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19th March 2015

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse

All Appearances: X-Factor (1st series) #15, #17-19, #21-28, Power Pack (1st Series) #35, Captain America (1st series) #339, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #294-295, X-Factor (1st series) #84, X-Force (1st series) #16
Working for: Apocalypse
Membership: Plague, Abraham Lincoln Kieros, Autumn Rolfson, Angel / Archangel, Caliban


  • The Morlock Plague was introduced in the first meeting between the X-Men and the Morlocks in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #169-170.
  • Angel lost his wings after he was ambushed by the Marauders during the Mutant Massacre. The doctors decided that they were hurt too badly and cut them off. Terrified by this loss, he boarded a plane that exploded in midair. [X-Factor (1st series) #10-15]
  • Caliban, another Morlock, was introduced in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #148. His primary ability was a passive one – sensing other mutants – although he occasionally demonstrated other powers of fear and strength as well. After the Mutant Massacre he joined X-Factor. However, he always felt useless compared with the more active powers of the other team members.
  • Years before Apocalypse first battled the X-Men, he set about collecting a group of Horsemen that would only be used if all else failed. They consisted of Decimus Furius - a Roman bull-man who would become War, Jeb Lee – a Confederate spy from the American Civil War who became Famine, Ichisumi - a Geisha who would be the new Pestilence and finally Sanvar Javeed – a disgruntled prince who would be Death. 
  • Before Apocalypse assembled his first set of Horsemen in the modern age, there were other, lesser known groups of Horsemen. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #6] One such group of four Horsemen attacked London in the 11th Century but were slain by Thor. A Horseman of War was seen in the Apocalypse vs. Dracula mini-series but he was not identified on panel.


X-Factor (1st series) #10: During the Mutant Massacre Apocalypse offers Plague the position of Pestilence. She accepts.
X-Factor (1st series) #11: Apocalypse offers the position of War to a soldier named Abraham Lincoln Kieros. He had the ability to cause explosions by clapping his hands, but was unable to use it after being injured in war and condemned to life in an iron lung. He accepted Apocalypse’s offer in order to walk again.
X-Factor (1st series) #12: Autumn Rolfson, a young girl with an eating disorder is chosen for Famine.
X-Factor (1st series) #15: Apocalypse has given his Horsemen new looks and costumes. He still needs a fourth member.
X-Factor (1st series) #17: The Horsemen and Apocalypse have found the last member, a shadowy figure lying on the bed. This character is eventually revealed to be Angel, teleported safely from his exploding plane
X-Factor (1st series) #18: The Angel is strapped into a machine that will change his body and powers.
X-Factor (1st series) #19: While Apocalypse still works on Death's design, the other Horsemen battle X-Factor for the first time in Central Park.
X-Factor (1st series) #21-23: Apocalypse tests Angel's improved powers. Then the Horsemen battle themselves for leadership. Death emerges as the winner.
X-Factor (1st series) #24: Apocalypse teleports X-Factor to his ship. They hold their own against three of the Horsemen, but the surprise of Angel being the fourth makes them easy prey. Caliban is tossed aside early on in the battle, and forgotten by Apocalypse and his teammates after they’re taken hostage. Yet instead of freeing his friends he asks Apocalypse to join his cause. He wants to be augmented as well to avenge his fellow Morlocks' deaths at the hands of the Marauders.
X-Factor (1st series) #25 / Power Pack (1st series) #35: X-Factor are able to escape the ship, and battle the Horsemen over Manhattan. Pestilence attacks a subway train, but is accosted by Starstreak of Power Pack. She later dies falling off her flying steed. Angel comes out of his brainwashing after being tricked into "killing" an ice-duplicate of Bobby. Apocalypse retreats with the remaining Horsemen and Caliban.
Captain America (1st series) #339: While the other Horsemen are still fighting in Manhattan, Famine is teleported to the United States’ “bread basket” to destroy the food and the farmers. Eventually she is defeated by the Captain and his friends, and teleported back to Apocalypse.
X-Factor (1st series) #26-28: From afar the Horsemen watch as X-Factor become public celebrities and take over the ship as their new headquarters. Unknown to them the ship repairs itself. Suddenly it starts to fight them, but they again take control. Apocalypse and the Horsemen leave, planning to work on Caliban's transformation.

In between

  • Caliban was augmented by Apocalypse, becoming his mutant Hellhound. Testing his new abilities he went after Sabretooth, who was partially responsible for the Mutant Massacre of the Morlocks. He ultimately broke Sabretooth’s back during a fight, leaving him for dead. [X-Factor (1st series) #51-53, New Mutants (1st series) #90-91]

Chronology continued

Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #294, X-Factor (1st series) #84: War and Famine distract the X-Men while Death (formerly Caliban) captures Scott and Jean. They believe they are still working for Apocalypse, but actually it is Mr. Sinister in disguise.
X-Force (1st series) #16: The X-Men track down Caliban's mutant signature and defeat him and Famine. They discover evidence that the Horsemen were set up by Sinister.
Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #295: The X-Men hand over all three defeated Horsemen (including War, who was not depicted in the previous battle) to Apocalypse. They want to question Apocalypse about their friends’ disappearance, but he battles and defeats them.


  • In Uncanny X-Men Annual #18 Caliban again fought Sabretooth only to be defeated this time. In shame Caliban hides in the Morlock tunnels. Somehow his intelligence gets reduced to that of a child.
  • Autumn Rolfson was replaced as Famine and she disappeared from public view for many years. At some point, Apocalypse impregnated her and she gave birth to a son named William. The boy would grow up to develop his own mutant powers and be known as Genocide, the 616 version of the Age of Apocalypse Horseman, Holocaust. Autumn is eventually killed by Archangel in Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #15.
  • In X-Force (1st series) #70, Ozymandias – an operative of Apocalypse – retrieved Caliban again. He created a false memory for Cable, who believed to have left him in a good friend’s care.
  • Abraham Lincoln Kieros was seen in a hospital in Wolverine (2nd series) #148. He was ill once more, unable to move, but Archangel cured him with his newfound power of healing light.
  • Archangel’s feather wings eventually grew back in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #338 and his blue complexion disappeared in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #412.