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- “Elohim, Shen, Ra - I've been called many names over many lifetimes. I am born of death. I was there to spark and fan the flame of man's awakening, to spin the wheel of civilization. And when the forest would grow rank and needed clearing for new growth, I was there to set it ablaze.”
- ―Apocalypse to Magnetosrc
Apocalypse (born En Sabah Nur) was an immensely powerful and ancient mutant. He is believed to be the very first mutant, having lived for several millennia.
Apocalypse, known to others by his birth name "En Sabah Nur", was born in 8000 B.C. (claiming to have been worshiped by several ancient civilizations over his many lives, being called Elohim, Shen, and Ra, among other names), and is the firstborn of the mutant race, as he rules the world in Akkaba of prehistoric Egypt. According to Moira, wherever Apocalypse was, he always had four primary followers that he would bestow powers to, and wherever he ruled, it would eventually end in a cataclysm or an apocalypse of some sort. Throughout his reign, he had helped grow and eventually destroy many cities and civilizations before recorded history.
In prehistoric Egypt, a young En Sabah Nur is seen in using his powers to construct a pyramid while a vast crowd of people bow before him, chanting his name while his Horsemen look on.
X-Men: Apocalypse Prologue
While performing a transferal of his essence into a new mutant's body, one with instantaneous healing, his worshipers betray him and set forth the destruction of his pyramid. The Four Horsemen ensure Apocalypse still survives the ordeal even as the monument is collapsed, killing the followers while keeping En Sabah Nur entombed for millennia.
In the original timeline, Apocalypse remains dormant in his tomb. It is unknown if a modern cult developed around him, nor is it certain if the Sentinels detected him or not.
Following the 1973 incidents that revealed mutantkind to the wider world, a group of Egyptians started the Cult of En Sabah Nur (or Ashir En Sabah Nur, according to Moira MacTaggert) and discovered where his resting place lied in Cairo. As Moira investigated them in 1983, she saw En Sabah Nur awaken at the ruins, killing the cultists.
En Sabah Nur decides to explore the modern day world, and while roaming Cairo, he sees street thief Ororo Munroe use her weather control powers to steal food. The shopkeepers go to threaten Ororo, before being interrupted by the intervention of Apocalypse. After miscommunication due to En Sabah Nur speaking outdated dialects, he eventually kills the men chasing Ororo by using sand to punch through the sides of their necks and literally melting the last into a wall.
Ororo takes En Sabah Nur to her house. Once he sees a television, touching it enables Apocalypse's powers to connect to all broadcasts in the world, making him learn modern languages and how mankind evolved the previous millennia. Believing that without his presence, humanity has grown weaker, he decides to destroy it in order to rebuild society from his point of view. He enhances Ororo's powers to turn her into the first of the new Horsemen.
Apocalypse and Storm then go to Berlin seeking Caliban, a mutant broker who knows the location of other Homo superior. Caliban refuses to concede information without getting paid and draws a gun on En Sabah Nur, who proceeds to use his powers to disintegrate it. Caliban's enforcer Psylocke then extends a sword and her psi-katana upon Apocalypse to protect her boss. Impressed, En Sabah Nur goes on to enhance Psylocke and turn her into a Horseman, and she replies by taking her to a powerful mutant. Angel, a former cage fighter who went into drunk depression after injuring his wings fighting Nightcrawler, becomes the third Horseman as Apocalypse replaces his wings with metal ones, renaming him "Archangel", "my Angel of Death".
After recruiting the trio, Apocalypse arrives together with them to a steel plant factory in Poland, where Erik Lehnsherr, also known as "Magneto", wants to kill his former co-workers for causing the death of his wife and daughter. Apocalypse kills the workers by fusing them to the ground, and teleports with Magneto to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where Erik had seen his powers awaken 40 years prior. After some encouragement from En Sabah Nur, who tells Erik that Earth's magnetic field and ground metals can be exploited by Magneto's powers, Erik proceeds to destroy the ruins, finally giving him some closure, and promptly agrees to join forces with the ancient mutant (who further enhances Erik's already immense mutant powers), becoming his fourth and final Horseman of the Apocalypse, Apocalypse proclaiming that "everything they've built will fall".
