Quote1 Peace does nothing to test -- to INCREASE -- mutants' strength. To force them to evolve into the strong. Quote2
-- Apocalypse src
Rise of Apocalypse Vol 1 3

Rise of the First One

The First Morning Light

En Sabah Nur was born nearly five thousand years ago in a lone settlement on the very edge of the Amentet and the very edge of the Valley of the Kings, in Ancient Egypt, as a member of a tribe in Akkaba. Even as an infant, the child inspired fear, being born with gray skin and blue lines running across his lips and face. Ugly and malformed, the infant was abandoned by the tribe, to die in the harsh desert sun. However, out of the desert, the Sandstormers, a roving band of feared nomadic raiders, slaughtered the citizens of Akkaba. Their leader, Baal of the Crimson Sands, found the infant crying and recognized the potential power in the child. Baal named the infant En Sabah Nur, literally meaning "The Morning Light", and raised him as his own son.[16]

En Sabah Nur (Earth-616) and Sandstormers (Earth-616) from Rise of Apocalypse Vol 1 1 0001

Nur's rite of passage

Survival of the Fittest

As Nur grew, he surpassed the other tribesmen in intelligence and strength. Everyone in the tribe, except for Baal, hated and feared Nur for his inhuman looks and great abilities. Nur did not understand their fear, but hardened his heart against it. Moreover, Nur believed in the principle that Baal and the tribe lived by, that only the fittest, toughest, most ruthless and pitiless, tested by hardship, would, and should, survive. At this time Egypt was ruled by Pharaoh Rama-Tut. On the day of his tribal rite of passage into manhood, the seventeen-year-old Nur killed three armed warriors of the tribe using only his bare hands and Baal explained to him that Rama-Tut was no god, as most believed, but a man, who had arrived in a sphinx. Baal brought the young Nur to a sacred cave, whose entrance became blocked by a cave-in, trapping them underground.[11] After a week of wandering without food or water, they found the remnants of Rama-Tut's time ship, within an underground Egyptian tomb. Baal told Nur that he believed him to be a conqueror, whose coming was foretold in ancient prophecies, and that Nur was destined to overthrow Rama-Tut. After Baal died from lack of nourishment, Nur, whose mutant physiology kept him alive, vowed to take vengeance on Rama-Tut and claim his destiny. Four weeks later, Nur finally made his way back to the surface and was found by Logo, the grand vizier of Rama-Tut, who gave him water and hid him as a slave. Nur was determined to kill both Rama-Tut and his warlord, Ozymandias, for their part in Baal's death.[16]

Enslaved and Alone

While a slave, Nur kept his disfigured lips constantly covered and Nephri, sister of Ozymandias, became attracted to the mysterious slave.[16] Eventually, Nur had a vision of the Egyptian death god, Seth, who urged him to become a conqueror and Nur was thrown into a pit of snakes, but survived when his superhuman powers activated. Nur grew in size and strength and was attacked, by guards, but defeated them all.

En Sabah Nur (Earth-616) from Rise of Apocalypse Vol 1 1 Cover

The once and future king

From Slave to Conqueror

At a time when many time-traveling super-heroes, including the Fantastic Four, West Coast Avengers, and Dr. Strange, arrived in Rama-Tut's Egypt, the Pharaoh finally came face to face with Nur. In actuality, Rama-Tut was a time traveler from the far future, who would later become known as Kang the Conqueror. Tut knew that Apocalypse, one of the most powerful mutants who ever lived and the one who was destined to rule the world, had been born in ancient Egypt. Hence, Rama-Tut had gone back in time to find Apocalypse as a child, raise him, and thereby become the master of the most powerful being on the planet.[7] Rama-Tut offered to make Nur his heir, if he would swear his loyalty. At that time, Nur revealed his face to Nephri, who rejected him for his appearance. Rama-Tut then tried to kill Nur, when he refused. Nur was then shot, by the Pharaoh, with the same weapon he used to de-power the Fantastic Four, and was again left to die, but survived with the sudden emergence of his mutant immortality and mass shifting. With his powers flaring, Nur defeated Ozymandias and Rama-Tut himself, who finally escaped back into the future, eventually to take on the identity of Kang. The Fantastic Four went back to their era, thinking the explosion a booby trap. Nur attacked Ozymandias and he was thrown into the technology on Tut's Sphinx, which turned him into a sand-like being, who could see the future almost right before it happened and would record Nur's accomplishments throughout time, as his scribe. Nur then claimed Tut's sphinx.[17]

In 2620 B.C., Apocalypse joined forces with Imhotep[18] and Moon Knight of Khonshu (forming a protectorate who would form Brotherhood of the Shield)[19] to successfully fend off a Brood invasion.[18] Other accounts states Apocalypse only helped Imhotep against the Brood, but did not join the Brotherhood who was created afterwards.[20]

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Nur with his Riders of the Dark

Clan Akkaba and Riders of the Dark

When Nur fully realized his power and defeated the Pharaoh and his army, Egypt entered a new age, one in which his children walked among them. Offspring of Nur received a portion of his power, those closest related having near identical abilities. Nur forged his clan, now called Clan Akkaba after his birthplace and those who had abandoned and left him to die. During this time, the site of Akkaba reached somewhat of a renaissance as great monuments were erected there, whether by Nur, his descendants, or by the new Pharaoh no one knew. Egypt peaked, and so too did the clan’s influence on the world. With attacks by Alexander the Great and his Persian armies, Nur and his kin fought valiantly in a battle he would never forget. This battle helped Nur winnow out the weak in his clan and, as Egypt became nothing but a distant memory to the clan’s influence, Nur moved on to Ancient Rome. Before leaving, Nur revisited Nephri, now an ancient Egyptian Queen, and mocked her dying beauty, as he was still as he had been years before.

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The various god forms that Apocalypse has taken through out the centuries

From then on, Nur plotted the conquest of the planet, through bringing about wars and conflict, in which the strong would defeat and destroy the weak. Over the centuries, Nur was worshiped by many civilizations, under a variety of names. Nur also founded a group of fanatics devoted to the Darwinian ideals that the strong ("fit") should inherit the Earth and the weak ("unfit") should be culled, named the Riders of the Dark.


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Thor vs. Apocalypse

During the year 1013 A.D. Thor faced off with En Sabah Nur. He is defeated. Seeking revenge, Thor blessed Jarnbjorn with his own blood to imbue it with the power to pierce Celestial armor.[21]

The Celestial Ship

Centuries later, in 1050 A.D. in the Ho-Lo Shan Mountains of Northern Mongolia, during the time of the Mongol Empire, Nur heard of a ruler, who was powered by an immense alien Ship which crashed, and sought him out as another immortal. In a confrontation, Nur slew all of Garbha-Hsien's guards. Garbha-Hsien then sought to humble his fellow 'forever-walker', by revealing the secret titanic vessel. Having had previous experience with futuristic technology, Nur attacked Garbha-Hsien and left the other immortal for dead. Not understanding how to kill an immortal, Garbha-Hsien survived and fled. After striking down Garbha-Hsien, Nur entered the Ship and lived on it for many years, not fully understanding how to communicate with it or control it. Using old hieroglyphs, Nur built a large Sphinx around the Ship, on his own, and began to hear a voice inside of his head. The voice belonged to the Celestial, Eson the Searcher, who spoke through telepathy and called Nur Apocalypse. Eson presented Nur with the proposition to use the technology on Ship to shape the destiny of the world, or simply leave and never remember anything. Nur accepted and Eson stated that one day, maybe in centuries or millennia, the Celestials would come for payments for their gifts. Shortly after finding the Ship, Nur and his Riders of the Dark were constantly attacked, by a young warrior with a sword and shield calling himself the Traveler.

Ozymandias (Earth-616) and En Sabah Nur (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 457 0001

En Sabah Nur & Ozymandias


After years of sending assassins and battling the Traveler, Nur severed Traveler's left cybernetic arm and, during the confusion, the Traveler pulled a gun and shot him in the head. After reattaching his techno-organic arm, Traveler was accepted as the new leader of the Riders of the Dark, but declined. Traveler turned to Ozymandias and instructed him to remember that there will always be someone smarter and stronger around and that being fit to survive means to have the responsibility to help those who are not. Unaware to the Traveler, his techno-organic infected blood mixed with Nur's, as he wiped Nur's blood on Ozymandias. Ozymandias had Nur's dead body brought to the alien Ship, hoping that its technology could heal him, and Traveler arrived, to ambush a caravan of advanced technology. Traveler explained to Ozymandias that the Ship was actually a Celestial transport for a highly advanced alien race, a sentient exploratory device, and entered the ship. Inside, Traveler learned that his blood, mixed with the Techno-Organic Virus, and Nur's resurrected Nur and, infected with the virus, allowed Nur to understand Ship. Nur was transformed and enhanced by Celestial technology, becoming one of the most powerful beings who would ever live, now possessing the ability of total control over the molecular structure of his body. Angry at the revelation, Traveler told Nur that if he was responsible for his immortality, he would make Nur spend eternity far away from there and sent both Ship and its passenger far into space. Over the next few centuries, Ship's sentience slowly evolved and Nur noticed it, but enslaved it, telling Ship that he had created it. After gaining so much power, Nur also began to take long slumbers in Ship, to refuel his powers, and began to call himself Apocalypse.[22]

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Nur's battle with Vlad the Impaler

12th Century

During the Second Crusades in the 12th century, the crusader Bennet du Paris sought out the legendary Tower of Power, the domain of the mythic "Eternal Pharaoh" in Akkaba. After traveling for hours through violent sandstorms, Paris finally collapsed and a voice spoke to him, asking if he was willing to risk everything to become one of the strong. Paris was then tested and his mutant powers manifested for the first time. Proving himself strong, Paris disappeared from the spot. Nur had teleported Paris on his Ship and transformed him into Exodus. After capturing the time-traveling Sersi and the Black Knight, Eobar Garrington, who was being controlled by the time-traveling Black Knight, Dane Whitman, Nur commanded Exodus to destroy the Black Knight. Exodus refused and turned on Nur, calling him a "false god". However, Exodus was no match for Nur and Nur stripped Exodus of his power and sealed him away in a crypt in the Swiss Alps, trapped in a coma like state with a curse preventing Exodus from leaving, yet others were allowed to come and go as they pleased.[3]

15th Century

Sometime during the fifteenth century, Nur had already created his Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, Pestilence, Famine, War, and Death, and rode among them as well, leading an army of Riders of the Dark. This army was so strong and powerful that some were led to believe that they were just a myth, to scare soldiers before their first battle.

