Before long X-Men: Apocalypse and the X-Men animated show, Louise Simonson created an immortal mutant of destruction for a comic called X-Factor. That mutant was Apocalypse.
In a recent interview with Simonson, Vulture noted the alarming fact that she does not get name-checked in the X-Men: Apocalypse’s credits for the creation of the eponymous villain (played by Oscar Isaac under layers of makeup). She responded with a gritty and wry humility, having gotten her start at Marvel in the early 80s as a woman in a male-dominated industry was even harder than it is today. In a 2011 interview with Bleeding Cool she said of the state of the industry that could even apply to now, “I think the women who make it in superhero comics don’t make it because they’re as good as the guys, they make it because they’re better than the guys. You have to be.” It’s this gumption that lead to Simonson to quickly rise the ranks at Marvel.
After an internal reshuffling, Simonson found herself with more free time in-between editing now classic X-Men runs like “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and“Days Of Future Past,” both which have gone on to be adapted into the films X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days Of Future Past respectively. This is when she started writing on X-Factor, an X-Men spinoff that featured iconic X-Men like Beast, Cyclops, and Jean Grey. Simonson says in the interview that when it came time to find a suitable baddie, she wasn’t satisfied with any of previous rogues, so along with comic artist Jackson Guice, she set out to create her own. Enter Apocalypse.
Image courtesy of The Crapbox of Son Of Cthulhu
With a blue robotic power suit, lots of weird plugs and wires, a giant ‘A” wrapped around his waist, and those iconic blue lips, the original Apocalypse officially debuted in X-Factor issue 5 in April of 1986, but appeared fully in issue 6. Simonson says that she liked the survival of the fittest attitude as a diabolical quality. Apocalypse would go on to terrorize humans and the X-Men for many years to come, even after she left Marvel in the early 90s to go write for rival, DC Comics. Talking as a creator, she gives advice for young woman hoping to enter the industry today, “Study everything you can, be really smart, be lucky, grow a thick skin, be the best you can be at everything you do.” With the release of X-Men: Apocalypse in theaters this year, Simonson’s legacy endures today. Let’s raise a toast to the ultimate supervillian and the woman that brought him to life.
Read the complete Vulture interview here.
Have you gone back and read X-Factor? What are your favorite Apocalypse moments in the comics and tv shows? What did you think of X-Men: Apocalypse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Steven is a pop culture writer, podcast producer, and an okapi in his next life. Follow the continuing adventures @StevenRayMorris and @ThePurrrcast on Twitter.