As Apocalypse gathers his Four Horsemen and gives them special armor, Erik is contacted telepathically by Charles Xavier through Cerebro. En Sabah Nur notices the communication and uses his powers to take over Xavier's mind, and by extension Cerebro. Apocalypse forces military around the world to launch Earth's entire nuclear arsenal into space so it cannot be used against him. After Havok destroys Cerebro with his powers, Apocalypse and the horsemen teleport to the X-Mansion to kidnap Xavier. Havok's attempt at attacking Apocalypse ends hitting a generator and causes a massive explosion that destroys the mansion, with everyone inside except for Havok only surviving due to Quicksilver's intervention.
Xavier is brought by En Sabah Nur to Cairo and forced to broadcast a threatening message to all the human race on the behalf of Apocalypse. Without En Sabah Nur knowing, Xavier also revealed his location in a hidden telepathic message to his student Jean Grey. En Sabah Nur destroyed most of Cairo to rebuild his pyramid, and ordered Magneto to stand outside it using his powers to control Earth's magnetic poles, causing widespread destruction across the planet and mass casualties. Meanwhile, inside the pyramid En Sabah Nur would transfer his consciousness to Xavier's body, as the telepath's powers would allow him to "be everywhere, be everyone".
The X-Men arrive during the process, and Nightcrawler interrupts the transferal by teleporting Xavier out of the pyramid, much to Apocalypse's frustration, but not before Professor X loses his hair. As Apocalypse steps outside the pyramid, he witnesses Angel's death, calling him useless, before being repeatedly punched in the face by Quicksilver, who uses his super speed to not be noticed; however, En Sabah Nur is uninjured and soon adapts, trapping one of the speedster's feet to the ground, before breaking Peter's arm and leg. As Psylocke comes closer, he requests for her to execute Peter. Instead she strikes En Sabah Nur on the neck, and seeing it is not his Horseman, he proceeds to attack and strangle the mutant, revealed as a disguised Mystique.
He orders Xavier to reveal his location, and the telepath goes on to attack Apocalypse at the Astral Plane. Although Xavier is able to overpower him at first, enough so that Apocalypse releases his grip on Mystique, En Sabah Nur quickly gains controls and finds Xavier's hideout. However, his attempt at getting there is interrupted by Magneto, who, seeing the errors of his ways and refusing to let his former friends die, switches sides. While the X-Men fight Apocalypse, Jean ventures into the astral plane and learns from Xavier that Apocalypse is physically weakened after centuries in the same body. Jean and Magneto join forces and dismantle Apocalypse's armor, with Jean tapping into the Phoenix Force.
Once the Phoenix Force was unleashed, En Sabah Nur screamed in immense pain as his frail true form is exposed, Magneto pierces him with a tremendous torrent of high-speed metal projectiles, Cyclops fires his laser beam. Realizing he is outmatched, and in immense pain, En Sabah Nur attempts to teleport away; however, Storm, shocked by her leader's harsh words towards Angel following his death and his brutality towards Mystique and Quicksilver, also switches sides and uses lightning to prevent him from leaving. As a dying En Sabah Nur looks up at the Phoenix Force, he proclaims that "All is revealed". He then finally accepts his death after which Phoenix incinerates him into dust, finally ending the threat of Apocalypse.
En Sabah Nur, or commonly known as "Apocalypse", is an immensely powerful mutant as well as the world's first mutant. Because of his "godly" status in the world, he had developed a God-complex, having been worshiped as a deity over the years in various places. En Sabah Nur was born with numerous superhuman abilities, so much so that he proclaims himself as not only a god, but a "savior" of sorts in order to establish a new world in the wake of the previous one.
He is a ruthless and manipulative mutant, as such he uses his manipulative streak to recruit many followers, including new ones. Apocalypse has also been shown to be very callous, shown when he looks down at a defeated Angel and only says that Angel was "useless". While he is tremendously powerful, he is also shown to be psychopathic, having no care for the consequences of his actions, and exposes one's weakness on a psychological level for his own personal gains. Apocalypse even has no qualms about killing other mutants who would dare defy him.
Also, Apocalypse is pure megalomaniac as he is proving to be relentless about his goal to take over the world and to restore the mutants to rule the world as they did on his times, as well as he is immensely loved the fanning of his people as they saw him as sort of a god -- incidentally confusing himself with God Itself.