During 1459, in Romania, the Horsemen of War led the Riders of the Dark and, single-handedly, defeated Vlad the Impaler and his army. Nur personally bested Vlad in single combat, an event which led to Vlad becoming the immortal vampire, Dracula.[12]

Mister Sinister

Nur was later seen in 1859, Victorian England, after being awoke from centuries of hibernation in an underground chamber, by the Marauders, and ordered them to take him to their leader, Dr. Nathaniel Essex. Nur offered to transform Essex into a long-lived superhuman being himself, to give him the time to further his research, but at a cost: his servitude. Left with the choice of continuing his work or his wife shunning him, Dr. Essex allied himself with Nur. Dr. Essex explained to Nur that he was the first born in, what Dr. Essex believed, would be a great mutation in the human race. After taking Nur to the Hellfire Club, Nur demonstrated his power before the men and explained that Dr. Essex's theories of mutation were more near than he believed. After defeating the time-travelers Cyclops and Phoenix, Nur left them to Dr. Essex, as test subjects.[23] After the death of his wife and her shunning him, Dr. Essex agreed to Nur's offer and was ordered to create a plague to destroy the weak of the world, as Nur's first prelate, Pestilence. Apocalypse painfully transformed Dr. Essex into an ageless being of extraordinary pallor, with telekinesis in his alien Ship, asking him to shed his past name and choose another. With his new abilities and dispassionate outlook, Dr. Essex took the new name, "Sinister", Rebecca Essex's last words to him.[24]

Nur had plans to assassinate Britain's Queen and Prime Minister, and almost succeeded, but was defeated by time-traveling duo who began to shift back to their own time. Returning to Nur's Ship, Nur demanded to know why the plague was not complete and Mr. Sinister stated that he manipulated the plague, so that it would affect only Nur himself, but his immune system quickly adapted to it.[25] Nur asked why and Mr. Sinister replied that cruelty for no purpose was ignorance and ignorance was the greatest enemy of science. As Nur began to return to his hibernation, he stated that Sinister's defiance was a sign of his strength, but it would not be tolerated again. Nur warned Sinister to never forget who has the true power and, when he returns, it will be the dawn of the Age of Apocalypse and Sinister will be his servant.[26]

En Sabah Nur (Earth-616) from X-Men Apocalypse vs. Dracula Vol 1 1 0002

Apocalypse awakened to battle Vlad once again


In 1897, Dracula, now a immortal vampire warlord, discovered the existence of Clan Akkaba and it's relation to En Sabah Nur. Dracula then began a vengeful campaign against Clan Akkaba, slaughtering many before Abraham van Helsing determined he was involved. When the clan's leader, Hamilton Slade, disappeared, they were left with no choice but to summon their lord.[12] The clan awoke Apocalypse, in order to deal with the threat of Dracula. Unknown to the members of the clan, Dracula was turning members of Clan Akkaba into vampires in order to battle Apocalypse as revenge for his earlier defeat and the way the Dark Lord had previously shamed him.[27]

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Apocalypse's defeat of Dracula

Apocalypse, as punishment for being so weak in requesting a boon from him, killed one of the clan's leaders. After meeting, and initially being mistaken as a vampire by, van Helsing, Apocalypse joined him, Jack Starsmore, Frederick Slade, and Ozymandias, to combat Dracula and the undead members of Clan Akkaba.[28] Apocalypse and his group were at first overwhelmed by the vampires, but eventually emerged victorious, thanks to Frederick and Jack. Dracula was impaled with his own limbs and decapitated by Apocalypse. Apocalypse refused to follow van Helsing's "superstitious" rituals to permanently destroy the vampire, leaving the body. He then went back into hibernation.[29]

Back in 1899 in England, Sinister helped awaken Apocalypse from his slumber. Apocalypse thanked him for his servitude over the years and says that out of all the servants, Sinister is the most loyal. Sinister secretly was bidding his time for the right moment to stop Apocalypse himself. He decided this is not the time and says that he lives only to serve Apocalypse. Apocalypse even offered him a normal life again and Sinister said that his life is his science. He then went back into hibernation.[30]

Birth of Cable

Feeling threatened by the power of Nur, Sinister conducted numerous experiments in his time, searching for a powerful mutant to oppose his master. Sinister eventually realized Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s mingled genes would create a mutant of unparalleled power, to destroy Apocalypse and thus free him from the yoke of that ancient tyrant. Sinister hoped he could control such a mutant and use it to defeat Apocalypse. At the time, Jean was believed to be acting reckless, so Sinister created a clone of her and named the clone Madelyne Pryor, creating a false background for her and placing her into the world after "Jean's" apparent death. Sinister's plan, then, was to produce a child from the union of Madelyne and Scott, whom he believed would become a genetically superior mutant. The infant, Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, was so powerful that, upon his birth, he woke Apocalypse from his hibernation.[citation needed]

