Super Types

December 5, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur)

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Written by: Billy
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Hey everybody, I hope you’re enjoying the great character spotlights in Marvel Snapshot! When I switched to this format a while back, I never thought it would last this long, but I’m having a blast with it. This week we’ll focus on one of my favorite villains – Apocalypse! Yes, En Sabah Nur as he’s often referred to will be examined by me right now!

The mutant named En Sabah Nur was actually a character that almost didn’t make it into X-Factor at all. The writer of that book was fired though, and Louise Simonson took the controls and wanted a new character to be brought on board. So she created Apocalypse, and we were introduced to a fantastic villain with a great origin story. So, in X-Factor #5 (1986), Simonson used Apocalypse as the leader of the Alliance of Evil. He would plague X-Factor (the original X-Men) for years to come and unknowingly create his greatest enemy by doing so.

Later on in the pages of X-Factor, we see Apocalypse kidnap the son of Scott Summers and infect him with a techno-organic virus. This prompts Scott to send his son into the future where there is a cure. This baby grows up to be one of the greatest warriors ever. His name is Cable, and he would be wherever Apocalypse would be to stop him from his conquests of evil. Apocalypse is that proverbial irresistible force and Cable the immovable object. Definitely some epic battles between those two over the years.

Apocalypse has had run-ins with Dracula, the Eternals, Kang, and a host of others as well. His origin was told in a series called Rise of Apocalypse, which I personally thought was great! I also enjoyed the X-crossover X-Cutioners Song. It was masterfully done and still remains one of my favorite reads to this day. Another good story was Age of Apocalypse. This story was an alternate universe where Apocalypse had seized control of pretty much the entire world. Apocalypse also made an appearance in X-Force vol. 3, in a future timeline story. It featured Apocalypse teaming up with Cable to beat Stryfe and Bishop. As of right now, Apocalypse is also in the newest incarnation of that book called Uncanny X-Force. From what I’ve heard, it’s another great book with the likes of Fantomex, Wolverine, Warpath, and others.

Definitely checkout my reading list below and also some great pics as always. See you next week!

Recommended Reading
Rise of Apocalypse – Tpb (1996)
vol. 1 #’s 1-5, 6, 10-12, 15, 17-19, 22-27, 33, 34, 49-51, 65-68, 85, 86 (1986)
X-Cutioners Song
– TPB (1992)
Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix
– TPB (1994)
Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix
– Tpb (1996)
Black Knight: Exodus
(one-shot) (1996)
The New Eternals: Apocalypse Now
(one-shot) (2000)
X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula
– TPB (2006)
Messiah War (2009)
Uncanny X-Force (2010)




  1. Great pick Billy! Apocalypse is one of my favorite Villains too! I loved The X-Cutioner’s Song and the AoA. I think the best Apocalypse stories are when he has to help out the X-Men like he did in the X-Cutioner’s Song, the Messiah War and even in Onslaught.

  2. Great Spotlight Billy! I remember the first time we got to fully see Apocalypse in X-Factor 6 and he just wiped the floor with X-Factor with ease. He’s come a long way but for a bit it seemed as if Marvel made him into horrible villain and just a weakling. Hopefully with his come back in Uncanny X-Force he’ll end up back in the top tier of villains where he belongs. 🙂

  3. Billy

    @Nick- Those are probably my 2 favorites as well. Especially XS.
    @Speech- I didn’t get the Messiah War issues with him, but overall he’s been a great character. I didn’t like how he was protrayed in Civil War: House of M though.

  4. Even before Messiah War he was watered down if you ask me. It just seemed like Marvel kept tossing him in just to change up the powers of characters who were starting to get boring and make them into his horsemen.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by nick zamora, billy dunleavy. billy dunleavy said: Spotlight on Apocalypse! […]

  6. Billy

    @Speech- Well, I do think he wasn’t as powerful at certain times. I know in “Blood of Apocalypse” (one I liked for the most part), it did seem like it was more about Gambit and Sunfire, than Apocalypse.

  7. That was one of the stories I was referring to actually. I also think that some writers get hung up on how powerful he is that when he’s at a low point they just don’t know what to do or they don’t put any effort into developing his character but instead rely more on his rep to carry the story along.

  8. Eli

    Great choice Billy! I love Apocalypse, and he’s had some fantastic moments over the years. I’d also recommend that Rise of Apocalypse trade to anyone, its a great read and must if you want to understand En Sabah Nur.

  9. And to think, instead of Apocalypse, we almost got The Owl as the leader of the Alliance of Evil in X-Factor!

  10. Billy

    @Speech- Yeah, that story was good, but did lack a moment for Apocalypse to really shine.
    @Eli- Absolutely people should read that one (first IMO).
    @Bill- How funny is that. lol

    -Thanks for stopping in everybody. 😀

  11. […] door, and the fall KO’s him. When he wakes, he’s inside a cage, and being confronted by Apocalypse! He tells Wolverine that he wants to be his mentor, and then shows him the process by which the […]

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