Powers, Abilities, & Weaknesses
- Force Field Generation - Apocalypse could generate an extremely durable, yellow-hued energy shield around himself, able to withstand the combined attacks of Storm's lightning, Cyclops's optical blasts, and Magneto's tremendous torrent of high-speed metal projectiles. However, it did not protect him from Phoenix's power for long.
- Power Absorption - Every time Apocalypse's essence and soul entered a new host body, he not only retains all of his previous abilities, but also gains the abilities of his host, thereby continually expanding on his arsenal of abilities. Because he transfers his own being into one rather than absorbing their actual genetic material, it not only allows him to overshadow his host and mutate its form into his likeness (proportionate to the host's physical age), it also allows him to extend his life and thereby cheat death.
- Knowledge Absorption - Apocalypse was able to learn vast amounts of information inhumanly quickly. After awakening from his long slumber, he extracted data from the media network, gaining an understanding of the modern world, and learning to speak fluently in English, all in a matter of seconds. When using this ability, it seemingly causes the network system to act haywire, as the television began randomly showing various channels.
- Transmutation Apocalypse was able to transmute matter into anything he wanted at a molecular level, as he gave new, metallic wings for Archangel and a new helmet for Magneto. Apocalypse could liquefy rock surfaces and turn portions of it gelatinous and rubber-like, enabling him to trap his foes. Apocalypse used this ability when he created a stream of molecules and used them as blades to cut off the heads of his victims.
- Power Bestowal/Power Augmentation - Apocalypse can bestow others with great powers and abilities, or even enhance their natural mutant powers, as he would periodically do with each new generation of his Four Horsemen. He made Psylocke capable of generating more powerful and versatile energy projections, granting Angel bio-metallic wings (far more formidable than his previous, organic ones), increasing Storm's electrokinesis generation and granting her an early onset of flight (also turning her hair white in the process), and enhanced Magneto magnetic range and scale of control great enough to manipulating Earth's magnetic poles to devastating effects. Apocalypse also amplified Professor X's telepathy, making Charles able to deliver a telepathic message from Apocalypse to all the people of Earth without the aid of Cerebro.
- Regenerative Healing Factor - After transferring his consciousness into a mutant with advanced healing powers, Apocalypse acquired near-instantaneous recuperative powers to mend wounds and regenerate lost anatomy. When Mystique (disguised as Psylocke) slit his throat, Apocalypse recovered immediately. Even with his armor ripped off, Apocalypse was still healing from the disintegration caused by the Phoenix.
- Ageless Longevity - Apocalypse's healing powers keep him from aging beyond his prime, enabling him to remain dormant for over 5,000 years.
- Superhuman Durability - Apocalypse is incredibly durable, able to withstand several supersonic strikes from Quicksilver and resist for a short period blasts from Phoenix. Ultimately, it took a combined assault from the all the X-Men, including Magneto and Storm, to finally destroy him.
- Superhuman Strength - Apocalypse has immense strength, making him one of the physically dominant mutants, able to effortlessly beat an immobilized Quicksilver to the ground (breaking his leg with a single kick) and easily strangle and lift Mystique above his head with a single hand.
- Adaptive Reflexes - Apocalypse is able to enhance his reflexes to superhuman levels, as when he did in his brief battle with the supersonically fast Quicksilver, to see through the latter's movements and react to them, though this ability took several seconds to activate.
- Telekinesis - Apocalypse has formidable telekinetic abilities, which border on matter manipulation. He is able to pull dust-like particles from matter that he can turn into various objects; he can also disintegrate objects into said particles. Apocalypse can levitate objects of immense size to launch at his opponents. Apocalypse also frequently utilized this to fuse his opponents within walls or in the ground. At the largest scale, he was shown destroying much of Cairo in a "sandstorm" and re-assembling much of the material into his own personal pyramid.
- Telepathy - Apocalypse possessed powerful telepathic abilities, the extent of which were unknown, able to sense telepathic activity and block enemy telepaths from his own mind and from the minds of his followers.
- Teleportation - Apocalypse is able to teleport over tremendous distances at will, generating an immense sphere of violet light around himself and others or a hazy, violet portal he and others can walk through.
