Follow TV Tropes


Characters / X Men Film Series Apocalypse And His Followers

Go To

Main Character Index

The powerful and ancient mutant En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse and those who follow him.
    open/close all folders 


En Sabah Nur

Played by: Oscar Isaac (main body), Berdj Garabedian (old), Brendan Pedder (young)

Voiced by: Eduardo Ramírez (Latin-American Spanish), Ken Matsudaira (Japanese)

Film Appearances: X-Men: Days of Future Past | X-Men: Apocalypse

"Everything they've built will fall! And from the ashes of their world, we'll build a better one!"

One of the first mutants, if not THE first, En Sabah Nur (meaning "The First One"), otherwise known as Apocalypse was a ruler in Ancient Egypt and an extremely powerful being with a myriad of abilities ranging from inanimate matter manipulation, teleportation and immortality by way of Body Surf. He is believed to be the progenitor of all mutants. His initial onscreen appearance shows him constructing a pyramid—personally.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In X-Men: Apocalypse, his last mutant host is Oscar Isaac, who is definitely much easier to the eyes than the pug-faced ogre En Sabah Nur is in the comics. As an adolescent, this version of him even reached Dude Looks Like a Lady levels.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Apocalypse has had countless superpowers, but he has never been seen with body surfing before. In fact this appears to be his original power as he hops from host to host and steals the powers of whoever he has taken over.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Zigzagged. This Apocalypse lacks many of the superpowers of the comics incarnation, most prominently being unable to shapeshift, having no energy projection or absorption abilities, and no access to any alien technology (among many others; Apocalypse's powers in the comics were ill-defined and often fell into "just whatever he needed in that moment"). However, the film Apocalypse still won the Superpower Lottery with matter manipulation, psionic abilities, empowering other mutants, teleportation, and other lesser skills. He's technically not as powerful as the comics version, but still pretty damn mighty and quite surely the second most powerful individual in the film franchise.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: This version of Apocalypse presents himself as affable and soft-spoken, and only hams up in peak moments, like when furious or making a point. This is a stark contrast to the comics, where Apocalypse is known for being bombastic and threatening since the first minute and pretty much all the time, as well as an illustrious owner of No Indoor Voice manners.
  • Admiring the Abomination: While Jean incinerates him with the Phoenix Force, all he can do is bask in the glory of her sheer power and ominously remark "All is revealed".
  • Age Lift: This version of Apocalypse had already been active for millennia by 3600 BCE, approximately the year that his comic counterpart was born.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: His skin is blue.
  • The Antichrist: Singer invokes this when he describes Apocalypse.
    "[Apocalypse is] kind of the opposite of Christ, actually. Christ would have come years after him, by the way."
  • As the Good Book Says...: He at times alludes to the Bible, although in metaphors rather than literal quotes ("You can fire your arrows from the Tower of Babel, but you can never strike God!"). Ironically, as noted in one scene, it's possible that in-universe, the Bible is quoting him.
  • Bad Boss: Played with. He's a good boss at first (as long as he doesn't want you for his next host) drawing out the true potential of a number of mutants and encouraging them to live up to it. However, his reaction to Archangel's death is a contemptuous "useless," as Archangel proved—in his eyes—to be unworthy. This triggers Storm's Heel Realisation.
  • Bald of Evil: His most recent host had his head shaved. Not to mention one of the most obvious physical changes to Xavier when Apocalypse attempts Grand Theft Me is that he loses all his hair.
  • Barrier Warrior: He's able to block attacks by projecting a spherical forcefield around himself.
  • Big Bad: He is the main threat in X-Men: Apocalypse, given the Antagonist Title this movie has.
  • Body Surf: His innate mutation is the ability to transfer his consciousness to new bodies, which in turn grants him immortality and the ability to steal the powers of any mutant whose body he takes.
  • The Bully: Despite his age, wisdom, and abilities, En Sabah Nur is nothing more than a man with lots of power that uses force to get what he wants. It isn't until the very end that he shows his true colors. When Quicksilver manages to actually hit him (repeatedly), Apocalypse then traps the young mutant's left foot inside the ground and slowly, deliberately, breaks his right leg before calling for Psylocke to kill him. When Jean unleashes her full power and shows him what it's like to be on the receiving end of someone else's abuse with no way of defending himself, the first thing En Sabah Nur tries to do is teleport away.
  • Characterization Marches On: In his brief appearance at The Stinger of X-Men: Days of Future Past, he's seen telekinetically building a pyramid. Amusingly enough, while he shows many powers in Apocalypse, straight telekinesis is not among them (and considering how damn unstoppable he is even without it, it was quite unnecessary).
