Apocalypse as depicted in X-Force/Cable: Messiah War #1 (May 2009). Art by Dave Wilkins.
|First appearance||X-Factor #5 (July 1986)|
|Created by||Louise Simonson
|Alter ego||En Sabah Nur|
|Notable aliases||The First One, Genesis, En Sabah Nur
Various mythological deities
|Abilities||Molecular self manipulation
Superhuman physical attributes
Apocalypse is a fictional character, a supervillain born with mutant powers, appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Apocalypse, later also given the name En Sabah Nur ("the first one") was created by writer Louise Simonson and artist Jackson Guice. Apocalypse first appeared in X-Factor #5 (May 1986). The character is not to be confused with the Marvel Comics villain Harbinger of Apocalypse.
Since his introduction, the character has appeared in a number of X-Men titles including spin-offs and several limited series, usually portrayed as one of the main antagonists. The character has also been featured in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series, toys, trading cards, and games.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 Toys and Collectibles
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
Creation and conception
While writing the first five issues of X-Factor, Bob Layton dropped hints of a villain operating behind the scenes and leading the Alliance of Evil (mentioned in X-Factor #4, May 1986). Layton intended to reveal this character to be the Daredevil villain Owl on the final page of X-Factor #5. However, editor Bob Harras wanted a new villain to be introduced instead. Layton was removed from the book and replaced by writer Louise Simonson who imagined the character of Apocalypse and had artist Jackson Guice design him. The final page of X-Factor #5 then revealed Apocalypse as master of the Alliance of Evil.
Jackson Guice, artist on the early issues, explained, "I'm not sure how much of Bob's original plan Louise was informed of when she came on board--not a conversation I would have been involved with, I'm afraid. Louise is a terrific writer, however, so I assume she wanted to implement her own ideas wherever she could. I do vaguely recall her telling me the broad strokes for Apocalypse extremely early on in our discussions. She always intended for him to be a true heavyweight contender as a villain—all of which bore out." Bob Harras claimed that the character arose because of storytelling needs: "All I had communicated to Louise was my desire that an A-level, first class character be introduced. I wanted a Magneto-level villain who would up the stakes and give the X-Factor team reason to exist." Harras also commented, "As soon as I saw the sketch by Walter [Simonson] and heard Louise's take on him, I knew we had the character I wanted. Jackson [Guice] redrew the page, patching in the shadowy Apocalypse where the Owl had been. But the genesis was clearly Walt and Weezie's." Walter Simonson himself has downplayed his role in the character's creation, saying that Guice was responsible for creating the design, and that he, Simonson, merely modified it later: "I did not co-create Apocalypse. However, I wish I had. Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice created him. He appeared in a few panels at the end of one of Jackson’s last X-FACTORs, so I am the first artist to use him extensively in stories. And I kind of juiced up his physique a bit."
Guice remembers playing a role in the visual concept of Apocalypse: "I knew from my conversation with Louise, she intended him to be some sort of ongoing evil über-menace, a real brutal monster of a guy capable of holding his own against the combined team, but I think the specific look was left open to interpretation to me. The best I can remember now is putting his look together pretty much right on the pencil page—just adding bits of costuming business which hinted toward his true appearance when we'd eventually see him in full reveal. I don't believe there was even a character sketch done for him at that point—I planned on making sense of it all later on, but by then I was gone and others had that concern."
Bob Harras said on the character of Apocalypse: "He looked fantastic. Also, the name is dynamic. It tells you right off this character means trouble. And he came with a clear-cut agenda: 'survival of the fittest.' He didn't care if you were a mutant—if you were weak, you would be destroyed. He was merciless, but his philosophy was easy to grasp and it fit in with the harder edge of evolution which is part and parcel of the mutant story. Isn't that what humans fear about mutants? That they are the next step? Now, we had given mutants something new to fear: a character who would judge them on their genetic worthiness. [...] To his own mind he wasn't evil (despite his leadership of the Alliance of Evil, which I think we dropped pretty soon after Apocalypse's introduction); he believed he was doing the right thing. He was ensuring evolution. To me, he was the perfect next step in the mutant story."
Although the character first appeared in 1986, he was retroactively said to have been present during previously published stories. The unnamed benefactor of the Living Monolith in Marvel Graphic Novel #17 (1985) was later identified as Apocalypse in disguise. Classic X-Men #25 revealed that years earlier Apocalypse encountered the terrorist Moses Magnum and granted him superhuman power.
