Here's a topic for your next nerdy dinner party: if you could have any of the X-Men's powers, which would you want the most? X-Men: Apocalypse is coming to theaters this May, and it brings all your favorite mutants back together again for another round of . So the time is ripe to make a choice. There's Charles Xavier and his mind-reading capabilities; Raven and her shapeshifting; Jean Grey and her telekinesis; and a menu of other super-human enhancements. But it's the movie's villain Apocalypse (played by Star Wars hero Oscar Isaac) who may shut down this debate once and for all, because Apocalypse has powers that are crazier than anyone's. Why settle for one mutant power when you could have all of them? And, the more important question: how will Charles and the other good guys win a war with Apocalypse, who is basically a god?
There are a lot of reasons for the Mutant Academy and their friends to be very, very afraid of Apocalypse — not the least of which is that the whole movie is named after him. The villain, who's being introduced into the X-Men cinematic universe for the first time, strikes an incredibly imposing figure in the trailer. And those teaser moments only show a fraction of what Apocalypse can do. Even the official Marvel site isn't ready to lock down the list of the character's superpowers as displayed in the comics, saying the "full extent" of his abilities "remain to be revealed." Yikes. At the tail end of the first official trailer, Charles taps into a new mind — I assume it's his enemies. His eyes go black, and he gasps, "I've never felt power like this before."
In the X-Men comics, Apocalypse is like a mutant "Greatest Hits" album. He can change form by altering every molecule in his body, grow to a towering size, control energy, and even fly. The powers that he was born were intensified by "Celestial" technology, absorbed via the the alien-constructed armor that he wears. The Celestials, by the way, are a gigantic alien race that have a history of dropping in on Earth and forcing their will on humanity. It's a calling the mutant approves of. Apocalypse is also basically immortal, and seeks in the film to cleanse the Earth of humans. He recruits mutants to his cause who are seduced by the idea of living in a world where they are the status quo, and therefore without shame and fear.
Isaac told Paste that it was the "mythical" nature of Apocalypse that drew him to the role. "Basically, you’re playing god," he said. And that's a job that this seemingly unstoppable villain isn't turning down. Isaac confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Apocalypse claims to be "the first mutant" and doesn't take the duty he believes comes with it lightly. Isaac said:
He is the creative-slash-destructive force of this earth. When things start to go awry, or when things seem like they’re not moving towards evolution, he destroys those civilizations.
Every installment of the X-Men franchise raises the stakes to keep audiences interested. And X-Men: Apocalypse is throwing down with the most formidable villain in its comic canon. Apocalypse has every power in the book, but does he have any weaknesses? All will be revealed this spring.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy