DARK RIDERS

Membership: Barrage, Deadbolt, Gauntlet, Harddrive, Hurricane, Psynapse, Spyne, Tusk;
formerly Dirt Nap, Foxbat, Lifeforce

Purpose: To cull the weak from the strong

Affiliations: Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur), Genesis (Tyler Dayspring), Jamil, Selene, Stryfe (Nathan Dayspring)

Enemies: Askani, Cable (Nathan Summers), Caliban, Marc Dale, Dracula, Inhumans (Black Bolt/Blackagar Boltagon, Crystal/Crystalia Amaquelin, Gorgon/Gorgon Petragon, Karnak, Lockjaw, Medusa/Medusalith Amaquelin, Triton), Faye Livngstone, Mesmero (Vincent), Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey of Earth-9575), Ship/Professor, Sister Salvation, X-Factor (Archangel/Warren Worthington III, Beast/Henry McCoy, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Havok/Alex Summers, Iceman/Robert Drake, Polaris/Lorna Dane), X-Man (Nate Grey), X-Men (Bishop/Lucas Bishop, Cannonball/Sam Guthrie, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Elixir/Josh Foley, Jean Grey, M/Monet St. Croix, Magneto/Max Eisenhardt, Psylocke/Betsy Braddock, Sabretooth/Victor Creed, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Triage/Christopher Muse)

Aliases: Riders of the Dark, Riders of the Storm

Base of Operations: Akkaba, Egypt

First Appearance: X-Factor I#65 (April, 1991)

History:
(All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z#3 - Dark Riders entry (fb) - BTS) - Over the ages, the mutant Apocalypse formed teams of human warriors to serve as foot soldiers in his army, calling them the Riders of the Storm, the Riders of the Dark, or the Dark Riders.

(X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula#1 (fb) ) - In the fifteenth century in Romania, En Sabah Nur led a team of mercenaries against the forces of Vlad Dracul, the future Dracula. Apocalypse called his team the Riders of the Dark. They defeated Dracul's forces, and En Sabah Nur praised them.

(Cable & Deadpool I#26 (fb) ) - Cable travelled back in time and fought his way through the Dark Riders to kill En Sabah Nur as Ozymandias watched.

(X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula#4) - In 19th Century England, Apocalypse assembled the Riders of the Storm to assault the castle of Dracula.

(X-Factor I#67 (fb) - BTS) - Apocalypse attacked Attilan, on the Blue Area of the Moon, and captured several Inhumans, who were connected to the Royal Family, and began experimenting on them. He corrupted his captives, enhancing their powers, and christening them his Riders of the Storm, or Dark Riders, as he continued raiding Attilan.

(X-Factor I#65) - Apocalypse ordered Harddrive to hack into the database of Ship, the Celestial headquarters that X-Factor was using as their home, and then he downloaded data on the mutants there, severing his link when Ship fought back. The Dark Riders each assessed the threat of the five members of X-Factor as Apocalypse praised them while counseling them to take the mutant threat seriously. Harddrive piloted a ship and crashed it into X-Factor's headquarters, where the Dark Riders savagely attacked the mutants. After a battle, Harddrive put an infection into the Celestial Ship, initiating a shut-down procedure.

(X-Factor I#66) - Harddrive corrupted Ship's protocols, forcing it to lash out at X-Factor, and at the city around them, with electronic attacks, all while Harddrive tried shielding himself from Jean Grey's telekinetic attacks. Foxbat snuck into the nursery, where young Nathan Summers slept, and he grabbed the child, but was easily taken down when the time-travelling Askani attacked him. When X-Factor attacked Askani, thinking she was an enemy, Foxbat used the distraction to grab the child and teleport away. Gauntlet grabbed police officer Charlotte Jones (girlfriend of Archangel), but Archangel saved her as the Dark Riders teleported away as Ship exploded behind them.

(X-Factor I#67) - After the Inhumans rescued X-Factor and brought them to Attilan, Apocalypse teleported Gauntlet and Foxbat in to taunt them before teleporting them back to the other Dark Riders. X-Factor and the Inhumans fought back against Apocalypse's forces, including many Inhumans who he had corrupted.

(X-Factor I#68) - As X-Factor rushed in to attack Apocalypse and save baby Nathan, Tusk, Barrage, and Gauntlet fought back. X-Factor was briefly overwhelmed when Apocalypse turned Medusa and Crystal against them, as well as his other corrupted Inhumans, but the mutants and Royal Family soon turned the tide against Apocalypse's forces. In the end, Apocalypse was defeated and baby Nathan, who was infected with a techno-organic virus, was taken into the future by the Askani to be raised.

