En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse)

ApocalypseAnd finally we arrived at X-Men: Days of Future Past‘s post-credit scene, which is set in Egypt around 3000 B.C. In the scene, we can see a young man, portrayed by Brendan Pedder, building the pyramids using his powerful telekinesis. In the meanwhile, a crowd is chanting his name: En Sabah Nur, and four horsemen are looking from a distance. This one marks the first live action appearance of one of the most feared villains in the Marvel Universe, Apocalypse, who’ll be of course the main bad guy in the next installment of the series, X-Men: Apocalypse (even if in the new film he’ll be quite different from the young boy with white skin and blue lips we saw in this one). Waiting for the movie, let’s see who Apocalypse is in the comics.

The child who would have been known as En Sabah Nur was born nearly five thousand years ago in AkkabaEgypt, member of a tribe who feared him from his very first moments of life: with grayish skin and blue lips, the baby was abandoned to die in the desert. This event proved to be a good thing for the infant, since all his kin was slaughtered soon after by the nomadic raiders Sandstormers. The leader of the raiders, a tattooed brute who called himself Baal apocalypsecomics1of the Crimson Sands, found the baby and recognized his potential: he named him “En Sabah Nur” (The First One), and raised him as he was his son. Nur became the greatest warrior of the tribe, the strongest and the most intelligent, and lived by the principle of the survival of the fittest in which Baal believed; he was feared and hated by everyone but Baal, who told him he was the conqueror forseen by an ancient prophecy, and spurred him to reach the top. In an attempt to teach his “son” the secret of the pharaoh Rama-Tut, a self-proclaimed god who was hunting down the Sandstormers, Baal ended up trapped in a cave with Nur, immediately after showing him Rama-Tut’s time machine. Only Nur survived, thanks to his mutant physiology, and swore to take his revenge against the pharaoh. Found by the vizier’s men, En Sabah Nur became a slave in Rama-Tut’s court, and hid his appearance with a heavy robe; Nephri, sister of Ozymandias (the warlord at Rama-Tut’s service who had hunted Baal and his raiders), got interested in the mysterious slave, but rejected him once she saw his appearance. Ozymandias tried to kill Nur, but his mutant powers triggered, he became a giant and annihilated the pharaoh’s army. Rama-Tut (actually a time-traveler conqueror who had come to Ancient Egypt exactly to try and become the mentor of one of the most powerful mutants ever lived) offered Nur to become his heir, but he refused. In the ensuing battle, Rama-Tut came back to his timeline, leaving behind a wounded Nur; Ozymandias was, in turn, transformed into a sand-made being, enslaved by Nur to become his chronicle writer. Now the raider rejected by everyone could reclaim the throne for himself.

En Sabah Nur spawned many sons, and founded Clan Akkaba, bringing Egypt to a power and a majesty it had never known, nor it would have in the future. Battling Persians and Alexander the Great, Nur purged his army from the weak ones, but soon apocalypsecomics2his desire of conquest went beyond Egypt, and he started to scheme for the conquer of the entire planet. Nur traveled the world, and arrived in China, where another immortal, Garbha-Hisen, brought him to a Celestial ship, which granted him an enormous power and the access to future technology. Now called Apocalypse (a name suggested to him by the owner of the ship, Exon the Searcher), Nur founded the Riders of the Dark, a cult of fanatics who worshiped the mutant conqueror and his idea of survival of the strongest. Another time-traveler, called simply Traveler (actually Cable, who was trying to kill his nemesis before he became immortal), tried to kill Apocalypse more than once, and almost accomplished his goal, but Nur’s blood got mixed in the fight with the Traveler’s techno-organic cells, giving him even more power, and a direct mind-link with the Celestial ship. The Traveler managed to exile Apocalypse in space along with the ship for some centuries, however he managed to come back to Earth and to reform his Riders. Along with them, he haunted the Europe of the XV century, and took a leading role in the transformation of king Vlad the Impaler into the vampire lord Dracula; he also created, for the first time, the Horsemen of Apocalypse, four generals (Death, FaminePestilence and War) chosen among the Riders, direct subordinate of Nur’s. He kept alternating years of wars and conflicts to ones of slumber in his spaceship, leaving his very existence on the brink of a myth. In XIX century London, Apocalypse met his most loyal yet dangerous servant, geneticist Nathaniel Essex, who for first discovered about mutants’ existence: Nur transformed him into immortal Mr. Sinister to allow him continue his researches, and also instructed him to awake him once more when Earth would have been populated with mutants, a sign that would have meant the planet was ripe for a harvest, with only the strongest allowed to survive. Nur came back to his ship, waiting, savoring his imminent conquest of the entire planet.