  • Combat Pragmatist: He may have won the Superpower Lottery, but in the rare instance Apocalypse encounters someone who can stand toe-to-toe with him, he ruthlessly deals with them first before moving onto other threats (as he did when Quicksilver used his Super Speed to easily smack him around).
  • Combo Platter Powers: In addition to immortality and super strength, Bryan Singer had listed Apocalypse's skills in a May 2016 Empire article.
    "Not only can he control technology, teleport, and enhance the abilities of his chosen Horsemen, but he can move inanimate matter. He can dissolve, change and transform inanimate molecules."
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: He never gets referred to as Apocalypse for the entire movie. The only allusion is when his four sidekicks are compared to the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Although Quicksilver does refer to him as Apocalypse in a promotional ad for V energy drink.
  • Composite Character:
    • This version of Apocalypse incorporates elements of the Shadow King; he meets and mentors a young Storm in Egypt, is an incorporeal entity that periodically possesses human hosts, and telepathically duels Xavier.
    • His Grand Theft Me and Power Parasite abilities also recall Proteus.
  • Creepy Monotone: This is how he sounds when he informs Professor X, "I'm here for you, Charles." The voice is quite chilling, and it forebodes that Xavier will soon be in really deep trouble.
  • Cult of Personality: He emphasizes his god-like qualities to draw in potential followers. Singer highlights the character's role as a cult leader.
    "He's also a false god, which makes him kind of like a cult leader. So Oscar Isaac and Simon Kinberg not only studied religion, but also studied the nature of cults and how they function."
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Back in pre-history, he would periodically transfer his essence into a new host body whenever the old one started to wear out. His current body is thousands of years old due to him having been sealed away for so long, and he's actually reliant on his life-support suit to help him keep it going until he can find a suitable replacement. Without the suit he really does show his age.
  • Destroyer Deity: His code name is Apocalypse, and he describes himself as a "god of death/destruction" to Magneto.
    Apocalypse: I am born of death. [...] And when the forests grew rank and needed clearing for new growth, I was there to set it ablaze.
  • Dirty Coward: En Sabah Nur talks a good game about the strongest being the fittest and how the weak deserve to die which is a good philosophy to have UNTIL you're not the strongest guy in the room any more. The instant Jean unleashes the Phoenix and shows him what real power is, his first response is to try and high tail it out of there.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: He can turn non-organic materials to sand, which he can then manipulate or even rebuild. He uses this ability most often, especially to disintegrate enemy weapons.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Provoke him, he'll use the floor or the walls to ensure you're toast. The only one who escapes is Quicksilver, as he only traps him to the ground hoping Psylocke could execute him.
  • Energy Beings: He's a non-corporeal entity who can collect the powers of any mutant he possesses.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: He's an Egyptian who recruits two women, one who is British, as well as a Polish and an American to serve him as his Four Horseman. That's pretty forward-thinking for someone who hails from ancient times. Granted, it's Justified by the fact he thinks of himself as a God, and thus he probably considers everyone to be equally inferior, and to him only the humans/mutants distinction matters.
    • Even his original Four Horsemen in the prologue scene included two women, one of whom seemingly acted as his second-in-command.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: In the prologue, he and his Four Horsemen are decked in elaborate gold headdresses and fancy robes as they head towards the pyramid surrounded by rows of peasants bowing to them.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Professor X; they operate in a similar manner when it comes to recruiting mutants and converting them to a specific belief system. What separates the Big Bad from the Big Good is merely the differences in their personalities. Bryan Singer labels Apocalypse as The Antichrist (who thrives on mass murder and purports to have been "born from death") and Charles as the Christ figure (a pacifist who wishes to preserve life). Both are capable of treating the world as their personal playground, but only the former exercises Might Makes Right; the latter espouses With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. They both enjoy being idolized; En Sabah Nur wants nothing less than to be worshipped as a god while Xavier wants to be adored as a paternal figure. Apocalypse's Lack of Empathy is the antithesis of Charles being the personification of empathy, and these traits are exhibited when they interact with their underlings. The selfish Apocalypse pretends to be attentive towards his Horsemen, but he's in truth a Bad Boss who is only concerned about how their superpowers will serve his goal for world domination. The altruistic Professor X is a Cool Teacher who cherishes his students and works hard to engage their intellect and ameliorate their psychological health. As a tyrant in Ancient Egypt, En Sabah Nur had utilized fear and violence to control his subjects; Xavier, on the other hand, relies on love and harmony to exert his authority over his surrogate family.
