Apocalypse is one of the most powerful X-Men villains to date. Being the "first mutant" in history, he used a series of alien tech to make himself the immortal tyrant that readers have feared for decades. Knowing that it's best to not try to take over the world alone, Apocalypse usually surrounds himself with four of the most dangerous superheroes or villains in the Marvel Universe (typically related to the X-Men). Each representing War, Death, Pestilence, and Famine. Each one typically having powers related to their names, they worked with Apocalypse to bring the world to its knees and proclaim their superiority in the process.
Each time Apocalypse has risen to take on the Marvel Universe, he has used a different set of Horsemen rather than relying on the same four characters each time. All he has to do is imbue them with his own technology and mind-control them to make them ruthless and stronger versions of themselves. Always on the hunt for the best metahumans in the world, there are many powerful characters that have joined Apocalypse's ranks. As expected, many of the characters who became Horsemen were actually great choices and were either scary or compelling in some way. While hey made for great storytelling, there were many choices that were less than satisfactory. Whether it be because of a poor writing decision or a weird interpretation of a character, Apocalypse's minions have not always been the best. Join CBR as we discuss 10 of the best Horsemen of Apocalypse and 10 of the worst.
20 BEST: SENTRY
Sentry is one of Marvel's strongest characters. Having an amazing set of powers, he turned from a shameless C-list character into one of the more fearsome heroes in the pages of a Marvel comic. However, he would make the ultimate sacrifice during "Siege" only to be revived by the Apocalypse Twins to become one of their Four Horsemen.
Sentry leaned into the role a bit better, having a desire to be the leader and being particularly scary to anyone that tried to stop him. After the Twins were defeated, Sentry had a desire to go back into the grave as a result of the mental damage done by the Twins, which made for an exciting read.
19 WORST: WOLVERINE
While the idea of using Wolverine as one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse is an enticing prospect on its own, there was never anything done with it that's worth remembering. There could've been potential to have some emotional moments between Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men, but the story was so intent on trying to keep his identity a secret that those moments never came.
Wolverine was only given that title so that the writers could come up with a way to restore his adamantium skeleton anyway. At the end of the day, Wolverine's tenure as a Horsemen wasn't terrible, but it certainly left no real lasting impressions.
18 BEST: ARCHANGEL
After Angel lost his wings in a serious accident, he was down on his luck. Apocalypse, seeing his opportunity, offered Angel his wings back and slowly poisoned his mind. It was then that Angel was turned into Archangel and was the first Horsemen to appear in comics, and what a first impression it was.
Archangel became one of the most powerful X-Men to date, and would always have a connection to Apocalypse's voice. Despite freeing himself from the brainwashing, he would still struggle each time Apocalypse would rise again to take control. To this day, he remains one of the villain's greatest creations.
17 WORST: DEATHBIRD
After Angel's story proved to be such an interesting moment for the X-Men lore, Marvel decided that it was so great they could try the same thing with a villain, Deathbird. Like Angel, she was a character that thrived on the use of her wings. After losing them, Apocalypse showed up and offered her a position as one of the Four Horsemen, as well as her wings back.
She accepted and was returned to full power (and then some) but considering that Marvel was just ripping themselves off, her character never reached her full potential. She seemingly has remained nothing more than "girl Archangel."
16 BEST: MISTER SINISTER
Mister Sinister wouldn't exist if it weren't for Apocalypse. After he was granted a new form and new powers by Apocalypse, he combined those new abilities with his intelligence to become one of the darkest X-Men villains to date. He served well as one of the villain's Horsemen as well, most notably during the "Age of Apocalypse", serving as the leader while plotting some schemes of his own.
Mister Sinister has a striking look and attitude, making him one of the more memorable villains to face the X-Men. Again, in the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline, Sinister actually executes a plan to end his master.
15 WORST: SUNFIRE
Sunfire is an obscure character in Marvel's history, having ties to even the Big Hero 6. However, Marvel decided it was time to give him a littl epush . and transform him into one of Apocalypse's Horsemen. The problem is, during his time as famine, Sunfire made no sense.
His powers could suddenly cause people to be hungry, which had nothing to do with his name or with the powerset he's best known for. Sunfire's tenure as a Horsemen of Apocalypse proved to be one of the most embarrassing times for him -- there's a reason most people don't talk about it.
14 BEST: PSYLOCKE
One reason that fans were so disappointed in Psylocke's portrayal in X-Men: Apocalypse was that she ended up being one of the most compelling Horsemen in the comics. Having the cool power to summon energy blades, Psylocke was a prime candidate in Apocalypse/Angel's eyes.
However, she was more than just someone who served her master. Psylocke had a lot of key moments during the whole "Dark Angel Saga" but her time as a Horseman was fleeting. There's no denying the sheer tragedy that the "Dark Angel Saga" brings, especially when it comes to the relationship between Betsy and Warren.
13 WORST: BANSHEE
Banshee was an X-Men who could fly and primarily used his sonic scream as his weapon. It already looks and sounds fairly ridiculous, but it gets worse. He was brought back to life by the Apocalypse Twins so they could form their own version of the Four Horsemen.
Banshee was among the ones selected, but that's as far as his character went after being resurrected. There weren't any key moments or even cool scenes involving Banshee as one Apocalypse's servants. Just as soon as he was turned into a villain, the X-Men stopped the twins and Banshee was free from the poisoning of his masters.
12 BEST: THUNDERBIRD
Thunderbird was a powerful X-Men who suffered a dark fate in the original timeline. In an alternate reality, though, Thunderbird was instead captured by Apocalypse and turned into one of the strongest Horsemen in Marvel history. Already having incredible strength, Thunderbird was made even stronger, having the ability to take on the Hulk.
However, Thunderbird was still a sensitive guy, and his struggle with Apocalypse's mind control was one of the best parts of the Exiles series. Even after he was freed from Apocalypse, Thunderbird still had a lot of his own issues to work out despite being strong enough to demolish any physical obstacle.
11 WORST: HULK
With Apocalypse going after the most impressive metahumans in the world, it makes sense that he would eventually set his sights on the Hulk. After the "Heroes Reborn" saga, Hulk had some shrapnel that was lodged in his head. Apocalypse promised to remove it if Hulk would serve as his Horsemen.
Considering that story took place in the late '90s, there was something weird and "edgy" about his costume, featuring things that just made him darker without any rhyme or reason. Having the Hulk as a Horsemen of Apocalypse should've gone down as one of the greatest moments in comic history, but few people discuss it, which is for the best.
10 BEST: ABRAHAM KIEROS
Abraham Kieros was never a truly compelling character, but he was the embodiment of what made the Horsemen of Apocalypse so scary. He had the power to create explosions simply by clapping his hands and after sustaining some debilitating injuries, he became a Horsemen in exchange for the use of his body restored.
With enhanced abilities thanks to Apocalypse, Kieros quickly became one of the strongest opponents to the X-Men. He was also one of the first incarnations of War, and what made him even more potent was the addition of a flying horse that could also teleport. Yeah, we try not to think about it too much.
9 WORST: POLARIS
Polaris is best known as one of the children of Magneto (or something like that). She was the only one to carry his powers of magnetism, which made her potentially more threatening. However, that wasn't the case after she lost her powers in M-Day.
The writers were more than prepared to come with a convoluted way of restoring them, and they decided that making her one of Apocalypse's Horsemen was the way to go. Instead of trying to use her magnetic powers to fight the X-Men, she simply tried to create a disease because she was, for whatever reason, Pestilence at the time. It wasn't nearly as groundbreaking as it should've been, and it didn't lead to many interesting moments for her character.
8 BEST: ABYSS
Abyss was one of the scariest opponents in "Age of Apocalypse". While his powers in the main Marvel Universe allowed him to send people into different dimensions, an enhanced version of that was even more potent.
