NAME: En Sabah Nur
IDENTITY: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Apocalypse's
LEGAL STATUS: None
OTHER ALIASES: (former) Set (not to be confused with the primeval
demon of that name or the Egyptian god Seth), Huitxilopochti, Sauru, Kali-Ma
PLACE OF BIRTH: Egypt
MARITAL STATUS: Unrevealed, presumed unmarried at present
KNOWN RELATIVES: Stryfe (adopted son, deceased)
GROUP AFFILIATION: Employer of Apocalypse's Horsemen, former
employer of the Alliance of Evil
BASE OF OPERATIONS: Mobile, formerly a sentient starship created
by the Celestials
FIRST APPEARANCE: (in shadow) X-FACTOR #5, (fully seen) X-FACTOR
HISTORY: Apocalypse was born nearly five thousand years ago
in Egypt as a member of the Akkaba clan. Even as an infant, he inspired fear.
Ugly and malformed, he was abandoned by the tribe to die in the harsh desert
sun. The baby was found by a roving band of feared desert raiders known as the
Sandstormers. Most of them, too, thought the infant should die. However, their
ruthless leader, Baal, somehow recognized the potential power in the child.
He named him En Sabah Nur ("The First One") and raised him as his
As En Sabah Nur grew, he surpassed the other tribesmen in intelligence and
strength. Everyone in the tribe except for Baal hated and feared him for his
inhuman looks and great abilities. Nur did not understand their fear, but hardened
his heart against it. Moreover, he believed in the principle that Baal and the
tribe lived by, that only the fittest, tested by hardship, would, and should,
survive. On the day of his tribal rite of passage into manhood, the seventeen-year-old
En Sabah Nur killed three armed warriors of the tribe using only his bare hands.
At this time Egypt was ruled by Pharaoh Rama-Tut. On the day of En Sabah Nur's
rite of passage, Baal explained to him that Rama-Tut was no god, as most believed,
but a man, who had arrived in a strange vessel. Years ago the tribe had stumbled
upon the time-traveler's crashed ship, taken the injured man back to their camp,
and nursed the injured and temporarily blinded man back to health. One night
he wandered away, taking with him objects the tribesmen had brought from his
vessel. Weeks later, his sight restored, Rama-Tut returned, wielding weapons
of devastating power and leading the Egyptian army. He massacred the tribe and
enslaved the survivors. Although he tortured them, no one revealed the timeship's
actuality, Rama-Tut was a time traveler from the far future who would later
become known as Kang the Conqueror. Kang knew that Apocalypse, one of the most
powerful mutants who ever lived, and the one who was destined to rule the wor
ld, 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.
On the day of his rite of passage, Baal brought the young Nur to a sacred cave
whose entrance became blocked by a cave-in, trapping them underground. After
a week of wandering without food or water, they found the remnants of Rama-Tut's
timeship 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. Then Baal died from lack of nourishment,
and Nur, whose mutant physiology kept him alive, vowed to take vengeance on
Rama-Tut and claim his destiny. Four weeks later he finally made his way back
to the surface.
Nur became a slave, but eventually he had a vision of the Egyptian death god
Seth, who urged him to become a conqueror. It was at this moment that Nur first
manifested his superhuman powers. Eventually, at a time when many time-traveling
super-heroes, including the Fantastic Four, the West Coast Avengers, and Doctor
Strange arrived in Rama-Tut's Egypt, the Pharaoh finally came face to face with
En Sabah Nur. Rama-Tut offered to make him his heir if he would swear his loyalty,
and then tried to kill him when Nur refused. Nur defeated Rama-Tut's warlord
Ozymandias and Rama-Tut, who finally escaped back into the future, eventually
to take on the identity of Kang.
From then on Apocalypse 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 he was worshipped by many civilizations under a variety of
names. Mutants, he was certain, would one day rule the world, with him as their
leader, and so he waited. Most of what Apocalypse did during these centuries
is as yet unknown.
At the time of the Crusades, Apocalypse arranged for the warrior Bennet du
Paris to activate his latent mutant powers for the first time. Renaming him
Exodus, Apocalypse made him his servant but later cast him into a deathlike
trance when Exodus rebelled against him.
In 1859, Apocalypse awoke from centuries of hibernation in an underground chamber
in London. It was then that he first met Dr. Nathaniel Essex, who believed that
through selective breeding of humans, he could bring about the rapid evolution
of superhuman mutants. Apocalypse 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. Essex accepted, and Apocalypse transformed him into Mister
Sinister. However, the Askani, a clan of rebels against Apocalypse two thousand
years in the future, transported Scott Summers and Jean Grey-Summers, also known
as Cyclops and Phoenix, to 1859. There they prevented Apocalypse from assassinating
Britain's Queen and Prime Minister.
