There's not long to go now until the highly anticipated next instalment in the Fox Marvel universe, X-Men: Apocalypse lands, though it's easy to forget about it in amongst all the other major superhero releases this year.
One of the most interesting parts of the recent [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) trailer was the brief shot we see of titular villain Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) looking more like Isaac and less like Apocalypse, hanging out in ancient Egypt and undergoing a mysterious transformation to become the big bad blue we've seen in the trailers and promo images thus far.
What's Happening Here?
This is interesting when you look at it in relation to the comic book canon. Born 5000 years ago, Apocalypse is generally heralded as the first mutant and he was abandoned as an infant because of his unusual appearance (grey and blue skin), a side effect of the X-gene.
First known as En Sabah Nur, he later takes on the name Apocalypse when his mutant powers emerge in rage and he enslaves the warlord Ozymandias, General to Rama-Tut / Kang the Conqueror.
He travels the world for millennia, posing as a God, causing wars to 'test' and encourage civilisations to grow, destroying them if he deems them unworthy. He has a habit of recruiting or enslaving mutants as part of his personal guard, known as the Four Horsemen, including prominent X-Men characters. This time round it's Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Angel (Ben Hardy) and Psylocke's (Olivia Munn) turn to round out the guard.
The fact that we see En Sabah Nur before he becomes Apocalypse is interesting, as it suggests that he was born without the grey and blue skin which set him so apart from others around him.
The ritual which we see him undertaking to turn him into Apocalypse is clearly part of a cult like experience, with his worshippers / priestesses surrounding him as he transforms, but it also looks like it's pointing towards another facet of his character from the comics.
In Rise of Apocalypse, which details how En Sabah Nur became Apocalypse, it's revealed that he and Baal (a raider who adopted the abandoned En Sabah Nur) discovered alien technology hidden in a cave. This technology belonged to the god-like aliens known as Celestials in the Marvel universe, and is used by Apocalypse through his life to augment his own innate power and even resurrect him when he dies.
The scene in the trailer certainly reveals some matter of super advanced technology, the fluid-like metal which rises the platform upon which Apocalypse lies goes beyond even modern technology, never mind that of thousands of years in the past.
The Celestials are held to be the closest beings to gods in the Marvel comics, and are also some of the oldest known entities in the world. Their reach has encompassed most all cosmic characters in the comics, from Thor to Doctor Strange; the severed head of one even appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Guardians of the Galaxy, used as the space traveller pit stop known as Knowhere.
It's pretty interesting to see if the Celestials or the concept of the Space Gods will be brought into the Fox Marvel universe (depending on which rights Fox hold in regard to the Celestial name); if so this could open up a whole new bunch of avenues for the X-Men franchise by introducing the concept of the cosmic and aliens.
It would even allow for a do-over on the Dark Phoenix saga which was hashed out poorly in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, as the Phoenix Force is an entity originating from between dimensions and encountered by the X-Men in outer space. This is interesting given that recent rumors have earmarked the next X-Men film as a potential Dark Phoenix adaptation.
Either way it's shaping up to be one hell of a showdown when the X-Men meet their maker in Apocalypse. Are you ready?