    • He also functions as one to Magneto. Both of them are some of the most powerful mutants of their age, are Dark Messiahs attempting to create a society where mutants will thrive and rule over humanity, and engage in genocide to achieve their goals. Apocalypse also gives New Era Speeches similar to the ones Magneto gives, and likwise uses armor to enhance his powers. However, Magneto wants to create a better world for mutants for its own sake, out of genuine concern for the future of mutantkind; Apocalypse only cares about his own power and control over the world, and beneath the Dark Messiah act, he sees even his fellow mutants as beneath him.
  • Evil Is Hammy: To the point that Bryan Singer's instructions requested either "quarter Skeletor," "half Skeletor" or "full Skeletor."
  • Evil Luddite: He sees modern technology as tools of the weak that are used to oppress the strong. He firmly believes in living by one's own abilities, although he uses technology for his own purposes.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Jean finally unleashes her Phoenix powers, he ends his Villainous Breakdown and basks in the glory of her strength before being incinerated.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can appear polite, even fatherly, especially to his Horsemen, but his consistently homicidal actions and callous disregard for the "weak" clearly show the kind of person he truly is. Best shown in the third act, when he derides the just-killed Archangel as "useless" and devolves into an unhinged lunatic.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: He wakes up in 1980s Egypt after being sealed for thousands of years, and he's understandably confused at first. He speaks ancient Egyptian at first, none of the Arabic-speaking people he bumps into can understand what he says. He quickly overcomes the problem after meeting Storm, by simply touching a TV screen (see Instant Expert below).
  • Foil: He sees himself as a god, whereas Professor X serves as a Messianic Archetype of the movie series.note  They are both mentors to their respective teams, they reach out to mutants who feel lost, confused and alone, and encourage them to reach their full potential, so their dominant leadership style is Charismatic. They promote radically different ideologies: Apocalypse believes that the Earth should only belong to the strongest and the weak should be wiped out, while Charles thinks that it can be shared by everyone equally and peacefully. Both like being at the center of attention; En Sabah Nur is an ostentatious god-king who takes advantage of the Ermine Cape Effect, whereas Xavier is a Proud Beauty teacher who flaunts his wealth in a Simple, yet Opulent fashion. During the Final Battle, Apocalypse ends up alone, but Professor X is very much not. Their position on the "Defend" and "Destroy" posters mark them as foils, and in their Battle in the Center of the Mind, they're shown mirroring and opposing one another.
  • Four Is Death: His servants and entourage, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Death, Famine, Pestilence and War.
  • The Fundamentalist: "You are all my children, and you're lost because you follow blind leaders. No more false gods. I'm here now."
  • A God Am I: Inverted; he claims that the various deities worshipped throughout history were just different names for him. Apocalypse is so powerful that Hank essentially acknowledges that the former might as well be a supernatural being ("It's all of us against a god"). Singer clarifies Apocalypse's "divine" status.
    "He's kind of more the God of the Old Testament, the vengeful God who wants the world in a certain order and wants to be worshipped—but he's also forgiving."
  • Graceful Loser: Albeit only after a Villainous Breakdown and a thwarted attempt at Villain: Exit, Stage Left, but when he sees the full power of the Phoenix about to be unleashed upon him, he doesn't make any further attempt to fight back. Instead, he just basks in awe, and cryptically remarks, "All is revealed."
  • Grand Theft Me: He rejuvenates himself by transferring his essence into the body of a younger Egyptian man in his Lazarus chamber. Thousands of years later, he chooses Xavier to be his next host.
  • Healing Factor: He acquired this from one of his past hosts at some point, which allows him to survive the gap of time between Ancient Egypt and the 80s. It also makes him incredibly difficult to kill.
  • Hitler Cam: In order to hide the fact that Oscar Isaac is not very tall despite the imposing character he plays, camera tricks are used to mask his height, such as mostly standing him next to women, Angel, and Xavier, whose actors are a similar height. The high-heeled boots also help.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Trying to do multiple master plans at once is his downfall. An empowered Magneto focused on guarding him rather than wrecking the planet would make short work of the mostly adolescent X-men. And if he wasn't too eager to put himself out of action in order to conquer the world by assimilating Xavier's powers in transfer and making everyone his puppet he's more than strong enough to beat anyone else who would interfere with Magneto. Focus kids, focus.
