Top 9 X-Men Characters Who Should Be A Horseman In X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Death. Pestilence, Famine. War. The four words have instilled fear in mankind for millenia. For the most part, it has been in regards to religion and the supposed impending end of the world as we know it. But for comic fans, those four words hearken a whole different story, one that is headed to theaters in two years. The Age of Apocalypse story line is one of the most epic and popular stories in the X-Men universe, no matter which version of it you read. Apocalypse is one of, if not the biggest foes the mutant group has ever faced, having to team with other mutants and teams, such as The Avengers, to bring the big, bad foe down. There have been quite a few characters that have been recruited by the ancient mutant Apocalypse to aid him in his quest for dominance, so when Bryan Singer brings the tale to the big screen in 2016, he has quite the roster to choose from. However, because of the rather convoluted timelines and stories, including certain characters may prove to be quite difficult, much to the dismay of fans. But, as you’ll see below, there are still plenty of awesome characters that could stand at the right and left hand of one of the greatest villains to ever grace the pages of comics. Take a look at 9 characters that have all earned the right to battle the X-Men as a Horseman of Apocalypse.
SPOILER WARNING: I may include a few spoilers from some rumors that have surfaced in order to justify my reasoning in including these characters, but I’ll be sure to give you fair warning if I’m about to drop some juicy tid bits.
In doing some preliminary research for this article, there were two names that were at the top of nearly everyone’s list and Archangel is one of them. Archangel was one of he first iterations of Death, after having been rescued and repaired by Apocalypse, who gave him the gift of flight once again. It was, however, at a great cost. Needless to say, if anyone deserves to be in this fearsome foursome, it’s Archangel. But there’s a problem here. Rumor has it that X-Men: Apocalypse will be a more of a sequel belonging to the First Class crew- the younger Magneto, Professor Xavier, Mystique, Beast, etc- and with Warren Worthington already being utilized in X-Men: The Last Stand, it would be difficult to justify moving him to the past. Even with all the time travel that is expected in the upcoming Days of Future Past. Granted, the didn’t have a problem pulling it off with Emma Frost. With Angel having a more prominent role in The Last Stand than Frost did in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it’s much more difficult to justify. It really comes down to whether not fans are willing to over look that for the sake of following canon.
The other character that fans are hoping to see is Gambit. The Rajin’ Cajun has been the focus of some talk recently as X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner has stated that she’ wants to see Channing Tatum take on the character in a film. Tatum is also very interested in the role. Add to that the fact that Taylor Kitsch expressed interest in reprising the role he played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hopefully we’ll see this character on the big screen before too long and one great way to reintroduce him is in Apocalypse. The last we saw of the character he had left Wolverine to fend for himself in the closing scenes of the Wolverine prequel. Since then, he’s been MIA. Having him show up as a Horseman would be a great way to explain away his absence from the other films. Essentially, you’d be killing two birds with one stone here. You please the mass of fans who want to see more of Gambit, and you’d be strengthening the existing timelines that currently exist.
This is the one may be a bit of a long-shot to some folks, but if you go off some recent rumors, it may not be too far off. Wolverine would serve as a very formidable Horseman as he’s been portrayed as nearly indestructible in the X-Men films so far. The big question here is whether or not Fox and Singer, who is a big fan of the character, are willing to take the biggest name in the franchise and turn him into a villain. SPOILER ALERT! There may be some traction to this idea though as one of the first rumors to surface after the announcement of this film centered on Wolverine ending up in a coma of sorts, stuck in the “past.” The rumor eluded to the idea that Apocalypse uses a revived Wolverine as his first Horseman of Apocalypse. END SPOILER! Would this be cool as hell to see? You bet your nerdy ass it would be. But like I said, it really depends on whether or nor the higher-ups have the cojónes to move forward with plans like that.
Will we ever get to see Mister Sinister on the big screen?! If ever there was a time to introduce this bad-ass baddie, it’d be in X-Men: Apocalypse. Sinister played a direct role in introducing Apocalypse into the comic book world, so why not carry that plot point over into the film? Some may think that without Cyclops and Jean Grey around for him to terrorize, it’s kind of pointless to introduce him now. While his sickening infatuation with the couple is a prominent story line, it’s not the only one he’s been involved with. Sinister’s inclusion just might add some depth and reasoning to the appearance of Apocalypse. Not to mention, it could set him up for a future film where he is the central villain; an honor that he is certainly worthy of. What I picture for this idea is something akin to Starscream’s role in Transformers, where he plays the “ever faithful” servant, but when it comes down to it, he’s not afraid to step into the limelight when the opportunity arises; looking out for himself in the end. I know this may seem like I’m treating him like a secondary baddie, but if it sets him up to be a more substantial threat in a follow-up film, I’d be OK with it.