During his run on Cable, Robert Weinberg planned a story to reveal that Apocalypse was the third Summers brother, a mysterious sibling to the mutants Cyclops and Havok. But Weinberg left the book before he could go along with his plan and the third Summers brother was revealed to be the mutant named Vulcan.
Apocalypse was the principal adversary in the mid-1980s X-Men spin-off series X-Factor (1986–1991), until being apparently killed at the climax of issue #68 (July 1991). Since then, the character has died and been resurrected several times thanks to his power and advanced alien technology. His name En Sabah Nur, as well as his birthplace (Egypt) and the origin of his technology, were revealed in X-Force #37 (vol. 1, August 1994). His name translates at "the First One" and it is said in origin story of Apocalypse that he is possibly the first mutant (meaning, in this case, a human being born with the X-gene), born 5,000 years ago. The character gained greater popularity in 1995 when the crossover "Age of Apocalypse" featured an alternate timeline in which Apocalypse has conquered much of the world.
The character was reincarnated in the pages of Uncanny X-Force #1 as a small boy with no memory of his previous incarnation. The boy was named Evan Sabahnur. The adult, villainous version of Apocalypse returns in the comic series Uncanny Avengers.
Fictional character biography
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (August 2012)|
Rise of Apocalypse
The being who will be called Apocalypse was born 5000 years ago in Akkaba. He is born with the mutant X-gene, possibly the first living being on Earth to possess the gene, and a side-effect of this gives him gray skin and blue lips. Because of this, his people abandon him as an infant. He is rescued by Baal of the Sandstormers who sees the child's potential power and will to survive. Baal names him En Sabah Nur or "The First One." The Sandstormers live by the credo of survival of the fittest, believing that only those who are strong enough to survive hardship and direct conflict are worthy of life.
Around this time, the time-traveller Kang the Conqueror arrives in Egypt and assumes the identity of Pharaoh Rama-Tut. Knowing who En Sabah Nur is fated to become and where he is, Rama-Tut sends his General Ozymandias and an army to destroy the Sandstormers and find the young Apocalypse. En Sabah Nur and Baal are injured and seek refuge in a cave. Before he dies, Baal reveals advanced alien technology hidden in the cave, left behind by the god-like aliens known as Celestials. Vowing revenge on Rama-Tut, En Sabah Nur enters the Pharaoh's city posing as a slave and draws the romantic attention of Ozymandias's sister, Nephri. On seeing the mutant's true appearance, Nephri rejects him and turns to her brother for protection. Heartbroken by this final rejection, En Sabah Nur's rage causes his mutant abilities to fully emerge. Rampaging, he renames himself Apocalypse. Rama-Tut flees and En Sabah Nur uses the Celestial technology to transform his former tormentor Ozymandias into a blind clairvoyant made of living stone, now enslaved to Apocalypse. As the years go on, Apocalypse finds he no longer ages.
It is revealed in the series S.H.I.E.L.D. that Apocalypse at some point in the days of Ancient Egypt joins forces with the Brotherhood of the Shield to successfully fend off a Brood invasion. Also present are Imhotep and a man who is either the moon god called Khonshu or his first Moon Knight avatar/champion. 
As the millennia pass, Apocalypse travels around the world, convincing civilizations that he is a god (inspiring different myths as a result) and manipulating them into fighting wars. He justifies that this encourages "growth, judgment, and destruction." Apocalypse's progeny become the Clan Akkaba. Apocalypse encounters the near-immortal human off-shoot race known as Eternals, primarily the members Ikaris and Sersi, who refer to him as their "Ancient Nemesis". At different points, Apocalypse uses his Celestial technology to enter periods of suspended animation, leaving Clan Akkaba and Ozymandias to act in his stead.
In 1013 A.D., Apocalypse seeks to destroy the Asgardian Thor, whom he knows will cause him trouble in the future according to information obtained from Rama-Tut. In the 12th century, Apocalypse encounters the Eternal Sersi again while awakening latent mutant powers in a crusader named Bennet du Paris, also known as Exodus. At some point, Apocalypse defeats Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), who later becomes the vampire more popularly known as Count Dracula.
