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HORSEMEN OF APOCALYPSE
Author : Gauntlet - Dark Rider, Peter Luzifer and MonolithLast Modified : Aug 23, 2008




The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are mentioned in the Book of Revelations of the Christian Bible as the forces of man's destruction. In the text only one of the apocalyptic riders, Death, is specifically named. In most common interpretations of the theme, the identities of the other three Horsemen are War, Famine and alternatively either Conquest or Pestilence.

Working for: Apocalypse
Membership: Plague, Abraham Lincoln Kieros, Autumn Rolfson, Angel / Archangel, Caliban, Hulk, Wolverine, Deathbird, Rory Campbell/ Ahab, Polaris, Gazer, Sunfire, Gambit



First appearance: X-Factor (1st series) #10 [mentioned] #15 [whole team]
Disbanded: X-Men (2nd series) #97 [following Apocalypse's merger with Cyclops and his subsequent death in X-Men: Search for Cyclops #4, the remaining Horsemen went their separate ways]

Reorganized: X-Men (2nd series) #182
Last appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #187 [after Apocalypse vanished in the Infernal Machine, the Horsemen were all either killed or freed from Apocalypse's influence]



Before
  • The Morlock Plague was introduced in the first meeting between the X-Men and the Morlocks in Uncanny X-Men #169-170.
  • Angel lost his wings after he was ambushed by the Marauders during the Mutant Massacre. The doctors decided that they were hurt too badly and cut them off. Terrified by this loss, he boarded a plane that exploded in midair. [X-Factor (1st series) #10-15]
  • Caliban, another Morlock, was introduced in Uncanny X-Men #148. His primary ability was a passive one – sensing other mutants – although he occasionally demonstrated other powers of fear and strength as well. After the Mutant Massacre he joined X-Factor. However, he always felt useless compared with the more active powers of the other team members.



  • Chronology
    X-Factor (1st series) #10: During the Mutant Massacre Apocalypse offers Plague the position of Pestilence. She accepts.
    X-Factor (1st series) #11: Apocalypse offers the position of War to a soldier named Abraham Lincoln Kieros. He had the ability to cause explosions by clapping his hands, but was unable to use it after being injured in war and condemned to life in an iron lung. He accepted Apocalypse’s offer in order to walk again.
    X-Factor (1st series) #12: Autumn Rolfson, a young girl with an eating disorder is chosen for Famine.
    X-Factor (1st series) #15: Apocalypse has given his Horsemen new looks and costumes. He still needs a fourth member.
    X-Factor (1st series) #17: The Horsemen and Apocalypse have found the last member, a shadowy figure lying on the bed. This character is eventually revealed to be Angel, teleported safely from his exploding plane
    X-Factor (1st series) #18: The Angel is strapped into a machine that will change his body and powers.
    X-Factor (1st series) #19: While Apocalypse still works on Death's design, the other Horsemen battle X-Factor for the first time in Central Park.
    X-Factor (1st series) #21-23: Apocalypse tests Angel's improved powers. Then the Horsemen battle themselves for leadership. Death emerges as the winner.
    X-Factor (1st series) #24: Apocalypse teleports X-Factor to his ship. They hold their own against three of the Horsemen, but the surprise of Angel being the fourth makes them easy prey. Caliban is tossed aside early on in the battle, and forgotten by Apocalypse and his teammates after they’re taken hostage. Yet instead of freeing his friends he asks Apocalypse to join his cause. He wants to be augmented as well to avenge his fellow Morlocks' deaths at the hands of the Marauders.
    X-Factor (1st series) #25 / Power Pack (1st series) #35: X-Factor are able to escape the ship, and battle the Horsemen over Manhattan. Pestilence attacks a subway train, but is accosted by Starstreak of Power Pack. She later dies falling off her flying steed. Angel comes out of his brainwashing after being tricked into "killing" an ice-duplicate of Bobby. Apocalypse retreats with the remaining Horsemen and Caliban.
    Captain America (1st series) #339:While the other Horsemen are still fighting in Manhattan, Famine is teleported to the United States’ “bread basket” to destroy the food and the farmers. Eventually she is defeated by the Captain and his friends, and teleported back to Apocalypse.
    X-Factor (1st series) #26-28: From afar the Horsemen watch as X-Factor become public celebrities and take over the ship as their new headquarters. Unknown to them the ship repairs itself. Suddenly it starts to fight them, but they again take control. Apocalypse and the Horsemen leave, planning to work on Caliban's transformation.



    In between
  • Caliban was augmented by Apocalypse, becoming his mutant Hellhound. Testing his new abilities he went after Sabretooth, who was partially responsible for the Mutant Massacre of the Morlocks. He ultimately broke Sabretooth’s back during a fight, leaving him for dead. [X-Factor (1st series) #51-53, New Mutants (1st series) #90-91]



  • Chronology continued
    Uncanny X-Men #294, X-Factor (1st series) #84: War and Famine distract the X-Men while Death (formerly Caliban) captures Scott and Jean. They believe they are still working for Apocalypse, but actually it is Mr. Sinister in disguise.
    X-Force (1st series) #16: The X-Men track down Caliban's mutant signature and defeat him and Famine. They discover evidence that the Horsemen were set up by Sinister.
    Uncanny X-Men #295: The X-Men hand over all three defeated Horsemen (including War, who was not depicted in the previous battle) to Apocalypse. They want to question Apocalypse about their friends’ disappearance, but he battles and defeats them.



    In between
  • In Uncanny X-Men Annual #18 Caliban again fought Sabretooth only to be defeated this time. In shame Caliban hides in the Morlock tunnels. Somehow his intelligence gets reduced to that of a child.
  • The fate of Autumn Rolfson has yet to be revealed. She has never reappeared, but her position as Famine was filled by someone else later on.
  • In X-Force (1st series) #70, Ozymandias – an operative of Apocalypse – retrieved Caliban again. He created a false memory for Cable, who believed to have left him in a good friend’s care.
  • Abraham Lincoln Kieros was seen in a hospital in Wolverine (2nd series) #148. He was ill once more, unable to move, but Archangel cured him with his newfound power of healing light.



  • Chronology continued
    Hulk (2nd series) #456-457: The Hulk shortly became War. He received armor, cybernetic implants, a whip, power sword and a helmet that protected him from being haunted by his father's ghost. Yet, when he thought he'd killed Rick Jones, he broke free from Apocalypse's control.
    Wolverine (2nd series) #145 (flashback): Wolverine is captured by the Skrulls, and defeats Sabretooth in a duel to prevent his transformation into Death; in turn he becomes Death himself.
    Astonishing X-Men (2nd series) #1-3: Death V (the real Wolverine) destroys a Hulkbuster Base, killing all inside, and decapitates Bastion; then he hunts the Mannites. Death shoots down the X-Men's plane and battles Archangel, Cable and Cyclops. He escapes, then sneaks onto their plane. Death attacks them again Cable and Archangel on the plane, which crashes near the other X-Men and the Mannites. The Horseman survives, defeats the X-Men, and kills “Skrullverine“, the imposter who took his place among the X-Men.
    Uncanny X-Men #374: Apocalypse captures Deathbird, and prepares for her transformation into his new Horseman of War.
    Cable (1st series) #73-74: Caliban is reborn as Pestilence, and hunts down Cable, befriending a young boy, only to be chased away by the boy's father. When the boy runs after Caliban and is struck down by a car, an angry mob attacks Caliban, blaming him. Caliban finds Cable and X-Force, and battles them. They pursue him to the lair of Deathbird, who has become War. The two Horsemen and the Living Monolith's cultists defeat X-Force and capture Cable.
    Hulk (3rd series) #8: A disguised Apocalypse prepares Wolverine for an attack on the Hulk.
    X-Men (2nd series) #95: Death is sent to destroy the Skrull base. Before he does so, he is unmasked by the X-Men.
    Wolverine (2nd series) #145: Wolverine battles the Hulk to a standstill.
    Cable (1st series) #75: Cable escapes and defeats Death. Death then threatens to kill Caliban to make Cable surrender.
    X-Man #59: Caliban teleports into mid-air and captures X-Man.
    X-Men (2nd series) #96: The Horsemen continue capturing members of the Twelve. Deathbird captures Iceman, Famine (Rory Campbell) appears and captures Sunfire, while Wolverine teleports inside the X-Men's home and captures Mikhail Rasputin. When the X-Men destroy his teleporter, he battles them, and escapes into the Morlock tunnels.
    Wolverine (2nd series) #146: Wolverine battles several of the X-Men in the Morlock tunnels, until they manage to free him from Apocalypse's control.
    X-Man #60: Caliban confronts X-Man after Nate recovers from his hallucinations.
    Uncanny X-Men #377: Caliban and Famine capture Xavier for the Gathering of the Twelve. Deathbird captures Bishop.
    X-Men (2nd series) #97: During a big battle between the X-Men and Apocalypse, Mikhail teleports away to another dimension with the Horsemen, sans Wolverine. Apocalypse disappears after being merged with Cyclops.