  • Hypocrite: He despises modern mankind's reliance on technology as he believes it has allowed the "weak" to take over the Earth, to the point that rather than use the world's nuclear arsenal to further his plans, he launches it into space to permanently dispose of it, even remarking on how it was the only thing keeping the modern "superpower" nations in power while doing so. Despite this, he himself is reliant on an advanced machine to transfer his consciousness to new hosts and his battlesuit to maintain his current body.
  • I Have Many Names: In the teaser trailer, he claims to have been known throughout history as Ra, Krishna, and Yahweh among others. This upset some religious leaders, so the last two were substituted with Elohim and Shen in the theatrical release.
  • Instant Expert: By simply touching a TV screen, he connects himself to all TV networks on the planet and learns modern languages and history of the world in a matter of seconds.
  • Large Ham: He is very theatrical, as any good Evil Overlord. The New Era Speech below is the best demonstration.
    • "No more stones. No more spears. No more slings. No more swords! NO MORE WEAPONS! NO MORE SYSTEMS!! NO MORE... No more superpowers."
    • "Charles, I know you can hear me. We're still connected. CHARLES! SHOW YOURSELF! CHAAAAAARLES!!! SHOW YOURSELF!!!"
  • Light Is Not Good: His given name is associated with the light and is seen as a divine being to his loyal followers, but is also one of the most evil villains.
  • Magitek: It's not fully clear if his body transfer is advanced technology, a form of magic, or a bit of both.
  • Mass Hypnosis: As he mentions before attempting to incorporate into Xavier, he wants to use Professor X's powers "To be everywhere. To be everyone."
  • Meaningful Name: In Real Life, En Sabah Nur means "The morning light" (he represents the dawn of mutantkind), but the comics translate it as "The first one."
  • Mind over Matter: In The Stinger for X-Men: Days of Future Past, he telekinetically builds the pyramids like it ain't no thing. In Apocalypse, he's constantly manipulating things down to the molecular level. He can alter a whole city the size of Cairo, turning it into a new pyramid for his Grand Theft Me ritual.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: His eyes turn white when he actively uses his mutant abilities.
  • Monster Progenitor: Claims to be the world's first mutant. In the comics, this claim was inaccurate, as En Sabah Nur was actually predated by other mutants like Selene of the Hellfire Club. In the movie continuity, it's very likely to be true, if only because he's quite possibly millennia older than his canon counterpart.
    • Considering this, his "You are all my children" comment about mutants may be more literal than it would initially seem.
  • Mr. Fanservice: One of his mutant hosts is Oscar Isaac covered only in a loincloth.
  • Near-Villain Victory: He lays waste to one of the biggest cities on Earth in the final battle and comes within a hair's breadth of achieving victory. And if you see the contented smirk on his face just before he's vaporized, he did win in a certain respect - his philosophy of "Survival of the Fittest" did come to pass when the Jean Grey and the X-Men proved to be his better in combat.
  • New Era Speech:
    • Thanks to Xavier's powers, Apocalypse sends his own to all the people in the world about how he'll tear down everything that humanity has ever built in order to usher in a new world order. Charles changes the ending to "those with the greatest power, protect those without."
      Hear me, inhabitants of this world. This is a message, a message to every man, woman and mutant. You have lost your way, but I have returned. The day of reckoning is here. All your buildings, all of your towers and temples will fall. And the dawn of a new age will rise, for there is nothing you can do to stop what is coming. This message is for one reason alone: to tell the strongest among you, those with the greatest power, this Earth will be yours.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: It takes getting speared with multiple metal bars by Magneto, electrocuted by Storm, shot by Cyclops with his Eye Beams, and the Phoenix Force wielded by Jean to kill him.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Quicksilver is the first X-Man to genuinely hurt Apocalypse during the final battle. While he doesn't bleed (and he figures out a way to neutralize the speedster almost immediately), it gives the team hope that he actually can be overcome.
  • Oh, Crap!: Yes, even he is subjected to this. The first occurs when Phoenix appears and curb stomps him. The second occurs shortly afterwards, when his attempt as Villain: Exit, Stage Left is literally short-circuited by Storm betraying him, leaving him completely at everybody's mercy.
  • Parental Substitute: He serves this role to his Horsemen. He invokes this trope when he asserts that "You are all my children, and you're lost because you follow blind leaders." He also tends to call mutants "my child."
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He single-handedly razes the city of Cairo to the ground with his Mind over Matter powers, potentially massacring millions of its inhabitants.