Alliance of Evil

Emerging from his Celestial Ship in a new world, Apocalypse realized that mutants had begun to populate the Earth and began his plan of domination. Out-fitting himself with armor from Ship, Apocalypse began to form the Alliance of Evil, a team of mutants which he employed, and setting-up technologically advanced safehouses all over the world. Apocalypse also blackmailed the mutant Michael Nowlan and designed a machine to feed Nowlan's addiction, as well as to reverse it as needed to utilize his power.[31] Apocalypse used Nowlan's power to enhance the abilities of the other members of the Alliance of Evil. Around this time, the Mutant Registration Act was passed, which called for all mutants to register with the government, forfeiting their civil rights and illegalizing an unregistered mutant.[32][33]

The Alliance of Evil was first seen, when Tower was hired to kidnap X-Factor member Beast for the geneticist Dr. Carl Maddicks. Later, Apocalypse sent Frenzy to capture the young mutant Rusty Collins, but she was stopped by X-Factor.[34] Nowlan eventually escaped from Apocalypse and Apocalypse sent the Alliance after him. After revealing himself as the leader of the Alliance of Evil, X-Factor battled him and his team. After Nowlan's death, the Alliance was defeated and presumably imprisoned and Apocalypse abandoned them, believing them weak.[35][36][37]

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Horsemen of Apocalypse's first modern incarnation

New Horseman

Subsequently, Apocalypse began recruiting his newest Horsemen and taking them aboard his Ship, which floated cloaked above New York. The first modern Horseman recruited by Apocalypse was Plague, a member of the Morlocks, whom he rescued and recruited during the Mutant Massacre of Sinister's Marauders, to fill the role of Pestilence. Apocalypse then approached ex-soldier Abraham Kieros, in an iron lung, barely able to speak, and granted him the position of War. Autumn Rolfson was Apocalypse's third choice, who he appeared to in her room of her home after an argument with her parents, and was given the position of Famine. Apocalypse then saved the de-winged Angel from his sabotaged, exploding plane and chose him to be his fourth and final Horseman, Death.[38][39] Apocalypse granted Kieros the use of his legs and restored his health.[40] Apocalypse also grafted new, techno-organic wings, which could fly higher, faster, were razor sharp, with blades that could be thrown laced with a neurotoxin, and could even fold into a barely visible bundle on his back for concealing, on Warren Worthington's back.[41]

To test his new Horsemen, Apocalypse sent them to battle X-Factor, in New York's Central Park, but they were all defeated by Iceman. After the fourth Horseman, Death, was revealed to be Warren, Apocalypse had the Horsemen battle each other, to find the leader, and Death beat them all.[42] To test his newest leader's abilities, Apocalypse teleported X-Factor on-board his Ship and, as Death, Warren fought the rest of X-Factor and captured them. However, Apocalypse offered X-Factor to join him and Caliban, noticing Warren's improvement and wishing to exact revenge on the Marauders, asked Apocalypse to grant him enough superhuman power to wreak vengeance on his enemies and Apocalypse accepted.[43] When Cyclops asked for Caliban to rescue X-Factor, Caliban simply apologized and agreed to become Apocalypse's Hellhound. After X-Factor's defeat, the Horsemen were sent into Manhattan, to incite chaos. X-Factor and the Power Pack battled the Horsemen.[44] In the battle, Pestilence was killed, Famine was sent to America's Bread Basket, and Apocalypse called Death and War back to Ship, where Warren was soon brought out of his brainwashing, after Iceman faked his own death at Warren's hands by having him destroy an ice sculpture of Bobby Drake.[4] Warren, then, rejoined his former team and, after their defeat of Apocalypse, his Ship crash landed on their Complex and X-Factor began living on Apocalypse's sentient Ship, while Caliban left with Apocalypse.[45][46][47] While sleeping, X-Factor and their students were attacked by Ship, still under the control of Apocalypse, but Rusty freed it's consciousness and, recognizing X-Factor's leader, Cyclops, as the same that defeated him centuries ago, Apocalypse believed X-Factor worthy adversaries and allowed them to live on Ship. [48]

The Evolutionary War

While operating under Apocalypse, Caliban sensed the mental anguish of the mutant Moloid, Val-Or and informed his master, alerting Apocalypse to the High Evolutionary's plans. After an initial battle, Apocalypse realized that the High Evolutionary was a man after his own heart, even if the High Evolutionary did not want to believe it, and left him to weed-out the weak of the species.[49]


Apocalypse used advanced genetic engineering methods to increase Caliban's size and strength and renamed him "Hellhound", while he joined Apocalypse's Horsemen. Wishing to prove himself worthy of the title Death, Caliban, on his own, attempted to kill Warren, but was defeated and berated by Apocalypse, upon his return. At some point, Apocalypse contacted members of the Inhumans, on the Blue Area of the Moon, and persuaded them to join his ideological view and form a new team of Riders of the Storm under his guidance, while building a base on the Moon.[49]

Savage Land

Apocalypse attempted to destroy the Savage Land but was stopped by Wolverine and Colossus.[50]

Acts of Vengeance

Loki went to Apocalypse to offer him a major part in his Acts of Vengeance Conspiracy against the Avengers Apocalypse refused to join him, having other ideas in mind for humanity. Loki attempted to slay the eternal mutant but Apocalypse shield them from the blast. With the battle over, Apocalypse told Caliban that it is time to begin the next phase of his test of survival on humanity.[51]

