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Supervillain Origins: Apocalypse

VO: Dan
This longtime X-Men foe first appeared in the late 1980s as the shadowy head of the Alliance of Evil, a group of mutants hell-bent on achieving mutant dominance through a new race of super-mutants. Unlike any other mutant the X-Men had ever faced, Apocalypse was revealed to have been the very oldest and quite possible the first of their kind. A monstrous tyrant, his belief that only the strongest should survive emerged from his own upbringing and his clear physical superiority over others. Join WatchMojo.com as we will explore the comic book origins of En Sabah Nur, otherwise known as Apocalypse.
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Supervillain Origins: Apocalypse


He is the most powerful mutant in the X-Men universe. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origins of En Sabah Nur, otherwise known as Apocalypse.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline, which unfolded in 1986’s X-Factor #5 which was expanded upon in 1996’s 4-part mini-series ‘The Rise of Apocalypse’.

Apocalypse first appeared as the shadowy head of the Alliance of Evil, a group of mutants hell-bent on achieving mutant dominance by creating a new race of super-mutants and eradicating all of mankind.

To achieve his ends, Apocalypse’s minions had captured a mutant named Mike Nowlan, a drug addict who had been using narcotics to both neutralize and hide his ability to enhance and amplify the powers of others.

Using him, Apocalypse attempted to supercharge his men. Ultimately, this plan failed when Nowlan, an ally of the X-Men drew all the energy onto himself, destroying Apocalypse’s syphoning machine.

As the X-Men soon found out, Apocalypse was unlike any other mutant they had ever faced, being the very oldest and quite possible the first mutant ever. A monstrous tyrant, his belief that only the strongest should survive emerged from his own upbringing and his clear physical superiority over others.

His origin was fully revealed in ‘The Rise of Apocalypse’, in which he was shown to be born in the year 3000 BC, during Egypt’s first dynasty. Born with grey skin, he was abandoned by his parents, only to be found by dessert nomads, whose leader Baal recognized the child’s potential power and opted to raise him as his own. Named En Sabah Nur, he was instilled with the tribe’s philosophy based around the survival of the fittest.

Eventually, the nomads were killed in a cave collapse with only Nur and his father Baal surviving. Before Baal died of starvation, he revealed to his son that the cave contained alien technology. Baal then explained to Nur that he was the prophesized savior who was destined to overthrow the Pharaoh, who had only risen to power through the use alien technology himself.

Making it out of the cave alive, Nur sought to fulfill his destiny. Leading up to his assassination attempt, he went under cover as a slave and fell in love with a woman named Nephri. Though she rejected him due to his strange appearance, the terrible rage he felt caused his dormant mutant abilities to emerge. Now with the strength to succeed in his insurrection, he chose a new name: Apocalypse.

Emerging victorious, he used the Pharaoh own hidden cache of advanced alien technology to transform the dictator into an eternal slave made of living stone.

Years later, Apocalypse visited the woman who had rejected him, only to taunt her in her old age for dismissing him over his appearance, since he would never grow old.

Following this, Apocalypse spent the next several millennia traveling round the world encouraging different civilizations to worship him as a god, while testing their strength by instigating wars amongst them.

He soon found more Celestial alien technology and used it to transform and enhance himself, dramatically altering his appearance. He also decided to use this technology to go into suspended animation in order to wait for a point in history when more mutants would appear.

Awaking in 1859, he met a British Scientist named Dr. Essex who believed that Apocalypse was the was the first of a great mutation of the human race, and who agreed help him to create a plague that would wipe out the weakest inhabitants of Earth. In return, Apocalypse used his alien technology to transform Dr. Essex into Mr. Sinister, yet another immortal, albeit with the added power of telekinesis.

Over the years, Apocalypse has appeared in various X-Men titles, spinoffs and media. He remains the most dangerous foe the X-Men have ever faced for super intelligence, ability to shape shift and control the molecules of his body, alter his form, regenerate, give himself any physical power he desires, and connect with technology.

Are you a fan of this super mutant tyrant? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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