  • Physical God: He considers himself a god. Given the extent of his powers he has a right to this claim.
  • Power Echoes: As a result of him having a Voice of the Legion.
  • The Power of the Sun: His technology is activated by sunlight. It's why he was sealed for thousands of years until the events of Apocalypse; he was sealed underground with no sunlight to reactivate his chamber.
  • Power Parasite: Each time he switches hosts, Apocalypse not only gains the abilities of that host, but retains the powers of the previous one. He has amassed a great deal of power over his long life.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He comes to Storm's defense when she is about to lose a hand, in spite of him not really knowing what's going on. He sees a potential minion in her, and as such does not want her to come to harm.
  • Psychic Block Defense: He can shield himself and his Horsemen from Professor X's telepathy.
  • Purple Is Powerful: When he's transferring his essence into a new host, his consciousness is rendered as a purple gas-like substance.
  • Reality Warper: If Mind over Matter wasn't enough, he can disintegrate objects in a pinch and can encase people in the walls and floor.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ancient Egyptians sealed him in the depths of his pyramid. A cult (and probably Moira's intervention) awakens him by exposing the pyramid's top to sunlight again after thousands of years.
  • Shadow Archetype: When Oscar Isaac encapsulates En Sabah Nur's modus operandi in the "Clan of Akkaba: Apocalypse and his Horsemen" documentary on the X-Men: Apocalypse Blu-Ray, it's identical to Professor X's. Apocalypse is the warped mirror image of Xavier if the latter loses all self-restraint and fully succumbs to "absolute power corrupts absolutely"—Charles even gets Drunk on the Dark Side for a couple minutes to showcase that he's not immune to its effects. En Sabah Nur governs his Apocalypse Cult with the Four Horsemen as his devotees, whereas Professor X can be interpreted as a highly idealized cult leader (if a truly good-hearted one exists, then he'd be it) with the X-Men as his disciples.
    Isaac: He finds people that are in need, people that are in a very dark part of their lives, that are searching for something. He zeroes in on these people and reads them, and figures out what it is that they need to feel fulfilled, to feel strong.
  • The Social Darwinist: As with his comic counterpart, he believes the strong should inherit the Earth. He also considers innate mutant powers to be a measure of true strength, and despises the power that comes from intelligence and ingenuity.
  • Super Empowering: He can amplify another mutant's power, which he uses to empower his Horsemen and allow Charles to broadcast a message to every living mind on his behalf (in every language, no less).
  • Superpower Lottery: Because he's a Body Surfing Power Parasite who's been alive for thousands of years, he's amassed so many powers that he outclasses almost any other mutant in the X-Men movieverse so completely that he might as well be a Physical God. Some of the powers he demonstrates besides the aforementioned two are Super Strength, Mind over Matter, Healing Factor, Barrier Warrior, Villain Teleportation, Psychic Powers, and Super Empowering.
  • Time Abyss: Since he was young in the early days of Ancient Egypt, En Sabah Nur has been around for most of six thousand years at the least. According to Moira, some believe him to be tens of thousands of years old.
    Apocalypse: I was there to spark and fan the flame of man's awakening... to spin the wheel of civilization...and when the forest grew too wide and required clearing for new growth, I was there to set it ablaze.
  • Too Important to Walk: In the prologue, he stands on an extravagant litter carried by 24 of his servants, and it's an indicator of his position as the god-king of Ancient Egypt.
  • Villain Ball: His spends most of the film with a tight grip on one. He's nigh-invulnerable, can teleport himself and others freely, manipulate matter, and has telekinetic powers strong enough to overpower Xavier. The film would have been over in a few hours (at most) if he had just used his Story Breaker Powers to do things himself. Instead, he spends much of the film gathering followers, causing destruction, and generally giving the heroes every opportunity to fight back. Given he sees himself as a god, theatrics and arrogance can probably be blamed for this.
  • Villain Teleportation: It's one of his numerous mutant abilities to generate a purple sphere and warp from place to place.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After the X-Men prevent him from possessing Xavier, he becomes noticeably more unhinged and desperate. It only gets worse after Storm and Magneto betray him, and finally ends upon being vaporized by Phoenix.
    En Sabah Nur: I see now... everything has been revealed...
  • Visionary Villain: As such from most versions. The quote in New Era Speech shouldn't leave much to the imagination.
  • Voice of the Legion: He sometimes sounds like he speaks with multiple voices, and Bryan Singer has explained that this is the result of the character absorbing many "souls" throughout his lifetime.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He chokes Mystique while lifting her off the ground by the neck.

