In the harsh, unforgiving desert of ancient Egypt, ruled by Rama-Tut, a band of nomadic raiders found an infant, gray-skinned and freakish in appearance, abandoned by the settlers of Akkaba. The nomads took the child for their own, giving him the name En Sabah Nur, “The First One,” and teaching him to be “strong” in order to survive the desert as a child. This idea, that “the strong will survive,” would shape Apocalypse’s actions throughout time.
When En Sabah Nur was an adult, he was captured with his nomadic clan and forced into slave labor under the Grand Vizier Ozymandias. He quickly became a rebel and was even killed by agents of Ozymandias, only to be revived soon after due to his mutant powers. Believing himself “strong” and blessed, En Sabah Nur discovered Rama Tut’s technology underneath Egypt, and soon destroyed the Egyptian rulers around him and twisted Ozymandias into the being he is today.
Apparently, Apocalypse would use Rama Tut’s technology to “regenerate” for long periods of time, becoming more and more powerful when awakening. He was also known to have traveled around the world during these ancient years, appearing to various primitive cultures as their death god. At some point, when traveling through Mongolia, Apocalypse encountered a spaceship abandoned by the planet-judging aliens, the Celestials. His travels then became fueled by a single-minded purpose— to find the key that would unlock the secrets to this alien technology. He found it in the person of Nathan Summers, then wandering various eras as the Traveler. The two fought, and although Apocalypse was nearly killed, he was saved by Ozymandias and taken to the Celestial ship. Apocalypse’s blood had become infected with Summers’ techno-organic virus during the battle, and the infection allowed Apocalypse to not only transform into an even more powerful being, but to also interface with the Celestial ship, claiming it as his own.
Another reawakening occurred during the 12th century Crusades. Apocalypse’s regeneration chamber was thought to be a temple of great power, and was sought out by the Black Knight and his friend Bennet du Paris, whom Apocalypse recognized as a mutant, and created him into the being known as Exodus.
Later, Apocalypse surfaced in late 19th-century England, about the same time Darwin was proposing his “survival of the fittest” theories. Apocalypse, searching for underlings, met the scientist Nathaniel Essex, whose own desire for scientific knowledge led him to foresee the abundance of mutants that would occur in modern times. Apocalypse earned the allegiance of Essex, turning him into the being now known as Mister Sinister, but was soon defeated by the time-lost mutants, Cyclops and Phoenix.
In recent years, Apocalypse was somehow awakened by the arrival of Cyclops’ son from the future, Cable. Apocalypse made another move against Cyclops and his team, X-Factor, by pitting them against a team of his own creation, the Alliance of Evil. Although he never used his Alliance again, Apocalypse soon formed the Horsemen of Apocalypse to plague humankind, when his ideas to “cull” humanity in order for the rise of mutant supremacy were beginning. He fought X-Factor again, and even captured their member Angel to turn into his Horseman of Death, although he defected, to be later replaced by X-Factor’s ally, Caliban. Later, Apocalypse infected Cyclops’ son, Nathan (who would become Cable) with the techno-organic virus (which would also inadvertently create Cable’s counterpart, Stryfe, as well as ensure his own infection when he met Cable as the Traveler) but was defeated by X-Factor in final battle.
Not long after this he found out the Legacy virus was created by The Humbler. He went to Ireland to retrieve it and in a horrible battle that resulted in the deaths of nearly all involved got it but Boltine escaped this reality by traveling back in time, thanks to the sacrifices of Ms. Marvel and Eclipse in battling Apocalypse. Upon his return to before Apocalypse attacked, he prepared and engaged Apocalypse once more. This time the combined forces of X-Force defeated Apocalypse. The Legacy virus was destroyed by The Humbler and all was fine. Until Apocalypse returned once more. This time he had accuired Juggernaut as his Horseman War and they battled again. Apocalypse was defeated and pulled into Limbo. Where he waited until a portal to Limbo opened during the Inferno in New York City where he escaped once more.