In 1859, Apocalypse encounters British scientist Nathaniel Essex and learns more about the nature of mutants. Apocalypse uses his Celestial technology to transform Essex into the superhuman being Mister Sinister. He then coerces Sinister and the Hellfire Club into aiding his plans for global conquest. But Sinister concludes that these plans are madness and betrays Apocalypse, forcing him back into hibernation. In 1897, Count Dracula attacks the Clan Akkaba in revenge for his defeat at Apocalypse's hands, forcing the Clan to revive their master from suspended animation. Apocalypse defeats the vampire again, this time with help from Abraham Van Helsing. Some time after this, Apocalypse enters hibernation again and expects to remain so for possibly two centuries, by which point mutants should be more common on Earth.
After many years of suspended animation, Apocalypse awakens nearly a century earlier than planned due to the arrival of the time-traveling mutant Cable (ironically, Cable had traveled to this point in time hoping to prevent the ancient mutant awakening). Apocalypse decides the world is ready for further examination and testing. He grants superhuman powers to the terrorist known as Moses Magnum, who then tests the X-Men and the Avengers. Apocalypse later briefly employs the Alliance of Evil to capture the mutant Michael Nowlan, who can boost the power of other mutants. This plan brings Apocalypse into direct conflict with the first incarnation of X-Factor, when the team was composed of the original X-Men.
Apocalypse then recruits mutants to serve as his personal guard, known as the Four Horsemen. Among them is Angel AKA Warren Worthington III, whom Apocalypse has corrupted and turned into a cyborg called Death. Warren Worthington regains his identity and helps his friends defeat Apocalypse, adopting the new codename Archangel. Apocalypse escapes with his new recruit, the Morlock called Caliban, while X-Factor then takes his Celestial spaceship as a base.
During The Evolutionary War, the High Evolutionary plans to rid the world of those he feels are preventing evolution. Believing this disrupts the natural order and his own plans, Apocalypse battles the High Evolutionary. Following the genetic manipulation of Caliban, Apocalypse declines an alliance with the Asgardian villain Loki and other villains conspiring to unleash "Acts of Vengeance." This results in a brief fight between Apocalypse and Loki.
Sins of the Future
Apocalypse learns of Sinister's intention to create an adversary powerful enough to destroy him: Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, the son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor. Apocalypse, viewing him as a threat and realizing that Nathan's energy is the very energy that awoke him all those months earlier, sends his newly formed group, the Riders of the Storm, to abduct the Summers child. Apocalypse at this time had conquered the city of Attilan, home of the Inhumans, and enslaved part of its population. X-Factor, alongside the Inhuman Royal Family, attacks Apocalypse's lunar stronghold. Although Apocalypse is severely defeated, the young Nathan is infected with a techno-organic virus, and is sent to the future with a woman named Askani to be cured.
In the future, Apocalypse has conquered the world and ruled until the 39th century. By this time, Apocalypse's body had grown feeble; he becomes aware of the young Nathan's presence in this time, but only succeeds in kidnapping a clone of the child which Askani created. Apocalypse plans to transfer his consciousness and power into the clone's stronger body, but perishes in combat with the (real) teenage Nathan. Nathan grows up to become the warrior Cable (while his clone grows up to become the mutant terrorist known as Stryfe) and travels back to the past to prevent Apocalypse's future domination of the planet.
In the present, Apocalypse is prematurely awoken from his regeneration chamber by his Riders (now calling themselves, The Dark Riders), who inform their master that his Horsemen have kidnapped Cyclops and Jean Grey, supposedly under his instructions (in actuality, Mister Sinister, who was posing as Apocalypse). When attempting to rejuvenate himself again, Apocalypse is nearly killed by Stryfe who had arrived in the past to take revenge on Apocalypse. At the end of this conflict Apocalypse is presumed deceased due to his two recent attempts at regeneration having been interrupted. After a brief battle on the Moon with his former servants, the Dark Riders (who had joined Stryfe), Apocalypse is left for dead by Archangel.
The Dark Rider's new leader, Genesis - the adopted son of Cable, who had traveled to the present to ensure Apocalypse's rise and exact revenge on his father - plans to resurrect Apocalypse by sacrificing the lives of the people in villages neighboring Akkaba. During this time, Wolverine is held captive by Genesis, who attempts to restore Wolverine's lost adamantium skeleton and turn him into a Horseman as a gift for Apocalypse. Wolverine breaks free and mutates into a feral state, and then kills Genesis along with nearly all of the Dark Riders (Apocalypse himself would later repeat Genesis' scheme of reinforcing Wolverine's skeleton with adamantium again and brainwashing him into servitude, succeeding where Genesis had failed). During the fight, Cannonball opens the sarcophagus containing Apocalypse's body, but finds it empty, and wonders if Genesis was either lying about Apocalypse, or was delusional, or maybe Apocalypse had gotten up and left by himself. (Apocalypse was shown to be alive before this.)
