This post was originally written for my personal blog on my webcomic's site, http://www.cockroachman.com/ . Here are my views on how to make a classic villain live up to his true potential.
Sometimes a super villain isn’t being written to their fullest potential. Case in point, this guy:
En Sabah Nur, the X-Men villain known as Apocalypse, was created to give the original X-Factor a primary villain to face. At this time, Magneto was reformed, making it necessary to have a nastier villain filling his old role, who would not be redeemable. Since then, he has become one of the X-Men’s most overused and underutilized enemies. Prolific though he may be, Apocalypse hasn’t really done much in mainstream continuity to separate himself from the herd. He’s had some shining moments in distant futures, or in the Age of Apocalypse reality, but in the present he comes off more imposing by his power level than by his ideology.
So what is the solution? It’s right there in print. Specifically, in X-Factor #24.
Apocalypse has portrayed himself as a god, demanding blood tribute throughout history. Hope Summers has been referred to as the “Mutant Messiah,” but what if she had a challenger to that title? Apocalypse setting himself up as a deity, worshiped by a portion of the frightened and dwindling mutant population. All he would demand of his followers is that they burn away the chaff (Humans), so that the chosen people (Mutants) could inherit the Earth.
The ripple effects would carry throughout the Marvel universe. Any gathering place for mutants, such as Utopia or the Jean Grey School, could be viewed by a paranoid public as potential terrorist training camps. Innocent mutants would be attacked by those who view them as guilty by association. It would certainly lionize the Purifiers.
And there would suddenly be reason for the government to unleash the Sentinels in a manner that could lead to the Days of Future Past reality.
Marvel isn’t afraid to create topical threats to mutantkind, as evidenced by their recent “Proposition X” storyline. The X-Men have always been about protecting a world that hates and fears them. Isn’t it time to show us what that really means?