Warren Kenneth Worthington III (Death/Archangel)

ArchangelNow, time to finally see the new incarnation of Angel as we saw him in the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer. Taking a guess from the previously released concept arts, the poor mutant 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 still unknown). Apocalypse will give Angel new biomechanical wings, a new cause to fight for…and a brand new haircut, apparently. As for now, we know that the Horsemen will be Magneto, PsylockeStorm and Angel, thus making the latter the only one retaining the role from the comics. That’s obviously a traumatic point for the character, that makes him completely change his personality, his traits…even his costume and name. Let’s meet together the original Horseman of Death.

Following a particularly hard time for mutants, Angel founded, along with the other original X-Men (Cyclops, Jean GreyIceman and Beast) another team, X-Factor, with the sole purpose of hunting down the mutants that society perceived as threats, only to give them shelter and protect them from humans, teaching them how to properly use their powers so that they would have not hurt themselves or others. Thanks to his wealth, Warren Worthington was the financial backup of the new team, something that eventually put him in a bad situation: a reporter, Trish Tilby, used informations given to her by Mystique to publicly expose Warren as a mutant and as the financial patron of X-Factor. Hard times were just at beginning, as the super-powered mercenaries Marauders started a massacre to the detriment of the Morlocks, a group of grotesque mutant outcasts who lived in the sewers. X-Force intervened to the rescue, but while he was trying to save young Artie, Angel was attacked by the Marauders:archangelcomics1 overpowered by Vertigo and Blockbuster, Warren was ultimately nearly killed by Harpoon, who pinned his wings to a wall. Only Thor‘s intervention saved Angel’s life, but his life wasn’t meant to be the same anymore: the infection caused by Harpoon’s weapons forced the doctors to remove his wings, leaving Warren in a deep depression. Flying had always meant freedom for the young mutant, and the loss of his wings shattered him. Trying to feel again the same thrill he felt flying with his wings, Warren took a solitary flight on his private jet, not knowing that his “friend” Cameron Hodge, now an anti-mutant activist, had put a bomb on it to gain control of Worthington Industries: the jet exploded, and all evidence suggested that Warren had committed suicide, unable to cope with the amputation of his limbs. Against all odds, Warren had survived: the ancient mutant Apocalypse, a foe he had faught along with X-Factor, teleported him away from the crashing jet, taking him aboard his Celestial Ship. Apocalypse offered Warren the thing he wanted the most: he could restore his wings, give him back his powers, and make him evolve further. Distraught, with nothing left to lose, Warren accepted Apocalypse’s offer.

Apocalypse kept his word, and created a pair of techno-organic wings to replace the ones Angel had lost…but he went further, seeking his idea of evolution. He gave Warren a brand new set of powers, making him extremely more powerful than before; he also slowly brainwashed him, until he made him a loyal servant, his Horseman of Death. After defeating his teammates WarPestilence and Famine, Death was given the leadership over the group, and he led an all-out assault on X-Factor: a now mindless Warren defeated and captured his former friends, leading them to Apocalypse’s ship. After that, the Horsemen were sent to New York City to wreak havoc and to announce the coming of the new world’s master. It was thanks to Iceman that Warren regained his mind: his fellow X-Man, in fact, built an ice sculpture of himself, so that when Death shattered it, he believed he had killed his friend. In shame, he flew away, leaving X-Factor to deal with the remaining Horsemen and Apocalypse, who were soon defeated. Back to his home, Warren found out that Hodge had killed his girlfriend Candy Southern in his plan to steal the Industries: in retaliation, Death decapitated him with his wings. Realising that only his friends from X-Factor could archangelcomics2help him deal with the bloodlust Apocalypse’s wings kept imbuing him with, Warren came back to them, and adopted a new name: Archangel. Warren struggled hard with the urge to kill, and often his teammates had to restrain him, preventing him to lose control and to needlessly kill his enemies. Back on Earth after a mission in space with X-Factor, Archangel ran into a falling helicopter, and he saved a policewoman, Charlotte Jones, who was aboard. During the accident, Warren realised that the bloodlust was triggered by his feelings, and that it became nearly uncontrollable only when he was enraged: deep concentration allowed Archangel to control the violent feelings attached to his wings…a self-control that the Ravens, an ancient race of birdmen, immediately put to the test. They wanted to recruit Archangel in their ranks, and tried to force him to kill Charlotte: the wings nearly took control, and Archangel was about to deal the finishing blow…until he managed to focus, and to redirect the attack to Crimson, the leader of the Ravens, killing him and freeing Charlotte Jones (who soon became his new girlfriend). Finally knowing how to control his new body and powers, Archangel could come back being the hero he once was…but it would have not been easy.

Warren Worthington III is not the man he used to be anymore: brooding, serious, tormented, he’s continuously struggling with an inner voice that prompts him to kill, following his new nature of Horseman of Death. As Archangel, he possesses all his previous powers (wings, a physique apt to fly) and more: he has an enhanced regenerative factor, and he’s also able to heal any physical or psychic illness in others (death included); his biomechanical wings are sharp as razors, and he can use them as swords, or he can shoot his feathers like deadly projectiles; his plumage is also poisonous, infused with a paralyzing neurotoxin; he can create and manipulate energy, shooting powerful blasts or materializing energy constructs (such as his deadly Psi-Talons). Now torn between his original, heroic personality and his mental-programming that turned him into an embodiment of Death, Archangel is a dark protector, a violent anti-hero who desperately tries not to kill the ones he’s supposed to save.

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