After a long healing slumber, Apocalypse, fully restored, awakens with Ozymandias at his side and quickly learns of the present danger: Onslaught. He observes the conflict between the psionic entity and Earth's heroes with Uatu the Watcher, who suggests to Apocalypse a course of action; an alliance with the one who hated him the most, Cable. Apocalypse surmises that Onslaught would be most vulnerable through the astral plane, and that he needs Cable for actual physical transportation to this realm. Once on the astral plane, Apocalypse would remove the captive Franklin Richards, greatly weakening Onslaught. The plan succeeds, but is interrupted by the Invisible Woman, who had invisibly accompanied the pair, having suspected Apocalypse's motive in wanting to actually kill her son. However, the reprieve in battle gave Onslaught the time to escape, prolonging the conflict.
Following the events of the Onslaught saga, the gamma-spawned powerhouse, the Hulk and his human alter ego, Banner, are split into two separate entities; Hulk now draws upon energy derived from Franklin Richards' pocket universe; Apocalypse recruits the Hulk to become his Horseman, War, with intentions of using the Hulk's nexus-energy to overcome the Celestials. To test this newest recruit, Apocalypse set War against the New World Order, a shadow cabinet organization that intends to conquer the world. The New World Order in turn set the Juggernaut and the Absorbing Man against War, but both are easily defeated. Hulk comes to his senses after injuring his friend, Rick Jones. Despite this apparent setback, the incident was still a victory for Apocalypse as it was a successful testing of newly understood Celestial technology. Apocalypse activates the self-destruct mechanism on the sword of War, which the New World Order had obtained, destroying their headquarters.
The Hellfire Club later awakens Apocalypse's long-hidden Harbinger from its deep sleep; originally a normal man, whom Apocalypse in the 19th century once left to incubate for 100 years. Apocalypse releases his Horseman (Caliban) and his scribe Ozymandias from his possession, to fend for themselves, if they were to survive the coming events. Cable with the Avengers battles the Harbinger, but are unable to stop it. Apocalypse then appears, activating a bomb inside the Harbinger which would destroy all of New York, but Cable manages to prevent this disaster.
Intending to start an all-out war between the humans and the subterranean-dwelling Deviants as part of his plan to test the strong, Apocalypse sets off nuclear warheads at Lemuria, causing the Deviants to further mutate (which also restores Ikaris' father Virako to life). Apocalypse launches an attack at San Francisco, using a mentally controlled Deviant, Karkas, now a gigantic monster, that the Eternals are forced to battle. Apocalypse is confronted by his centuries-old foe, Ikaris, who now is a Prime Eternal. Although Apocalypse defeats Ikaris, the Eternal still succeeds in destroying his ship and thwarting his plan.
Supposedly lost diaries of the mutant seer Destiny surfaced, telling of twelve beings that could defeat Apocalypse once and for all. Various mutants, all listed in the prophecy, are abducted by Apocalypse's Horsemen including a faction of the Skrulls. The Twelve legend was in fact a ruse, orchestrated by Apocalypse himself; once the Twelve are assembled, Apocalypse intended to use them to transform himself into a godlike entity beyond the Celestials. It is revealed at the end of this story arc, that Apocalypse's physical form has been burned out due to the vast amount of energies he has under his control, forcing him to wear a bio-armor (like his future counterpart), and now plans to use Nate Grey as a host body for him to move his energy and consciousness into. The X-Men confront Apocalypse as he is close to merging with Nate, but are unable to stop him. Cyclops pushes Nate Grey out of the way, merging with Apocalypse instead. While the merge is successful, Apocalypse's aim for unlimited power is not, and he attempts to complete the transformation by warping reality into various scenarios (see Ages of Apocalypse). Apocalypse hoped to lure the Twelve into empowering him with their energy, but eventually, the mutants realize their true predicament and Apocalypse teleports away.
An amnesiac and powerless cyborg Cyclops regains control of the merged form, but Apocalypse begins to re-emerge. Jean and Cable are alerted to his location in Egypt, where Jean in the end manages to free Cyclops by telepathically tearing out Apocalypse's essence from her husband's body, rendering Apocalypse in an incorporeal astral form, which Cable apparently destroys using his Psimitar.