Plague. like the previously mentioned Archangel, was among the first of the Four Horsemen, filling the role of Pestilence, fittingly. What I like about this idea is her look: an older, rather frail looking woman. But when it comes down to it, she is deadly. Not only is she immune to disease, but she can alter an existing disease to make it even more lethal and spread it with just a touch. Effective to say the least. One thing that may pose a problem here is whether or not she can be portrayed as a threat in a film. One swipe from Wolverine and she’s toast. Do you modify her to include a set of fighting skills? Do you leave her as is and require her to rely on the other three Horseman for protection? Seems simple, but it can make or break a character. Take a look at the Rogue we are currently seeing in the X-Men films so far as an example.
Two characters with claws in the same movie? Yes and that is the main reason why I’ve included Daken on this list. In the event that Fox is unwilling to pull the trigger on the Wolverine/Horseman idea, placing Daken in his place could provide for some rather intriguing scenes. A climactic battle between Wolverine and Daken, which has been teased in the comics multiple time, could provide for a pretty epic finale. Of course, the question of whether or not you include the Wolverine ties arises. With the Weapon X program featured heavily in several of the films in the franchise, you could easily drop him into that category alongside Wolverine and Sabretooth, claiming him to be an improved take on Wolverine, similar to Lady Deathstrike in X2, but better executed. You could even go as far as saying he’s a combination of Wolverine and Sabretooth. Again, the main reason I include him here is the potential of awesome fight scenes in the final scenes of the film. Use your imagination on this one.
One character that you may notice as missing in the upcoming Days of Future Past is Banshee. In one of the marketing pieces featured on the viral Bent Bullet, it was noted that Banshee grew tired of the X-Men life and returned home to his family. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see the young character show up as a foe to his former team mates? While his powers may not be the most effective when it comes to fighting, he could provide the emotional aspect. In one telling of the Apocalypse story, Banshee gives his life to to bring an end to Abyss, who was serving as a Horseman himself. It’d be interesting to see Singer take a page of the Book of Whedon to help push the story along by killing off a Horseman who has seen the error of his ways? Banshee wouldn’t be my first choice to include, but he could certainly add a unique twist to the film; one that Fox has tried in the past, but it backfired (ahem..Cyclops and Xavier).
I know that Sabretooth has never served as a Horseman in the comics, but hear me out on this one. Bryan Singer is a fan of the character and was insistent on including him in X-Men. But, the character didn’t pan out well in the completed film, so he moved on. Fast-forward (or is it rewind?) to X-Men Origins: Wolverine and we see a new take on the character, where he is retro-fitted to become Logan’s half brother. After a film’s worth of in-fighting, the two are forced to align in order to battle “Deadpool”. After the close of the film, we have no idea where the character ended up. Having Sabretooth show up at the side of Apocalypse would force Logan into that feared moral decision of whether or not you save your loved one or bring his pain to an end. The pair offered up several great fight scenes in a mediocre film, and I’d love to see this emotional element dropped in for good measure. Not a traditional option, but one that could pay off in that, like the Gambit option, it helps solidify and recognize the existing timelines.
Finally, we land on my wildcard choice in Caliban. So far, Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner and Matthew Vaughn haven’t gone too far into the realm of “different” in regards to characters. Mystique, Beast, Nightcrawler and Azazel are about as far off the beaten path as they’ve gone, but most of them have retained that “human” element in regards to looks. Bringing in a character like Caliban, who has filled the role of Pestilence in the comics, could help take things to a new level and open the door to the more obscure and odd X-Men characters. There have been a few different versions of the character, from a large hulking beast-like look to the thinner, more alien-like version pictured above. I’d be OK with either one, but I can’t help but lean towards the smaller version to keep it more in line with the current characters. His ability to track other mutants, much like Callisto in The Last Stand would serve as a very effective tool for Apocalypse in his quest. I admit it’s a bit of an odd choice, but eventually, some of these more obscure and odd choice need to have a presence in the franchise.
Now, you’ll notice that I did not label any of these characters as Death, Famine, Pestilence and War, as they are, for the most part, interchangeable. But there are some, like Plague, who lend themselves quite well to a particular role. We have not heard whether or not the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse are a for-sure thing for X-Men: Apocalypse, but with the rumors we’ve seen and just the fact that Apocalypse is being used, it seems almost inevitable that the foursome will have a role. It will certainly be interesting to see who Singer and company choose to fill the roles, as they have quite a few options. I think it’s important, however, to use as many established characters as possible in order to avoid having to give back-stories several new characters. That’s where characters like Gambit, Wolverine, Sabretooth and Banshee come into play. They’ve already been introduced and all fit within the current timelines already laid out.
What do you think? Are there other characters you’d like to see fill the roles of the Four Horsemen? Is this a story element that you want to see on the big screen? Sound off below with your thoughts, ideas and complaints! We’d love to hear from you!