Meet Cyclops’s New Nemesis, Doctor Stasis!
The following article is a revised version of a post originally from my tumblr blog Alfie talks about comics
Doctor Stasis is the overarching antagonist for the first year of Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz‘s X-Men. Stasis is a member of the anti-Mutant organization Orchis with a penchant for macabre genetic experiments. He is also Nathaniel Essex, but he is not Mister Sinister. He’s a different Nathaniel Essex. Doctor Stasis is the first of three additional Essex clones to be revealed. All of whom are represented by their own French suit, the kind you find in a deck of playing cards.
The backstory behind the various Essexs is as follows. In the late 19th century, Doctor Nathaniel Essex envisioned four routes to triumph over machine dominance. Those routes were as follows: The Cosmic Powers, Post-Humanity, Magic, and Mutants. For these four routes, he created four clones, each marked by a French suit on their foreheads. In Essex’s eyes, the clones were in competition, survival of the fittest. The winner he hoped would allow him to ascend to godhood.
Doctor Stasis is the clone with the suit of clubs on his forehead. He is the route of Post-Humanity. Stasis believes in artificially improving human bodies through genetic experiments. Stasis views the rise of Krakoa and mutants as a threat to humanity and his long-term goal of immortality. In his mind, Mutants are a cancer that must be excised from the earth if humanity is ever to ascend.
In the first year of Duggan’s X-Men, Doctor Stasis schemes to expose the secret of mutant resurrection. He wants the X-Men to attempt to suppress the story so Orchis can reveal that mutants took action against the freedom of the press, turning public sentiment against Mutantdom.
Part of Doctor Stasis’s plan was to kill and collect a sample from Cyclops and run tests to see if it was a clone or if the mutants had truly conquered death. Once Cyclops was resurrected, he and fellow X-Men Synch hunted down Stasis where they learned he was actually a version of Nathanial Essex. Even though Stasis escaped, his plans were foiled when Cyclops revealed the truth of mutant resurrection to reporter Ben Urich instead of suppressing the story as Stasis had hoped.
Doctor Stasis has the potential to be a nemesis for Cyclops. Mister Sinister has long haunted the Summers bloodline but recently expanded beyond that to greater machinations. Doctor Stasis is representative of a specter that has haunted Scott Summers his entire life.
Stasis’s angle of Post-Humanity is a novel take on Sinister. Mister Sinister views Mutants as tools to be used in his grand design. However, Doctor Stasis is repulsed by Mutants and is disgusted at the idea of them existing on the same planet as him. Sinister wants to use Mutants, Doctor Stasis wants to eradicate Mutants.
Another thing Doctor Stasis has going for him is his design. Pepe Larraz is one of the most talented artists working in comics today. Larraz has created so many instantly iconic designs, Doctor Stasis among them. I’d also like to note that Stasis has a cane sword. You can never go wrong with a cane sword.
Doctor Stasis is a fantastic new addition to the X-Men’s rogues gallery. He has a killer design and a great narrative hook. He is an antagonist for Cyclops that harkens back to the character’s past. Doctor Stasis is ripe with potential and represents an exciting development for the franchise. Who knows what hell he may bring come the Fall Of X!