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WARNING: There are unmarked spoilers on this sheet for all comics up to and including X of Swords: Destruction #1 (i.e. anything published before November 2020, including the whole X of Swords event).

En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse / Revelation
"Peace does nothing to test — to INCREASE — mutants' strength. To force them to evolve into the strong."

Notable Aliases: Annihilation, En Sabah Nuhr, Eternal One, High Lord, Eternal Pharaoh, Set, Seth, Huitzilopochtli, Sauru, Kali-Ma, Mak K'ina Tah Balam-Ahau, Tsuyoi, The First One, The Savior, The Eighth Apocalypse, The First Mutant, Death, Beast-child, He Who Never Dies, Murshir En Sabah Nur, Apocy-Lips, Guru, First Light of the Mutant Dawn, Forever Walker, Son of the Morning Fire, Aten, •—|A|—•

Nationality: Akkaban, Egyptian, Okkaran, Krakoan

Species: Human Mutant External turned Cyborg

First Appearance: X-Factor #5 (June, 1986)

"I am the rocks of the eternal shore. Crash against me and be broken!"

Born 5,000 years ago into a desert tribe in Ancient Egypt who took one look at the blue skinned mutant and left the supposed abomination behind to die, the infant who would become Apocalypse was found by the leader of a band of desert raiders called Baal, who adopted the boy and named him "En Sabah Nur" — "The First One", as he believed that the child was the first of a Master Race of beings who would one day inherit the Earth.note  Baal raised En Sabah Nur and indoctrinated him into the brutal philosophy of his raiding band — Survival of the Fittest, and the idea that life is and should be a never ending struggle of the strong against the weak and each other to earn the right to live and prosper.

Throughout the centuries, the immortal Apocalypse traveled to numerous civilizations and cultivated worship of himself, and manipulated them into conflict and civil war to separate the strong from the weak. He eventually gained more power after discovering and bonding with the technology of a crashed Celestial ship, granting him a wide range of abilities but making him so powerful that he had to begin to periodically enter lengthy periods of regenerative rest to prolong his lifespan, and seek out powerful mutants as host bodies. He awoke at various points to influence history and attempt to recruit useful people to his cause, activating the powers of the mutant Exodus in the 12th century and transforming Victorian Mad Scientist Nathaniel Essex into the immortal geneticist Mister Sinister.

The explosion in the mutant population in modern times awoke Apocalypse from his slumber and set him loose upon the world once again. He now actively seeks to provoke a war between humans and mutants so that mutants can inherit the Earth under his guidance, whilst trying to increase his power by finding powerful mutants to serve as his new host. His plans often bring him into conflict with the X-Men, who he regards as Worthy Opponents who have earned the right to live in his dystopic mutant empire, when he isn't brainwashing them to serve as his minions or trying to steal their bodies, or trying to destroy them as threats to his plans.

Apocalypse is one of the X-Men's most powerful and dangerous recurring foes. There is more than one Bad Future and Alternate Universe where he rules the world, and all of them are hellish Death Worlds built on billions of corpses where people have to fight and kill each other to earn the right to live. Unsurprisingly, even without all that, Apocalypse has earned the hatred of a number of prominent characters for his millennia of atrocities, genocide and evil schemes.

Apocalypse has featured in various adaptations of the X-Men as an Arc Villain, including the 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series and X-Men: Evolution cartoons. He made his live action debut as the Big Bad of the 2016 movie X-Men: Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac.

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Apocalypse provides examples of the following Apocalyptic Tropes:

