1. X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer wrote a tweet today that seemed to suggest that the next X-Men film may be called “Apocalypse” and would be out in 2016.
2. This is incredibly exciting for X-Men fans, as Apocalypse is the name of one of the franchise’s most famous villains…
3. …and Apocalypse is the villain of Age of Apocalypse, one of the most beloved X-Men storylines of the ’90s.
4. Given that the X-Men have been around for 50 years, Apocalypse is a relatively new big bad. He was introduced by Louise and Walter Simonson in the pages of the X-Men spinoff X-Factor in 1986.
5. The character’s first major story involved him transforming Angel – one of the original X-Men – into Archangel, aka Death of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen.
Apocalypse just loves to transform mutants into his Horsemen, who do his bidding and generally terrorize the world. It’s his favorite hobby.
6. Apocalypse’s deal is that he’s obsessed with the survival of the fittest, and wants to cull the weak so the strong can thrive. This makes him the polar opposite of the X-Men, who fight for the peaceful co-existence of both humans and mutants.
7. Apocalypse’s real name is En Sabah Nur. He is one of the world’s first mutants, and was born in Aqaba, Jordan over 5,000 years ago.
He has a very complicated back story, but hey, so would you if you were 5,000 years old. You should know that he has a cult of followers known as the Clan Akkaba, and that he transformed the Victorian geneticist Nathaniel Essex into another major X-Men villain known as Mister Sinister. Sinister, in turn, is responsible for all sorts of chaos in the lives of the X-Men, most especially Cyclops and Jean Grey.
8. In addition to being basically immortal, he’s also absurdly powerful. He has total control over his form on a molecular level, and is super strong, can shoot energy blasts, teleport, and has some psychic powers. He’s also a genius because, why not?
9. Apocalypse became a major villain in Age of Apocalypse, a story set in an alternate reality in which Charles Xavier died young, Magneto founded the X-Men, and Apocalypse ruled the earth as a brutal tyrant.
In this extraordinarily bleak reality, classic X-Men such as Beast and Cyclops were villains, while the murderous Sabretooth was the most heroic member of the X-Men.
10. Given that Days of Future Past is a story focused on time travel, there’s a good chance that it could set up an Apocalypse movie by ending with some paradox that creates an Age of Apocalypse timeline.
It would be pretty cool if the film ended with the X-Men thinking that they’ve won, but closing out on a cliffhanger revealing that Wolverine and company have only succeeded in creating a far worse situation.