Nathan Summers

Realizing that young Nathan was the same Traveller that defeated him centuries ago, Apocalypse ordered the Riders of the Storm to kidnap Nathan and take him to his base on the Blue Area of the Moon, where Apocalypse infected the infant with the Techno-Organic Virus, both to start a time paradox that ensured his own creation and recognizing the potential threat and usefulness (capable of housing his essence) of the boy's power.[52] Apocalypse also ordered the Riders of the Storm to infect Ship with the Techno-Organic Virus, that damaged its systems and caused Ship to attack New York. Explosion imminent, Ship launched itself into space, to protect the city, but the Ship A.I. managed to salvage itself as an energy construct.[53] With the help of the Inhumans and his fellow teammates, Cyclops saved his son, through the combined strength of Nathan, Jean, and himself. Sister Askani presented herself, from the late 37th century, 100 years after Apocalypse conquered the world, and stated her mission to save the child.[54] Choosing to save his son's life and believing that he would never see him again, Cyclops reluctantly allowed Askani to take Nathan forward to her time, to cure the virus. Askani did so at the cost of her life.[55]


Apocalypse later battled the She-Hulk.[56]

Future Son Stryfe

While hibernating in Bani Maza, Egypt, Apocalypse was woke, by a man in armor, calling himself Stryfe and claiming to repay Apocalypse for his abusive parenting.[57] With his Dark Riders of the Storm watching, Apocalypse, who had never met Stryfe at this point and still weak from waking too early, was defeated by Stryfe, who stabbed him with a sword that he claimed Apocalypse used to kill him at one point.[58] While attempting to heal, Apocalypse fled to one of his safehouses, where he was attacked by the X-Men believing that he was behind the kidnapping of Scott and Jean. While battling the X-Men, Apocalypse learned that someone had been committing acts, in his name. Eager to learn more of the current events, Apocalypse broke-in one of Cable's, the adult Traveler, safehouses and learned that Stryfe had taken control of his Riders of the Storm, calling them the Dark Riders, and Sinister had impersonated him, taking control of the Horsemen and kidnapping Cyclops and Jean.[59][60][61][62]

Stryfe had also posed as Cable himself and publicly made an assassination attempt on Professor Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men. Stryfe's bullet had infected Professor Xavier with the Techno-Organic Virus, which was still incurable at the current time.[63] While Beast and Dr. Moira MacTaggert, via video conference, worked diligently to cure Prof. Xavier, of the Techno-Organic Virus ravaging his body, Apocalypse stepped-in and provided the cure. The X-Men initially did not want Apocalypse's aid, but Warren, surprisingly, vouched for Apocalypse's genius. When Apocalypse asked why, Warren stated that he would kill Apocalypse after torturing him and at a time of his choosing.[64]

After deducing that Stryfe was on Apocalypse's old Moon base, Apocalypse accompanied a small group of X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force to battle Stryfe and his Dark Riders. Apocalypse split from the group, single-handily battling the Dark Riders and, after the battle, was greatly injured. When Warren was informed that Apocalypse was dying, he left the final battle to find him and decided to leave him to die alone, when Apocalypse asked him to end his misery.[65][66]


Mimeyoshi was created by En Sabah Nur to serve as an assassin, she was sent against Namor.[6]

Age of Apocalypse

Legion goes back into the past to kill Magneto but Xavier dies instead. Apocalypse of the past sees a better chance to strike, and plans to creating the alternate timeline Age of Apocalypse.[67]


Apocalypse was awoken from his healing slumber by Ozymandias to learn the new threat to earth Onslaught.[68] He watched the creature battle earth heroes.[69] Uatu the Watcher, suggested Apocalypse make an alliance with Cable.[68] Apocalypse believed he would be vulnerable through the Astral Plane, and needed Cable's help to reach the realm. He freed the captive Franklin Richards, greatly weakening Onslaught. The plan worked but was interrupted by the Invisible Woman, who had invisibly come with them, having suspected Apocalypse's motive in wanting to actually killing Franklin. However this gave Onslaught the time to escape, prolonging the fight.[70][2][68] [71][72]

Hulk: The Horseman of War

The Hulk and Bruce Banner were split into two separate beings by Onslaught. Hulk now drew upon energy derived from Franklin's pocket universe. Apocalypse recruited the Hulk to become his Horseman, War, to defeat the Celestials.[73] He sent the Hulk against the New World Order. The New World Order in turn set the Juggernaut and Absorbing Man against him. The Hulk defeated them both. Hulk soon came to his senses after injuring Rick Jones.[74] This was still a win for Apocalypse as it allowed him to test his new device. He activated the self-destruct mechanism on the Sword of War destroying their headquarters.[75]

Harbinger of Apocalypse

The Hellfire Club later awoke Apocalypse's long-hidden Harbinger of Apocalypse from hibernation; originally a normal man, whom Apocalypse in the 19th century once left to incubate for 100 years.[76] Apocalypse released Caliban and Ozymandias from his possession, to fend for themselves, if they were to survive the coming events.[77] Cable with the Avengers battled the Harbinger, but are unable to stop him. Apocalypse then appeared and activated a bomb inside the Harbinger which would destroy all of New York City, but Cable managed to stop it.[78][79][80]