    A - F 
  • The Ace: The reason Apocalypse is so dangerous is not because of his powerful control over his molecular structure, but also his brilliant mind. He is long lived and has had time to become well versed in celestial technology and magic. He also a proficient warrior, having learned to fight brutally at an early age, having only gotten better with time.
  • Above Good and Evil: He turned down membership in the Acts of Vengeance supervillain conspiracy because he didn't see himself as evil.
  • Achievement Test of Destiny: In House of X, he oversees a ceremony in which mutants depowered by the Scarlet Witch are restored... if they can prove their worthiness to him by dying in a trial by combat to him.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Five thousand years is a long time to manipulate things behind the scenes, and he's The Man Behind the Man for the Externals, a lesser Ancient Conspiracy of other mutant immortals. Ironically, half of them are actually much older than him, as they are implied to actually originate from the Hyborian Age. Though aside from Selene none of them can even come close to his sheer power, and that's before taking into account how he enhanced himself with Celestial technology.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: He's more or less equivalent to Darkseid, who looks similar and even rules a planet named "Apokolips".
  • Always a Bigger Fish: He gets a nasty surprise when he finally re-encounters Nate Grey in Uncanny X-Men (2018). While Nate had previously all but killed his reality's Apocalypse, mainstream Apocalypse had faced Nate - then a kid with vast but malfunctioning powers and little experience in using them - and trounced him. Now, he's facing an older and far more experienced Nate, one at the height of his potential as a fully-fledged Reality Warper, and who keeps him imprisoned as a literal after-thought, ultimately making him a minion in Age of X-Man. When Apocalypse tries to resist, blustering, Nate gives him an Armor-Piercing Response.
    Nate Grey: You forget. I was born to end the apocalypse.
  • Amazon Chaser: Genesis, his first wife and the love of his life, is actually stronger than he is. Fitting for a man who religiously believes in survival of the fittest.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Angel (because of the whole Archangel thing), Cable (because he's Apocalypse's prophesied enemy who's spent a lifetime trying to destroy him), and Nate Grey (Cable's Age of Apocalypse counterpart, engineered as a weapon against Apocalypse, who actually succeeded in killing his version of Apocalypse - or at least, leaving him for AoA!Magneto to rip in half). Technically the latter's grudge is against his version of Apocalypse, but his hatred for Apocalypse transfers over just fine as it's more about what Apocalypse represents (quoth Nate: "I was born to end the Apocalypse.").
    • Additionally, The Eternals regard him as an ancient foe. However, by this point he has managed to piss off half the cast at least, as well as many other heroes (e.g. the time he brainwashed the Hulk), to say nothing of the entire alternate and future Earths that have to endure his rule.
    • Thor also carries a grudge against him, and has since the early 1000's.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: He supposedly has an Arabic birth name, even though he was born in Egypt around 3,000 B.C.—several thousand years before the Arabic language existed, and long before it would have been spoken in Egypt. The name isn’t remotely correctly Arabic. It definitely doesn’t mean “the seven lights,” which would be (الانوار السبعة), roughly transliterated as “al-anwaar as-sab’a.” It could be a list of three words (عين صباح نور) which would mean “eye morning light” which sounds really silly. It could also be, most likely, a garbled form of (صباح النور), pronounced roughly, sabaah an-nuur, literally meaning “morning of light,” but in actual context, Apocalypse’s name would then mean “good morning.” Both Sabaah and Nuur by themselves ARE names, but...usually women’s names. It sounds even sillier in the film adaptation, where they have modern Egyptians speaking in correct colloquial Egyptian Arabic...reciting a name over and over which is obviously supposed to be Arabic...but makes no grammatical sense at all.
  • Avenging the Villain: During a period where he is believed to be dead, Cable's son Tyler Dayspring reinvents himself as Genesis and appoints himself Apocalypse's successor.
  • Ax-Crazy: Depending on the Writer, Apocalypse has been written as completely insane and suffering from grandiose delusions which he expresses through genocide and killing those he perceives as weak.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: A signature pose he uses to assert his superiority.
  • Bald of Evil: Although in his youth he sported a long mane, nowadays he prefers to go without.
  • Barrier Warrior: His Celestial armour comes equipped with powerful forcefields which he can use in a variety of ways.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Various flashbacks and exposition dumps over the years have shown his recurring effects on history over the centuries. There was the time he spooked Alexander the Great into fleeing Egypt, for example. He is also stated in-universe to be the reason why Amenhotep I's tomb has never been found, as he killed Amenhotep and dragged his body out into the desert to rot. In X-Men (2019) he claims to have caused the Bronze Age Collapse.
  • Benevolent Boss: Genocidal maniac though he may be, Apocalypse is surprisingly consistent in his treatment of those who serve him well. The best example of this is the mutant Caliban, originally put to work as his bloodhound before heavily physically empowering him at Caliban's own request (compare Caliban before and after) as a reward for his faithful service. He took in and provided for Autumn Rolfson, the first Famine, even after she failed him as a Horseman (this became a plot point in Uncanny X-Force when The Bus Came Back for her) and fulfilled his pitch to the Hulk to the letter. Even with disobedient ex-minions he tends towards lenience, letting them act freely as long as they uphold his ideals (prime examples being Exodus and Mr. Sinister, though a good chunk of X-Men also fall into this category thanks to his curious habit of poaching their ranks for new Horsemen).
  • Big Bad: For the original X-Factor and Cable, and shares this spot with Magneto for the X-Men as a whole, since he is their most powerful recurring villain by far (not counting one-offs like Dark Phoenix or the Adversary).
  • Big Good: In House of X he sits on the Autumn chapter of the Quiet Council of Krakoa, which represents mutantkind's most powerful and respected leaders (the other two chapter members are Professor X and Magneto).
  • Blood Knight: Strip away the Celestial tech, the Superpower Lottery and the Time Abyss that make up Apocalypse's character and this is what you have at his core — a ferocious warrior who glories in war and believes that civilization is uplifted only through the continuous propagation of it.
  • Break the Haughty: Uncanny X-Men (2018) and Age of X-Man comprehensively do this, with Nate Grey demonstrating just how he can now swat Apocalypse like a fly/run him like a puppet, shutting down Apocalypse's boasts in one flashback as he warps him into his 'Age of X-Man' form with a single line - "You forget. I was born to end the Apocalypse." It's notable that in Apocalypse's appearances afterwards, in X-Men (2019), Apocalypse is a more humble and thoughtful figure.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": He wears an A-shaped device like a belt buckle. It's actually a Celestial transporter that grants him his teleportation abilities.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: His origins are somewhat ignominious, as he was introduced as the mastermind behind a throwaway generic evil organization called the Alliance of Evil. (Originally, the Owl was supposed to fill this role.) Because Characterization Marches On, he now views himself as being Above Good and Evil.
  • The Chessmaster: Frequently works behind the scenes, manipulating others to his will.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Depends on the writer. Depends greatly on the writer. He is consistently shown to derive a fair bit of his power from the armor granted to him by the Celestials, but how much of it is natural, how much of it is specific to the armor, and how much of it is natural but augmented by the armor varies greatly, as does the extent to which it provides life support and how decrepit he is without it.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Apocalypse's natural mutations are physical prowess, intelligence, immortality, and his strange gray skin and blue lips (surprisingly enough), and his Master of Your Domain ability, as shown in the Rise of Apocalypse mini. The rest of his abilities such as the technopathy, psychic abilities (maybe; the comics are inconsistent on whether or not the psychic abilities are natural or augmented), his armor and other powers are either derived from technology on loan from the Celestials or by altering his genetic structure.
  • Dark Action Girl: His cultist follower Anais, who tried to resurrect him when he was reduced to a ghost and possessing Cyclops.
