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Last Updated: 
19th March 2015

The Infernal Machine

All Appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #182-187
Working for: Apocalypse
Membership: Polaris, Gazer, Sunfire, Gambit


  • During one of their adventures, the X-Men meet a space-based mutant named Gazer, whose immunity to radiation makes him perfect for unshielded outer space study. [X-Men (2nd series) #170]
  • Sunfire’s legs were amputated by Lady Deathstrike, and he allowed Rogue to absorb his powers to gain revenge because he believed he was dying. Later, his body disappeared before it was pronounced dead. [Rogue (3rd series) #11-12]
  • Approximately 90-95% of Earth's mutants lost their powers during M-Day. In the hopes that the Eternal One would serve as a rallying force for Earth's remaining mutants, Cable deliberately engineered the resurrection of Apocalypse. [Cable/Deadpool #26-27]


X-Men (2nd series) #178-180: An archaeologist named Foster stumbles across a hidden chamber while digging in Akkaba, Egypt. Gazer, a decimated mutant, is dying in space due to his power loss. He sees a mysterious creature named Deep fall to Earth.
X-Men (2nd series) #181: Apocalypse confronts Dr. Foster in Egypt. His personal sphinx appears in Costa Rica and absconds with depowered Polaris and the Leper Queen.
X-Men (2nd series) #182: Apocalypse continues to gather his Horsemen. The mysterious Pestilence is already active, acquiring bio-hazardous materials from the W.H.O. at Apocalypse’s command. Sunfire is recruited from seclusion in Japan with promises of power and the restoration of his lost legs. Gazer is summoned from space and forced to fight Foster to the death for the privilege of becoming War. He loses, and is about to be killed by Foster when Apocalypse’s scribe, Ozymandias, steps in and kills Foster himself. He tells Gazer to remember this debt after he becomes a Horseman. Finally, the sphinx itself materializes at the Xavier Institute.
X-Men (2nd series) #183: Apocalypse declares himself to the 198 as savior of the mutant race. He offers them samples of his own blood, to ingest as a vaccine against the purging contagion Pestilence will soon release. He unleashes Sunfire and Gazer, now reborn as Famine and War, on the X-Men and Sentinel Squad. Apocalypse then finds his last Horseman when the X-Man named Gambit enters the sphinx and asks for new power.
X-Men (2nd series) #184: Gambit plans to remain true to the X-Men and turn Apocalypse’s power against him, but the brainwashing is too strong and he is reborn as Death. Famine is captured by the X-Men. Ozymandias attempts to call in Gazer’s debt to use him against Apocalypse, but the new War instead reports the scribe’s treachery to Apocalypse. Ozymandias leads several X-Men secretly into the sphinx, but they are confronted by Death.
X-Men (2nd series) #185: Apocalypse and Death drive the X-Men out of the sphinx. War tries to siege the Xavier Institute and retrieve Famine, but instead finds that Sunfire has freed himself from Apocalypse’s control. Apocalypse delivers his ultimatum to the United Nations – decimate 90% of the human population to match M-Day’s effect on mutants, or lose 100% to Pestilence’s meta-plague. Pestilence is revealed as Polaris.
X-Men (2nd series) #186: The X-Men, Avengers and Sentinel Squad assault the sphinx as it hangs over the United Nations building, awaiting Apocalypse’s deadline. Ozymandias kills War for reneging on his debt. Sunfire returns to attack Apocalypse, and then flees with the unconscious Death. While Apocalypse vanishes in the Infernal Machine, the X-Men rescue Polaris and begin extracting Pestilence’s meta-plague from her system.
X-Men (2nd series) #187: Sunfire tries to convince Gambit / Death that they should cut all ties to both Apocalypse and the X-Men. At the least, he makes Death agree that Polaris, another fallen Horseman, should be with them instead of the X-Men, and they attack the mansion to retrieve her. Polaris has rejuvenated enough to deny them, however, and they flee. Her magnetic powers apparently artificially restored, Polaris leaves the X-Men on her own.


  • Sunfire and Gambit are met by Mister Sinister after assaulting the X-Men, and end up joining the Marauders. Gambit, at least, has the Horsemen re-engineering removed from his system. [X-Men (2nd series) #200] Gambit’s Death persona resurfaced for a while but it eventually disappeared around the same time Archangel rose to power. Sunfire eventually lost his Famine abilities and rejoined the hero life with the Uncanny Avengers. [Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #5]
  • Polaris quickly returned to the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #475, joining a small strike team heading out into Shi’ar space. A side effect of her Pestilence powers remained as she was resistant to poisons and drugs. Since being repowered, there has been no mention of her Pestilence powers.