X-Men ‘97: Who is En Sabah Nur? – Apocalypse Can Finally Get the Respect He Deserves After Oscar Isaac’s Forgettable Movie

X-Men ’97 features the arrival of a character who will one day become the X-Men’s most powerful enemy.

Oscar Isaac, X-Men ’97

Ever since its first episode, X-Men ’97 has been going from strength to strength. Fans are loving the modern continuation of the classic X-Men animated series, and clamoring to see more. Aside from your favorite X-Men, the show features some of the most exciting Marvel villains ever created.

One such villain on many people’s minds after the grand finale of the first season of X-Men ’97 is En Saban Nur aka Apocalypse. A mainstay of the X-Men universe across comics, shows, and movies, this is the first time that Apocalypse has been seen in an MCU-owned property. Let us do a deep dive into the character, exploring his origins, motivations, and what makes him such an interesting villain for the X-Men and the MCU as a whole.

Apocalypse, the First Mutant

Apocalypse framed in a painting

The character of Apocalypse first appeared in Marvel Comics’ X-Factor #5 in 1986. Apocalypse was conceived as a main villain who could rival the threat posed by Magneto. According to the comics, Apocalypse is one of the earliest mutants in the history of Earth. Through a long immortal life, he has come to see himself as the “Father of mutant-kind.”

In the old days, Apocalypse was known as En Sabah Nur. He operates by a set of Darwinian principles that emphasize the need for the survival of the fittest. Apocalypse believes mutants are the next step in the evolution of humans, and only the strongest mutants deserve to survive and become the true alpha species of the planet.

Apocalypse has a host of powers gained over the centuries of his existence. Aside from super strength, immortality, and invulnerability, he also commands Celestial energy which he can use to change the structure of molecules. This means he can create force fields at will, use telekinesis and telepathy, and even change the size and shape of solid objects like his own body.

Apocalypse vs. The X-Men

Apocalypse chokes Mystique

His drive to bring about destruction to make humanity and mutants stronger has naturally brought Apocalypse into frequent battle with the X-Men. With his giant physique, unique appearance, brilliant mind, and personal supervillain team called the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, fans were immediately entranced. Apocalypse has become one of the team’s biggest enemies, whose popularity has grown greatly over the decades.

The character has made an appearance in every medium that features the X-Men including video games and cartoons. Most notably, Oscar Isaac played a version of Apocalypse in the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse. Rather less notably, the movie ended up getting panned by critics and general audiences, and this version of Apocalypse was found lacking in many ways.

Apocalypse Faces the X-Men Again

Young Apocalypse reveals his name

With the final episode of X-Men ’97, Apocalypse has now officially become a part of the modern X-Men universe that exists in some corner of the MCU multiverse. The character makes an appearance as En Sabah Nur, a resident of ancient Egypt who does not seem to have his many powers from the comics yet.

A second-generation mutant with lines on his face signaling his mutant gene, En Sabah Nur is an outcast in his own village. This likely sets him on the path to extremism, which will one day transform him into the fearsome Apocalypse.

It remains to be seen how X-Men ’97 will use Apocalypse in its second season, and whether the character will be making the jump into the larger MCU. With the controversy surrounding Kang the Conqueror, Apocalypse is more than capable of becoming the next Big Bad of the MCU to replace Thanos. Hopefully, this new version of Apocalypse will right the wrongs of X-Men: Apocalypse and give fans the live-action version of the character they have long dreamed of seeing.

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