In the aftermath of the 2005 "Decimation" storyline, in which most of the mutants lost their powers, Apocalypse was revealed to be alive and well. The techno-organic virus, with which he long ago infected Cable, was revealed to be the means by which Apocalypse's spirit reconstituted itself. With only a drop of his blood into a vat of organs and blood, the virus would rewrite the genetic code of the material within to form a body for Apocalypse. Apocalypse awakes from a slumber in a tomb in Akkaba, recalling:
|“||"Across the world — helpless mutants slaughtered. Pogroms. Horror. ...Something has woken me from my slumber. Once, a sudden surge in worldwide mutant power stirred me from a similar sleep. Now — a plummet in global mutant capacity — has opened my eyes".||”|
Apocalypse finds himself in a world with its mutant population reduced to a fraction of what it had been, only a few hundred remaining out of the millions who populated earth prior to his demise at Cable's hands. Reappearing inside a Sphinx-shaped ship, Apocalypse confronts the X-Men with his newly assembled cadre of Horsemen on the front lawn of the X-Mansion. The Horseman Famine uses his powers to cause an intense feeling of hunger and weakness in the mutants and humans on the institute grounds. Apocalypse offers the mutants an elixir; his own blood, provided they join his side. Bent on becoming the new messiah for mutant-kind, Apocalypse approaches the world leaders at the United Nations in New York and issues an ultimatum: humanity would destroy ninety percent of its own population, putting man and mutant on level ground in anticipation of the final conflict when the worthy alone would survive - or Apocalypse would unleash his meta-plague on the world and obliterate all humanity.
In the end, Apocalypse's horsemen are lost, Ozymandias betrays him, and he is forced to retreat by combined assault of the X-Men and the Avengers. Ultimately, it is discovered that the Celestials lent their technology to Apocalypse, requiring as payment greater sufferings later. He attempts to embrace death as an escape from his lifelong pact, only to find himself instantly resurrected and hearing a voice: "We cannot let you die. Not yet. It is time Apocalypse… it is time".
In a future timeline seen in the 2009 storyline "Messiah War", a greatly weakened Apocalypse is attacked by Stryfe and Bishop, but he apparently survives the attack. Afterward, Apocalypse contacts Archangel in the future and begs him to kill him. Archangel refuses and instead hands over some of his techno organic wing blades to him, telling Apocalypse he no longer holds any control over him. Coming into contact with the blades rejuvenate Apocalypse. and he offers to join forces with Archangel to kill Stryfe, who is on the verge of killing X-Force, Cable, Bishop, and Hope Summers. Archangel takes Apocalypse to a Celestial ship, where Apocalypse is then fully restored and wants to avenge what Stryfe did to him. Just as Stryfe is on the verge of taking Hope for himself, Apocalypse and Archangel confront and defeat Stryfe. Apocalypse releases Hope into Cable's care, but says that he will return for her eventually. Apocalypse then drags Stryfe away, intending to use him as a new host body. Stryfe manages to escape and travels back in time to the present.
In the 2010 "Heroic Age" storyline, versions of Apocalypse and his Horsemen from a possible future appear in the Avengers Tower after Kang breaks time itself. After a fight with the Avengers, he and his Horsemen disappear.
Apocalypse's followers, the Clan Akkaba, manage to bring about Apocalypse's return, albeit in the form of a child they will indoctrinate. Upon learning of Apocalypse's return, X-Force seeks to kill him, but when they discover he is a child, Psylocke decides to protect him, believing they can rehabilitate him and train him as a force for good. To the shock of the rest of the team, Fantomex fatally shoots the child.
In a 2011 storyline, as X-Force succeed in stopping the Deathloks inside the World, the home of all Weapon projects, it is revealed that Ultimaton, guardian of the World, is keeping watch over an incubating young boy labeled En Sabah Nur, aged 847 days.
During the 2012 storyline "Dark Angel Saga", it is revealed that Apocalypse had fathered a son with Autumn Rolfson, and she kept this a secret from Apocalypse out of fear of what he would do to him. At the end of the storyline, it is revealed that Fantomex creates a clone Apocalypse which he helps raise to the age of a teenager in an artificial world, where the clone knows Fantomex as the kindly "Uncle Cluster" who taught him to use his abilities for good. The boy, code-named Genesis, helps X-force fight Archangel and when the battle is over, Fantomex enrolls him in the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
In Wolverine & the X-Men #4 (March 2012), Evan Sabahnur a.k.a. Genesis is admitted as a student to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, where his classmates notice his resemblance to Apocalypse. Evan is worried when a visiting Deathlok, who reveals to the students their likely futures, shows reluctance to do so with Evan. When Evan presses him, Deathlok informs him that this is what Evan is at the school to discover. Deathlok then tells Wolverine that Evan has great potential, and may be a great savior, or a conqueror. During a later issue of "Wolverine and the X-Men", he is seen building a friendship with the reborn Warren Worthington (known simply as Angel).