  • Dark Messiah:
    • Occasionally written this way, such as in 2006's Blood of Apocalypse where he claims to have literally been awakened by the screams of millions of mutants (due to M-Day) and offers his titular Blood to all of mutantkind as an antidote to a plague (that he himself created to weed out humanity). Made very apparent since he's apparently a servant of the Celestials aka Space Gods.
    • This contrasts him with both Cable and Nate Grey, his eternal enemies, who fit the role of the Messianic Archetype - sometimes, during their respective 'Saviour Cable' and 'Second Coming' phases, actively embracing the symbolism.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • It's been revealed that the Celestials knew about Apocalypse using their technology, and allowed him to keep it in exchange for future services (although, technically, the Celestials are not evil, so in a sense Apocalypse was the Devil in this case, except he was on the poor end of the deal). While they have yet to collect on said services, the Celestials did at one point prevent Apocalypse from dying to ensure that he would be able to pay them back someday.
    • Apocalypse himself does this quite a bit, empowering Bennet du Paris, Nathaniel Essex, and a slew of modern-day mutants (including a few of the X-Men) in exchange for service. Ironically, this has helped the X-Men more than once, since it restored Angel's wings and Wolverine's adamantium. He also created one of his own worst enemies by empowering and granting immortality to Sinister.
  • Demonic Possession: After the Fusion Dance incident in The Twelve (keep reading for more on that) a later issue had Jean Grey state that Cyclops had been "possessed by an evil spirit called En Sabah Nur", leading to some misconception that the incident was a case of this trope, rather than the Fusion Dance it actually was. Whether this was a clumsy attempt at a Retcon or a genuine misunderstanding on the part of Grant Morrison remains unknown to this day.
  • Depending on the Writer: Whether he is a cosmic-level entity that can pimp-smack the likes of the High Evolutionary and go toe-to-toe with Asgardians like Loki and even The Mighty Thor, or is a has-been dependent upon regeneration chambers. Justified partially by Apocalypse's original body being killed in X-Factor #68 by Cyclops channeling the full power of the Summers bloodline, aka Deus ex Machina. His evil quotient is also writer-dependent, with Louise Simonson tending to write him as more of a Noble Demon and Well-Intentioned Extremist while later writers tend to dial his evilness as far in the other direction as possible.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Cable, and his alternate universe counterpart the X-Man, are each two of the most powerful psychic mutants alive. And they were both created by Sinister for the express purpose of killing this bastard.
    • Apocalypse is feared by even high-tier supernatural monsters like Dracula - though Apocalypse has a certain wariness of Dracula in turn, since Dracula very nearly succeeded in killing him in the 1890s. Deadpool's wife Shiklah tried to attack Evan (En Sabah Nur's clone) when she thought she saw the real deal reborn.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: His ideal society in the Age of Apocalypse is a bombed-out radioactive wasteland littered with genocide camps and Nazi-style genetic experimentation labs. Think Benito Mussolini on crack. Various Bad Futures ruled by him tend to be little better, though he has managed to restrain himself (or been restrained) from doing this in the normal timeline.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the conclusion of X of Swords, he singlehandedly manages to literally save all of both Earth AND the exiled mutant nation of Arrako (which include his first wife, their 4 children, and all of their surviving family & friends) from the full might of the Amenthi demon horde and their evil god, The Golden Helm of Annihilation by personally defeating his wife Genesis in hand-to-hand combat, thus becoming the next host of Annihilation, and then immediately surrendering to the Omniversal Majestrix of Otherworld, Opal Luna Saturnyne, thereby instantly neutralizing the corrupting influence of Annihilation, allowing Saturnyne to defeat Annihilation once and for all by transforming it from a cursed mask which absolutely dominated its wearer into a talking spear absolutely dominated by its wielder. This allows the sentient island/mutant nation of Arrako to finally reunite on Earth with its long-lost twin sentient island Krakoa, liberating the millions of Arrakoan Mutants from being enslaved by the Amenthi demon horde and integrating them into the mutant nation of Krakoa, and enabling Apocalypse to finally reconcile at last with his estranged first wife Genesis and their children.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • He teams up with the X-Men to fight Stryfe in the X-Cutioner's Song and even helpfully saves Professor X from the weaponized virus Stryfe infected him with.
    • The threat of Crisis Crossover villain Onslaught is great enough to necessitate one of these between him and his Arch-Enemy Cable.
    • He teams up with none other than the famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing to fight Dracula's legions in Apocalypse vs. Dracula.
  • Eternal Villain: Apocalypse is essentially one of these due to his immortality and overall dedication to brutal social darwinism. In many cultures over the years, he's masqueraded as many brutal gods and monsters, and played up the image for all it was worth.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As seen in the Rise of Apocalypse miniseries chronicling his backstory, despite all his faults and brutal teachings, Apocalypse loved and respected his adopted father Baal for being the first person to show him kindness and mercy by rescuing him from the desert and raising him as his son. He also loved Nephri for being the first woman to show him affection, until she became disgusted by him for his bizarre appearance. The combination of Baal's brutal survivalist upbringing and Nephri's rejection made Apocalypse believe love and humanity were useless and embraced the vicious ethos that would create his character.
    • As finally revealed at last by his full backstory in X of Swords, he was actually happily married once upon a time to his very first wife/soulmate, fellow immortal mutant Genesis, a Marvel omega-level mutant version of DC's own Poison Ivy, who he freely acknowledged was the strongest mutant/woman/person he had personally met, easily surpassing even himself, and they had four equally-ageless (upon reaching adulthood) Omega-level mutant children, who were actually his First Horsemen. However, the several thousand years apart mean his kids don't quite return that love.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He's disgusted by Loki's banal motives for "annoying the heroes of Earth" and refuses to join the "lesser villains" in Acts of Vengeance.
    • Despite the fact that his solution to the problem was to try to kill Franklin Richards, even he was horrified by the actions of Onslaught.
    • He holds no truck with vampires or other supernatural baddies, as Apocalypse vs. Dracula demonstrates.
    • He’s shocked when he finds out his wife Genesis turned down Annihilation’s offer to end the war between Arakko and Amenth out of sheer ego.
  • Evil Is Bigger: He's 7-feet tall in his usual form, but he'll often invoke this by using his shapeshifting powers to increase his size and utterly dwarf his opponents.
  • Evil Is Petty: In the Rise of Apocalypse miniseries chronicling his backstory, he as a young man was rejected by the girl he loved due to being physically ugly. When it turned out his powers made him immortal, he went back to her as she was dying of old age and taunted her on her deathbed.
  • Evil Overlord: Particularly in the Age of Apocalypse, where he rules North America with an iron fist.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The six-issue Apocalypse vs. Dracula miniseries, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Apocalypse ultimately wins, though not without some help from Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Eviler than Thou:
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Of the "fight to the death and prove your worth" variety.
  • Four Is Death: The Four Horsemen, anyone?
  • Freudian Excuse: Abandoned at birth due to his obvious mutations, adopted by a tribe of violent raiders who imparted their "only the strong are worthy" ethos that later became a defining element of his character, saw his entire tribe killed and also saw his adoptive father die in front of him not long after as a result of Kang the Conqueror's attempts to find him, was enslaved, had a particularly bad encounter with Kang himself, was rejected by the girl he had fallen in love with and risked his life to save... his formative years definitely weren't pleasant. He's still an absolutely vile being, but it's not hard to see how he became as awful as he is.
  • Fusion Dance: The Twelve storyline ended with Cyclops performing a Heroic Sacrifice to keep Apocalypse from achieving godhood. The results were... not pretty.

