WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Powers of X #3 by Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, Marte Gracia, VC's Clayton Cowles and Tom Muller, on sale now.
One of the many surprises in Marvel's Powers of X miniseries was the roster of remaining X-Men in the future X² timeline. Along with the debuts of the Chimera mutants Rasputin and Cardinal were four X-Men who looked somewhat familiar, but were potentially different from the characters in the current-day.
To make things even more confusing, Powers of X revealed Apocalypse is leading this ragtag team of heroes as they try to take down the mutant-hunting machine, Nimrod. Though he is always portrayed as a nemesis to the X-Men, Powers of X shows Apocalypse ditching his "survival of the fittest" mantra for a more ethical mission of preventing mutant genocide.
Not everything is different for Apocalypse, however, as he still makes sure to employ the services of his Four Horsemen, who happen to be the four previously unidentified X-Men of the series. Thankfully, Powers of X #3 reveals who these X-Men are, along with information on who makes up the remaining Chimeras.
Powers of X #1 first showed us a Wolverine, Magneto, Xorn and a tree creature who are the last surviving X-Men on Asteroid K. Wolverine's healing factor can explain how he would still be alive that far into the future, but the same can't be said for Magneto. As for Xorn, he is a mutant with a tiny star in his head, theoretically altering his physiology while granting him an extended lifespan.
Finally, with the prominent role that the mutant island Krakoa plays in Jonathan Hickman's X-Men plans, it always seemed the likely candidate for the fourth future X-Man. Plus, as we saw in House of X #1, Doug Ramsey has a special connection with Krakoa, meaning this character could be a combination of the two.
A data file in Powers of X #3 takes away the guesswork by identifying who these X-Men are. As an added bonus, it also reveals they are the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (War, Death, Pestilence and Famine).
Wolverine is once again back to filling the role of a Horseman, except instead of being Death again, Logan is now the War Horseman. Joining him as a pureblood mutant Horseman is Xorn, who is now Death. The Magneto figure in green is named North, and has ties to the Master of Magnetism. The Pestilence Horseman is a second-generation Chimera, meaning he has the DNA of two mutants -- Lorna Dane, Magneto's daughter, and Emma Frost.
Last but not least is Famine, who is neither a pureblood mutant or a Chimera. Famine is a mix of Cypher (Doug Ramsey) and Krakoa in what is described as a "symbiotic" relationship. So at some point between the current-day and the future, Krakoa bonds with Cypher as it's host, in a similar fashion to Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote.
We also learn the pacifist Cardinal is a third-generation Chimera made up of DNA from Kurt Wagner, a Grey (possibly Jean Grey or Rachel Grey) and Ajax (Francis Freeman), portrayed by Ed Skrein in 2016's Deadpool. The two deceased X-Men from Powers of X #1 were Cylobel, a black brain mutant hound, and Percival, a pureblood mutant named Emmanuel Cortez.
Unfortunately, we don't get to spend much time with these heroes after their raid of Nimrod's storage facility. While Xorn, Rasputin and Cardinal distract Omega Sentinel, Apocalypse takes Wolverine and the Cypher/Krakoa hybrid to steal vital information to deliver to Moira MacTaggert, who is being kept in stasis. Apocalypse is seemingly defeated by Nimrod, but not before Wolverine can get the data to Moira, who uploads it into her mind. Wolverine then kills Moira so she can start her tenth life with the key to defeating Nimrod, which means this future takes place in Life Nine.
Even though the future events in Powers of X take place in a now non-existent future, don't be surprised if these new characters and concepts appear down the line during Hickman's X-Men run. The writer wouldn't waste time introducing these characters for them to be wiped out and never seen again. Whether it's these Four Horseman jumping to Moira's Life 10, which is also the current Marvel Universe, or our fan-favorite heroes journeying to Life Nine, we haven't seen the last of Apocalypse, leader of the X-Men, his Four Horseman and Nimrod the Lesser.