FOUR HORSEMEN of the APOCALYPSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Membership: Death (Rowregyynac), Famine (Krowtanem), Pestilence (Yentron), War (Linbythoum)

Purpose: Conquering planets and races for the Axi-Tun Empire

Affiliations: Agents of the Axi-Tun Empire;
    former pawns of the Overmind

Enemies: Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Medusa, Mr. Fantastic, Thing), Quasar, Stranger

Base of Operations: Currently unknown; formerly the Stranger's laboratory world; formerly Earth

First Appearance: Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3 (November, 1974)

History:
(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#5) - In the distant past, the beings known on Earth as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- Death, Famine, Pestilence, and War -- served as the soldier-elite to the Axi-Tun. Per Pestilence's note, they each had power enough to rend galaxies. "They lived more eons than countless star systems have existed. And throughout that infinite eternity they have battled for lives, for souls, for powers in far-stretching galaxies that even gods never traveled."

(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3 (fb) - BTS) - In order for the Axi-Tun to conquer several other civilized worlds, Earth had to fall first.

(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3 (fb) - BTS) <"millions of millennia ago"/"eons before humanity breathed in its first glimmers of intelligence"/"while you were still mindless primitives"> - The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse came to Earth and took it as theirs, and "with the power of gods eternal, we held it against all our alien foes."

(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3 (fb) - BTS) <"when humanity was no more than barbarians"> - Eventually a race came to Earth which was even mightier than the Horsemen. After a century-long battle, this other race humbled the Horsemen and banished them like whipped dogs. Still enraged over their defeat, the Horsemen returned to their homeworld, Tun, only to be branded cowards and traitors for their failure. The Horsemen were exiled to wander the Universe for Eternity. They saw many wonders, witnessed worlds newly born, and worlds perishing from their own misuse of power, but still they seethed with hatred at their forced exile and at the world that caused their downfall."

(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3) - The Four Horsemen returned to Earth, planning to conquer it as they had planned to do in the past. They believed that their victory would redeem them to their people, and would open the path for further conquest for the Axi-Tun (who still longed for universal control), with themselves riding triumphantly in the vanguard.
    Pestilence unleashed a "Coma-Pox" which instantly sent mankind to sleep. Only the Fantastic Four, with their unique body chemistries were able to regain consciousness in time to oppose the Horsemen. The Axi-Tun planned to conquer the Earth within 48 hours. However, when the Fantastic Four opposed them, they reactivated an ancient protection device left by the race which had defeated the Horsemen in the past. One by one the Horsemen were again banished from the Earth.

(Quasar#14 (fb) - BTS) - The Four Horsemen were observed within the Stranger's prisonworld. He was freed  by the Over-Mind, who sought allies against the Stranger and his allies.

(Quasar#16) - The Four Horsemen were brought into battle by the Over-Mind against Quasar and anyone else aiding the Stranger during the first assault, along with Dragonfly, Last Monitor, Captive, Gorr and others. The Axi-Tun immediately target Quasar as a unit. He contained them - along with himself - in an energy bubble and fought them, finally managing to knock them all unconscious after a physical fight.

 

 

COMMENTS: Created by Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman, and Rich Buckler.

All of the Horsemen possessed steeds which could transport them across interstellar space. They possessed superhuman physical abilities, enabling them to survive the rigors of space without protection. They were virtually immortal, apparently immune to the effects of age or conventional disease.

I think it was the original OHotMU that named the Four Horsemen as Axi-Tun. The Axi-Tun receives an entry in OHotMU Deluxe Edition#15.

I don't think the name of the race who defeated the Four Horsemen after a centuries-long war has been revealed. The Celestials would have been a logical choice, except that war would have lasted seconds. If you know, please tell me.

Chris theorizes: "A thought about the 'who defeated the Four Horsemen of the Axi-Tun all those centuries ago' question you were wanting answered (in the 'Great Unanswered Questions of the MU' section of the site): you say the Celestials were a logical choice to have defeated those Axi-Tun, but that that battle would have lasted only a moment or two at most. Could a Godstalker or two have done the job instead? They are basically mini-Celestials, and a fight between the Four Horsemen and a Godstalker could concievably last a hundred years if the story needed it to. What do you think, is it a workable solution to the mystery? (Fast disclaimer: I have not read the FF issue(s) in question, just what the site says in its summary of them.)"