    G - L 
  • Genius Bruiser: Not a natural genius like Mister Fantastic or Doctor Doom, but he's had five thousand years to build upon the basic education he received as a nomadic Egyptian raider. He's also had the benefit of Celestial technology to tutor himself with, although it's been noted that he actually understands very little of it (which is not surprising, as while he may be a genius, he's still only human, and the Celestials are, well, the Celestials.)
  • A God Am I: He may or may not believe he is an actual god, but he is certainly happy to be worshipped as such if it furthers his interests, and he definitely has a monstrous God complex note . There was also the Twelve storyline, where Big Blue literally attempted to become a god by absorbing the power of the titular Twelvenote . At times he's indicated he considers himself better than being a "mere" god.
  • God Guise: He is worshiped as a god in his own right by some, but in ancient times he was sometimes mistaken for local deities. He played along as this served his ends well enough anyway.
  • Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good: According to his doctrine, war, conflict, inequality, struggle, destruction and death are good and natural, because they make people stronger. Consequently, peace, kindness, equality and the rest are bad, or irrelevant at least, because they make people weak.
  • Graceful Loser: In Uncanny X-Men (2018), he grudgingly concedes his position and scolds Kitty Pryde for doubting Nate's sheer power - after all, he has Magneto "on a leash", he's got Kitty's powers neutralised with a thought, and he has Apocalypse himself in chains, while most of his attention is directed elsewhere. He also offers Nate advice on how to be "a ruler worthy of the counsel of Apocalypse." In the follow-up, Age of X-Man, he postures a little as Nate warps him to fit the world, but once he realises not only how he's been comprehensively been brainwashed, but how Nate casually slipped a bit of the real world (a Menorah) in just in the right place for Kitty to deliver a near-lethal injury via phasing it into his chest, he ruefully admits that it is brilliant.
  • Grand Theft Me:
    • Tries to pull this on X-Man in The Twelve (along with stealing the powers of several powerful mutants, the titular number), and in a Bad Future on his (willing) adopted son Stryfe. He failed both times, though in the former case he managed to pull a forced Fusion Dance on Cyclops. Toyed with pulling it on Hope and has attempted it on others. He is always on the look out for powerful mutants to serve as his host body.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: When he's being written by his co-creator Louise Simonson, usually (with the monsters in question being either malevolent gods like Loki or the Celestials). This interpretation seems to have returned a little in X of Swords, with all of his actions being a desperate attempt to protect the Earth from Amenth and save his family.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Astonishingly pulls one off in X-Men (2019), in which he willingly submits to Charles Xavier after Krakoa becomes a safe haven for all Mutants. It continued on in X of Swords and X-men Red. The Krakoan age in general made him into a hero of mutantkind.
  • Hero Killer: He is capable of taking on whole teams of heroes by himself, and has directly or indirectly killed numerous characters.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Occasionally stories have portrayed him as this, using the very logical rationale that if the Benito Mussolini on crack dystopia was really what he wanted that he's had more than enough time in his five thousand years of life to make it happen. Before the Celestials were brought in to be The Man Behind the Man, this was the prevailing explanation for his strangely-lax approach to taking over the world.
    • As revealed in X of Swords, his whole credo of "Survival of the Fittest" for thousands of years, was actually because Apocalypse was desperately trying to fulfil the last request of his beloved wife, fellow immortal mutant Genesis, to judge the whole world, in order to ensure that the rest of the Earth would be strong enough to resist the re-invasion of the demon armies from the extra-dimensional hell-planet of Amenth, against whom she and their children and all of their extended family and friends (the entire mutant nation of Okkara, which is including even Arrako, the twin of the sentient island of Krakoa), selflessly sacrificed their lives pushing back into their home dimension, and blocking up from crossing over into Marvel Earth.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: That bit below about culling the weak? He taught that to his followers, so after he got badly beaten by Stryfe they judged him to be weak, and changed sides.
    • In fact, he always beaten badly enough that he has become notoriously derided among fans as arguably the very worst jobber among the Megalomaniacal Evil Overlord class of Marvel's Super-Villains, at least in the Marvel Earth-Prime/Earth-616.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Used as the name and titles of his four top lieutenants. Because most Horsemen tend to either die or turn on him, he's constantly on the lookout for new mutants to serve as his bringers of Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. A number of X-Men have served in these roles over the years: Archangel (who remains his favourite), Wolverine and Gambit have all been Death for a time, Sunfire was Famine and Polaris was Pestilence.
    • As of Secret Wars (2015) and X-Men '92, his last known Horsemen were Bastion, Exodus, Mystique and Senator Kelly.
    • As finally revealed at last by his full backstory in the 2020 X-Event, the First Horsemen were actually his own biological children, 2 sons and 2 daughters, who he sired and raised with his very first wife/soulmate, fellow immortal mutant Genesis. Like their parents, they were equally ageless upon reaching adulthood, and like their mother, are also Omega-level mutants. Not only that, they surpass him. Easily. The first Death and the first Famine were their sons, the first War and the first Pestilence were their daughters.
  • Humans Are Survivors: Expresses these sentiments to Loki during their fight in the Acts of Vengeance Crisis Crossover:
    Apocalypse: Humans are not the weaklings you take them for. Each, be he hero or villain, is dying from the day he is born. Each breath... each effort... is an act of courage against inevitable doom... such courage we immortals can only dream of.
    • In the Age of Apocalypse X-Event, even after he had already conquered the entire continent of North America, he still allowed humans to live, albeit as the periodically-culled oppressed slave masses to the mutant ruling classes, instead of exterminating them outright wholesale, and he even let "superior" flatscans (i.e. those non-mutant humans who managed to actually thrive in his totalitarian dictatorship) to actually join what passed for the "Elite" in his imperial capital of what used to be New York City.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Apocalypse's creed is rather undercut by the fact that, in the comics, he became as powerful as he did through sheer dumb luck. Most of his power actually stems from the Celestialnote  technology he discovered and managed to master.
    • Subverted and explained by his full backstory in X of Swords, the simple reason why thousands of years ago, Apocalypse was the sole survivor of the ancient mutant nation of Okkara who remained behind on Earth, even while everyone else who was still alive (by his own admission, scores of 'godlike' i.e. Omega-level mutants, including his own wife, their children, and all of their extended family and friends) selflessly sacrificed themselves to stop the further Amenthi invasion of Earth by counter-invading the extra-dimensional hell-planet of Amenth, where they would be stranded forever, trapped in perpetual on-and-off warfare against a planet full of demon hordes? Simply because the self-proclaimed First Mutant was just not strong enough to join the rest of them. The worst part? He admits that they ALL knew it, especially his own spouse who made him stay behind —- against his own wishes to join the rest of his kin and kith — to instead try and hold the fort by fortifying the rest of the Earth against Amenthi re-invasion in the future.
  • I Gave My Word: When Xavier was near death during the X-Cutioner's Song, Apocalypse stepped in and saved his life, along with letting the X-Men borrow his spaceship so they could travel to the moon and rescue some of their teammates, simply because he'd told them he would repay them for their previous assistance.
  • I Love You, Vampire Son: Averted with most of his Horsemen who he considers inferior Replacement Goldfish to his children. Warren however is the exception and this trope is played straight. He considers Warren quite worthy and is proud of the ”improvements” he made whereas Warren hates it.
  • Immortal Genius: Not only is he an immortal mutant that's been around for over five thousand years, his experience with alien technology has made him a brilliant Omnidisciplinary Scientist and inventor capable of outstripping modern technology - hence why his Horsemen of the Apocalypse usually go into battle with new weapons and a significant power boost.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: He very decisively rejects Stryfe in 2009's Messiah War storyline after discovering that Stryfe is his chosen heir from the future, pronouncing Stryfe to be a weakling unworthy of the honor.
  • Irony: During the Evolutionary War Crisis Crossover Apocalypse (then still a relatively new character and still under the creative direction of his original creators) fought the High Evolutionary. During the fight he chastised the Evolutionary for his impatience and referred to his invasive methods as "unnatural selection", advocating for more patient methods in keeping with his status as an immortal (see here). Later, when creative control of him passed to other writers, Apocalypse would himself adopt methods very similar to those he advocated against.
    • This is partially justified by the fact that after X-Factor #68, he was in inadequate and decaying host bodies for a very long time, which when combined with The Reveal of his motives in X of Swords, may explain why he became more desperate.
  • It Amused Me:
    • In the Blood of Apocalypse storyline he flat-out admits this is his motive for transforming the timid mutant Gazer into his Horseman of War.
    • This was also his motive for rescuing Fabian Cortez in the 90s series after his failed attempt to usurp Magneto. Recruiting an open sufferer of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder to his cause doesn't sound like the best of ideas, but ultimately the real danger to Apocalypse's plans was Cortez's incompetence.
  • The Juggernaut: Not as extreme as the Trope Namer, but Apocalypse is still a force of nature.
  • Large and in Charge: In the animated series at least, he is shown to be perfectly capable of altering his size to be as large as he wants; however, every version has his default size as somewhere around the 15 foot range, and even before he got Celestial tech he was still taller than any normal human.
  • Legacy Character: In Uncanny X-Force it's revealed that Apocalypse is part of a long line of beings who made sure evolution headed in the direction the Celestials desired.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: When he awakens crusader Bennet du Paris's latent mutant abilities and rechristens him as his herald Exodus, the first thing Apocalypse does is pit him against his best friend, fellow crusader Eobar Garrington. Predictably, this leads to an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight that ends with Exodus snapping out of it and turning on Apocalypse.
  • Light Is Not Good: His name "En Sabah Nur" means "Birth of Light', "Awakened Light" and "Dawn" but is also a villain of divine motif with his cults.
  • Love Makes You Evil: He was pretty well on his way to villainy already when Nephri rejected him, but said rejection was probably what pushed him over the edge. During the time he convinced Hulk to be one of his Horsemen it greatly hinted that while he sees emotions and love as a weakness, he himself still has not gotten over the rejection of his first love.