When Magneto disrupted the Earth's magnetic field, Apocalypse sent a Skrull impersonating the mutant Astra to stop him.[81]

Deviants & Eternals

Apocalypse planned to test the Deviants and set off a nuclear bomb in the underground city of Lemuria, causing them to further mutate. Apocalypse then attacked San Francisco, using the now gigantic Karkas. The Eternals are forced to battle the creature. Apocalypse is confronted by Ikaris, who now is a Prime Eternal. Although Apocalypse defeated Ikaris, he still succeeded in thwarting his plans.[82]

The Twelve

To secure a new host body, Apocalypse sought to siphon the awesome energies of The Twelve, mutants of incredible power that were destined to alter the course of history. This time it was Wolverine who fell into the warlord's grasp. The feral X-Man fought his teammates ferociously as the Horseman Death, but broke free from Apocalypse's control.[83]

However, Wolverine and his fellow Horsemen had served their purpose. Taking advantage of the distraction afforded by their actions, Apocalypse collected the mutants he required to carry out his plan: Cyclops, Phoenix, Polaris, Bishop, Sunfire, the Living Monolith, Mikhail Rasputin, Cable, Professor X, Storm, Iceman, and Magneto.[84][85][86][87][88][89][90]

The Twelve's energy would be siphoned into the Monolith and then from him into X-Man, and as the power went into him Nur would possess the boy a time-tossed teenager possessed of vast telepathic and telekinetic power. As his teammates fell around him, a powerless Cyclops shoved X-Man out of the draining circuit, merging with Apocalypse to create a new evil entity.[86][91] But the telepathic Phoenix, Summers' wife, Jean Grey, detected her husband's psyche inside the composite being and prevented the X-Men from destroying it.[92][93] Cyclops was presumed dead by most of his teammates; only Cable and Jean refused to believe he had perished.[94]


An amnesiac and powerless cyborg Cyclops regained control of the merged form, but Apocalypse began to re-emerge.[95] Jean and Cable were alerted to his location in Egypt, where Jean in the end managed to free Cyclops by telepathically tearing out Apocalypse's essence from her husband's body.[96][97] This trapped Apocalypse in an incorporeal astral form, which Cable seemingly destroyed using his Psimitar.[98]


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Apocalypse reborn

However, after the event known as M-Day, Apocalypse was resurrected using the techno-organic virus.[99] As he had once been awakened to a world brimming with mutant potential, Apocalypse was now awakened to a world that had lost 90% of its mutants. This changed Apocalypse's outlook somewhat, and he declared himself the savior of mutantkind.[100]

Apocalypse began assembling his new Horsemen. He kidnapped Polaris and the Leper Queen to make one of them Pestilence. He found the Leper Queen too eager for the position, and instead chose the recently de-powered Polaris. He brought Gazer back to Earth and forced him to fight an archaeologist who had discovered his tomb for the position of War[101][102] After Gazer's victory (with the assistance of Ozymandias), Apocalypse approached the newly-legless Sunfire, offering him a slot as the Horseman Famine. Apocalypse then sent his Horseman Pestilence to a military installation to ingest every disease possible.[103]

With three Horsemen, Apocalypse went to the Xavier Institute, where he proclaimed himself the savior of mutantkind, and offered the X-Men and 198 mutants seeking shelter his leadership.[104] Many mutants, such as Mammomax, Skids, Peeper, Arclight, and Scalphunter, accepted this offer, even though in the case of some it was to counter the effects of Famine, who was using his hunger-inducing powers to force everyone present to accept the blood of Apocalypse. The X-Men, however, went after Famine, who Rogue thought looked familiar. And while War fought against the only manned Sentinel left after Famine's starving effect, Apocalypse made his final Horseman, Death, from the X-Man Gambit.[105]

Apocalypse's plan was to decimate the human population as well, reducing them to 10% of their current population, so that they and mutantkind might once again be on an even playing field. He was defeated by the X-Men with assistance from Sentinel Squad O*N*E, the New Avengers and Ozymandias's betrayal.[106] Apocalypse threw himself into the maw of the Sphinx, sending him spiraling into unknown space. As Apocalypse began to die, he was contacted once more by the Celestials. The day of reckoning was upon him, as they saved Apocalypse from death, and took him way, to recollect the debt he had promised them in his youth.[107]

En Sabah Nur (Earth-616) from Uncanny X-Force Vol 1 1 0001

Young En Sabah Nur

The Final Horsemen

Recently, Ozymandias and Clan Akkaba have once again resurrected Apocalypse, but this time in the form of a child.[108] In this form, Apocalypse seemed to have no memory of his past or his previous disregard for life.[109] Ozymandias and the Celestial Ship took to tutoring and indoctrinating the child Apocalypse.[108] To protect this young En Sabah Nur, The Final Horsemen, mutants collected over centuries, were activated.[8] War, Pestilence, Famine, Death battled X-Force on the Blue Area of the Moon and nearly defeated them.[109] However, due largely to Fantomex's illusions, the team apparently killed the Horsemen and Ozymandias. When they discovered the young Apocalypse, the team fought over what to do with him. The issue was rendered moot when Fantomex shot the boy in the head leading to one of his Horsemen of Death, Archangel taking his place as the instrument of the Celestials.[110]

