Apocalypse is a supervillain that features in Marvel Comics.
He was born in a place called Akkaba that was a lone settlement at the edge of Amentet on the farthest outskirts of the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The grey-skinned child was seen as an abomination to the tribesmen who abandoned him at his place of birth. At that time, the nomadic raiders known as the Sandstormers emerged from the desert where the slaughtered the tribe in the area. The people of the storm were led by Baal of the Crimson Sands who had been searching for the child as he knew the Pharaoh Rama-Tut sought the boy. Baal took the child with him and killed those Sandstormers that sought to kill the boy where he took him with his tribe and named him En Sabah Nur. Under the guidance of Baal, the young En Sabah Nur spent the next seventeen years among the Sandstormers where he learnt the ways of combat with him being taught the clans tenets of survival of the fittest. En Sabah Nur was said by Baal written in destiny to be the one that would topple the rule of the Pharaoh Rama-Tut and thus was trained for that role despite facing years of scorn from his fellow tribesmen. Baal later revealed that the Pharaoh was a traveller from a distant land who had crashed in their lands with the Sandstormers rescuing him before he turned on them and instituted himself as the Pharaoh. The Sandstormer leader revealed a fragment of the great vessel that the Pharaoh had crashed in where they found murals that showed En Sabah Nur's birth along with many other secrets that they attempted to decipher. At that point, the Sandstormer encampment came under attack from Rama-Tut's General Ozymandias who was dispatched to find and capture En Sabah Nur on behalf of the Pharaoh. (Rise of Apocalypse v1 #1)
In the mid-12th century, a young warlord En Sabah Nur had heard tales of another immortal by the name of Garbha-Hsien who resided in the lands of Mongolia. Thus, he went alone and journeyed to that land where Nur's name became infamous before his rival where he massacred all that opposed him as he headed towards the Ho-Lo Shan Mountains. He then encountered the other 'forever-walker' Hsien who revealed to the Egyptian an object of his study which was a titanic alien vessel that surprised En Sabah Nur. The warlord decided to claim the craft and its technology for himself with him attacking Garbha-Hsien leaving the man for dead but unaware that he had actually survived the assault. (X-Force v1 #37)
After being killed, Ozymandias took his masters slain body into the Ship in the hope that its wondrous technology would resurrect him. The encounter with Cable had led to his blood mixing with En Sabah Nur thus infecting him with the Techno-Organic Virus allowing his body to make a natural connection to the Celestial craft along with immortality. During a battle with Cable again, the Traveller was responsible for trapping En Sabah Nur on the ship and launching it into space where he told Ozymandias that when he next returned that he would become Apocalypse. (Cable & Deadpool v1 #27)
At some point, he was known to had come to twin living islands of Krakoa and Akkara where a chasm between them had released wicked entities onto the world. With his mighty power, Apocalypse send Akkara into the chasm to seal it and placed his first Horsemen and sentinels to ensure it was never opened again. (Powers of X v1 #4)
By 1013 A.D., he had encountered the time travelling fallen Pharaoh Rama-Tut once more who offered Apocalypse an entreaty to be his advisor on coming events. He warned him of the threats in the future leading to En Sabah Nur striking a village in Scandinavia to fight the Asgardian named Thor. The Celestial evolutionary caretaker managed to effortlessly defeat the young god who fled the scene but Apocalypse decided to target a person that Rama-Tut said would kill him in the future. This led to him attacking London with his Horsemen of Apocalypse seeking to kill Folkbern Logan who was the ancestor of the man that would kill En Sabah Nur. This plan was thwarted by Thor who had enchanted his axe allowing it to pierce Apocalypse's Celestial armor forcing the caretaker to escape. (Uncanny Avengers v1 #6) Egypt was later attacked by a group of Vikings with them encountering Apocalypse and his Clan Akkaba. This led to them praying to Thor who arrived in response and he battled the Mutant. During their fight, another Thor arrived who had been temporarily displaced from the future with the pair working together to fight Apocalypse. It was also discovered that Loki had been responsible for tricking the Vikings into journeying to Egypt in order to get his brother to fight with Apocalypse. (Generations: The Unworthy Thor & The Mighty Thor v1 #1)
Though slain, his blood was recovered by Ozymandias who took it to a hidden stronghold to resurrect his master. (Cable & Deadpool v1 #27)
Clan Akkaba decided to resurrect their leader by performing a ceremony and a sacrifice whereby he was cloned in the form of a young boy. (Uncanny X-Force v1 #1) The child became a target of the newly created X-Force who sought to eliminate threats before they manifested. Thus, the Final Horsemen were summoned where they were tasked with protecting their young master as he was indoctrinated in the teachings of Apocalypse. (Uncanny X-Force v1 #2) Despite such defences, the Ship was infiltrated by X-Force who argued amongst themselves on whether to take the young clone away or kill him with it ultimately decided to take him back home to train him instead of allowing him to become Apocalypse. However, Fantomex used this opportunity to fire a gunshot at the boy's head thus killing the clone. (Uncanny X-Force v1 #4)