    M - R 
  • Magic Knight: For most of his history he has defied this, being a mutant powered by technology and having little to do with Marvel's magical community. This changes in House of X when he reveals formidable knowledge and skill with sorcery, putting it to work in his role as adviser for the Krakoa's incarnation of Excalibur. Heralds of Apocalypse later reveals that his long-lost wife Genesis has always seen herself as the warrior alongside Apocalypse as the mage.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: On rare occasions in more modern day and future storylines, Apocalypse's fearsome exterior visage of an ancient and incredibly powerful mutant is torn away to reveal... an ancient and incredibly old man with a physique roughly akin to that of Mr. Burns, whose current power is largely due to being encased in what is basically glorified (albeit very, very advanced) Powered Armor, while his own power ate away at his body. However, every appearance after X-Factor #68 is a host body not capable of handling his full power. He can subvert this trope via Grand Theft Me, and finding a suitably powerful host to contain his awesome energies (or better yet, elevate himself to cosmic-level evil using one or a number of even stronger hosts) is one of his more common plots. In X-Men: Black, he finally manages to recreate a body of his own capable of holding his powers, putting him back at the height of his powers. This does not prevent him from getting punked by Nate Grey, because there's Always a Bigger Fish.
  • The Man Behind the Man:
    • Not only did he awaken the powers of Exodus and grant Mr. Sinister his powers outright, Apocalypse is also the original source of much of the latter villain's resources. He also has at least one mutant cult and a number of minions, and was once even worshipped by a group of Skrulls. He was introduced as the leader of a throwaway generic evil organization, the Alliance of Evil and an alternate version of him was the master of Dark Beast and other evil survivors of that timeline.
    • He also ends up being The Man Behind the Man for the Externals, a secret society of mutant immortals introduced in the pages of X-Force. This is highlighted pretty effectively in the Age of Apocalypse, where all the surviving Externals are shown to be working for him.
    • Though Apocalypse hates to admit it, the Celestials are his Man Behind The Man.
  • Manipulative Bastard: As Warren Worthington, Wolverine, Cyclops and many, many other people can attest. He has no qualms about manipulating the fates of entire cultures and nations either.
  • Master of Your Domain: This is his baseline mutant ability, and the in-universe explanation for his New Powers as the Plot Demands, as he has complete control of his own body down to the molecular level. Mutant powers being genetic, this basically allows him to effect Powers as Programs however he sees fit.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • His given name is translated as "The First One" - he and Selene both have very good claims as being the first mutants alive It's revealed in X of Swords that Selene was likely the First of the First Generation of Earth mutants (i.e. "Killcrops", whose powers are present from birth), being born around 15000 BC in what eventually became Central Europe, during the Hyborian Age. Apocalypse, meanwhile, is confirmed to be the First, but of the Second Generation of Earth mutants (whose powers activate at puberty), being born just around 3000 BC in what is certainly Ancient Egypt, though Apocalypse has BOTH mutations from birth and activated at puberty. note .
    • The ancient definition of the word 'Apocalypse' was actually something closer to "divine revelation" than "the end of the world", and Apocalypse has indeed spent centuries seeking out individuals he judges as potentially worthy to impart "revelations" to, with the caveat that they prove themselves worthy of them first.
  • Mind Control:
    • Pulled this on several mutants, including Angel and Wolverine. On one occasion, he even pulled it on the Hulk - and, even more impressively, he is one of the few to pull it on the Hulk successfully.
    • Gets this pulled on him by Nate Grey - who, it should be noted, was at the peak of his strength and is arguably Marvel's most consistently powerful psychic.
  • More than Mind Control: Directly related to the above, as he actually talked Hulk in that instance into willingly becoming his horseman by promising to silence the voices in his head (Bruce Banner's schizophrenia was at an all-time high point and he was constantly hallucinating visions of his dead father Brian Banner) in exchange for his service. The helmet Apocalypse equipped him with was built for this very purpose, and as long as it was working Hulk was more than happy to do Apocalypse's bidding. It was only after the helmet broke and his father immediately reappeared taunting him that Hulk rejected the role, tearing off the rest of his armor and leaping away.
  • Mutant: One of the first mutants born, though definitely not the first as he often claims his fellow Externals Selene, Krule, Nicodemus, Saul, White Sword —- as well as their fellow mutant Azazel ('who while so far not yet confirmed to also be an External, is still physically immortal like them, such that he even managed to ascend to becoming an actual hell-lord through millennia of human fear from him pretending to be the Devil) —- are confirmed to indeed be much older, originating from the Hyborian Age, c. 15,000 BC or so. Apocalypse was born about 12,000 years later in Ancient Egypt. The combination of both his Celestial-gifted Powered Armor and his Celestial techno-organic-viral augmentation makes it difficult to gauge which of his abilities derive from his own natural genetic mutation and which are artificial enhancements/additions.
    • As revealed in X of Swords, Apocalypse is actually the "Great Re-Seeder", indeed the first... but only of the second generation of Mutantkind on Earth, i.e. those whose powers activate at puberty rather than already be present at birth (i.e. "Kill Crops"). Fittingly, Apocalypse is a textbook example of a Transitional Species/Missing Link individual: He has mutations both 1) present from birth (gray skin, blue facial markings), and 2) activated at puberty (cellular control, bio-blasts)
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Played with, as seen in the Meaningful Name entry above. While his name is very much this to a modern-day perspective, the original meaning of the word was a bit more benign. Counts as an unintentional Genius Bonus.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Forcibly invoked in his Age of X-Man incarnation by Nate Grey, who realised that even a utopia (well, an attempted one, which resulted in a disturbing Crapsaccharine World) needs something to fight against. And in his view, Apocalypse will always be his enemy. So, hilariously, he repurposes Apocalypse as a sex guru —- complete with a cult of groupies —- who is subversively trying to bring both romantic love AND erotic lust back to the Gattaca/Equilibrium-style dystopia where they are absolutely and permanently thoroughly banned by a totalitarian regime that considers psychological/emotional attachment/intimacy to be the real root reasons that prevented humanity from successfully reaching utopia throughout its whole history. Adding a bit of pathos is the reveal that at least part of Apocalypse actually preferred it that way.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • No one's ever been able to manage to give a precise listing on what exactly his powers actually are (and, for that matter, how many of them are actually his and aren't from his armor), and the writers of his comics have admitted they just give him whatever abilities are needed to make him effectively menace the heroes.