(X-Men II#14) - The Dark Riders awakened Apocalypse from his tomb in Egypt. Though their leader stated it was too soon for him to be awakened, he listened with reason after hearing that Mr. Sinister had kidnapped Cyclops and Jean Grey.

(X-Men II#15) - Stryfe attacked the Dark Riders, easily disposing of them with little effort. Stryfe then forced Apocalypse to combat.

(X-Force I#17) - After Stryfe bested Apocalypse in combat, the Dark Riders agreed to follow a new leader.

(Uncanny X-Men I#296 (fb) - BTS) - Stryfe took the Dark Riders back to his base on the Moon.

(Uncanny X-Men I#296) - Cyclops and Jean Grey escaped from Stryfe's captivity, and the Dark Riders went after them. When the mutants saved baby Nathan, Stryfe sent the Dark Riders against them, and the mutants escaped into orbit.

(X-Factor I#86) - On the Moon, the Dark Riders prepared to fight the X-Men.

(X-Men II#16) - The Dark Riders and Apocalypse's soldiers stood against Wolverine, Cable, and Bishop. Soon, Apocalypse, Storm, Havok, Polaris, Cannonball, Iceman, Archangel, and Psylocke joined the fight, turning their aggression toward Stryfe and his aide, Zero. As the battle wound down, the Dark Riders stood united against a weakened Apocalypse.

(X-Force I#18 (fb) - BTS) - The Dark Riders left a dying Apocalypse on the Moon.

(X-Men II#21 (fb) - BTS) - The Dark Riders chose to continue Apocalypse's mission of culling weak mutants. Psynapse developed a hacking cough that continued to get worse.

(X-Men II#21) - The Dark Riders (Gauntlet, Tusk, Barrage, Foxbat, Psynapse) hunted down Mesmero in Seattle. Mesmero hypnotized Psynapse, who began hitting the others with psychic attacks, but Gauntlet was immune and he shot Mesmero. As Psynapse coughed, Gauntlet turned his gun on him, considering him weak, and Psynapse was killed.

(Alpha Flight II#4 (fb) ) - Mesmero took control of the minds of the Dark Riders to make them believe he was really dead.

(X-Men II#23) - The Dark Riders went to Alaska to hunt down Mr. Sinister and Cyclops. When Mr. Sinister was able to best Foxbat and Barrage in combat, the Riders recognized his superiority and acknowledged him as worthy. Sinister then departed, telling the Riders to challenge Cyclops, but warned them not to harm him too badly. The Riders battled Cyclops for fifteen minutes and the hero managed to hold his own, then Harddrive appeared, saying Cyclops had passed the fight and been deemed worthy. The Dark Riders were teleported away.

(Cable II#19 (fb) - BTS) - The time-travelling Genesis (Tyler Dayspring) took over the Dark Riders, adding mutants Lifeforce, Hurricane, Spyne, and Deadbolt to the team.

(Cable II#17) - In Egypt, Foxbat was hunted down by the new Dark Riders, including Gauntlet, Lifeforce, Hurricane, Deadbolt, and Spyne, who wanted to determine his worthiness. Foxbat cried out that he was chosen by Apocalypse himself, but Gauntlet said they had a new leader now, then Lifeforce drained Foxbat's life energies, killing him. Later, with Barrage now, the Dark Riders hunted Caliban in the Morlock Tunnels, and they found a team of X-Men (Cable, Domino, Storm) there. Soon, Harddrive teleported the Dark Riders away, promising Gauntlet that he would be punished for engaging in battle with Cable against orders.

(Cable II#18 (fb) - BTS) - The Dark Riders sent one of Tusk's Underlings into an Egyptian city as bait.

(Cable II#18) - In Egypt, Cable, Domino, Storm, and Caliban hunted down the Underling, who told them falsely that Tusk Prime had been killed, then he agreed to take them back to the Dark Riders. The mutants fell into the trap and began battling the Dark Riders. Gauntlet nearly killed Hurricane for failing against Storm a second time, but Harddrive teleported the Riders away instead. The mutants pursued them back to the destroyed city of Akkaba, where Genesis was revealed as the leader of the Dark Riders.

(Cable II#19) - The Dark Riders battled the mutants until Genesis accepted Cable's surrender, and had Harddrive teleport them all away, leaving Storm, Domino, and Caliban behind. Genesis put Cable in stasis, next to Foxbat and Hurricane. Cable's allies soon attacked, taking down the Riders one at a time, then freeing Cable. As the base exploded around them, Genesis had Harddrive teleport them all away at the last moment.

(Wolverine II#93) - Genesis sent Lifeforce, Spyne, and Hurricane to apprehend Cyber and break him out of jail.

(Wolverine: Origins#12 (fb) ) - Lifeforce, Spyne, and Hurricane broke Cyber out of jail.