En Sabah Nur is a ruthless and cruel warlord, a conqueror blindly devoted to what he himself elevated to an almost-religious ideal: only the strong individuals are fit for existence, the weak ones must be eradicated like a cancer. An absolute genius, Nur conceived plans and schemes spreading over millennia of human history, and his intelligence has brought him to preempt most of contemporary sciences in ancient times. As Apocalypse, he’s one of the most powerful mutants ever: gifted with a powerful telekinesis (which allows him even to fly) and with a molecular-level control of his body, he’s able to shapeshift and to remodel his limbs and appearance, to increase or decrease size at will, to absorb and project energy either to heal, to increase his powers or to create shields and destructive blasts, and to teleport himself or others; Cable’s techno-organic virus also allows him to directly interface with any human or alien technology. Immortal and nearly unstoppable, Apocalypse is one of the most serious threats the world has ever faced, a being who converts the strong ones to his cause or annihilates them, and utterly vanquishes the weak ones: a calamity that has deserved his name.



  1. […] movie, she’ll be a young girl working for mutant underground boss Caliban, later recruited by Apocalypse as one of his Four Horsemen (it’s unclear which one). In the original timeline (the […]

  2. […] well, and Eson’s intervention reshaped the planet. Around 115o AD, a powerful mutant named En Sabah Nur took possession of Celestial technology: it was Eson that renamed him Apocalypse, and […]

  3. […] odd apppearance (purple skin, pointy years, white eyes) she lived a normal and happy life, until Apocalypse rose to power. The tyrant’s right hand man, Mr. Sinister, arrived in Miami, murdered […]

  4. […] College. A professor from the college, Ahmet Abdol, had been experimented on by Mr. Sinister (on Apocalypse‘s orders) with Alex’s DNA, and the two shared the same energy absorption and emission […]

  5. […] will have his wings ripped off by an angry mob at some point in the movie, and that’s when Apocalypse “saves” him and recruits him in his Horsemen (which one he’ll be it’s […]

  6. […] her behind the Iron Curtain for some unclear business. In the trailer, we also see him face Apocalypse, possibly when the ancient mutant decides to recruit Psylocke in his Horsemen…and this may […]

  7. […] warlord Turac had allied with a formidable warrior, the mysterious leader of the Dark Riders En Sabah Nur, and Dracula was defeated by their combined power. Barely alive, he was brought to the […]

  8. […] but the consequences would have soon followed: while the adults were busy in a battle against Apocalypse and his Horsemen, the kids were kidnapped by The Right…and Rictor was to be used as a […]

  9. […] a possibility. The geneticist Mr. Sinister, as always blocked in an immortal clash with his rival Apocalypse, studied the genetic templates of many mutants, until he found out that the potential son of Scott […]

  10. […] thought of a way Pulse’s abilities could be useful to the X-Men, and as the mutant overlord Apocalypse had come back to threaten the world, she suggested the team used Augustus to depower the ancient […]

  11. […] Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight weren’t lucky, as they found themselves in the dominion of Apocalypse and his Horsemen. Despite their power, they were easily defeated by the ancient mutant, and they […]

  12. […] zero to hero, Firefist became a celebrity along with the other X-Factor kids after the defeat of Apocalypse, but things didn’t last, as he finally decided to turn himself into the Naval Police, not […]

  13. […] of nowhere (and he did, in a way, as he was a time traveler born in an alternate future ruled by Apocalypse) and who was hiring a number of mercenaries. Sluggo was among the lucky ones to become his […]

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