Marvel-ous! Issue #7: Marvel Files: Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur)
Name: En Sabah Nur
First Appearence: X-Factor #5 - As merely a shadow (June, 1986)
First FULL Appearence: X-Factor #6 (July, 1986)
Death: Uncanny X-Force #4 (March, 2011)
Creators: Louise Simonson and Jackson Guise
Apocalypse is one of the strongest, and most formidable foes the Marvel Universe has ever seen. Typically fighting against the X-Men, Apocalypse is an immortal mutant bent on the idea that only the strongest survive, which in his mind is the mutants. He is often cited as the first mutant in history.
Apocalypse first appeared as a shadowy figure in X-Factor #5, and made his first full appearence in the following issue. Little back story was given at the time, so for the purposes of this blog, I will be focusing on the backstory given in Rise of Apocalypse (October 1996-January 1997).
Apocaplyse was born nearly 5,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt. Born with grey skin and his iconic blue lines on his face, he was abandoned by his tribe as an infant and left to die in the desert. However, a travelling group of raiders came across the child, and their leader, Baal, took him in as his own and named him En Sabah Nur.
As Nur grew, he began to show extraordinary intelligence and strength, far surpassing the rest of the tribe. This created fear and hatred in the other members of the tribe towards Nur. He did not understand their hatred, but used it as fuel to further grow his skils. Nur also subscribed to the tribe's belief that only the strongest and most ruthless of individuals have the right to survive. On his right of passage, Apocalypse (then 17 years old) killed three armed men with his bare hands. Baal then told his adopted son that the then-ruler, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, was an unjust ruler, and not the God that he claimed to be. The two left to find the truth. Shortly after finding the truth (the Pharaoh was Kang), Baal died of malnutrition, and Apocalpyse vowed revenge on the Pharaoh. Apocalypse's powers became further developed, and his mutant abilities of immortality and mass manipulation revealed themselves.
Over the following centuries, Apocalypse continued to develop his powers and do battle with various entities. I won't get into these too deeply in this blog, for the considerations of length. I will also only touch on certain main events of the current era, because I feel like people should go back and read the comics for themselves. This is just to give a basic understanding of the character.
In the modern times, Apocalyse emerged from his ship, and began to plot his domination of the planet, using the rest of the mutants that were now populating the world. Apocalypse typically works with his Four Horsemen: Pestilence, Famine, War, and Death. The people that take these positions has changed over the the years, and has included Angel, Hulk, Wolverine, Deathbird, Gambit, and Grim Reaper. These four horsemen are led by Apocalypse, and carry out many of his deeds.
Apocalypse has been defeated and resurrected many times. Most recently, Apocalypse was resurrected in the form of a child, with seemingly no memories of who is was and what he had done in the past. The X-Force, then consisting of Wolverine, Fantomex, Deadpool, Psylocke, and Archangel, was sent to kill this new Apocalypse, without prior knowledge of his childish form. Upon discovering the boy, there was debate over whether or not the mission should be carried out. This argument provided to be futile as Fantomex shot the child Nur in the head.
Most recently, Apocalpyse has been cloned and raised as a hero by Fantomex. He has been named Evan Sabahnur, and goes by the mutant name Genesis. Evan currently attends the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. It is still unclear if the boy will remain a hero.
Apocalypse's powers include superhuman strength, nigh-invulnerability, flight, teleportation, immortality, super speed, and the ability to manipulate matter and energy.
- Marvel intended for Apocalypse's name "En Sabah Nur" to translate to "The First One" in Arabic. Unfortunately, a grammatical error made this closer to "Good Morning." The correct translation would be "Sabah an-Nur".
- Apocalypse was actually created as a last minute replacement for the "Owl" who was a Daredevil villain that original X-Factor writer Bob Layton wanted to be the main villain of the X-Factor.
What do you think of the original mutant, Apocalypse? Let me know in the comments!
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