Comic Afterthoughts FAQ: Who is Apocalypse?



Warning: Spoilers ahead. I mean it, fellow nerd. If you haven't seen X-Men: Days of Future Past, you may not want to continue. But if you're like me, that wouldn't matter too much, anyway.

So, you've heard a lot about this Apocalypse guy, huh? Before the latest installment in the X-Men franchise hit theaters, X-Men: Apocalypse was announced as the next film in line. And in the post-credits scene from Days of Future Past, you saw a funny-looking gray man with blue lips, willing the formation of the pyramids. You may have even noticed four horsemen in the background. So what's up with all of that? Creative Loafing is about to tell you, using the oldest Internet template in the world: the FAQ.

So, first things first.

Who was that guy?

That was Apocalypse.


But wait, weren't those people chanting something else? I know it wasn't the word "Apocalypse."

They were chanting "En Sabah Nur." That's the "real name" of Apocalypse.

OK. So who is Apocalypse/En Sabah Nur/the gray guy?

He was introduced in 1986's X-Factor #5, as the new big baddie for the X-Men. Depending on which X-writer you ask, Apocalypse was the first mutant, born 5,000 years ago in Egypt. He's a huge proponent of "survival of the fittest." Sure, mutants are the next step in evolution, but even they must prove their genetic worthiness.

The character would go on to become a primary villain for the X-Men. And in the event known as Age of Apocalypse (which will somewhat influence the upcoming sequel), an alternate timeline was introduced, in which the villain reigned and both humans and kindhearted mutants were afraid.


Will the next X-Men movie take place in that alternative timeline?

That's unknown. What we do know is that it'll take place in the 1980s, as more of a sequel to X-Men: First Class than the present day of Days of Future Past's ending scene. And it's been called a "disaster movie." So far, most of the cast of First Class have signed on, with Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine. Also, younger versions of Storm, Jean Grey and Cyclops will appear, and rumors are that the present-day folks will have some sort of role. It'll be neat.

In that cover for Age of Apocalypse, Wolverine has a cannon for an arm. Will that happen in the next movie?

I hope so.

OK, so back to that end scene. Apocalypse is apparently a powerful guy. What are his powers, exactly? And who were those four horsemen in the back?

In the comics, Apocalypse's powers include the following: immortality, teleportation, energy manipulation, molecular manipulation, super-strength and all sorts of other stuff. It's tough to say what will make it into the movie. So far, we know he can manipulate objects as great as pyramids.

As far as those folks in the background: We can't be sure who the actual mutants are, but through the generations, Apocalypse's Four Horsemen are beings who fulfill the roles of Death, Famine, Pestilence and War. Over the years, even good X-Men like Wolverine, Psylocke and Gambit have been overpowered and forced to play those parts.

So if he's an immortal, how could the X-Men ever defeat him?

Good question, but let's be honest: The X-Men have already gotten themselves out of countless "impossible" situations.

Many times, the X-Men beat him when he's not quite at full power, like the situations in which he's set up a host body to return to rule the world. It's sort of like Voldemort, except he does it a lot, and no, it's not like at all, really. Sometimes, they'll get him on his way to his regeneration chambers, where he becomes powered again. Other times, he just escapes, and that's... kinda it. That's actually happened a lot.

No matter how they do it, I'm sure a future post-credits scene will show his arm busting out of rubble or some other comic-booky crap we all love.

OK, last question (and most unrelated): Why did Days of Future Past have Toad? We've already seen this lame character in the X-movies.

I don't know. Bryan Singer seems like a huge fan. I don't get it, either.

Have any other questions after watching the new X-Men film? Shoot us a comment below, or email me at If we have enough questions, we can do a future installment of the FAQ for Apocalypse.

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