- Genius Intellect - Apocalypse is extremely intelligent, due to him having gain thousands of years of life and experience, as well as him having the ability to absorb vast amounts of knowledge at inhuman rates.
- Multilingual - Apocalypse is fluent in his native Ancient Egyptian, as well as English (after absorbing the knowledge of it from the modern world).
- Excellent Strategist - Apocalypse is an excellent strategist, tactician, and leader, having successfully taken advantage of Cerebro, quickly ridding Earth of its nuclear weapons, and leading his four Horsemen of Apocalypse against the X-Men, and he would have most likely ultimately been victorious against them, had Magneto and Storm not unexpectedly turned against him, and with Jean Grey unexpectedly tapping into the Phoenix Force, all at the last moment.
- Master Manipulator - Apocalypse, having been a charismatic leader in ancient times, is an expert at bending others to his will through both his persuasive words offerings of great power, with him notably swaying Storm, Psylocke, Archangel, and Magneto to his cause, making them his four Horsemen of Apocalypse.
- Arrogance - Apocalypse's other main weakness is his overconfidence in his abilities, which makes him see himself as a god. Hence, Professor X was able to exploit this when he told Jean Grey to unleash her power, making Apocalypse arrogantly walk towards her, and being caught off-guard with the sheer magnitude of Phoenix's power. The professor even claimed that Apocalypse can never win because his arrogance entices him to stand alone against the X-Men, even after both Magneto and Storm have turned against him as the two remaining Horsemen of Apocalypse.
- Limited Telekinesis - Apocalypse's telekinesis is not absolute, as he needed Magneto's manipulation of the magnetic poles to destroy human civilization.
- Limited Telepathy - Though Apocalypse is a powerful telepath, he lacked the range and versatility of Charles Xavier, who is capable of not just reading minds, but controlling them. It is for this reason that Apocalypse sought to take Xavier's power and gain control of every living being on the planet.
- Outsped Healing Factor - The combined effort of the X-men and Magneto proved able to damage him faster than he could heal, thus ultimately destroying and killing Apocalypse.
- Weakened Body - After Apocalypse spends a massive amount of time in a single body, it becomes weaker, requiring him to transfer his essence into a new body through an Egyptian ritual, so as to avoid succumbing to old age. However, he overcame his aging through his new healing factor. Despite this, he was still physically vulnerable to any form of physical trauma. This was further shown in the final battle against the X-Men. Without his armor, Apocalypse's truly frail body left him far more vulnerable to physical attacks, despite his healing factor.
- Apocalypse's Armor - Apocalypse's mighty armor enhances his physical abilities to immense, superhuman levels while wearing it. However, without his armor, his body is as vulnerable as any human being's, despite his accelerated healing abilities.
- Essence Transference Ritual - Apocalypse is able to transfer his consciousness and soul into other bodies through an ancient Egyptian altar within an enchanted ancient pyramid. The ritual requires the glow of sunlight as a power source. A golden liquid would then circulate through the symbols and then reach both Apocalypse and his new body, draining the soul (in the form of sapphire-blue, gaseous energy) into the new body. The ritual also induces a bio-metamorphic process into the next host, transforming it into a younger version of Apocalypse.
- Horsemen of Apocalypse
- Jean Grey - Enemy and Killer
- Magneto - Ally and Lieutenant turned Enemy
- Mystique - Enemy and Attempted Victim
- Professor X † - Kidnap Victim, Intended Host and Enemy
- Storm - Ally turned Enemy
- Caliban † - Enemy
- Havok † - Enemy
- Beast - Enemy
- Cyclops - Enemy
- Jubilee - Enemy
- Nightcrawler - Enemy
- Quicksilver - Enemy
- Apocalypse made himself stronger than he initially was when he merged with the advanced technology of an alien ship, as depicted in the comics, while a similar process is shown in the film.
- In both X-Men: Apocalypse and Ultimate X-Men #93, Apocalypse is defeated by Jean Grey using the power of the Phoenix Force.
- Actor Oscar Isaac, who portrays Apocalypse in the movie, described his character as: "He is the creative/destructive force of Earth when things goes awry for him, or those things do not seem that they are moving forward evolution to him. So, Apocalypse destroys those civilizations."