Weapon X (2nd series) #14

Issue Date: 
December 2003
Story Title: 
Sinister’s List

Frank Tieri (writer), John Paul Leon (penciler), Tommy Lee Edwards (inkers), Melissa Edwards (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Marc Sumerak and Andy Schmidt (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Making use of the guise of Weapon X’s Dr. Windsor, Mr. Sinister has access to the concentration camp Neverland and a sheer unlimited supply of mutant test subjects for his studies. This reminds him of the only other time when he had an as perfect environment for his studies – during World War II, where he was using the cover of Dr. Nathan Essex, a well acclaimed German doctor. When he accompanied Baron von Strucker aboard a submarine, he first witnessed the magnificent Submariner, Prince Namor, in action and even managed to acquire a blood sample. He also found himself the ideal right-hand man in John Greycrow, aka Scalphunter, who was executed by his fellow US soldiers for killing and scalping several fellow officers, but survived due to his regenerative abilities. Blackmailing a soldier with his not-entirely Aryan heritage, Sinister retrieved several Jews from the trains to the concentration camps and used them for his experiments and for the creations of N2, a clone of Namor with boosted powers. When the lab was uncovered by the Invaders, N2 exceeded all expectations when he defeated both Namor and the Human Torch. To Sinister’s surprise, he was bested by Captain America, an ordinary human with no powers. That day, Sinister learned never to underestimate the unexpected. This lesson he remembers only too well, when finally, after 183 unsuccessful trials, one of his mutant test subjects taken from Weapon X’s concentration camp Neverland survives being injected with an additional genetic mutation.

Full Summary: 


Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, erupts from the ocean in his usual manner. Hovering above the surface for a few moments, he easily spots his prey – a German submarine. Likewise, Namor has been spotted from the people within. Watching the Sub-Mariner approach their vessel through a periscope, Baron von Strucker alerts his soldiers to the imminent impact. No sooner has he yelled his warning, then Namor bursts through the crafts hull and turns to the many soldiers who are drawing their weapons.

Of all men aboard, only one doesn’t seem to be afraid of the Sub-Mariner. Quite on the contrary, he sees Namor for the magnificent creature he is, a hybrid mutant born of a human father and an Atlantean mother. The man is Mr. Sinister, currently wearing the guise of Dr. Nathan Essex, German doctor. He thinks to himself of his former colleague, Charles Darwin, who just like him believes in Survival of the Fittest, and seeing the impressive Namor in action, Sinister doubts that there is anyone fitter than he.

The soldiers quickly defeated, Namor turns his attention to Baron von Strucker, who already charges at him with his charged power glove, crackling with energy. However, before he can hit Namor, the Sub-Mariner grabs his wrist and slams him into a nearby wall. Suddenly, though, he is struck from behind back by an unseen opponent, ramming a flagpole into his lower back. The attacker tells the Baron not to worry, as he will handle the “fish man.” Though Namor is not beaten yet and, after identifying his opponent as Master Man, he rips out the flagpole and lunges at the German superpowered individual.

To Sinister, this is a dream come true. For a time, he is so excited that he is unable to move, just staring at the flagpole with Namor’s fresh blood on it. With the two combatants still busy with each other, he slowly approaches and picks up the flagpole, as if it were something sacred. It is right then that he is disturbed, someone calling his name and touching him by the shoulder. Essex turns and sees a colleague of his, Klaus, who tells him to hurry, as the ship is sinking. Sinister doesn’t like being disturbed at a time like this and, telling Klaus that he always was a true friend to him, even to the last, he breaks his neck. Sinister then uses a shard of glass to carefully scratch off Namor’s blood and collects it in a test tube.

