Perhaps a little over the top, but his name is apt. Apocalypse is capable of changing or erasing everything that we know in the universe – history, culture, even people. He truly is capable of apocalyptic accomplishments.
What makes him so interesting, though, has nothing to do with his power. It is his isolation and the consequences of it. Apocalypse was born 5,000 years ago with gray skin. He was left by his people to die in the desert. He was rescued by another tribe who would later be attacked and murdered, leaving him without any connections. All he had left was his adopted people’s motto, “Survival of the strong.” And he followed it throughout his life. At some point, he came across some Eternals technology and has used it to better employ his philosophy.
Throughout the centuries, he has encouraged cultures to worship him as a god. One could argue that that is a natural thing for him to have done, but it only highlights his isolation and his perspective of being something entirely different from human.
He is not about power. He has been a match for all the X-Men in the modern age, it goes without saying that he could easily have conquered the world in a time when there were no mutants. Instead, he sees mankind as his responsibility to protect and mold. This can be seen in his alliance with Ozymandias and the original Moon Knight to fend off an insectoid race called the Brood. His perspective has not changed centuries later when he fights the High Evolutionary in his attempt to eradicate the lesser species.
He is no shepherd, however. He’s more like a gardener of mankind. On a large scale he manipulates groups – tribes, kingdoms, and nations – into fighting each other, thus demonstrating who is strong and allowing the weak to be overcome. On an individual level, he maneuvers events and people to his own ends. He sees in Nathaniel Essex a strong and innovative mind and mutates him into Mister Sinister, and in a young Cable a threat that must be redirected. He creates his Four Horsemen for his own needs.
The comics do not create a character with a consistent goal of domination, but of testing and molding. That makes him interesting, and unique aming villains. While being intensely interested in mankind, he is fully detached from the species. I admit, I am a little disappointed that he has not been better handled, but would love to see him in a Marvel movie.
What would you think of seeing Apocalypse in one of the Marvel movies?