After being called Kid Apocalypse by Kid Omega, Evan start to read about Apocalypse on the Internet and is saddened that he looks like the villain. When Husk discovers this he tells her that everyone thinks the two look like each other, but admits that there is a resemblance between them. Evan denies any possibility for him to become like Apocalypse. After saving Angel and discovering that he possesses the ability to see the essence of those he looks upon, Evan asks him to tell him what he sees when he looks at him. Angel tells Evan he sees only goodness inside him, which makes Evan happy, so he thanks Angel for being a good friend. The truth was that Angel lied and the only thing he could see was the dark image of Apocalypse.
In the last story arc of Uncanny X-Force vol. 1, a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, led by Wolverine's son Daken, kidnaps Evan during a field trip to Genosha's remains. Hoping to sway the boy into becoming Apocalypse, the Brotherhood reveals to him that he is a clone, and tells him of X-Force's assassination of the child En Sabah Nur from which he was copied and the falsehood of his life under the tutelage of Fantomex. After the Brotherhood reveals that they have killed Fantomex and further tortures Evan, Daken tells Evan that he has a choice: either immediately ascend as Apocalypse and kill the Brotherhood as revenge for the death of "Uncle Cluster", or let the rest of X-Force die at the Brotherhood's hands to avenge the death of the original boy En Sabah Nur and the lies Evan was told (as well as prevent X-Force from possibly killing Evan the way they killed Apocalypse and Archangel).
Daken offers Evan a suit of Apocalypse's Celestial armor to do with what he will, secretly planning to control the new Apocalypse through the psychic abilities of the Shadow King. After Deadpool's failed attempt to rescue Evan, the boy dons the Celestial armor to prevent Wolverine's death at Daken's hands and nearly kills Brotherhood members Sabretooth and Mystique. Enraged by the lies he has been told and filled with new-found power from Apocalypse's armor, Evan prepares to attack Wolverine himself, but Wolverine convinces him of the ultimate futility of revenge. Evan is later visited by Deadpool at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Deadpool tells Evan he is not Apocalypse and that Deadpool will always be there for him when he needs him.
Later Deadpool enlists Evan and Quentin's help to help him saving his daughter Eleanor Camacho from the Flagsmasher, with Evan promising Quentin a bloodbath and some action to motivate him. He manages to save Ellie's life, and proposes Deadpool to let Quentin erase from the girl's mind every memory of the ordeal. Deadpool loudly refuses and, with Evan's surprise, he hugs him and tells him to stay in school 
Powers and abilities
Apocalypse is an ancient mutant born with a variety of superhuman abilities who further augmented himself after merging with Celestial technology. The character has total control over the molecules of his body, enabling him to alter his form as it suits him, such as allowing his body to become extremely malleable and flexible or change its size, enhance his physical abilities, transform his limbs into weapons, wings, or jets, regenerate from fatal injuries, adapt his body to apparently any disease or hostile environment, and give himself virtually any physical superhuman power. The character is also able to project and absorb energy, and has displayed telepathy and telekinesis. Apocalypse is as well capable of technopathy, able to directly interface with the various technologies he has at his disposal. Thanks to the aid of his mutant abilities, special "regeneration" chambers, and changing bodies, Apocalypse has made himself effectively immortal.
Aside from his superhuman powers, Apocalypse is extraordinarily intelligent, a scientific genius with knowledge in various areas of science and technology including physics, engineering, genetics and biology, that is far more advanced than conventional science. Apocalypse has knowledge of Celestial technology that he uses for his own applications, such as altering mutants or humans. Apocalypse is also a skilled demagogue and a master strategist.
Apocalypse's blood can heal other mutants, but is fatal for humans. Apocalypse's blood can also restore his de-powered mutant descendants as is seen when a large dose of Apocalypse's blood regenerates the lost body part of Chamber and gave him a look similar to Apocalypse.