In an effort to create an immortal body, he conduced an experiment on a test subject but an accident erupted that caused the machine to send Apocalypse elsewhere in the universe. Once there, his body began to face degeneration as his form was dying and his Mutant powers were leaving him as he was becoming more Human. (X-Men: Black - Magneto v1 #1)
He gradually began to devolve into a more ape-like primitive with him struggling to retain his intelligence as his powers began to abandon him. Whilst travelling, he came under attack from similar such primitives that stole the Finch from him where he desperately sought to retrieve it but they were all captured by a group of humanoids led by D'Oerek that were all garbed in clothing resembling the Celestials. (X-Men: Black - Mystique v1 #1) D'Oerek and his kin began to conduct experiments on the captured primitives that included En Sabah Nur who was desperate to survive. He came to attack his humanoids that were studying him but they overpowered him and subjected him to their own experiments. During the process, En Sabah Nur managed to grab onto D'Oerek and used the last of his Mutant power to transfer his intelligence and intellect into the humanoid thus rewriting his body to become a new host for Apocalypse. (X-Men: Black - Juggernaut v1 #1)
Personality and attributes
As his physical form was finite, he sought an immortal host body free of weakness or fault that could allow him to live forever with his vast powers. (X-Men: Black - Magneto v1 #1)
Powers and abilities
It was said that whilst his consciousness was infinite, it was his material form that had a finite existence. This was the reason he was forced to move through host bodies in order to survive across the centuries. (X-Men: Black - Magneto v1 #1)
An encounter with Cable long back in the past had led to Apocalypse being infected with the Techno-Organic Virus. (Cable & Deadpool v1 #27)
The armor worn by Apocalypse was a source of great power for him as it was created by the Celestials and had the power of amplifying the abilities of the wearer to god-like levels. (Uncanny X-Force v1 #31) It was said to be near invulnerable with the cosmic armor capable of surviving powerful blows to it. Though seemingly incapable of being harmed, certain mystical enchantments could be used to imbue weapons with the power of piercing it. (Uncanny Avengers v1 #6)
Across the ages, En Sabah Nur had survived through a variety of means where sometimes his sentient essence had taken on new host shells whilst in other cases where his body remained intact then the corpse or husk was placed in regenerative chrysalis chambers. It was said that so long as a single drop of his blood remained then Apocalypse could live again. The techno-organic cells in his blood were able to rewrite any organic material they came into contact with thus allowing him to be reborn and be effectively immortal. (Cable & Deadpool v1 #27)
Under his dictates, he himself had to prove his fitness and had to showcase it for his legions to continue to follow his commands. (Cable & Deadpool v1 #27)
Through Celestial machines, he was able to expedite the evolutionary processes and accomplish other such tasks. One such machine was 'the Finch' that could repair genetic decay but En Sabah Nur modified it to be able to replace all the cells in a body with counterparts. (X-Men: Black - Magneto v1 #1)
- Apocalypse was created by Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice where he was first show in the shadows in X-Factor v1 #5 (June, 1986) before fully appearing in X-Factor v1 #6 (July, 1986),
- In an interview on CBR, writer Rick Remender commented that, "It’s not quite a blood line. Apocalypse was the first mutant and thus was chosen by the Celestials to protect and care for the other mutants and to make sure that the humans didn’t wipe them out before they had an opportunity to flourish. That was his cosmically granted charge."
- In Rurouni Kenshin, the character of Kujiranami Hyōgo was modelled on Apocalypse and partly based on the villain.
- In Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix v1 #2 (1994), an alternate version of the character was shown to inhabit a possible future timeline of the Askani that was designated as Earth-4935.
- In X-Men v2 #41 (1995), an alternate version of the character was shown to inhabit the Age of Apocalypse that was designated as Earth-295.
- In Mutant X v1 #1 (1998), an alternate version of the character was shown to inhabit the world of Mutant X that was designated as Earth-1298.
- In Black Panther v4 #7 (2005), an alternate version of the character was shown to inhabit the House of M that was designated as Earth-58163.
- In Age of X-Man: The Marvelous X-Men v1 #2 (2019), an alternate version of the character was shown to inhabit the reality of the Age of X-Man that was designated as Earth-TRN716. This version of En Sabah Nur was the head of a growing religious movement that preached the bonds of emotional attachment and love which were outlawed in this world. He became beloved by many Mutants that were attracted to his attentions where he led a group of followers known as the X-Tracts where he was their Murshid (Teacher) as he led them in being heroes as they led a revolution against the world order.