    In Between
  • Wolverine broke free of Apocalypse's control and returned to the X-Men.
  • What happened to the Horsemen right after they were teleported away by Mikhail and the current whereabouts of Famine/Ahab are unknown.
  • Deathbird was next seen in outer space again. [Bishop: The Last X-Man #15] She was suffering from lack of oxygen and was slightly insane, as she blasted herself into space through an open airlock. She later returned to the Shi’ar Empire. [Uncanny X-Men #475-486]
  • Caliban tracked down Cyclops/Apocalypse, apparently reverting to the naive, stupid Caliban along the way. When he caught up with Cyclops/Apocalypse, he found the two psyches struggling for dominance. While in control, Cyclops released Caliban from Apocalypse's control. Shortly afterwards, Apocalypse’s psychic essence was sucked out of the merged body and disrupted by Cable's psimitar [X-Men: Search for Cyclops #3-4]
  • During one of their adventures, the X-Men meet a space-based mutant named Gazer, whose immunity to radiation makes him perfect for unshielded outer space study. [X-Men (2nd series) #170]
  • Sunfire’s legs were amputated by Lady Deathstrike, and he allowed Rogue to absorb his powers to gain revenge because he believed he was dying. Later, his body disappeared before it was pronounced dead. [Rogue (3rd series) #11-12]
  • Approximately 90-95% of Earth's mutants lost their powers during M-Day. In the hopes that the Eternal One would serve as a rallying force for Earth's remaining mutants, Cable deliberately engineered the resurrection of Apocalypse. [Cable/Deadpool #26-27]



  • Chronology continued
    X-Men (2nd series) #178-180: An archaeologist named Foster stumbles across a hidden chamber while digging in Akkaba, Egypt. Gazer, a decimated mutant, is dying in space due to his power loss. He sees a mysterious creature named Deep fall to Earth.
    X-Men (2nd series) #181: Apocalypse confronts Dr. Foster in Egypt. His personal sphinx appears in Costa Rica and absconds with depowered Polaris and the Leper Queen.
    X-Men (2nd series) #182: Apocalypse continues to gather his Horsemen. The mysterious Pestilence is already active, acquiring bio-hazardous materials from the W.H.O. at Apocalypse’s command. Sunfire is recruited from seclusion in Japan with promises of power and the restoration of his lost legs. Gazer is summoned from space and forced to fight Foster to the death for the privilege of becoming War. He loses, and is about to be killed by Foster when Apocalypse’s scribe, Ozymandias, steps in and kills Foster himself. He tells Gazer to remember this debt after he becomes a Horseman. Finally, the sphinx itself materializes at the Xavier Institute.
    X-Men (2nd series) #183: Apocalypse declares himself to the 198 as savior of the mutant race. He offers them samples of his own blood, to ingest as a vaccine against the purging contagion Pestilence will soon release. He unleashes Sunfire and Gazer, now reborn as Famine and War, on the X-Men and Sentinel Squad. Apocalypse then finds his last Horseman when the X-Man named Gambit enters the sphinx and asks for new power.
    X-Men (2nd series) #184: Gambit plans to remain true to the X-Men and turn Apocalypse’s power against him, but the brainwashing is too strong and he is reborn as Death. Famine is captured by the X-Men. Ozymandias attempts to call in Gazer’s debt to use him against Apocalypse, but the new War instead reports the scribe’s treachery to Apocalypse. Ozymandias leads several X-Men secretly into the sphinx, but they are confronted by Death.
    X-Men (2nd series) #185: Apocalypse and Death drive the X-Men out of the sphinx. War tries to siege the Xavier Institute and retrieve Famine, but instead finds that Sunfire has freed himself from Apocalypse’s control. Apocalypse delivers his ultimatum to the United Nations – decimate 90% of the human population to match M-Day’s effect on mutants, or lose 100% to Pestilence’s meta-plague. Pestilence is revealed as Polaris.
    X-Men (2nd series) #186: The X-Men, Avengers and Sentinel Squad assault the sphinx as it hangs over the United Nations building, awaiting Apocalypse’s deadline. Ozymandias kills War for reneging on his debt. Sunfire returns to attack Apocalypse, and then flees with the unconscious Death. While Apocalypse vanishes in the Infernal Machine, the X-Men rescue Polaris and begin extracting Pestilence’s meta-plague from her system.
    X-Men (2nd series) #187: Sunfire tries to convince Gambit / Death that they should cut all ties to both Apocalypse and the X-Men. At the least, he makes Death agree that Polaris, another fallen Horseman, should be with them instead of the X-Men, and they attack the mansion to retrieve her. Polaris has rejuvenated enough to deny them, however, and they flee. Her magnetic powers apparently artificially restored, Polaris leaves the X-Men on her own.