      Frank Tieri: So what... this guy's kind of like Mr. Fantastic on steroids? Yeah, his powers have always been sort of nebulous, but as long as he's cutting through X-Men teams like Kirstie Alley through Sizzler, I don't think the fans care.
    • Justified by a few supplementary sources back in the 90s; they listed his mutant power as the ability to alter his own biology on a subatomic level. Since this would include being able to alter his own DNA at will and mutant powers are genetic, well...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Whether by accident or design, a lot of his attempts to recruit new horsemen end with him helping the heroes in the end, such as him rebonding Wolverine's adamantium skeleton, regenerating Sunfire's legs and restoring Polaris's sanity. Sometimes he at least has the sense to add in a touch of Be Careful What You Wish For, as was the case with the 'improved' wings he granted to Angel when remaking him as Archangel.
  • Noble Demon: This was apparently the original plan for him, as revealed in Louise Simonson's X-Factor Forever. Turns out all of Nur's villainy in the modern day is to keep Earth safe from the Celestials, and when Arishem the Judge shows up he even pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save Scott and Jean's baby. The Krakoan Age alters the explanation (to prepare the Earth for an invasion from Amenth), but it's still noble - though given the personal factors at stake (such as the fact that his family are involved), the likes of Exodus are not particularly impressed. Even leaving that aside, Apocalypse does have standards of behavior he holds himself to, such as keeping his word and respecting worthy opponents - his internal monologue in the future during an issue of Messiah War is essentially remarking on how strong he finds the X-Force squad and everyone else fighting Stryfe, because of their courage and strength of will in the face of overwhelming power. Stryfe, conversely, he deems to have power but no strength. He also accepts Angel's demand for Hope, who Apocalypse was considering making his new host, as payment for his having shown mercy and restoring Apocalypse.
  • One-Man Army: In ancient times, even in his youth, he would sometimes take part in a battle and fight both sides, even the side he was supposed to be on, and he would win, or at least he'd come out alive despite everyone trying to kill him. Keep in mind that this was before his Celestial-upgrade, so while he was still superpowered, he was not the invincible demigod he would later become. It goes without saying that since said upgrade, he more than qualifies for this trope.
  • Only Sane Man: Apocalypse for most of his publication history and life has been a Social Darwinist who imposes his viewpoint on all of mankind and has killed untold numbers of people. However he has a Utopia Justifies the Means goal and has been genuinely content in the times when he’s reached said utopia, wanting to enjoy peace. His wife however is an egotist who goal behind war and conquest is just more war and conquest. She ruined the first utopia Apocalypse had and since she got the kids in the separation, they are as gluttonous for war as she is.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Frequently accused of this, as with his power and age there really aren't very many good explanations as to why he's not already ruling the world Age of Apocalypse-style if that is truly his aim. The most common explanations are either that he has another, deeper goal or that his hand is being stayed by some higher power (usually the Celestials).
  • Parental Favoritism: In an I Love You, Vampire Son way. Archangel has always been his favourite and in his own words, "the greatest of my Horsemen" - he's certainly the only one in his eyes to live up to the originals, his children. Archangel is markedly less enthusiastic about this.
  • Path of Inspiration: He has claimed to have been worshiped by numerous civilizations over mankind's history, usually under a God Guise. In the modern day he definitely has scattered cults of worshipers, among them, the survivors of the Skrull Empire after it was it was decimated by Galactus, and in the 90s animated series he had a Mayan cult that was led by Fabian Cortez.
  • Physical God: Not that he gets to show it off often, but he is powerful enough to qualify, plus he is actually worshiped as a deity. He possesses virtually every physical superpower in some form, as well as a range of others, and is immortal and an absolute beast to kill.
  • Powered Armor: Ridiculously advanced armor no less, on a multi-millennia loan from some of the most powerful aliens in the universe.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: When severely weakened he can drain the life force of others, and he also has power siphoning machines that allow for a more complete transfer.
  • Psychic Powers: It's unclear if Nur has any actual psychic powers of his own (he's used telekinesis, though that could just be a function of his Powered Armor) but at the very least his psychic defenses are formidable enough to make even the likes of Professor X think twice about trying to read his mind. They're no impediment to an irritable Nate Grey, however.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • After the Celestials abducted him for reasons unknown. He returned sooner or later, of course.
    • And again after X of Swords, where he's reunited with his wife daughter and decides to stay behind in Otherworld with them, though he promises he will be back eventually.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: His Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who are usually Brainwashed and Crazy mutants (or superhumans, at least) under his control, and more than once brainwashed superheroes - making them even quirkier is the fact they're Replacement Goldfish for his children, the original Horsemen (and so far as he is concerned, only Angel has ever really lived up to the originals). Also, the Dark Riders and the Alliance of Evil, though the latter group was buried like so much cat litter for being a little too Obviously Evil even by comic-book standards.
  • Really 5000 Years Old: Born in the days of Ancient Egypt, Apocalypse is one of the oldest living non-supernatural beings on Earth.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives an epic one to Loki of all people, in what is definitely a crowning moment of awesome for the character:
    Apocalypse: Your so-called Acts of Vengeance is already a failure. Remember, Loki, that Apocalypse is not one of your petty villains.

