Days of Future Past Bishop

Twentieth Century Fox

Obviously this post features a spoiler for the post-credits stinger following X-Men: Days of Future Past, so shield your eyes and don’t read further if you haven’t seen it or care.

We’ve been down this road before. A superhero movie ends, the credits roll, a mysterious figure appears in a bonus scene and it’s a guy we’ve never seen before in this series. He has bluish or purplish skin and stands on a rock looking outward over what seems to be his domain.

But this time it’s not Thanos — you learn about later in the car from your more comics-aware buddy, or by searching the Internet for a post such as this. At the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past, beyond the acknowledgments of clips from past X-Men movies and the note that it was filmed in Montreal and the info on Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” which you jotted down in order to later download that track, we get to meet…

Apocalypse.

The clip begins with a pan across a desert, as we see a large number of religious persons from ancient times chanting something. If you’ve seen Godzilla, it’ll be the second instance where you’re reminded of the beginning scenes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind this week. Those people are likely the tribe of nomads called the Sandstormers (it seems too early for Clan Akkaba), and they’re saying the name of a man, their leader, “En Sabah Nur.”

For those of us who’ve read enough X-Men comics, it was immediately clear we were receiving an introductory tease of that man, whose alter-ego is Apocalypse, and who is obviously the central figure of the next movie in the series, already titled X-Men: Apocalypse.

And yes, we then see that man, shrouded at first and eventually revealed with the bluish-tinted face, almost resembling Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, unfortunately.  He’s a lot younger and punier than he is in the comics, at least at his height of villainy. But that’s definitely him, recognizable even without the chanting of his name. And out on the dunes in the distance are four figures on horseback, probably his minions, the Four Horsemen — Death, Famine, Pestilence and War, each of which is represented by a replaceable individual and is eventually filled by a known mutant, like Angel/Archangel. Speaking of mutants, Apocalypse is the first one ever born. In fact, “En Sabah Nur” means “The First One” in a made-up ancient language.

As for the transforming pyramid, it would appear that Apocalypse is building the Great Pyramids of Egypt through the power of his mind, levitating the stones and piecing them together. I’ve seen speculation that there’s more to it, that aliens known as Celestials are involved, but I don’t think this little stinger is bothering with all that even though Apocalypse probably doesn’t have powers this great prior to being enhanced by Celestial technology.

Feel free to elaborate on that, anyone who remembers the character’s history better than I do.

Or we can just wait two years for when X-Men: Apocalypse opens on Memorial Day weekend in 2016.


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