What are the original powers of En Sabah Nur? I have read on marvel's website that

He quickly became a rebel and was even killed by agents of Ozymandias, only to be revived soon after due to his mutant powers.

But there is nothing related to what his original mutant power is. Because if it is regeneration then how can he steal powers (as in the movie) / how can he become stronger after awakenings?

Comics and movie answers are accepted.

  • do you mean, in the comics, or specifically in the movie? – KutuluMike Jun 3 '17 at 21:33
  • In the comics would be better, but both are accepted. – Schneejäger Jun 3 '17 at 21:34

TL;DR: En Sabah Nur was born with the ability to alter his body on a cellular level.


In the comics, the being later known as Apocalypse was born with a single mutant power - to control his body on a cellular level. Once he learned to control this ability, however, it granted him a variety of useful abilities:

  • Near-instant healing
  • Limited shape-shifting
  • Enhanced strength and speed
  • Immunity to poisons
  • Control of his own aging, making him essentially immortal

He also has a genius-level intellect, but it's unknown whether this is because of his power, or in addition to it. The outward sign of his mutation is light gray skin and blue lips.

enter image description here

While a young adult, roughly in his mid-twenties, En Sabah Nur obtained access to a crashed alien vessel, possibly Celestial in origin. This technology granted him access to a plethora of other "powers", including the blue armor he is most often seen wearing as well as telekinesis and energy manipulation.


In the Fox films franchise, I was unable to find an explanation of his original mutant powers. We do see a teenaged En Sabah Nur in the after-credits scene of "X-Men: Days of Future Past". In that scene, he appears to be moving blocks using telekinesis or some similar ability.

enter image description here

Later, in "X-Men: Apocalypse", he seems to demonstrate the ability to affect matter on a molecular level, trans-mutating one substance into another (flesh into crystal, for example). Whether this is the same ability he used to move the blocks around, though, is never mentioned.

As for stealing the abilities of other mutants, that appears to be a function of the alien technology he obtained. In the latter film, we find that Apocalypse's "temple" is actually

an alien ship shaped like a pyramid

and it is the device and/or "altars" located there that allow him to do that. This same process seems to also grant him the ability to transfer his consciousness into a different body.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_(comics)

Note that in the scene mentioned above, En Sabah Nur is elderly. His priestess demonstrates the young mutant's ability to heal instantly, then says to Apocalypse "Now you will rule for eternity, my lord." It's unknown if that is En Sabah Nur's original body (the elderly one, that is). However, the fact that he both aged and got the healing ability from someone else, would seem to indicate that his initial power in the film was different from the comics.

  • I'll have to dig to find the source, but there was a quote from Singer saying that the DoFP post-credit sequence should not be considered canon. – phantom42 Jun 4 '17 at 5:05

In the XCU movie X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, En Sabah Nur's original mutant power was the ability to transfer his the life force into the body of others, and thus extend his own life indefinitely. This was the original point of the ritual we see him undergoing at the start of the movie.

As a side-effect of this, whenever his life force was transferred into the body of a mutant, he permanently gained their mutant power (that is, it would come with him during his next life transfer). In this way, he "collected" mutant powers over the centuries, and we don't really know how many powers he had by the end, though it seemed to include quite a variety.

In the source material, En Sabah Nur from Earth-616 had the power to manipulate the his own body at a deep molecular level. This made him effectively immortal, as he could rebuild himself from scratch. Over time, he was able to evolve himself to include additional mutant powers as needed.

His strength was also boosted by the armor he wore, which was made by a Celestial, and gave him even more powers beyond his natural ones.

  • So, his original power IS mutation, the mutation of his cells. – Schneejäger Jun 3 '17 at 21:41
  • 2
    I disagree - if transferring his consciousness was a power, why did he need the alien beds to do it? I would say if anything, his original power was whatever allowed him to move the pyramid blocks around when we first saw him. Either way, it's definitely different from the source material. Then again, it's Fox... what else can be expected – Omegacron Jun 3 '17 at 22:31
  • @BalinsonofFundin in the comics, that is his original power; in the movie, what they identify as his original mutation is his ability to body jump, implying that his other powers came later. – KutuluMike Jun 3 '17 at 23:16
  • @Omegacron the power he shows at the pyramid moving scene would be a no-go, because if that was his power how could he get stronger or awake after long sleep times? That could be something achieved after some time. But you are right, it's Fox.. – Schneejäger Jun 3 '17 at 23:41

The power collection/transfer thing seems, to me, to have been inspired by Apocalypse in the X-Men: Evolution cartoon.

To me Apocalypse in the comics has always been a bit underwhelming. Less so in "Age of Apocalypse", but he added with his followers and the horsemen variants was usually pretty interesting. The character on his own was kind of meh.

If he hadn't been so old and had access to Celestial tech he really wouldn't have been all that. It's a bit surprising that he didn't get taken out by the Sphinx or some Eternal sometime in the thousands of years he's been alive. The Celestial tech certainly must have helped since after a defeat he could sleep for thousands of years and then reappear better than before.

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