(Warning - potential SPOILERS for X-Men: Apocalypse lie below, so proceed with as much caution as your natural SPOILER-aversion dictates...)
When, a few days back, we first got a look at some (decidedly awesome) concept art for X-Men: Apocalypse, within which was hiding our first look at what Cyclops and Jean Grey might look like in costume, the initial reaction largely revolved around the potential bearing the designs might have on the heroes' final costumes.
As it turns out, though, there's a whole lot more hiding in the image than mere hints of costume design:
THAT Image Might Just Reveal X-Men: Apocalypse's Big Plot Twist
The reason? That figure up there, on the top right?
That's Storm, being shot at...by Cyclops...
...While Jean Grey shelters from (what we can only assume must have been) her attack...
...All set within a distinctly post-apocalyptic (but very 80's) landscape - as seemingly confirmed by that Pepsi logo:
All of which means...what exactly?
Well, if it turns out that the design above has ended up being closely related to the final movie - which its presence in Empire Magazine surely suggests is the case - then:
The Image Seems to Confirm That We're Going to See the Age of Apocalypse
Aka, the alternative version of the Marvel Comic-Book Universe, in which Professor Xavier was killed, and Apocalypse took over the world - with horrifyingly genocidal consequences for humanity.
Which, it seems, is exactly what that design is teasing. After all, this...
...doesn't look like any version of the 1980's that I've ever seen. Instead, it has the looks of a post-apocalyptic wasteland with a giant citadel in the middle of it, which Storm is defending from Cyclops and Jean Grey.
Which is where that twist comes in:
Is Storm Going to End Up Working for Apocalypse?
After all, it sure does look as though she's defending (what must surely be) Apocalypse's hideout in that image - and she has previous experience working for Apocalypse in the past (notably in the X-Men: Evolution series, but she was also one of Apocalypse's 'Twelve' in the 2000 comic-book arc of the same name).
Add in the fact that Apocalypse's Four Horsemen are traditionally named after Pestilence, Famine, War and Death - and that Storm's power's of weather control would make her a perfect Famine - and you have yourself an entirely possible plot twist.
What About the Rest of the Horsemen, Though?
After all, even if Storm does turn out to be one of the Horsemen, that still leaves three slots open.
Or, rather, one... Y'see, the recent teasing of Caliban by director Bryan Singer seems to suggest that the mutant (who in the comics has been both Pestilence and Death) seems to suggest that he'll be taking one of the slots. Similarly, Ben Hardy's role as Angel seems almost inevitably set to lead to his becoming Archangel, and the Horseman Death, as he does in the comics.
All of which, it seems, leaves one last Horseman - and the final twist that image might indirectly hint at:
Wolverine is the Natural Final Horseman
After all, he's all-but guaranteed to cameo in the movie - despite recent hints that his role has been substantially reduced - and has been a Horseman of Apocalypse in the comics.
In the movies, though, his traditional role as the X-Men's war-mongering-est member might well suggest an obvious role as War - one which his lack of attachment to the actual X-Men team in this past timeline makes not only possible, but easy to set up as a huge third act twist...
Especially if - as has been discussed at length elsewhere - Mystique (who we saw grab Wolverine at the end of Days of Future Past) turns out to have been working for Apocalypse all along...
Or, y'know, it's just a speculative piece of concept art...
Either way, could X-Men: Apocalypse hurry up and get here already?