    Afterwards
  • Sunfire and Gambit are met by Mister Sinister after assaulting the X-Men, and end up joining the Marauders. Gambit, at least, has the Horsemen re-engineering removed from his system. [X-Men (2nd series) #200]
  • Polaris quickly returned to the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #475, joining a small strike team heading out into Shi’ar space. She eventually remained in the Shi’ar Galaxy as part of the Starjammers.



  • Members

    Pestilence III (Plague)
    First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #169
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Factor (1st series) #10
    Last appearance: X-Factor (1st series) #25 [fell off her flying horse and died]

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Factor (1st series) #10, 15, 17, 19, 21-25

    Powers: Produces lethal diseases within her body and transmits the spores through her hands to make others feel sick, delirious, and eventually die.



    War II (Abraham Lincoln Kieros)
    First appearance: X-Factor (1st series) #11

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Factor (1st series) #11, 15, 17, 19, 21-27, Uncanny X-Men #294, X-Factor (1st series) #84, Uncanny X-Men #295

    Powers: Amplify the resonance of kinetic energy created when he claps his hands and can displace it to cause explosions anywhere within his line-of-sight. As War, he wore body armor that refracted Cyclops's optic blasts.



    Famine II (Autumn Rolfson)
    First appearance: X-Factor (1st series) #12

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Factor (1st series) #12, 15, 17, 19, 21-25, Captain America (1st series) #339, X-Factor (1st series) #26-27, Uncanny X-Men #294, X-Factor (1st series) #84, X-Force (1st series) #16, Uncanny X-Men #295

    Powers: Creates an emaciation effect that disintegrates organic molecules, ages and withers vegetable matter, and initiate a “starvation blight” within living beings. They become famished and dangerously thin, but eating again can quickly reboot their metabolism.



    Death III (Warren Worthington III / Angel)
    First appearance: X-Men (1st series) #1
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Factor (1st series) #17

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Factor (1st series) #17-19, 21-25

    Powers: Aerodynamic physiology gives him peak human strength, speed, aerial agility, endurance, reflexes, eyesight, and hearing, a hollow bone structure, zero body fat, and bio-metallic wings implanted into his body using Apocalypse's shape-shifting cells, which were razor sharp, could retract into his back, and fired wing fletchettes filled with a paralyzing neuro-toxin.



    Death IV / Pestilence IV (Caliban)
    First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #148
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Factor (1st series) #24
    Last appearance: New X-Men (2nd series) #45

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Factor (1st series) #24-28, Uncanny X-Men #294, X-Factor (1st series) #84, X-Force (1st series) #16, Uncanny X-Men #295, Cable (1st series) #73-75, X-Man #59-60, Uncanny X-Men #377, X-Men (2nd series) #97

    Powers: Sensitive to the presence of the x-factor in human genes, allowing him to detect mutants in his area and recognize specific mutagenic signatures. He can also absorb fear and other negative emotions, using them to increase his strength or amplifying the emotion and rechanneling it back into his victims. After being enhanced by Apocalypse, he gained superhuman strength, speed, endurance, invulnerability, and claws. As Pestilence he could release a psychoactive virus into others upon contact, causing physical and mental deterioration in his opponents.



    War III (Hulk)
    First appearance: Incredible Hulk (1st series) #1
    First appearance of post-Onslaught Banner-less Hulk: Onslaught: Marvel Universe
    First Horsemen appearance: Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #456

    All Horsemen appearances: Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #456-457

    Powers: Infused with gamma radiation that gave him the ability to mutate into a super-powered behemoth, giving him immeasurable strength that increases even further with his rage, superhuman endurance, invulnerability, vast recuperative powers, an innate tracking sense and the ability to perceive astral forms.

    Facts: Apocalypse was stronger than the Hulk.



    Death V (Wolverine / Logan)
    First appearance: Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #180
    First Horsemen appearance: Astonishing X-Men (2nd series) #1

    All Horsemen appearances: Wolverine (2nd series) #145, Astonishing X-Men (2nd series) #1-3, Hulk (3rd series) #8, X-Men (2nd series) #95, Wolverine (2nd series) #145, Cable (1st series) #75, X-Men (2nd series) #96, Wolverine (2nd series) #146

    Powers: As Wolverine, accelerated cellular regeneration augments his strength, speed, agility, endurance, and reflexes, expands his perceptions to give him animal-like senses, and grants him a healing factor that repairs his body at an advanced degree. He also has retractable claws made of dense bone that extend from his forearm through the back of his hand, and his skeleton and claws are surgically bonded with adamantium metal. As Death, he also has some form of psionic abilities.