Complete with a design that was ripped straight from our nightmares, Abyss was truly scary and fully devoted to his cause. He was loyal to Apocalypse and did everything he could in order to impress his master. This alternate reality version could also feed off the fear of others, which gave reason for his scary design -- few had the gall to go up against him.
7 WORST: GAMBIT
After the tragedy of M-Day, Gambit believed that there was one mutant in the world that could help them: Apocalypse. Agreeing to become one of the Four Horsemen, he secretly put together a plan to overthrow Apocalypse and save the world that way. That thread of logic alone is the reason that Gambit made this side of the list.
Trying to go up against one of the strongest mutants in the world was already a bad idea, but he tried to do it by himself. He also didn't account for actually succumbing to the mind-controlling abilities of the villain, and he was nearly stuck as a Horsemen forever.
6 BEST: MIKHAIL RASPUTIN
Mikhail Rasputin was a serious mistake in the core Marvel Universe. The writers never seemed to know what to do with him, and he had an unexplained grab bag of powers that came out only as the plot needed. "Age of Apocalypse", however, was a different reality and Rasputin was better utilized in this alternate reality.
Having the power to shape reality, he could change his own physical form to whatever was necessary in battle. He could turn his body into massive heap of iron, similar to his brother Colossus, just to get ahead of his foes. He was also behind the scenes, working deals with others to try and usurp his master.
5 WORST: CALIBAN
Caliban had the honor of serving under Apocalypse multiple times, but even that doesn't lend to a well-written character. With Caliban not being a particularly impressive mutant, his enhancements at the side of Apocalypse weren't that great either.
He received increased speed and strength, but that was about it. As far as the Horsemen go, Caliban seemed like an off-the-wall pick, never having enough heart or fear to justify his promotion. The worst part was that Caliban had his moments before becoming a Horsemen, but his change in allegiance stifled rather than enhanced his character. It just proves that Apocalypse is still the real villain here.
4 BEST: HOLOCAUST
When a character can absorb all kinds of energy and throw it back twice as hard, almost no one can get in their way. In "Age of Apocalypse", Apocalypse had a son named Holocaust, who would serve on of his father's Horsemen.
Holocaust was nearly invincible, being made entirely out of energy. He could absorb the biggest blasts, even a full attack from Sunfire. After losing a battle, Apocalypse would later give him a set of crystal armor that made him even more powerful. Suddenly he was able to physically overwhelm his opponents and look good doing it.
3 WORST: DECIMUS FURIUS
Of all the choices Apocalypse had in his Horsemen lineup, Decimus Furius was one of the worst. Among all sorts of mutants who can absorb energy, manipulate reality, and even surpass him in strength, picking this guy was just a confusing choice. The extent of Furius' powers are that he is a minotaur and he can upset people -- that's all there is to it.
All it would take is someone faster or stronger to stand in his way and he would be down for the count. It didn't help that Furius was never given any moments that helped to develop his character. He was simply a one-dimensional, flat villain who was just there because Apocalypse needed a Horseman.
2 BEST: ICHISUMI
Perhaps one of the most visually deceptive Horsemen of Apocalypse, Ichisumi inspired fear in her opponents in a completely different way. Seemingly having it all together in her mind, things take a turn for the worst when she opens her mouth and sends a swarm of beetles to destroy her foes.
Apocalypse was more than pleased with this ability and thought she would make the perfect version of Pestilence. Ichisumi would prove to be loyal to the cause enough that, after Apocalypse was destroyed, she carried the torch alongside Archangel. The juxtaposition of a well-dressed young woman with the beetle imagery are what made her a prime candidate for this list.
1 WORST: DAKEN
Daken is the son of Wolverine and having all of his father's powers and anger, Daken has been a source of contention for his father. However, Daken did meet his end at some point only to be revived by the Apocalypse Twins. Much like his father, Daken was turned into a an underwhelming Horseman.
The reason for this is not because he did anything bad, but because he barely did anything at all. The Twins' team of Horsemen were given very little to do, thus having very little reason to have them in the first place. Daken didn't do much himself, being rescued by the X-Men before there was an opportunity for something astounding.