(days, if not weeks later)

Somewhere in France, a battalion of US troops are marching towards a rather unpleased task they have to perform today – they have to kill one of their own. A lone figure is tied to a pole and blindfolded, awaiting his fate. Addressing him as John Greycrow, the leader of the soldiers reads him his crimes – for the murders and subsequent scalping of eight fellow officers, he is sentenced to death. He asks Greycrow if he has any last words, and approaches. The tied soldier spits his superior in the face and laughs. This gesture of disrespect annoys another soldier by the name of Fury. Outraged, he prepares to beat up the murder, but the leader calls him back, saying that there’ll be little to laugh where Greycrow is going. Next, he signals the soldiers to take aim and fire. Several bullets hit the tied figure and, after being declared for dead, he is put in a bodybag and buried.

Later that night, a hand emerges from the fresh grave – John Greycrow, still alive, digs himself out. He is greeted by a figure in the shadows, asking him what took him so long. Greycrow is startled by the stranger’s presence and by him apparently knowing that he was still alive. Sinister shakes his hand and tells him that it’s his business to know these things – he knows of Greycrow’s remarkable regenerative powers, his deadly marksmanship and his penchant for collecting scalps. All in all, a useful bunch of abilities, he is sure that they’ll find good use for...

(again a few days / weeks later)

Once more in his guise of human-looking Dr. Essex, Sinister is at a train station. He thinks about how it is said that Hitler made the trains run on time. This, of course, is true but Sinister knows that this saying overlooks that it is what is in these trains that matters – thousands of Jews scheduled to their final fate. This waste of resources, Sinister thinks, is the Nazis greatest flaw. Why exterminate an entire race, when they can serve a much greater purpose where science is concerned.

Essex approaches a soldier guarding the train about to depart from the station and tells him that he has been the victim of a great error, as some of his people are on the train. He hands the soldier a list with their names on it, but the soldier bluntly says that there are no errors in the Third Reich. Essex repeats himself, asking if he didn’t make himself clear enough and mentions his importance. The soldier, however, already knows who he is and what his place in German society, but he says that it won’t help him here. Essex agrees. Then again, though, perhaps the information he has will. The soldier is now curious and asks what information that might be. Essex turns to leave, declaring it’s not much of importance; it’s just a certain officer whose genealogy is not as ... Aryan as he has made it out to be. The soldier gets the hint and calls Dr. Essex back, now wanting to see the list of names he has there. Essex smiles, saying he knew that the soldier was the right man to help him.

A few minutes later, the people on Sinister’s list are let out of the train, all of them thanking their liberator. One little girl even runs over and gives Essex a hug. As the several dozen people approach the cars Sinister brought along, Greycrow whispers that, sometimes, he feels sorry for them. The Jews are rather happy to have been saved, still unaware that where Sinister is taking them might actually be worse then death in the concentration camps.

Later in his secret lab, hidden in some sort of factory, Sinister experiments on the Jews he “rescued.” Scalphunter’s words, of course, had an effect on him, as he is no monster. However, he wonders why his right-hand man doesn’t see what they are accomplishing and that these sacrifices aren’t in vain. Lost in his thought, Sinister stares at the lifeless form of the young girl that hugged him at the train station and covers her with a blanket. Then, he turns to another part of his lab, opens a huge curtain to check on a glass tank filled with red liquid and Experiment N2, a clone of Namor.

Sinister marvels at his creation, when suddenly an alarm goes off. Greycrow comes in to alert Sinister to intruders being in their base, but the scientist has already spotted them on a huge monitor screen, Sinister sees the intruders – the Human Torch and Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Sinister decides that his creation is ready for proving himself against these two but, before he even has a chance to release N2 from his tank, the clone, awakened from his slumber by the noise, breaks out and heads to the cell blocks, where the two heroes are releasing some of captive Jews. Namor’s anger over seeing humans held under such conditions quickly gives way to surprise, when he sees himself attacking him. Except for his red, glowing eyes, N2 looks exactly like him.

