Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Villain in the 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Post-Credits Scene

If you have already watched the end credits of "X-Men: Day s of Future Past," then you know that it is unlike any other before it.

Post-credit scenes from Fox and Disney Marvel usually build-upon the aftermath of the current film in order to tease what is to come next. In the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” button clip takes moviegoers nearly 5,000 years back in time to ancient Egypt.

Casual filmgoers might lack the requisite context to understand the scene and asked: who was this mysterious cloaked figure seen singlehandedly (or singlemindedly) building a pyramid in the air?

Warning major SPOILER alert!

The bonus scene opens on a desert environment, revealed to be ancient Egypt, where a hooded figure stands on a sandy hillside, arms outstretched. The camera aims down, where thousands of Egyptian men and women bow in reference, chanting "En Sabah Nur," as the cloaked boy waves his arms and begins assembling the Great Pyramids by moving massive stone chunks into place through telekinesis.

The camera then pans to his face – grey skin, blue lips, with red eyes – before circling around to four mysterious figures on horseback perched on a cliffside to the boy’s left. For comic book fans, there is only one name that rings a bell – Apocalypse. And the four figures are Death, Famine, Pestilence and War - the "Four Horsemen" of Apocalypse, a super villain team enslave to the will of their master.

“En Sabah Nur,” translates to “The First One” because Apocalypse is considered the oldest mutant in existence, pre-dating the X-Men by 5,000 years. Nur was born and subsequently orphaned in Akkaba, an ancient settlement on the outskirts of the Egyptian Empire. After facing rejection by society and the destruction of his people at the hands of Pharaoh Rama-Tut (who was actually the 30th century time-traveler Kang the Conqueror), along with his warlord Ozymandias, Apocalypse used his powers to overthrow the Pharaoh, enslave Ozymandias, and take control of Egypt – where the people worshiped him as a God.

Through the ages, Apocalypse acquired alien tech (from a group of cosmic beings known as the Celestials) that enhanced his appearance and existing powers – providing him with a host of additional (and menacing) abilities. Beyond standard super villain characteristics like increased intelligence and strength, Apocalypse can control his body at the molecular level, allowing him to form weapons from his own limbs, suspend aging, as well as heal fatal wounds – while also controlling objects in the outside world through telekinesis, and networking with technology. He also is a master of genetic enhancement, able to radically alter mutant and human physiology.

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