Dark Angel Saga

Apocalypse was cloned and raised by Fantomex as a hero, named Evan Sabahnur. He tried his best to defeat Archangel, providing the opportunity for Psylocke to attack him with the Seed of Life. After the battle, Fantomex decided to send Evan to Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.[111]


En Sabah Nur later returned in secret; however, although his consciousness had evolved to immortality, like all his hosts, his body was once again degenerating. To rectify this situation, Apocalypse traveled to a small island off the coast of South America and began modifying the Finch, a piece of Celestial technology designed to repair genetic degradation, to transform the cells of future host bodies into perfect vessels as immortal as his mind. Unfortunately his fourth test subject, D'oerek, feared death and resisted the transformation, his strength of will causing feedback that overloaded the Finch resulting in an explosion. When En Sabah Nur awoke, he found himself in a seemingly strange and primitive world, his powers failing him as his current host body's degradation rapidly increased.[112]

Apocalypse then grappled with his own mortality, devolving into a human-like state while fighting off threats from creatures and finding himself further weakened by pathogens in the water as his healing factor failed and he struggled to find a place where he might repair the Finch and restore his host body long enough to return to his work of creating the perfect vessel.[113] Devolving further into a caveman-like state, En Sabah Nur fought to protect what remained of the Finch from actual cavemen, his mind fuzzy and his body battered and broken before the very test subjects he had been experimenting on before suddenly arrived.[114]

Unfortunately they had not come for Apocalypse at all, in fact the did not even recognize him, instead they had come to capture cavemen to use as test subjects of their own. Repairing the Finch, they began to continue En Sabah Nur's former work, attempting to modify the cavemen to serve as hosts for themselves when their own bodies would eventually fail. When it came time for Apocalypse to be the next caveman test subject, he grabbed hold of D'oerek as the energy of the Finch washed over them both, allowing his mind to transfer into his intended vessel, leaving the one that had been devolving to die on the exam table.[115]

His immortal mind now bestowed upon an immortal host body, it was only then that En Sabah Nur realized he had not been transported to another planet, rather the earlier explosion from the Finch had simply evolved his entire South American island, infusing his superior genetics into everything the blast wave struck, transforming it into the tribulation which he had been forced to endure. Apocalypse then gave his perfect host body a trial run as he killed the remaining test subjects, who were upset about their leader D'oerek's death at his master's hand, while reducing the entire island to rubble that was reclaimed by the sea.[116]

House of X

When Professor X and Magneto found the new mutant nation of Krakoa, Xavier sends out a telepathic call to all mutants, offering amnesty and a place in Krakoa. Apocalypse receives the call and travels to Krakoa with many other former enemies of the X-Men. Declaring that he has spent millennia trying to shape mutantkind into something worthy, he tells them that he is proud of what they have accomplished, and agrees to submit to all the laws of Krakoa. He is given a place on the ruling body of Krakoa, sitting alongside Xavier and Magneto.


Apocalypse has constantly evolved to survive, increasing his powers over the centuries. His original ability to control his molecular structure was augmented by Celestial armor once he entered the Ship and became the Evolutionary Caretaker.[117] He was also exposed to at least two different techno-organic viruses over the years, which he assimilated and made his own.[30][22]

En Sabah Nur (Earth-616) from X-Factor Vol 1 68 0001

Apocalypse withstands a scream from Black Bolt, as well the combined attacks of the Inhumans and X-Factor

  • Immortality: Apocalypse's original body was immortal; even before being modified by the Celestial ship, he had lived for thousands of years.[117] Apocalypse can enter a coma-like state of suspended animation during which he may recover from any wounds with the assistance of his Celestial technology.[118][58]
  • Superhuman Strength: Apocalypse possesses superhuman strength that he can further increase by drawing upon outside energy sources; Apocalypse was shown to be strong enough to physically restrain the Hulk, while the Hulk was separated from Banner and explicitly lacked the ability to increase his strength with his rage, but also had a stronger base level. Hence, Apocalypse is above the "Class 100" limit.[74]
  • Superhuman Speed: He is able to speed up his reflexes and reaction time.[119]
  • Superhuman Durability: Apocalypse is highly resistant to injury. With the Celestial modifications, this resistance to harm is amplified.[55]
  • Teleportation: Apocalypse can teleport himself and others around vast distances across the planet. The ability seems to be artificial, linked to the Celestial technology bio-mechanically incorporated into his body, headquarters, and equipment, and so is not always available to him.[61]
  • Psionic Manipulation: At various times Apocalypse has demonstrated differing but vast levels of mental capacity.
    • Telekinesis: Apocalypse possesses telekinetic abilities enabling him to levitate himself,[68] or others, by sheer force of will and manipulate living beings, inanimate objects, and to some extent energy, psionically.
      • Flight: Apocalypse can enable himself to fly, by either transforming his arms into wings, jets, or through telekinetic use.[32][120][72] He can achieve supersonic velocity in this manner.[119]
    • Telepathy: He's also an accomplished mentalist of undefined extent. An example of his power would be him battling a weakened Jean Grey (a vastly powerful telepath in her own right) within the psyche space of Baby Nathan and win.[55]
      • Telepathic Control & Manipulation: He's able to project his own thoughts and memories or read those of others in order to glean and impart whatever information he desires from them.[68]
      • Cyberpathy: Thanks to his synergy with the Celestial Technology bonded to him, due in part to his paradoxical jaunt of afflicting cable with the T.O Virus, Apocalypse gained the ability to mentally link with and control most any kind of tech and machinery he could reach out too.[30][100]
  • Self-Molecular Manipulation: Apocalypse has control over the molecular structure of his own body and can alter it at will. This means he can adapt his molecular structure to adversity. Apocalypse can perform the following feats:
    • Biomorphing: Apocalypse is also a non-terrestrial metamorph, able to elongate like taffy, change into machinery, separate & reattach his own body parts and even alter his physical appearance at will to blend in with the world around him.[32][121][88]
    • Healing factor: Apocalypse's control over his bodily molecules allows for his regenerative abilities.[119]
    • Size Alteration: Apocalypse is able to change his size at will; he can increase or decrease the size of his body by taking on additional mass or ridding of it from a presumably extra-dimensional source.[55]
    • Self-Power Bestowal: Due to En Sabah's total control over his molecular and sub-molecular structure, further bolstered by the Celestial technology augmenting him, he can also consciously or spontaneously grant himself with a wide array of new superpowers at will.[121]
  • Energy Manipulation: Apocalypse seems to have a range of energy harnessing and projecting capabilities, either naturally derived or based on Celestial technology built into his physical frame[61]
    • Energy Blasts: Apocalypse can project raw destructive energy from anywhere on his person, be it as concussive blasts from extremities or even full body energy waves.[61]
    • Energy Absorption: He can also absorb energy from outside sources to augment both himself and his overall power.[122]