    Equipment: As Death, armor resists most, if not all attacks. Also carries a power-sword which fires energy blasts. Death also had wrist-mounted energy blasters, and some kind of mini-grenade. His armor also contained a cloaking device and a teleporter.

    Facts:
    - Wolverine's adamantium was forcibly removed from him by Magneto, almost killing him. When Genesis attempted to give him new adamantium, he rejected it, temporarily losing his sanity and his nose in the process.
    - While the X-Men were returning from the Skrull Throneworld, Wolverine was abducted by a group of Skrulls working for Apocalypse, who forced him to battle an adamantium-enhanced Sabretooth, with the winner becoming the new Death. Wolverine realized that Sabretooth would enjoy this role, and would have less chance of ever breaking free from it, so defeated him and allowed himself to become Death. Apocalypse took Sabretooth's adamantium and used it to restore Wolverine to his old self.



    War IV (Deathbird / Cal’Syee Neramani)
    First appearance: Ms. Marvel (1st series) #9
    First Horsemen appearance: Cable (1st series) #74

    All Horsemen appearances: Cable (1st series) #74, X-Men (2nd series) #96, Uncanny X-Men #377, X-Men (2nd series) #97

    Powers: Deathbird was a genetic throwback of the Shi'ar race, possessing augmented strength, speed, endurance and reflexes, bird-like sensory perceptions, and avian wings equipped with spurred feathers. Apocalypse may have enhanced her abilities further.

    Equipment: Deathbird has used a variety of weapons, including various gimmicked javelins, and more conventional energy pistols. As War, she possesses wrist-energy blasters. In the Ages of Apocalypse, Deathbird carried a staff-weapon, and rode a robotic horse, similar to the ones the original Horsemen rode.

    Fact:
    - Deathbird is the sister of Lilandra, ruler of the Shi'ar, and has made many attempts to steal the throne from her.
    - Deathbird seemed to have fallen in love with Bishop, only to sell him out and join up with Apocalypse. What she got out of their alliance is as yet unknown.



    Famine III (Ahab / Rory Campbell)
    First appearance as Rory Campbell: Excalibur (1st series) #73
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #96

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #96-97

    Powers: Famine generates an emaciation force that dampens any source of energy upon contact, dispersing energy attacks directed at him and leeching off the bio-energy of living beings, severely weakening them.

    Equipment: Famine's staff either generates his energy blasts, or channels them. Facts:
    - Rory Campbell was once Moira MacTaggert's assistant on Muir Island.
    - Campbell lost half of one leg to a security device designed to respond to violent action, after exposure to the pheromones of the Acolyte Spoor.
    - Campbell traded all his knowledge on the Legacy Virus to Sebastian Shaw, in exchange for a cybernetic leg.
    - The Ahab of the future was the master of the Hounds from the Days of Future Past, and was given the task of preventing alterations to the time-line.
    - The future Ahab also has time-travel equipment and machinery he uses to transform mutants into his brainwashed Hounds.
    - The future Ahab was obsessed with his former Hound, Phoenix III (Rachel).



    Pestilence V (Polaris / Lorna Dane)
    First appearance: X-Men (1st series) #49
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #181

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #181-187

    Powers: conduct magnetic energy as pulse bolts, force fields, flight, and the manipulation of ferrous materials, absorb electricity to supercharge her own electromagnetic fields, now artificially maintained; as Pestilence, Lorna had the power to assimilate hazardous materials such as poisons, disease, viruses, and bacteria into her cells, cultivate these pathogens, and release them as a meta-plague to assail her victims at will.



    Famine IV (Sunfire / Shiro Yoshida)
    First appearance: X-Men (1st series) #64
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #182

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #182-187

    Powers: ionization beam transforms matter into plasmetic solar fire, absorb solar energy and electromagnetic radiation in augment his powers, generate radiation shielding psi-field, sense objects through heat signatures, flight; as Famine, could project light-flashes which induced feelings of starvation



    War V (Gazer)
    First appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #169
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #182
    Last appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #186 [killed by Ozymandias]

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #182-186

    Powers: bio-engineered with superhuman strength, endurance, leaping ability, reflexes, and resistance to physical injury, carries battle mace which fires explosive beams; before being depowered, Gazer could harmlessly process and expel radiation through his body



    Death VI (Gambit / Remy LeBeau)
    First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #266
    First Horsemen appearance: X-Men (2nd series) #183

    All Horsemen appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #183-187

    Powers: convert an object's stored potential energy into explosive kinetic energy upon contact, hypnotic charm causing others to trust whatever he says; As Death, Gambit could produce a transmutator effect to change air into a noxious and lethal gas


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