In other media
- In X-Men, Apocalypse appeared as an antagonist in the animated television series where he was initially voiced by actor John Colicos for the majority of the show whilst actor James Blendick voiced the character in Season 5. He was described as an immortal Mutant who had lived for centuries with many seeking his end but none able to defeat him. Apocalypse sought the survival of the fittest and frequently gathered his four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to bring about his plans for the world.
- In X-Men: Evolution, the character became the primary antagonist in season 4 of the show where he was voiced by David Kaye. His backstory was revealed in a series of hieroglyphics that state that he dated back during Egyptian times where he was a gray skinned infant abandoned in the desert. In that time, he was discovered by a bandit lord known as Baal who raised the child as his own and named him En Sabah Nur or the First One. The child was raised by Baal into a fearsome and skilled warrior who had abilities that were 'unnatural' compared to humans. At that time, a traveler from the future known as Rama-Tut came with his future technology and used it to become the ruling Pharaoh of the period. After learning of En Sabah Nur, Rama-Tut commanded that the boy be slain which led to the death of his adoptive father Baal. This left En Sabah Nur in a rage where he overthrew the Pharaoh and took his technology. After studying the Eye of Ages, he attempted to use it to turn all of mankind into Mutants but the machine drained him of his power which allowed his advisors to turn against him where they sealed him in the device and locked it behind three doors in the mountains. In the modern age, the imprisoned Apocalypse managed to get a servant in the form of Mesmero and used him to aid in freeing him with the final doorway opening when he took the powers of a mind controlled Rogue. After being freed, he incapacitated the X-Men and Acolytes before moving to the pyramid at the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Afterwards, he easily defeats Magneto, Xavier and Storm seemingly killing them before starting his plan to evolve mankind after merging with the Eye of Ages technology to appear more cybernetic. Apocalypse also defeated an attempt to use Sentinels to destroy the pyramids and unleashes his Horsemen. Whilst within the Eye, Rogue managed to seal him in the device through the use of Leech's power to depower him temporarily and Wolverine helped send the machine spiraling through time thus defeating him.
- In Wolverine and the X-Men, the character made an appearance in the animated television series where he had a non-speaking role. He first featured as the master of Mister Sinister who he gave an order to acquire the DNA from Jean Grey and Cyclops. In the episode "Foresight, Part 3", the future dominated by the Sentinels was eliminated by the intervention of the X-Men along with the guidance of Charles Xavier whose mind was displaced into the future. However, the change in reality brings about another dark one similar to the Age of Apocalypse where Apocalypse stands at the balcony of his tower with Mister Sinister and a future version of Cyclops.
- In X-Men: Days of the Future's Past film, a post-credit sequence showed the character with a non-speaking role where he was portrayed by Canadian actor Brendan Pedder. He's shown to be a young robed hooded figure with grey skin and blue lips standing on a desert hill where a large crowd were chanting the name "En Sabah Nur" at a distance. The character was seen to be assembling a massive pyramid with the power of telekinesis whilst a group of four individuals on horses stand in the background.
- In X-Men: Apocalypse, Apocalypse as En Sabah Nur featured as the main villain in the live-action film where he was portrayed by actor Oscar Isaac. En Sabah Nur was called the world's first Mutant who had lived for centuries by transferring his essence into a new Mutant host body and gain its powers. As a result, he developed a whole range of superhuman abilities that he had gathered over the years. Due to his power, he as seen as a god by the people of Egypt and referred to by the names of many deities including Ra, Krishna and Yahweh. Under his rule, he created a world whereby only the strong survived and he cleansed the lands of the weak with him being attended to by four Horsemen of Apocalypse that were empowered by him. One day, a ceremony was being made to transfer his essence into a new body of a Mutant that could heal from his wounds. During the transference, the guards staged a revolt with the intention of burying him alive where they shattered the support structures of his pyramid that collapsed around him. En Sabah Nur was saved by one of his Horsemen that gave her life for him but he was asleep and entombed alive for centuries. By the modern day, a cult came to worship with this group being called Ashir En Sabah Nur who managed to uncover his buried tomb. In the 1970's, members of the cult were praying to him when light struck the touchstone and awakened En Sabah Nur who teleported away from the rubble to the surface.
- In X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, Apocalypse appeared in the setting of the SNES video game.
- In X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, Apocalypse appeared as the main antagonist and final boss where he was voiced by actor Richard McGonagle.
- In Marvel: Future Fight, Apocalypse appeared as a playable character in the mobile video game.
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- Uncanny X-Men v1:
- X-Force v1:
- Rise of Apocalypse v1:
- Cable & Deadpool v1:
- Uncanny X-Force v1:
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- X-Men: Gold:
- X-Men: Black - Magneto v1:
- X-Men: Black - Mystique v1:
- X-Men: Black - Juggernaut v1:
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