However, he is nothing alike, as the Sub-Mariner finds out when he prepares to strike his twin, only to be grabbed by the throat and N2 sucking the water out of his body. The Human Torch tried to help, but his fireball is met by a water-sprout with so much force behind it that it puts out the Torch’s flame. Both heroes knocked out, N2 stands triumphant above them and, in his hidden lab, Sinister, who observed the whole fight, gloats too over his success.

However, with Captain America, another player enters the game. Throwing his shield at N2’s head to get his attention, Cap quickly picks it up again, to hit his opponent in the face with. Next, he ducks behind the shield to evade one of the clone’s blasts, apparently of some sort of energy. In his lab, Sinister is sure that his creature will emerge victorious. After all, Captain America is an ordinary human with no special powers, but that’s where he errs. One by one, Cap dodges each of N2’s blasts and punches, while he lands blow after blow. In the end, the star-sprangled Invader has won and the clone is unconscious and out cold.

In his lab, Sinister realizes that he learned a valuable lesson this days – no matter how scientific one’s reasoning is and no matter how well-prepared one might think he is, never underestimate the unexpected.


Going over his notes on his recent experiments, Sinister is reminded to his experiences in 1944. Actually, history seems to have repeated itself, as ever since the Nazi regime, Sinister hadn’t had such perfect conditions for his experiments. In a secluded environment as a concentration camp, his work flourishes best, and he thinks to himself that the opportunities granted by his guise as Weapon X’s Dr. Windsor have exceeded his wildest desires. True, there were a few setbacks, with Sabretooth recognizing his scent and the former Director becoming too interested in his activities at Neverland, but, in the end, Sinister outlasted both of them, just like he always does.

Sinister enters an area of the lab where two children, Billy and Wendy, are strapped to examination tables. He injects Wendy with some liquid, and her brother demands to know what he is doing to her, which the scientist only too eager to proudly answer. He has injected the girl with an additional genetic mutation, just like he did to Billy before. Actually, it’s the revisitation of works he started many decades ago. Suddenly, Wendy cries out and spikes grow all over her body; then she collapses and is apparently gone. Sinister curses, that’s the 183rd failed attempt. He asks Scalphunter to come in and prepare the girl for an autopsy, when Wendy comes around and starts coughing. Scalphunter asks what happened, to which Sinister replies, “The unexpected.”

Characters Involved: 

Mr. Sinister


Billy Taylor

Wendy Taylor

in the past, year 1944:

Mr. Sinister / Dr. Nathan Essex

John Greycrow


Captain America, Original Human Torch, Submariner (all Invaders)

Nick Fury and other US soldiers

Baron Wolfgang von Strucker

Master Man

numerous German soldiers and scientists

numerous Jews

Story Notes: 

The title is in reference to the movie “Schindler’s List,” starring Liam Neeson as Arthur Schindler, who, during WW II, helped many Jews escape from certain death in the concentration camps. Several scenes are almost identical, like for example Sinister/Schindler blackmailing the soldier with his heritage.

Just like the aforementioned movie, the entire issue is colored black, white and red.

Back when he was plain Dr. Nathaniel Essex, shortly before his transformation at the hands of Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister was a scientific colleague of Charles Darwin. [Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1]

Several years after World War II, Baron von Strucker was still using his powerful gauntlet, christened the Satan Claw. [Uncanny X-Men #161]

In 1944, Nick Fury is portrayed without his eye patch.

John Greycrow later would use the name Scalphunter. As part of Sinister’s Marauders, he has been cloned several times and, according to Sabretooth, the original version is no longer alive. [Gambit (3rd series) #8-9] It is unknown at what point of time Sinister cloned his servant for the first time and whether Gambit ever befriended the original Scalphunter or always encountered one of his clones.

Contact with water always has a strengthening, refreshing effect on Namor the Sub-Mariner. Apparently with his clone, Sinister boosted that part of his power, allowing N2 to extract water from his environment and opponents.

In the guise of Dr. Windsor, Mr. Sinister “liberated” Billy and Wendy from Weapon X’s mutant concentration camp Neverland in Weapon X #5.

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