Apocalypse, temporarily weakened by a virus with which Sinister had infected
him, went back to waiting for the proper moment to reemerge. It came a century
later, when in a short time the world became populated with a new race of superhuman
mutants. Apocalypse first reappeared as the employer of the Alliance of Evil,
a team of mutants who battled the original X-Factor. X-Factor was a group comprised
of the original members of the X-Men.
Subsequently, Apocalypse began recruiting a team of mutant agents he called
his Horsemen. Apocalypse rescued Warren K. Worthington III, alias the Angel,
from death and manipulated him into serving him as the Horseman named Death.
Worthington's wings had been amputated, but Apocalypse used his advanced genetic
engineering techniques to give him new wings with metal-like feathers. Eventually,
however, Worthington forsook Apocalypse and returned to X-Factor, and then to
Later, Apocalypse infected the infant son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, Nathan
Summers, with a techno-organic virus, having recognized that if this child grew
up he would be powerful enough to defeat him. The Askani once again stepped
in and brought the child to their own time period, two thousand years in an
In the present day Apocalypse continues to conspire to rule humanity. In the
alternate future in which the Askani live, Apocalypse has finally ascended to
power. He became aware of the young Nathan's presence in that time, but only
succeeded in kidnapping a clone of the child which the Askani had created. Not
knowing this second child to be a clone, Apocalypse ceased his hunt for the
real Nathan. Raised under the tutelage of Apocalypse, the clone grew up to become
the terrorist Stryfe. By this time Apocalypse had to transfer his mind and powers
into host bodies in order to stay alive. Since his current body had grown old
and feeble, Apocalypse planned to transfer his consciousness and power into
As for the real Nathan, the Askani leader Mother Askani transported Cyclops
and Phoenix to this future time. There, Summers and Grey raised Nathan into
adolescence. After so many millennia of menacing humanity, the elderly Apocalypse
finally perished in combat with the teenage Nathan, who would grow up to become
the warrior Cable.
To secure a new host body, Apocalypse sought to siphon the awesome energies
of "The Twelve," mutants of incredible power, destined to alter the
course of human 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. 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, Cable, Professor X, Storm, Iceman, Magneto, Polaris,
Bishop, Sunfire, the Living Monolith and Mikhail Rasputin. The Twelve were linked
to a machine that would channel their awesome energies into Apocalypse, allowing
him to absorb the body of X-Man, 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. 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. Cyclops was presumed dead by most of his teammates; only Cable
and Jean refused to believe he had perished. Investigating rumors and hearsay,
they helped him reassert his mind over Apocalypse. With Jean's help, Cable exorcised
the warlord and shattered his essence.
In an alternate timeline Apocalypse succeeded in taking over America in the
twentieth century. In this alternate timeline Professor Charles Xavier died
at the hands of his own son, Legion, long before he would have formed the X-Men.
As a result, Apocalypse led mutantkind in conquering North America, reducing
its human population to slaves. This is the alternate time period known as "The
Age of Apocalypse." However, in this reality as well, Apocalypse was ultimately
doomed to failure, and perished in combat with Magneto, who had become the founder
of the X-Men in that timeline.
HEIGHT: Variable, usually 7 ft.
STRENGTH LEVEL: Since Apocalypse can increase his strength
by drawing on outside energy sources, his strength is potentially incalculable.
KNOWN SUPERHUMAN POWERS: Apocalypse is a mutant who possesses
superhuman strength which he can augment by psionically drawing on outside energy
sources. Apocalypse can alter the atomic structure of his body at will in order
to change his form. He can even increase his size by taking on additional mass
from a presumably extra-dimensional source. Through his ability to alter his
form, Apocalypse can give himself virtually any superhuman physical power. Apocalypse's
"costume" is actually part of his body, and he can psionically alter
its appearance at will. He can levitate himself telekinetically.
Apocalypse has an extraordinarily long life span that has already lasted thousands
of years. He can survive for weeks without food or water and can rapidly recover
from injuries that would prove fatal to normal human beings. In the future,
however, his physical form will eventually grow too aged and enfeebled to contain
his vast superhuman energies. Hence, he will transfer his consciousness and
powers into a succession of host bodies, abandoning each one when it too grows
too old to contain his power.