott eventually met a girl who remarkably resembled Jean in terms of personality and physicality, named Madelyne Pryor. Scott believing this was all just a coincidence eventually married Madelyne and she gave birth to their son, Nathan (Hmmm… I wonder where they got that name from?). It turns out that Madelyne was a clone of Jean Grey created by Sinister all along which served as a way for him to finally see the supermutant child he had always dreamed of. I guess Mr. Sinister was catfishing people before it was cool… with clones! Anyway, Nathan Summers ended up becoming the time-traveling mutant Cable, whose intended use was to be used as Sinister’s weapon against Apocalypse who had recently woken up from his almost century long nap. Over the years Sinister had figured out that his alliance with the would-be tyrant wouldn’t serve his best interests as a creator, so his only option was to betray his master.

When Apocalypse was finally thought to be dead, Sinister allied himself with the High Evolutionary (who is for the most part Essex’s student) and attempted to mutate the global populace from a spaceship, but they were stopped by the X-Men, BUT not before wiping out a subgroup of mutants called the Neo. A surviving Neo decided to hunt Sinister down and managed to kill 17 of his cloned bodies throughout the world. This caused him to go into hiding and take the identity of Dr. Robert Windsor of the Weapon X program. As Windsor, Sinister pretended to be a defective pro-mutant activist who helped mutants out of an internment camp he was stationed at only to trick them into becoming his own experiments. Sabretooth was commissioned to assassinate Sinister in this time but ultimately failed when Sinister revealed to have an army of invulnerable, flying, super strong, telekinetic bodyguards with the additional power of optic blasts similar to Cyclops.


When the mutant population was dramatically decreased by the magical craziness of the Scarlet Witch, most of the remaining “evil” mutants rallied behind Mr. Sinister (including his already loyal Marauders and the Acolytes). When the first mutant baby was born since this event, Sinister’s forces participated in a three-way war over the baby’s possession, but he was legitimately killed by Rogue whose powers were augmented to an instant-kill-by-touch at the time. Predicting an imminent death beforehand, Sinister created a machine that would release a virus with his DNA to be injected into a new host body thus creating a perfect replica of himself out of someone else. The host turned out to be a female named Claudine Renko, who inherited everything from the virus except Sinister’s personality, healing powers, and apparently his gender (so I guess it’s not that weird that his “clone” was partaking in a sexual relationship with Wolverine’s son, Daken… Aww gross! He totally nailed Mr. Sinister!) “Miss Sinister” didn’t last too long though because Essex still lingered within her and was eventually transferred into another clone body in the absolute most confusing way possible. While the real Sinister was gone, the X-Men were still haunted by his various cloning facilities housing clone after clone after clone of his Marauders.

When he came back, Sinister later manipulated a dormant Celestial that had randomly decided to show up in San Francisco into morphing the city’s residents into dopplegangers of himself. His plan in this endeavor was to alert the other Celestials to Earth so they could wipe out humanity leaving only Sinister to recreate mankind from the ground up. The last time comic fans saw Sinister was when he was forced out of San Francisco and left to create his own city full of clones underground. This subterranean city consisted of nothing but clones of himself, Cyclops, Madelyne Pryor, Gambit, Mystique, Krakoa, and Marauders as guards. When Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost, Namor, and Magick had been possessed by the Phoenix Force (becoming the “Phoenix Five”) they attacked Sinister’s city only to be beaten by his army of Madelyne Pryor clones (which is pretty damn impressive). While the other X-Men were there to personally defeat him, Sinister managed to escape and is currently a menace from the shadows once again. Why is Sinister awesome? He’s the master of self-cloning, genetically giving himself more and more powers, and basically never dying… through self-cloning.