The Ultimate Marvel imprint title features an alternate version of Apocalypse who is an entity worshiped by Sinister. After completing a series of tasks, Sinister is transformed into Apocalypse who intends to conquer the world. The heroes are unable to defeat him until the Phoenix Force appears and destroys him. Although his abilities are never directly stated in total, he is shown to be capable of negating other mutant powers, adapting mutant powers into his own by exposure to them, and "evolving" as he is fought. Following a heavy assault by the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and SHIELD forces, he emerges from an explosion in a red and silver version of his traditional blue cybernetic battle armor. He is also capable of adapting to and overcoming Professor Xavier's psychic assault despite his training during his time in the future with Cable. Cable makes the most concrete implication that evolving is the major element of his powers when he remarks that Xavier must kill Apocalypse quickly before he adapts to his attacks and becomes immune to the telepathy. Apocalypse is finally dispelled by Phoenix  while leaving an alive Mr. Sinister. His actual nature is unknown; he proclaims himself to be the first mutant (like in the mainstream series), and Phoenix readings portray him as an ancient being, but this is later contradicted by Nick Fury's revelation in Ultimatum  that explains mutants are a recent creation of the humans. He later appears again as part of Sinister's psychosis.
In Uncanny X-Force, the character is reborn as a child being raised by a secret society. The first four issues are referred to as the Apocalypse Solution. It concludes with a very different approach than other X-Men comics. In the issues that follow Apocalypse is still the team's main focus even though he isn't present and they are off fighting other enemies. A clone of Apocalypse is kept inside 'The World', a device under the protection of Fantomex that has a different flow of time. Here Fantomex incubates the clone, raising him in a virtual reality world in the hopes that raising him as a good person will in turn cause him to be good when he is released. Also with Apocalypse absent the "Death Seed" planted in Angel (through Apocalypse's transformation and experiments) is growing stronger and taking over, forcing Warren to become Archangel (former horseman of Apocalypse). It is said that he is the Heir to Apocalypse and that the Uncanny X-Men must travel to the Age of Apocalypse dimension to find a "Life Seed" (left by the Celestials) to reverse Warren's ascension.[volume & issue needed]
In other media
In X-Men, Apocalypse (voiced by John Colicos and James Blendick) appears in several episodes. Apocalypse is introduced in the first season episode "The Cure", where he along with his close ally Mystique plot to offer to "cure" mutations. It is eventually revealed that the experimental treatment to rid the mutants their powers is actually a trick to create slaves under Apocalypse's control. In the episode "Come the Apocalypse", the four mutants who accept the treatment are transformed into the Horsemen of Apocalypse and are sent to attack the World Peace conference in Paris.
During the second season is revealed that in addition to his battles with the X-Men in the present, he leads a war of conquest against the Earth in the year 3999, with Cable leading the armies opposing him and as seen in the two part episode, "Time Fugitives" mutants from various points in the future including Cable, Bishop and Shard, travel to the present to oppose several of Apocalypse's plans.
He became the main antagonist in the fourth season first appearing at the ending of the two part episode “Sanctuary” alongside Deathbird to reveal themselves as the rescuers of Fabian Cortez from the fate of a vengeful Magneto. Later during the four part episode "Beyond Good and Evil", Apocalypse assembles a cadre of villains which includes Mr Sinister and his Nasty Boys, Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth and Deathbird and together they began capturing psychics from all across the universe and brought them to the "Axis of Time". His prisoners included Jean Grey, Professor X, Oracle, Psylocke, Rachel Summers, Mastermind, Gamesmaster, Karma, Shadow King, Revanche, Moondragon, Typhoid Mary, Gremlin, Stryfe, Emma Frost and Mesmero. Apocalypse planned to kill them simultaneously, in order to release a wave of psychic energy powerful enough to re-create the universe in his own image so he could rule unchallenged. However, Cable, Bishop, Magneto, Mystique, and the X-Men foil his plans. After the psychics are freed, they use their telepathic powers to bring Apocalypse outside the Axis of Time. Outside the protection of the Axis and the Lazarus chamber gone, Apocalypse would cease to exist.
Apocalypse then appears in the final-season episode “The Fifth Horseman”. Cortez turned into his servant and worshiper after Apocalypse had granted him the ability to alter the mutations of other mutants, assembles a cult who worship Apocalypse as well as the Hounds, a foursome of altered mutants, in an attempt to find a new body for Apocalypse (who was defeated and sealed in the Astral Plane in “Beyond Good and Evil”). Cortez captures Jubilee and turns Beast into a feral monster but is stopped by Caliban (who was one of the Hounds). After being defeated, Cortez begs Apocalypse to be forgiven for his failure. Apocalypse is not angry, stating that Cortez has succeeded in providing him with a new vessel. When Cortez asks what he means, Apocalypse takes possession of Cortez's body. The process is successful as Apocalypse once again walks the Earth and Cortez is now banished to the Astral Plane.
