X-Men: Who Is Apocalypse?

ApocalypseX-Men: Days of Future Past

just released and has everyone buzzing about the future of the X-Men film franchise. The next film will be X-Men: Apocalypse and will feature one of the X-Men's most powerful enemies, the ancient villain Apocalypse. So who is Apocalypse exactly? Read on to find out. Apocalypse first appeared in X-Factor #5 in 1986. The X-Factor series had brought the original five X-Men back together but their old archnemesis, Magneto, had reformed and was actually headmaster at their old school. Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice created Apocalypse to fill the villain role left open by Magneto's change of morals. Apocalypse is considered, in current Marvel universe cannon, to be the first mutant. He was born in the city of Akkaba, but was abandoned and left to die in the desert because of his strange grey skin. He was found by a nomadic tribe called the Sandstormers and given the name En Sabah Nur, which translates as "The First One." It was there that he learned the philosophy of "survival of the fittest" that would become his mantra in life. When he was an adult, En Sabah Nur's tribe was enslaved and forced into labor by Ozymandias. Nur became a rebel and was nearly killed, but the manifestation of his mutant powers saved him. He used his new found powers to overthrow Ozymandias. He then found the technology left behind by Kang the Conqueror (in the persona of Rama-Tut), which he would use to regenerate his body and live for thousands of years. During this time Apocalypse would encounter the Celestials, who grant him his power armor and name him the custodian of evolution on Earth. In the modern era, Apocalypse is awakened from a state of hibernation by the arrival of his time travelling nemesis, Cable. Apocalypse begins recruits his Four Horseman. Angel has lost his wings during the events of the Mutant Massacre. Apocalypse grants him new artificial wings, transforming Angel into his Archangel of Death and leader of the Four Horsemen. It takes Iceman faking his own death bring Angel to his senses. With his help, X-Factor is able to stop Apocalypse's plans. Later, Apocalypse learns of Mr. Sinister's plans to bread a warrior specially designed to defeat Apocalypse. This would-be warrior is the infant son of Cyclops and Jean Grey's clone, Madelyne Pryor, Nathaniel Christopher Charles Summers. Apocalypse kidnapped the child and infects him with a techno-organic virus. This forces Cyclops and Jean to send the child into the future with a mysterious woman named Askani so that she can cure the boy of the virus. It is in this future that the boy will grow up to become Cable, the very nemesis that Apocalypse had hoped to prevent him from becoming. In the future, Apocalypse tries to kidnap Cable as a teenager, but ends up taking a clone that Askani had created instead. The clone grows up and becomes Stryfe and the drama between he, Cable and Apocalypse plays out in the X-Men crossover event X-Cutioner's Song, which introduces the Legacy Virus. Apocalypse devises a new plan: to collect twelve of the most powerful mutants on the planet, the ones that most threaten him, and to use their power to transform himself into a godlike being. He collects The Twelve, but is unable to contain their power. His physical body burns up and he tries to merge with Nate Grey, the Cable of a different reality, but ends up merging with Cyclops instead. He remains inside of Cyclops's consciousness until Jean Grey and Professor Xavier tear him out with their combined, psychic strength. Wolverine's X-Force team later discovers a young clone of Apocalypse being raise by Apocalypse's follower from Clan Akkaba. Fantomex kills the boy, but then clones him again, hoping that growing up among good people will stop him from becoming the dreaded Apocalypse. Currently the boy, named Evan and codenamed Genesis, is a student at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, hoping to not become the monster everyone fears he will be. Recommended reading: 1. Rise of Apocalypse #1-4 – Tells the origin of En Sabah Nur from his days growing up in ancient Egypt. 2. Essential X-Factor Vol. 1-2 – The earliest stories to feature Apocalypse, including the classic story of how he turns Angel into Archangel. 3. X-Cutioner's Song – The epic encounter between Apocalypse, Cable and Stryfe. 4. Age of Apocalypse – An alternate reality where Professor Xavier was killed before he could form the X-Men and Apocalypse, unchecked, went on to conquer the western hemisphere. 5. The Twelve – Apoclypse's most ambitious plan pits him against the mutants most capable of destroying him. 6. Uncanny X-Force: The Apocalypse Solution – Wolverine's X-Force team discover the young clone of Apocalypse.