    S - Z 
  • Sadist Teacher: This is more or less what he has remade himself into in the modern day - a crazy and ruthless "teacher" whose students are entire cultures and species. The biggest problem, of course, is that what he teaches is absolutely bonkers and tends to result in his "students" destroying each other, which he seems to find acceptable as long as they got "stronger" (ie. become merciless Blood Knights) while doing it. One could get the feeling that he does everything he does because war and conflict and struggle are the only things that he is capable of understanding; thus, if people are not fighting and killing and dying all the time and everywhere, obviously the world is wrong and he has to fix it.
    • X of Swords explains both this and his Heel–Face Turn (of sorts) in X-Men (2019) - everything he's ever done is actually to prepare Earth for the invasion of Amenthi demons, as per his first wife's last wish.
  • Science Wizard: Apocalypse has been shown to be adept in various scientific fields such as engineering, biology and physics. He has also recently shown working knowledge of sorcery as adviser to a new incarnation of Excalibur.
  • Sexy Mentor: To Rictor. When Rictor was in a dark place and his powers were going haywire, Apocalypse served as a mentor to him. They ended up pretty much being inseparable and Rictor admitted to Shatterstar that he was attracted to Apocalypse.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Can take any form regardless of size or shape. He almost never reduces himself to petty espionage, however, though he has occasionally taken human forms to better manipulate others or move about freely in society.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: Apocalypse can make anything from battering rams and saw blades to Energy Weapons from his arms.
  • Sizeshifter: This is a noticeable part of his shapeshifting powers, especially in the animated series. Usually he'll just settle for towering over his opponents, but on occasion he increases his size to such a degree that it becomes Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever.
  • The Social Darwinist: His whole schtick is culling the weak so that the strong survive. This extends to himself, as well; he has been entirely willing to die whenever he's been defeated due to his belief that his own failure makes him unworthy of life.
    • Especially to his own descendants , who he made a point to never indulge or coddle: he made them fight to the death once they came of age in order to determine their individual rankings in the heirarchy of Clan Akkaba and he even punished them by culling one of their number (ironically usually those who physically resembled him the most) whenever they were forced to directly summon him for help in dealing with their problems , as he preferred that his own descendants be able to deal with their own problems without resorting to running to him for help.
      • This comes back to bite him in the ass big-time when his own direct descendants (who by the late 19th Century have dwindled to just a dozen or so survivors in Victorian-era London after being massacred by THE Count Dracula himself) have finally gotten so sick and too tired of his callous apathy to their plight, as well as the millenia of lifelong abuse from his own personal version of “Tiger Parenting” that they willingly defect to the other side by accepting Dracula’s offer for them to become vampires , and they then turn on their own actual ancestor, very nearly defeating him once and for all.
  • Start of Darkness: The Rise of Apocalypse mini, which reveals how he was abandoned at birth due to his obvious mutation, adopted by Baal, the chieftain of bloodthirsty nomadic raiders, was hunted by Rama-Tut/Kang the Conqueror who caused the death of his adoptive father, was enslaved by Rama Tut’s warlord Prince Ozymandias, rescued but was rejected by Princess Nephri, his younger sister and the girl he'd fallen in love with, was eventually executed by her older brother, literally rose from the dead to defeat his enemies, and eventually rose to power as an immortal conqueror himself.
  • Super-Empowering: In addition to Mr. Sinister, Apocalypse has also empowered most of his Horsemen, either giving them brand new powers or upgrading what was already there. This has even helped the X-Men on occasion (despite the brief episode of brainwashing), as he has restored Angel's wings, Wolverine's adamantium skeleton, and Sunfire's legs. Though it later turned out that Angel had a Healing Factor and his wings would have regrown naturally anyway, so it's for a given value of "help".
  • Super Prototype: Exodus was apparently his first attempt at empowering a herald, and by far his most powerful. Though Nur was able to contain his rebellion easily enough, it says something that none of his later minions, from Mr. Sinister to the Dark Riders, came anywhere close to Bennet Du Paris's level of sheer raw power.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: The Clan Akkaba, entirely composed of his genetic descendants, often have powers. Presumably, following their cult to his beliefs, they subjugate (if not cull outright) any muggles. Most of them inherit his Voluntary Shapeshifting ability, especially his descendant Hamilton Slade, whose younger brother Frederick Slade meanwhile had natural pink hair coloration and teleportation ability (with the same sound effect even) of his distant great-something grand-daughter, Blink. Three known direct descendants have Playing with Fire powers; Chamber/Jonathan Starsmore is a paychic semi-Energy Being half-contained in a physical human shell, his own distant great-something grandfather Jack Starsmore (a first cousin of the Slade brothers) can breath fire, and Apocalypse himself has a bastard son with his teenage horseman Autumn Rolfson, his most recent offspring and youngest child , William Rolfson , whose bionuclear microwave powers turned him into effectively a flaming skeleton (requiring a lifesupport suit of armor) upon hitting puberty.
  • Super-Strength: He is easily Class 100, though he rarely demonstrates the full extent of his strength.
  • Super Supremacist: Kind of. He definitely considers mutants to be the Master Race compared to humanity, whom he usually wants to totally eradicate. However, some mutants are more equal than others in his philosophy, since he only cares about literal survival of the fittest. Therefore, by his own logic the weaker mutants are to be destroyed by the more powerful mutants as well. And of course he considers himself to be the apex of evolution.
  • Technopathy: His Powered Armor lets him interact with and take control of virtually any computer system that he wishes to.
  • Teleportation: One of the abilities he has that's confirmed to be technological rather than biological in nature. He takes it to Teleport Spam levels when you fight him in X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse.
