The traditional Marvel post-credits scene at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past made hardcore comics fans very happy, but likely left more casual viewers scratching their heads. Who was this mysterious cloaked figure seen singlehandedly (or singlemindedly) building a pyramid in the air? His name shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that Bryan Singer announced on Twitter last December that the next X-Men movie, out in May 2016, would be called Apocalypse. Yep, that was Apocalypse, one of the X-Men comics’ most memorable villains.
Apocalypse is the oldest mutant in existence, pre-dating the X-Men by 5,000 years; the bonus scene shows one of his early accomplishments, with worshippers kneeling before the pale, blue-lipped young man as he constructs one of the Great Pyramids through telekinesis. The name the assembled masses chant, “En Sabah Nur,” translates to “The First One.”
Created in 1986 by X-Men writer Louise Simonson and artist Jackson Guice, Apocalypse is a ruthless conqueror who rules by the doctrine of “survival of the fittest,” accompanied by his Four Horsemen: War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. (They were seen in the DOFP teaser on their mounts in the distance behind him.) He has the power to brainwash and enslave anyone into joining him, and in the comics he has turned Wolverine, Angel, Gambit (who could be played by Channing Tatum in the movie), and even the Hulk against their comrades in various books through the years.
Singer has said that he plans for X-Men: Apocalypse to take place in the 1980s, with the younger actors from First Class (including James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) taking the lead. 20th Century Fox declined to comment on the identity of the actor who plays the character in the post-credits scene, and his face was never clear, indicating that the part hasn’t been cast yet. Which means there’s plenty of time to obsess over casting hypotheses — that is, until we get something new to obsess over with Guardians of the Galaxy's post-credits scene…