    Ancient Horsemen 

Ancient Horsemen

Played By: Warren Scherer (Pestilence), Rochelle Okoye (Famine), Monique Ganderton (Death), Fraser Aitcheson (War)

Film Appearances: X-Men: Apocalypse

Apocalypse's original Horsemen during his reign in Ancient Egypt (3600 BCE). They all die in order to secure his survival during a rebellion of the Egyptian people.

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Although he looks black in the chamber's dim light, promotional materials show War as a red-skinned humanoid.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: All of the four Horsemen resemble an awful lot their present-day homologues. Death is a fiercely loyal blonde, just like Angel, who inherits her title; Famine is a tall black woman with a mohawk-like haircut, just like the next Famine, Ororo Munroe; War wears a helmet similar to Magneto's and looks a bit like him; and Pestilence, while being the least similar to his counterpart, shares with Psylocke a penchant for physical combat and some skill for it.
  • Cool Mask: All of them wear ceremonial Egyptian god masks in their introduction, just like En Sabah Nur wears one patterned after Ra. Famine, Pestilence, Death and War wear masks fashioned after a bird, lion, jackal, and the unknown Set animal, respectively
  • Dark Action Girl: Both Death and Famine are women, but the former stands out particularly, being the only ancient Horesemen with spoken lines and some characterization.
  • The Dragon: Death appears to have been this to Apocalypse, as the one who supervises the Body Surf ritual and gives orders to the other Horsemen.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: They're consisted of two men and two women, and they appear to be multiracial as well. Pretty surprising, considering they live in ancient times.
  • Face Death with Dignity: As she's protecting Apocalypse's new body with her force field-like power, Death calmly closes her eyes before she's crushed to her death by a giant piece of falling debris.
  • Facial Horror: The right side of Death's face is heavily scarred. Pestilence also counts given his mutant features.
  • Facial Markings: Famine wears decorated facepaint in the right side of her face.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Villainous example—all of them give their lives for En Sabah Nur, especially Death, who also dies shielding him from the stones's fall.
  • Looks Like Orlok: With his disfigured, monstrous-looking face, Pestilence barely looks human.
  • Make Them Rot: War's ability allows him to fire psychic blasts from his hands which turn men into bare skeletons.
  • Mind Manipulation/Compelling Voice: Death has the ability to put someone to sleep by ordering them so. Whether it is simply a part of the standard Psychic Powers package or it is her voice which does the work is not revealed.
  • Mind over Matter: Death has telekinetic powers, which she uses to gruesomely compress an enemy into a ball and smash him against a wall. She also uses them to form a force field around En Sabah Nur and move the pieces of his armor between his bodies.
  • Mismatched Eyes: War has eyes of different colors.
  • Playing with Fire: Famine's mutant powers are pyrokinesis. Very much like the established character Pyro, she seems only capable to manipulate already existant fire instead of being able to create it.
  • Posthumous Character: All of them have been dead for thousands of years by 1983.
  • Psychic Powers: Death can induce sleep in others.
  • Rasputinian Death: Death, who falls hundreds of meters with the pyramid and is crushed by a giant piece of rubble.
  • Red Right Hand: Death is apparently blind in one eye.
  • Scary Teeth: Pestilence has sharp, animalistic teeth.
  • Squashed Flat: All of them die this way.
  • Super Strength: Pestilence is shown to be the team strongman, being able to stop a pyramid's stone and its descent and throw it aside. It doesn't save him from being crushed by another, however.
  • Undying Loyalty: They all give their lives to shield their master and ensure that his Body Surfing ritual goes off successfully.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Virtually no info is given about them, excepting their titles and all we see on screen.

    Angel / Archangel 

Angel / Archangel / Horseman of Death

Played by: Ben Hardy

Voiced by: Gabriel Ramos (Latin-American Spanish)

Film Appearances: X-Men: Apocalypse

A winged mutant enslaved and forced to cagefight other mutants for the amusement of cheering crowds. Having escaped during a fight with Nightcrawler (but not before severely injuring one of his wings) Angel is sought out by Apocalypse, who replaces his feathers with knifelike metal and dubs him the Horseman of Death.

For tropes applying to Angel in the original timeline erased by X-Men: Days of Future Past, see the Other Mutants (Original Timeline) page.