  • Super-Genius Intelligence: Apocalypse is an extraordinary genius, and has knowledge of certain areas of biology, primarily genetic engineering and mutation, and technology that are far in advance of contemporary science and technology. This was not merely a result of his exposure to alien technology, as he was able to make significant new advances beyond the alien materials to which he was exposed.[123]
  • Omnilingual: En Sabah Nur is fluent in all of human language from across history including Celestial.[103]

Strength level

Variable; Ability to tap into outside power sources makes his strength level virtually incalculable.[122]


Several of Apocalypse's bases have a rejuvenation chamber. Apparently Celestial technology capable of manipulating the genes of mutants giving them altogether new abilities or augmenting the ones they already possess. (The process seemingly has the effect of warping the minds of the subjects more to Apocalypse's way of thinking).[124]


Personal teleportation device. Various Celestial-tech based ships.[34][125]


Assuming various Celestial-tech based weaponry.[119]

  • "En Sabah Nur" translates to "The Seven Lights"[126]; with "Sabah" literally meaning "seven" and "Nur" meaning "light" in Arabic. This is interesting for Islam depicts the eternal afterlife as having seven heavens. Since Apocalypse was born thousands of years before modern Arabic existed, this must either be a translation of his true name, or it is a name in Proto-Semitic that simply coincidentally resembles Arabic words. "En Sabah Nur" can also mean "birth of light", "Awakened Light",and (in literal sense) "Dawn".
  • A little known fact is that Apocalypse was created as a last minute replacement for the Owl, a Daredevil villain who original X-Factor writer Bob Layton wanted to use as X-Factor's main villain. When Layton was removed from the book and replaced with Louise Simonson, she requested that the last page of X-Factor #5 be changed to a shadowy figured named Apocalypse, as Simonson wanted a new character to be the main villain for the book.[127]
  • En-Sabah-Nur was allegedly the eighth individual to assume the mantle of Apocalypse in Earth-616.[9]
  • Nur was known for engaging in numerous opium binges over his long life, which were somewhat necessary.[128]
  • Despite the Egyptian origin of the character, the codename "Apocalypse" is Greek in origin. The English term "apocalypse" derives from the Greek "apokálypsis"/"apocalypsis" which literally means "revelation" (lifting of the veil) or "uncovering". It derives from the Greek terms "apo" ("away from" or removing, "because of" or in consequence) and "calypto"/kalúptō ("to cover", "to conceal", "to put over as a covering").
  • In Jewish and Christian religious literature, the term apocalypse came to be associated with prophetic writing. An apocalypsis/apocalypse was the written account of a revelation of hidden things, given by God to a chosen prophet.
  • The association in English of the term "apocalypse" with prophetic revelation, an end time scenario, and the end of the world in general, largely derives from a single ancient book. The "Book of Revelation" (1st century), a Christian book of prophesy about the end of this world and the beginning of the next one. In Latin the Book is called "Apocalypsis Ioannis" and the original Greek title is "Apocalypsis Ioannou" (the Apocalypse of John). The English associations of the term have been in use since at least the 12th century.

Discover and Discuss


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  18. 18.0 18.1 S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
  19. S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3 #9
  20. History of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #1
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  22. 22.0 22.1 Cable & Deadpool #26-27
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  27. X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula #2
  28. X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula #3
  29. X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula #4
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Cable Annual #1999
  31. X-Factor #5
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 X-Factor #6
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  34. 34.0 34.1 X-Factor #10
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  71. Fantastic Four #415
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  99. Cable & Deadpool #26
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  127. [1]
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  129. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #1
  130. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #1

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