“Apocalypse Wars” kicks off this week in Extraordinary X-Men #8, marking the return of the mutant known as En Sabah Nur to the Marvel Universe in a story running through several X-Men titles. And while Apocalypse himself doesn’t make an appearance (yet), his surprising new Horsemen are revealed.
Spoilers ahead for Extraordinary X-Men #8.
After Colossus and his young team of Anole, Glob, Martha, and Ernst are sent almost a thousand years into the future by Sugar Man, who is attempting to genetically engineer 600 mutant embryos, the rest of the X-Men follow using Cerebra’s teleportation technology.
The X-Men arrive in the future to find Colossus’s young team grown to adulthood, having spent years trapped in the future. Before they can ask where Colossus himself has gone, the armored X-Man arrives – and he’s not alone.
In this future world, Colossus has become one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen, and he’s joined by Deadpool, Moon Knight, and what appears to be Venom. It’s unclear which character has which designation – War, Death, Famine, and Pestilence – or how these three other characters made it almost a millennium into the future.
Deadpool has been shown to have an overzealous healing factor in modern continuity, but it hadn't been shown to have any age-defying powers akin to Wolverine.
Moon Knight is a mantle worn by different heroes tracing back to ancient Egyptian times (mirroring Apocalypse's origin), so it's possible it's another person besides the modern-day Marc Spector in that role.
And given Venom is a symbiote that attaches itself to different host, this could be a new host after Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson.
And thinking about the make-up of the team overall, Moon Knight and Venom may seem to break the mold for Apocalypse’s Horsemen, who are traditionally mutants, but Apocalypse did once turn Hulk into his Horseman of War, and his heirs, the Apocalypse Twins, used Grim Reaper and Sentry – both non-mutants – as Horsemen.
“Apocalypse Wars” continues in Uncanny X-Men #6, and All-New X-Men #9.