- “Wherever this being was, he always had four principle followers. Disciples. Protectors he would imbue with powers.”
- ―Moira MacTaggert to Charles Xavier and Alex Summerssrc
The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (also known simply as The Four Horsemen) was a team comprised of, at a single time, the four elite followers of En Sabah Nur.
The Four Horsemen are Apocalypse's personal warriors and always play a key role in his plans for mutant conquest and domination.
The first known incarnation of the Four Horsemen are seen in prehistoric Egypt, watching as their master uses his powers to construct the pyramids while a vast crowd of people bow before him, chanting his name.
Around 3,600 BC, in what would later become Cairo, Apocalypse was ready to transfer himself into another body; this time being a mutant with a healing factor, allowing Apocalypse to heal from any wound and granting him greater power, including near-immortality. The Four Horsemen of that time accompany him inside the pyramid, where Apocalypse's followers betray him and destroy the pyramid, killing three of them. As the final living Horseman falls into a deep chasm along with Apocalypse's new body and previous body, protecting him from the rubble as she also died, entombing Apocalypse for thousands of years.
Following the advent of the mutant age ten years previously, in 1983, human worshipers of Apocalypse discover the remains of the pyramid buried beneath Cairo and use an ancient chant to awaken him. His awakening causes an earthquake that buried the worshippers, but Apocalypse, restored, is able to reach the surface and explores the city.
He recruits Storm as his first horseman, vastly increasing her powers over the elements and turning her hair white. He travels to East Berlin with Storm to find more mutants with the help of Caliban. There, he meets Caliban's enforcer Psylocke, who he then entices by strengthening her power, recruiting her as his second horseman. Psylocke leads him to Angel, whose wings had recently been injured in a cagefight. Apocalypse repairs Angel's wings by turning them into metal and recruits him as his third horseman.
For his final horseman, he and the others travel to Poland, where they find a vengeful Magneto about to kill a room full of men who had reported him to the authorities, resulting in his wife and daughter being killed. Apocalypse quickly disposes of them, and takes Magneto to Auschwitz, where his powers first developed. Apocalypse shows Magneto the full extent of his powers, with Magneto destroying Auschwitz, and joining Apocalypse as his fourth and final horseman.
These are four mutants that Apocalypse would choose to fill the four roles in his conquest: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death.
Horsemen of Old (3600 BC)
- Death - a female mutant with seemingly powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities. She displayed the ability of verbal mind control by causing a mutant with an accelerated healing factor to sleep simply by commanding it. She used her telekinesis to fatally contort an attacker's body in mid-air and smash him against a wall. She was also the last remaining horseman when Apocalypse's pyramid was destroyed and protected him by telekinetically transferring his armor, piece by piece, from his old decaying body to his new one. She lastly protected his new body from the falling rubble by encasing it in a cocoon-like telekinetic force field. She was fatally crushed by a falling stone from the crumbling pyramid. She was portrayed by Monique Ganderton.
- Famine - a female mutant with powerful pyrokinetic abilities, who helped protect Apocalypse's new body by drawing the flames from the four nearby pyres and flinging them at attackers all around her. She too was fatally crushed by a falling stone alongside her fellow horseman War. She was portrayed by Rochelle Okoye.
- War - a male mutant with reddish skin, sharp teeth and superhuman strength with the ability to strip away the life force and flesh of living creatures. He was shown using this ability by clapping his hands together, thus releasing a powerful shockwave that blasted two attackers away and stripped them of their flesh and life, leaving only two mutilated carcasses with muscle tissue and bones. He was shortly crushed by a falling stone alongside his fellow horseman Famine. He was portrayed by Fraser Aitcheson.
- Pestilence - a gray-skinned male mutant with superhuman strength, that allowed him to smash through and hold up a giant stone that almost fell on top of him. Although he possessed superhuman strength, he did not possess equally high levels of superhuman durability, as he was shortly crushed by a giant falling stone from the pyramid. He was portrayed by Warren Scherer.
New Horsemen (1983 AD)
- Ororo Munroe/Storm - a female mutant with the ability to control the weather and generate electricity. She was the first of Apocalypse's new horsemen to be recruited in Cairo. She later betrays Apocalypse and joins the X-Men after she sees his callous disregard of Archangel and his attempt to murder her idol, Mystique.
- Elizabeth Braddock/Psylocke - a female mutant with the ability to conjure weapons made entirely of psionic energy, as well as unknown degrees of telekinesis and telepathy. The second to join Apocalypse, her current whereabouts are unknown.
- Warren Worthington III/Archangel - a male mutant, third to be recruited by Apocalypse after the latter gave him wings of metal. He was killed in a plane crash after being trapped inside.
- Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto - a male mutant with the ability of Magnetism and Ferrokinesis. The last of Apocalypse's horsemen to be recruited and the first to betray Apocalypse.
- In the comic books, Apocalypse has often manipulated different mutants into being his Horsemen. Examples include Angel, Wolverine, Gambit, Psylocke, Banshee and Polaris.
- Each Horseman embodies a different horror that humanity has constantly been faced with: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death.
- Bryan Singer stated the Four Horsemen chosen for X-Men: Apocalypse reflect real-world cults and how they tend to have factions associated with politics, military, sex or youth.
- Magneto and Storm's roles as Horsemen are similar to their X-Men Evolution counterparts, War and Famine, respectively.
- The Horsemen of Apocalypse were originally created by Louise Jones Simonson and Walter Simonson.