Jim Hill contradicted this theory and made a few theories on his own: "To say that it was The Celestials suffers a timeline problem because they only arrive (The First Host) about 1 million, not 1 billion. Since the Horsemen arrived circa 1 billion, they were on Earth an awful long time waiting for the Celestials to kick them off, and would have had to have dealt with N'Garai, Undying Ones, The Dark-Crawler, Shuma-Gorath, Sise-Neg, and the Insectoid race of Psyklop along the way until then. Not to mention the one's listed above already.
  Could the Hyssta have repelled the Horsemen? The Horsemen are immensely powerful yes, but the Hyssta could have made up for it in numbers, offering the centuries long battle that kicked the Horsemen's behinds. We also don't know much about the Hyssta (parallel earth Kree?). Maybe they're all able to withstand blasts on par with Captain Marvel? If so, they stand a chance against the Horsemen imho.
  Other possibilities include the Lumina or the Myandi, who each set up an outpost on Earth at the time. Maybe they fought of the Horsemen before doing so. Of course, I know very little about their abilities. Could they have done it?
  Yag-Kosha's race arrived on earth around this time as well, but I think they were relatively hidden.

The Curse was also left a mystery...without an explanation, the story seemed quite lacking to me.

Many of the Stranger's former prisoners escaped the Lab World after Quasar#16. The Four Horsemen could have done that as easily as the others.

Their real names were revealed in the Axi-Tun's profile in Fantastic Four Fifty Fantastic Years#1 (November, 2011).

CLARIFICATIONS: The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse take their name from Biblical references, and have no connection to:

Death should not to be confused with:

Famine should not to be confused with:

Pestilence should not to be confused with:

Not to be confused with:


Death could summon the "deaths" of others (duplicate froms and abilties with a death's head face). According to comic-book logic, if a person struggled agaisnt his or her own death, both would be consumed, like matter and anti-matter.
Death made his assault from Mount Everest. All four members of the Fantastic Four confronted and opposed him. Death claimed to be the leader fo the Horsemen, and summoned the "deaths" of the Fatnastic Four to slay them. Based on Reed's recommendations, each hero avoided their own "death" and fought the counterpart for another, whom they destroyed with relative ease. Medusa defeated the last of the "deaths," hurling it back at Death himself, activating the "curse" and banishing him from Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Famine could create illusions, blocking the sight of food from others. He could cause foodstuffs to disintegrate. He could also mentally control those crazed by hunger..
He launched his attack from Cambodia, where he created illusions causing people to fail to see the food that was in front of them. Faminished people were collapsing from weakness in the midst of rice paddies. Mr. Fantastic and the Thing tracked him down and tried to make the people see the food, finally succeeding when they actually shoved it in their faces. Famine then destroyed the food for the people and sent a group of starved villagers to oppose them. Reed wrapped himself around Famine, and as they struggled, the curse was activated, and Famine vanished from Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pestilence, possesses the ability to dispense disease, both medical and psychological. He can generate physical weakness and sickness, emotional distress, and he can summon and control disease-carrying vermin. Pestilence based his assault from the streets of Manhattan. He attempted to crush the Thing with a plague-like disease, but when the Thing rallied and attacked him, the protective "curse" was reactivated, banishing him from Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 


War could generate anger and violent emotions in others, making them easy for him to manipulate into conflict and...war. He could project powerful bursts of energy from his sword. He could also make others see him as mirror images of their own faces, apparently in order to give the moral message that our own emotions are the cause of war.
War made his stand in Africa, where he equipped the opposing sides in the racial wars with powerful artillery, tanks, and planes, escalating their conflicts to more devastating levels. The Human Torch and Medusa traveled to Africa, fought their way past War's soldiers, and confronted War himself. He stunned Medusa with a blast, but then was overpowered by the Torch. The Torch ripped off his mask, only to see his own face, while Medusa saw her own face, as well. He laughed that humanity creates war through its own prejudices and greed, but then the "curse" was activated, and he vanished from earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 


images:
Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3, pg. 1-2 (Four Horsemen)
    pg. 7, panel 3 (Pestilence full body)
    pg. 8, panel 2 (Pestilence face)
    pg. 17, panel 2 (War)
    pg. 23, panel 1 (Famine)
    pg. 26, panel 2 (Death)
        panel 4 (FF's deaths)


Appearances:
Giant-Size Fantastic Four#3 (November, 1974) - Gerry Conway (co-plotter), Marv Wolfman (scripter), Rich Buckler (penciler), Joe Sinnott (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Quasar#14-16 (September-November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian & Keith Williams (#16) (inks), Howard Mackie (#13) & Len Kaminski (#14-16) (editor)


Last updated: 09/08/13.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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