In X-Men: Evolution, Apocalypse (voiced by David Kaye) replaced Magneto as the main antagonist of the third and fourth season. He controls a mutant named Mesmero, and uses him to unlock the doors that keep Apocalypse sealed away from the world. At the end of Season 3, the X-Men and Acolytes are unsuccessful in preventing Mesmero from opening the final door. Apocalypse (noted to be in his human form, not cybernetic) arises after absorbing the powers stolen by a mind-controlled Rogue. Moments after Apocalypse arises, the X-Men and Acolytes arrive too late and attempt to battle Apocalypse, but are all incapacitated by him. In the beginning of Season 4, Apocalypse uses an Eyes of Ages to transport atop of the pyramid in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. He creates a purple-like dome to cover this pyramid. In the first episode of Season 4, it is revealed by a depowered Mesmero that Apocalypse plans to turn all humans in to mutants and most humans will not survive this action. Magneto later confronts and battles Apocalypse, in which Magneto is easily killed by him.
In the episode "Ascension Part 1", he uses the base from "Eye of Ages" to become "cybernetic". Moments later, Professor X (also accompanied by Storm) appears before Apocalypse in attempt to reason with him. They are later killed by Apocalypse. Soon after, three Sentinels are sent to battle Apocalypse as well as divert his attention while other Sentinels attack the remaining three pyramids. At first, it is shown that the Sentinels are giving Apocalypse a difficult time but are later destroyed. Upon learning of the other Sentinels' assault, he revives Magneto, Storm, Mystique, and Professor X as his four horsemen with enhanced powers. In "Ascension Part 2", Apocalypse is stopped by Rogue (who absorbed Leech's powers of nullification). After locking Apocalypse in the chamber of the Eyes of Ages, Wolverine damages the console and sends Apocalypse in what Wolverine believes "cracks of time" forever. However, Rogue states that she does not believe they will be that lucky, and hints of Apocalypse's return.
Unlike the comics, Apocalypse is portrayed as a god-like mutant with an unclear explanation of his powers. Apocalypse became a "cyborg" when he absorbed the power of the Eye of Ages, as opposed to him lashing out with his powers in the comics.
Wolverine and the X-Men
In Wolverine and the X-Men, Apocalypse appears as the master of Mister Sinister, whose gives him the order to take DNA from Jean Grey and Cyclops. After the futuristic, Sentinel-dominated world crisis is averted, Apocalypse is shown "Foresight (Part 3)" to rule the world. Also beside him are Sinister and the "Age of Apocalypse" version of Cyclops. This storyline would have been explored in Season 2 if the series had not been cancelled. Apocalypse appears with no speaking role.
Apocalypse appears as a boss character in Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge (1992); X-Men (1993); X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (1994); X-Men 2: Game Master's Legacy (1994); X-Men 2: Clone Wars (1995); X-Men vs. Street Fighter (1996); Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997); X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse (1997); X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse (2001); X2: Wolverine's Revenge (2003); X-Men Legends (2004); X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (2005), voiced by Richard McGonagle, with most of them portraying him as the main antagonist. He also appears in the Spider-Man 3 video game (2007). This version is a dangerous, aggressive street criminal thug gang-leader of The Apocalypse with a chain and metal stick. If you defeated him he reappears in the Kingpin Mission 3, because he hired Apocalypse, the Dragon Tails and Arsenic Candy gang-leaders to take you down.
Canadian actor Brendan Pedder portrays Apocalypse in a post-credits scene in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past. A robed and hooded person stands on a desert sand dune, being worshiped by a large assembly of people chanting "En Sabah Nur," while, in the distance, a gigantic pyramid is being assembled in massive pieces by Psychokinesis. The camera circles to reveal the figure of a young man with grey skin and blue lips, while four horsed figures sit motionless in the background. Apocalypse will return as the main antagonist, with the role recast, for the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse.
Toys and Collectibles
- Several Apocalypse figures have been released in Marvel Legends and Marvel Universe figure lines.
- In 2009, a Super Hero Squad figure of Apocalypse was released in a four pack titled "The Coming of Apocalypse" when the movie X-Men: Origins Wolverine hit theatres.
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