  • '80s Hair: His curly mane is Billy Idol-esque.
  • Adaptational Badass: Zig-zagged. He's introduced as an undefeated warrior in an underground mutant fight club having just bested The Blob, which is a huge step above comics Angel (pre-Archangel) who wasn't that impressive when it came to combat. His Super Empowering by Apocalypse is the most drastic of any of the other Horsemen. Despite all this, while he put up a good fight against Nightcrawler, he's the first Horseman to fall in the final battle and not even in a direct confrontation at that. Apocalypse is appropriately disgusted at Archangel's performance.
  • Adaptational Villainy: This version of the character shows no redeeming qualities at any point, and once he meets Apocalypse, he willingly serves as one of his dragons until the end.
  • The Alcoholic: He's implied to have devolved into this when Apocalypse finds him.
  • Bling of War: His silver-and-dark-grey Horseman armour is marvelous to behold.
  • Blood Knight: He enjoys his life as a famous fighter in the underground arena and the glory that comes with it, and falls into depression once he loses to Nightcrawler and gets his wing burned as a result. It also seems his main motivation to join Apocalypse and serve him once he restores and enhances his wings.
  • Body Horror: Apocalypse's transformation of Angel's body and wings looks and sounds really painful; even more so for a PG-13 movie. Angel screams in agony the whole time.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Nightcrawler inflicts this on him during their Forced Prize Fight, by dragging him along the electric fence, burning a wing. He has difficulty flying afterwards, and even Psylocke says, "His fighting days are done." That is, until En Sabah Nur gifts him with indestructible metal wings that shoot razor-sharp feathers.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Or to be more exact, a plane. He gets stuck inside the X-Men's jet as Jean sets it to crash and Nightcrawler teleports all the X-Men out. His dead body is seen in the ruins of the jet and is noticed by Apocalypse, who sneers and says "Useless." This also triggers Storm's Heel Realisation and Heel–Face Turn.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: He's found in this state by Apocalypse, after his wing is crippled in the cage fight against Nightcrawler.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After he becomes a Horseman, his bird-like wings are grafted to metal, and he's provided with a suit of silver-and-dark-grey armour.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: His face may look cherubic, but his personality is anything but that. He's Apocalypse's "angel of death," and he assists his leader in bringing about the worldwide extinction of humans and mutants alike. And he wasn't particularly nice even before that.
  • Fight Clubbing: He's forced to participate in caged fights against other mutants in East Berlin.
  • Flat Character: The only characterization he gets is he was once a cage-fighter who got defeated and abandoned. How he ended up as cage-fighter are left completely unexplored and for the most he's just Apocalypse's generic minion.
  • Foil: To Nightcrawler. Angel is Light Is Not Good, an angry rebel and has a taste for combat, while Nightcrawler is Dark Is Not Evil, Adorkable and a Martial Pacifist. They wind up coming to blows during the Final Battle as Nightcrawler tries to rescue Professor X, while Angel is trying to hold off Nightcrawler long enough for Apocalypse to finish transferring his consciousness into the Professor.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: He's always been morally ambiguous, but at the start, he possesses white bird wings (albeit each wing has a talon) and is far from the murderous man bent on revenge against humans for mistreating mutants. Then he gets electrocuted (courtesy of Nightcrawler), burning off his left wing, which gets replaced by metallic ones as part of his transformation into a Apocalypse's Horseman.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: He's dressed in a studded black leather jacket at the cage fight and when Apocalypse goes to recruit Magneto.
  • Important Haircut: He shears off the sides of his hair, marking his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Light Is Not Good: His titles are Angel and Archangel, not to mention having an angelic face and white wings (at least before it burns off), but he's an angry rebel who resents humans for mistreating him and other mutants, ending with him joining Apocalypse willingly. This part is emphasized during his fights with Nightcrawler, the poster boy for Dark Is Not Evil, as it's essentially a good demon fighting against an evil angel.
  • Meaningful Name: His code name Angel refers to his angelic looks, which include his large, white wings and blond curls. In X-Men: Apocalypse, he becomes Apocalypse's "angel of death."
    Ben Hardy: Angel is pretty angry, and he casts a shadow of death across the land.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's shirtless when Apocalypse tries to recruit him.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He's only referred to as "Angel" and his actual name is not spoken.
  • Parental Neglect: Ben Hardy suggests that a lack of parental nurturing is a major factor in Angel turning to the dark side.
    "People who don't get looked after enough can end up being very angry and I feel like this is where Angel's anger comes from and maybe that gives him the potential to transform and become one of the villains."
  • Pretty Boy: He's beautiful, and it's meant to be ironic that an angelic-looking youth is actually quite ruthless and deadly.
  • The Quiet One: His dialogue is limited to a few lines in X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Razor Wings: Courtesy of Apocalypse, just like his comics counterpart. They come in handy after Nightcrawler traps him inside the remains of a building in their second confrontation.
  • The Rival, Rival Turned Evil: To Nightcrawler. They represent polar opposites and they confront each other twice during the events of X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Shirtless Scene: He's bare-chested when Apocalypse transforms him into Archangel.
  • Storm of Blades: He gains the power of throwing sharp metal feathers after Apocalypse has empowered him.
  • This Means War Paint: After he becomes a Horseman, he has markings on his face.
  • Undying Loyalty: Like his predecessor, he is fiercely loyal to Apocalypse and never leaves his side until he is ordered to join the others and protect him.
  • Winged Humanoid: He begins X-Men: Apocalypse with feathered wings, but Apocalypse later replaces them with metallic ones.


Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto / Horseman of War

Impressed with Erik's powers and attempts to claim the world for mutantkind, Apocalypse seeks out Magneto as his Horseman of War. In mourning and rage over the loss of his wife and child, Erik is easily persuaded, and is granted vastly enhanced abilities which Apocalypse intends to direct towards the planet at large.

See the Magneto page for more details.


Betsy Braddock / Psylocke / Horseman of Pestilence

Played by: Olivia Munn

Voiced by: Gwendolyne Flores (Latin-American Spanish)

Film Appearances: X-Men: Apocalypse

A mutant specializing in telekinesis and psionic weapons, Psylocke initially works as a guard for Caliban, before joining Apocalypse as his Horseman of Pestilence and helping him track down powerful mutants.

For tropes applying to Psylocke in the original timeline erased by X-Men: Days of Future Past, see the Brotherhood page.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Her hair is purple in the comics, but her movie counterpart is raven-haired with purple highlights.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While at times ruthless, comic book Psylocke is firmly one of the good guys, and her only major membership is with the X-Men and Captain Britain's allies; her tenure in the Four Horsemen (as the Horseman of Death) was against her will and incredibly brief, so much that not many know about it at all. Here, she is a cold thug and a voluntary follower of Apocalypse.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the comics, Psylocke is a telepath who later gains other psychic-related skills like telekinesis and precognition (as well as some non-related, like teleporting through shadows). In X-Men: Apocalypse, she shows the ability of generating psionic weapons, the character's usual way of channeling her psychic powers in the comics, but nothing of her powers themselves. She might retain a minor form of telekinesis to enhance her agility, though.
  • Badass Longcoat: She wore one while she was still working with Caliban.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: She doesn't speak much but, she can kick your ass if you're in her way.
  • Blood Knight: She loves a fight. In fact, the only reason she seems to follow Apocalypse is to prove that she is the strongest (although see below).
  • Cleavage Window: The only addition to a costume that was already maximum Fanservice.
  • Combat Stilettos: Her thigh-high boots come with high heels.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted, as she's only referred to by her code name Psylocke.
  • Dark Action Girl: She is trained in both sword fighting and martial arts.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She, like the rest of the Horsemen, were uncomfortable being in Auschwitz, where millions of people were slaughtered.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After she becomes a Horseman, she receives a form-fitting purple leotard.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Her thigh-high boots.
  • Flat Character: All we really find out about her is that she likes a fight and doesn't like Mystique very much. It's implied she resents being controlled by others such as Caliban, and Apocalypse taps into her desire for freedom when he recruits her. (The irony of course is that her new master also controls her.)
  • Katanas Are Just Better: She prefers to harm her enemies with a katana and a psionic blade.
  • Laser Blade: Her psionic katana.
  • Leotard of Power: She wears a purple leotard just like her comic counterpart.
  • Magic Knight: She's a lethal psychic who's a great swordswoman, as well.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her Horseman attire displays a fair amount of her skin. It was even made by a sex shop!
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In the comics, while Psylocke may inhabit the body of a psychic Japanese ninja, Betsy is 100% British—heck, her brother is Captain Britain.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Manages to survive falling hundreds of feet in the air from the abandoned jet by thrusting her psionic blade into a building to decelerate.
  • Purple Is Powerful: She's chosen by Apocalypse as one of four mutants capable of wreaking catastrophic destruction... and purple is her color motif. Helps her powers manifest with a purple glow.
  • Race Lift: In the comics Psylocke was born a Caucasian Brit who due to a "Freaky Friday" Flip gained the body of an Asian woman. Here it seems she was born Asian.
  • Rule of Sexy: Her revealing uniform isn't sensible for a battle, but it does provide Fanservice. It's actually sexier in the movie-verse than in the comics because of the addition of a boob window. Louise Mingenbach (the costume designer) confesses on the "Clan of Akkaba: Apocalypse and his Horsemen" documentary on the Blu-Ray that a Los Angeles sex shop had created the latex suit.
  • The Quiet One: She has a grand total of... perhaps five lines, tops. She's silent during her major scenes, even her battle with Beast.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Quietly escapes the battle after she sees that the heroes are pummeling Apocalypse hard.
  • Whip It Good: Other than a blade, she's able to generate a whip which is also made of psionic energy. She's shown trying to strangle Beast with it.


Ororo Munroe / Storm / Horseman of Famine

A young mutant struggling to survive as an urchin in Egypt who crosses paths with the newly-awakened Apocalypse. She becomes the first Horseman recruited in the modern era, fulfilling the role of Famine.

See the X-Men (New Timeline) page for more details.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: