This article originally appeared on Den of Geek UK.
As you can probably guess from the title, this article contains major X-Men: Apocalypse spoilers.
Like many (good) superhero movies, X-Men: Apocalypse has a post-credits scene. It comes at the very end of the credits (as opposed to the middle), and like X-Men: Days Of Future Past, it’s designed to give you a taste of what might be happening in the future of the franchise.
The scene begins showing a clean-up team entering Stryker’s base – the Weapon X facility. They’re vacuuming up bullet casings, cleaning up blood, and taking away bodies. Soldiers are once again stationed there, overseeing the operation. In walks a man in a suit, carrying a briefcase. He makes his way to the enclosure that once housed Wolverine, and retrieves a vial of blood labelled “Weapon X.” He places it inside his briefcase alongside two other vials – one green, one yellowish. Then he closes it. We can see a small plaque on the briefcase indicating that it belongs to “The Essex Corporation.”
And then it cuts away.
What does it mean?
X-Men fans will have absolutely no doubt who this post-credits sting is alluding to. Having tackled Apocalypse, the biggest X-Men villain of the ’80s, the franchise seems to be turning its attention to the biggest villain of the ’90s: Nathaniel Essex, aka Mr. Sinister.
Sinister is a shape-shifting, Victorian geneticist who – in the comics at least – received a power boost from Apocalypse that made him virtually immortal. Sinister’s interest in the X-Men has been long-standing, largely because he’s obsessed with acquiring and cataloguing mutant genes so that he can produce his clone armies.
Having recognized that the combination of Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s DNA would produce an incredibly powerful mutant capable of destroying Apocalypse (who he still fears) Sinister spent a lot of time attempting to make that happen. Indeed, he ran the orphanage where the young Scott and Alex Summers ended up living when their parents died.
Since X-Men: Apocalypse has introduced Scott Summers and Jean Grey and set up their vast, uncontrollable powers, it’s not a huge leap to think that this might play into the next X-Men film. Similarly, he’s got Wolverine’s DNA and what appears to be that of a couple of other mutants, so it’s completely possible we’ll see him forming a band of Marauder clones to act as his own twisted team of X-Men. It’s worth noting that Riptide, seen in X-Men: First Class, was one of the Marauders in the comics. And keep in mind, there’s chatter about introducing the female clone of Wolverine, X-23 in a future movie. While Sinister isn’t responsible for that in the comics, having his DNA laying around like this could help it happen.
That said, it’s not immediately clear that Sinister will be the villain in the next X-Men movie, even though he could represent a big enough threat. The producers have talked about wanting to explore space and do something with that part of the franchise, in which case there’s not much room for Sinister. But remember, there’s also a Gambit movie coming as well.
In the comics, Gambit and Sinister were introduced around the same time, and subsequent stories revealed that they had previously known one another: Sinister lowered Gambit’s power levels to prevent them going out of control, and in return Gambit was indebted to him and worked for him. As part of this employ, Gambit helped Sinister locate and massacre the Morlocks – an event that left several X-Men injured and traumatized, as well as killing many of their friends – but didn’t tell the X-Men when he joined the team, leading to them expelling him when they found out.
Since Fox is insistent that they’re still making a Gambit movie, it’s possible Sinister will be the villain in that instead. Or he may just be seeded here a way to tie the X-Men and Gambit together somewhere even further down the line. We look forward to finding out.