  • Tin Tyrant: He's ruled over people over the course of his long life and wears Powered Armor.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Apocalypse was granted much of his power by Celestial technology.
  • Training from Hell: His entire childhood was basically this at the hands of his adoptive father Baal. He later subjects 12th century crusader Bennet du Paris to this as well, in order to awaken the crusader's latent mutant powers as Exodus.
  • The Unfettered: During the Onslaught Saga he was the only one willing to go into Would Hurt a Child territory, reasoning that killing Franklin Richards was better than letting Onslaught retain Franklin's Reality Warper powers.
  • Unpronounceable Alias: In the Krakoan age, his name is a combination of symbols with an A in the middle, one that cannot be written on an English keyboard, made from the Krakoan language. Trinary lampshades it when it is revealed in Excalibur (2019) #1.
    Trinary: Sure. I can pronounce that.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Him deciding to head home with Genesis after X of Swords causes a great deal of problems for Krakoa. Destiny takes his seat and without Apocalypse there to keep Krakoa focused on the big picture (alongside Magneto and Xavier), the council starts to become more and more obsessed with infighting.
    • Him deciding to make Nathaniel Essex his servant and empowering him would set Essex on the path to create the Enigma Dominion, a digital god that threatens to consume everything.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A young Genesis was sent back in time and actually befriended Apocalypse when he was a child. Genesis described him as being "kind, thoughtful and generous to a fault", a far cry from the megalomaniac that he became.
  • Urban Legends: Comic book urban legend has it that Apocalypse's dismissive attitude towards Loki during the Acts of Vengeance Crisis Crossover stemmed from writer Louise Simonson’s resentment at having to derail her book's plots for obligatory participation in the latest "next big event", leading to Apocalypse effectively giving Loki a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and booting him out of the X-Factor title altogether. Read more about it here.
  • Villainous Legacy: Being as old as he is, he has literally thousands of descendants around the world. He's also had at least one son in the present era modern day , William Rolfson (better known as Nemesis/Holocaust) and Cable's son Tyler also attached himself to his legacy when he became Genesis. He is also this for Kang the Conqueror; while Kang wasn't the only thing that made him go off the deep end, he was definitely the primary factor, and it is safe to say that without Kang's machinations, he likely would have never developed the ruthlessness that would mushroom into his trademark brutal megalomania.
  • Villainous Valour: Generally keeps his word and holds himself to his own beliefs, and treats his opponents with great respect. Given the sheer amount of hell he often puts them through, this tends to make them hate him even more.
  • Viler New Villain: Magneto's slow reformation under Chris Claremont meant that they needed another potential archenemy for the team. As such, Louise and Walter Simonson created Apocalypse. He was designed around Darwinian principles and without any of Magneto's redeeming qualities.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: An incredibly powerful version of this trope, and one he effects through his Master of Your Domain ability. Celestial tech has amped it, but even before he acquired their technology he had the ability to duplicate physical superpowers through molecular manipulation. He's since used it to morph his limbs into space-age weaponry and act as a highly-efficient Healing Factor that makes Wolverine's look tame, as well as alter his size and occasionally just plain old impersonating people.
  • War Is Glorious: Firmly believes that conflict and struggle are what life is all about. He has started wars that have ended with the destruction of entire civilizations because he truly believes that peace is stagnation and leads only to weakness.
    • Turns out he didn’t always believe this. When he started a family on Okkara thousands of years ago, he thought of a peaceful family life on the living island was his was his happy ending after the hardships of his youth and wanted nothing to do with war. His wife however thought otherwise. Even now, he only thought of war as a necessary means to make Mutantkind strong and reunite with his family.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: En Sabah Nur's plans are horrific in scope and devastation, yet, Depending on the Writer he's not in it for the power. He genuinely buys his own sell about making the world a better place through ruthless Darwinism.
  • White Sheep: Yep. As bad as Apocalypse is, his wife, children, and sister-in-law are far more bloodthirsty, war hungry and Darwinist to the point that they actually consider him deplorably soft.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Subjected to this by Stryfe in the 90s X-Cutioner's Song story, but it was yet another case of Worf Had the Flu.
    • Despite being at the height of his powers, he was brutally put in his place by Nate Grey in Uncanny X-Men (2018) and Age of X-Man. In the former case, he was used as a wall-decoration and occasional adviser whenever Nate thought he might have a decent idea. In the latter, he was nothing more than a brainwashed puppet, fulfilling the role of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain in Nate's damaged utopia. When he postured during the conversion process, Nate cut him down to size with a single line. Since Nate is surpassed only by Franklin Richards and possibly Jim Jaspers at the very height of his power (and even then, it's questionable), there's Always a Bigger Fish.
      Nate Grey: You forget. I was born to end the apocalypse.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Falls into this way too often. He is rarely depicted to be as powerful as he used to be and logically should be, and the most common justification for this is that his host body is weak and he is dependent on his regeneration chambers to survive (see The Man Behind the Curtain).
  • Worthy Opponent: The only reason he allows the X-Men to live is because he considers them among the strong.
  • Would Hurt a Child: His solution to end the Onslaught crisis (and rid himself of a potential rival) was to kill Franklin Richards. Needless to say both Apocalypse's archenemy Cable and Franklin's mother the Invisible Woman put a stop to that.
  • You Will Be Spared: After THE Abraham Van Helsing himself personally saves him from being defeated through hypnosis by Count Dracula, Apocalypse foregoes his usual policy regarding humans and lets the man live.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Apocalypse



Beast reads hieroglyphics which tell the story of the mutant supervillain Apocalypse.

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Main / AncientEvil

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