I’m sure that a lot of you watched the brilliant X-Men: Days of Future Past this weekend, and if you know anything about comic book movies, you knew that you had to stay behind for the traditional post-credits scene. And boy, did X-Men: Days of Future Past deliver! Well, that is if you actually knew exactly what/who it was you were looking at. Luckily, that’s where me and my geeky brain come in, to shed some light on a scene that may even have left some comic book fanboys puzzled.
Naturally, there’s a major SPOILER WARNING for this one, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, and don’t want the surprise ruined, then STOP READING NOW.
I don’t want your SPOILER! I don’t want your future!
You’ll need me as well… side by side to end this SPOILER, before it ever begins.
Mutants, we now find ourselves on the edge of SPOILER.
Right, now that they’re all gone… Let’s recap: The scene opens in the desert of what appears to be ancient Egypt. Scores of slaves/workers are gathered, fervently chanting the words “En Sabah Nur” over and over again, as they bow in deference. The camera pans to reveal that the people are chanting towards a solitary hooded figure, standing atop a sand dune,with his arms outstretched. Looking from behind the figure, we see the Great Pyramids of Giza in front of him, still busy being constructed. Only the construction appears to be happening by almost magical means, as the boy merely moves his hands and massive stone blocks are sent whipping through the air, twirling about and assembling themselves into the pyramids we all know.
As the chanting reaches a fever pitch, the camera slowly swings around to face the hooded figure, giving us our first clear look at him: A young boy with alien looking red eyes, blue-grey skin and dark blue lips. The camera keeps panning around to reveal in the distance, behind the boy, four ominous looking horsemen. End scene.
And if you know your comics, this would be the point where you got really excited, because that boy is of course none other than Apocalypse of the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse fame!
This reveal may not be too apparent though, as this is a much younger Apocalypse, thousands of years before he becomes the great adversary we all know and love. So who is Apocalypse then?
Born approximately 5000 years ago in the small Egyptian town of Akkaba, he would be the very first mutant ever born. His superstitious clan were alarmed by his otherworldly appearance though and abandoned him out as an infant, where he was found and raised by a group of raiders who lived by the code of “Survival of the Fittest”. Recognizing the young child’s potential for power, he was named En Sabah Nur, aka The First One. As he grew, En Sabah nur showed himself to be a scientific and military genius which attracted the attention of Pharaoh Rama-Tut (actually the time travelling villain Kang the Conqueror in disguise, but that’s a story for another day). Nur, now dubbing himself Apocalypse, eventually manifested a variety of mutant powers which he used to overthrow Rama-Tut and rule Egypt. He would go on to travel the world, influencing several civilizations as he was worshiped as a variety of gods.
At some point though, he discovered alien technology left behind by the Celestials (a race of essentially space gods who experimented on various races throughout the universe) which he used to augment his natural gifts even further. He now possessed full control of his body’s molecules, allowing to change his body’s size and mass as he see fits, including turning his limbs into weapons, giving himself wings, etc. He could rapidly heal from nearly any wound, he possessed immense physical strength and endurance, he was both telepathic and telekinetic, his body could adapt to any hostile environment, and he could absorb and project various forms of energy. All of this, plus his advanced technology (which allows him posses and transfer into host bodies) and skills in genetics effectively made him immortal. So yes, a really bad dude.
Based on the teachings of his childhood, as well as his research into the motivations of the Celestials, Apocalypse lives by a strict code of “Survival of the Fittest”, hence his belief that he should usher in the age of mutant supremacy by wiping out everybody else who doesn’t make the grade. His favourite method of annihilation is his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (who you may have heard about in Sunday School), four hand-picked lieutenants who have proven their worth and are given the gifts and personas of War, Famine, Pestilence and Death.
He has had numerous run-ins with the X-Men over the years, with some of them even taking up the roles of his Horsemen at various times (Angel, Wolverine, Gambit and even Hulk were all included in this number) and Cyclops even became his host body at one point. His most famous story though is undoubtedly the “Age of Apocalypse”, however I highly doubt we will get to see it as its about some mutants travelling back in time to when Charles and Erik were still young men and changed events that resulted in a new dark, dystopian future in which Apocalypse rules the world and has culled all human resistance. Sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?
Whatever story line gets picked for adaptation (my gut tells me it will be some variation of “The Twelve”), I just cannot wait to see my personal favourite X-Men villain, and one of comic book-dom’s most badass characters finally make his appearance on screen. If you’re worried that said appearance will be the willowy person seen in the end credits scene, and not the powerhouse we all know him as, then find some assurance in the fact that X-Men: Apocalypse producer/writer Simon Kinberg has already said that the young version of Apocalypse in the end credits scene (who many are suspecting is played by androgynous model Andrej Pejic, though it hasn’t been confirmed yet) is probably not the version we will see, which means that some major casting news should be expected over the next year and a bit.
“What you see is Apocalypse sort of using his powers to manipulate the Pyramids. And in the shot, you can see The Four Horseman sort of in shadow, or silhouette. Now, when we make the movie, it will not take place in ancient times. We went back and forth a lot on… what that scene should be. Bryan and I just locked into this idea of seeing Apocalypse at the height of his power and glory, which is what we imagined would have been in Egyptian times. It was just to give a tease of, ‘This guy is super-powerful, and there was a moment in time when he was essentially treated as a god, and he’s going to rise again in X-Men: Apocalypse.’”
And if Kinberg and director Bryan Singer do the same utterly outstanding job as they did on X-Men: Days of Future Past, then irrespective of who they cast, this could be – to borrow a favourite X-Men adjective – astonishing.
X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled to release on May 27th, 2016.
Last Updated: May 26, 2014