“I’ve been called many things over many lifetimes: Ra, Krishna, Yahweh. I was there to spark and fan the flame of man’s awakening, to spin the wheel of civilization.” – Apocalypse
WARNING: SPOILERS are ahead as to who the Four Horseman of Apocalypse are!
There are a slew of superhero films coming out next year. From Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to Captain America: Civil War, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for Marvel/DC fans alike. However one film that should be near the top of everyone’s list is Bryan Singers’ X-Men: Apocalypse.
Why should this film be so high? Simply because Bryan Singer has not crafted a bad X-Men film yet. This movie will most likely be his last and I have faith that he will give us a fantastic conclusion to this series that was all started with his first film X-Men. This film will conclude this trilogy that began with Matthew Vahns’ X-Men: First Class which arguably washed away the bitter taste in our mouths and reinvigorated the franchise after X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While those films had their moments, overall they were big disappoints.
However, after directing the first two X-Men films and recently X-Men: Days of Future Past, we should all be giving Singer the benefit of the doubt. If there’s one director who should be directing the final film of THIS trilogy, it’s Bryan Singer. With that being said, there is ONE part of the story that I DO NOT want included in X-Men: Apocalypse are characters who are being mind controlled or are simply brainwashed. These characters that I am referring to are the Four Horseman of Apocalypse.
It’s no secret (unless you haven’t been following the news) who the Four Horseman are. Apocalypses’ Four Horseman are: Storm, Psylocke, Angel (who will probably be named Archangel) and Magneto. These four are the confirmed Horseman that Apocalypse rallies up in the film. I am really glad that we get to see Angel become one of the Horseman just like in the comics. He is the one I am looking forward to the most who fights alongside Apocalypse.
Like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse will have friends vs friends or in this case mutants vs mutants clashing with one another. Even though we have already seen the X-Men fight Magnetos’ Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the Hellfire Club in X-Men: First Class, what we haven’t seen are mutants who eventually become X-Men (minus the obvious one that is Magneto) fighting other X-Men. The reason these four mutants join Apocalypse in his journey to annihilation is still up for debate at this point.
“You are all my children. And you’re lost. Because you follow blind leaders. Everything they’ve built will fall… and from the ashes of their world we’ll build a better one!”
There are many cliches that have been used numerous times in films such as: the hero must be equal to or less powerful than the villain; when a bomb is about to go off, the person ALWAYS stops the timer with one second to spare; the police are usually portrayed as being careless and make poor decisions in films such as horrors or comedies. These are just some of the examples of cliches that Hollywood films have been using time and time again. The one cliche that I want to focus on for THIS film that I hope WILL NOT be utilized is mind control or being brainwashed.
SO MANY Hollywood movies have used this simple and easy cliche to push the story along and to give the characters an excuse for their actions. Movies that have used mind control include The Manchurian Candidate, Village of the Damned, and They Live. Even Bryan Singers’ X2: X-Men United used mind control when William Stryker’s son Jason was able to command Xavier’s mind.
A similar cliche we’ve seen from Hollywood is characters becoming brainwashed. Films such as Unknown, Total Recall, and Videodrome have all had characters who were brainwashed from the start of the film. Hell even whip-wielding Indiana Jones from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was brainwashed at one point in the film. Lets also not forget a recent Marvel comics character who was also brainwashed to fight for Hydra: The Winter Soldier.
As you can see from these examples, Hollywood has used this cliche far too often and it’s time to move on. The Four Horseman are mutants but the real question here is WHY are these mutants fighting for the most powerful mutant on the planet? If the simple answer is because they were brainwashed or are controlled by Apocalypse, then I will be HIGHLY disappointed with Bryan Singer. What I would rather see from a narrative perspective is having Apocalypse manipulate or draw them in to his master plan showing them reason to be against humanity as well as all the X-Men.
The story of the mutant named Angel is fantastic. To put it short, Angel unfortunately developed a disease which forced him to have his wings amputated. After meeting Apocalypse, Angel is promised new wings as long as he became one of Apocalypses’ Four Horseman. Angel agrees to Apocalypses’ terms and is therefore given metallic wings and renamed Archangel.
While I don’t believe they will use this storyline in the film, it is a logical reason why Warren Worthington III chose to become a Horseman. He gave up his entire life just to have wings again. While we don’t know the backstory behind Psylocke or Magneto (even though we know Magneto succumbs to evil rather easily), one character that we have learned a little to her backstory is Ororo Monroe aka Storm.
Just a few months ago actor Alexandra Shipp was asked how a young Storm would be portrayed in this film. She responded saying: “Storm is a troubled character who is going down the wrong path in life.” While this may not give us enough about the character overall, we do however know that she is “troubled” and is “going down the wrong path.” This should give us an adequate reason to believe that Apocalypse will sway her over to his side.
No mind control or brainwashing is necessary here and hopefully will not be used in the film. My hope is that Apocalypse deceives these four mutants to fight on his side and shows them why they must follow him. Manipulation is a dangerous attribute that Apocalypse is well known for.
Bryan Singer has not proven us wrong up until this point (unless you consider dropping out of X3 and directing Superman Returns), and I have reason to believe he will be bringing us a dramatic and action-packed conclusion to the franchise he started while also establishing newer characters to take the reins for future X-Men films. Singer, you have not let us down with an X-Men film yet, please don’t disappoint us with your final film.
So what do you all think about this? Would you want the use of mind control or brainwashing to be the result of having the Four Horseman fight the X-Men? Or would you rather have them deceived by Apocalypse promising them that they can “build a better world?” Please share your thoughts and comment below!