(Wolverine II#94) - Hurricane, Spyne, and Lifeforce returned Cyber to Akkaba, where they were met by Jamil, an agent of Candra, and he led them forward into the citadel.

(X-Men Annual '95) - Genesis assembled the Dark Riders (Gauntlet, Hurricane, Lifeforce, Spyne, Deadbolt) to apprehend Jean Grey, so he could use her to read the mind of Faye Livingstone, an elderly woman who held secrets about the past of Mr. Sinister. Harddrive teleported the team, who kidnapped Jean after a brief battle with the Beast.

(Wolverine II#95) - Gauntlet, Hurricane, Spyne, Lifeforce, and Genesis watched Cyber battle with a Wolverine construct.

(Wolverine II#96) - Lifeforce, Spyne, and Hurricane helped Genesis contain Cyber in restraints.

(Wolverine II#100 (fb) - BTS) - The Dark Riders gathered hundreds of sarcophagi and placed them in piles in a psychic ring around the tomb of Apoalypse. Genesis planned to revive the villain. Genesis also added Dirt Nap to the team.

(Wolverine II#99) - At the citadel in Akkaba, Gauntlet, Hurricane, and Deadbolt oversaw the transport of human civilians inside at Genesis' orders. Inside, Genesis apprehended Wolverine, and Lifeforce joined the others into putting Wolverine in a containment unit. Genesis planned to use the Adamantium that had been removed from Cyber to implant on Wolverine's skeleton, then to erase Wolverine's memories and make him the leader of his Riders.

(Wolverine II#100) - Cannonball attacked but was easily defeated by the Riders, then the machine exploded, sending scraps of Adamantium across the room, killing both Lifeforce and Hurricane instantly. A bestial Wolverine attacked, severing Spyne's tail, cutting of Deadbolt's head, and slashing at Gauntlet, removing his cybernetic eye. Cable then killed Genesis.

(X-Man#46 (fb) - BTS) - Stryfe took control of the original Dark Riders including Gauntlet, Barrage, Harddrive, and Tusk, with Psynapse alive again.

(X-Man#46) - Stryfe landed a pyramid spaceship in Latveria, and ordered the Dark Riders to attack the populace, wanting to establish himself a stronghold there. X-Man and Madelyne Pryor attacked, taking down the Riders, leaving Psynapse seemingly dead. Harddrive (with the android Mainframe) and Barrage teleported to Alaska to kill Jean Grey, but Madelyne went after them and defeated them. Nate took on Stryfe directly to stop him.

(Cable and Deadpool I#27) - Seeking to resurrect Apocalypse, Ozymandias reanimated the corpses of some of the ancient Dark Riders to protect him, but Cable and Deadpool killed many of them.

(X-Force III#21 (fb) - BTS) - Hurricane, Spyne, and Deadbolt were revived by Selene on Genosha.

(X-Force III#21) - When the X-Men attacked, Hurricane, Spyne, and Deadbolt sparred with Dazzler and Psylocke.

SECRET WARS III HAPPENED

(Uncanny X-Men IV#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Dark Riders reformed (somehow resurrecting some of their own members) and sought to pursue their mission of culling the weak from the strong. Learning that M-Pox was killing mutants, they sought to kill mutant healers so that the mutants could truly be tested and only the strong would survive.

(Uncanny X-Men IV#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Dark Riders hunted down mutant healers Sister Salvation and Marc Dale, among others.

(Uncanny X-Men IV#1) - Gauntlet, Tusk, Spyne, and Deadbolt hunted down a mutant healer, killing him.

(Uncanny X-Men IV#2) - Barrage, Spyne, Gauntlet, Psynapse, and Deadbolt hunted down Elixir in a hospital, but found Sabretooth and M of the X-Men there. Barrage opened fire on the crowd, killing many civilians before M knocked him aside. When Elixir healed the civilians, Gauntlet shot and killed the mutant, then Psynapse blocked them out telepathically from the X-Men and the Dark Riders escaped.

(Uncanny X-Men IV#3) - Harddrive teleported Barrage and Hurricane to Seattle to kill the mutant Triage, but Magneto and Psylocke were there to defend him. Magneto ripped Harddrive's tech to shred, and Harddrive swiftly teleported the others away.

(Uncanny X-Men IV#4) - In Tibet, Harddrive, Barrage, and Deadbolt hunted down Xorn, but when Barrage shot him in the head, a huge energy discharge exploded, and Harddrive rushed to teleport the others out, but Barrage was killed. They returned to their base in Egypt, where Deadbolt's panicked mind was calmed by Psynapse, while Tusk and Gauntlet watched. The X-Men (Archangel, Psylocke, M, Sabretooth) attacked, and Tusk and his Underlings, Gauntlet, Deadbolt, Hurricane, and Spyne fought back. During the fight, Tusk traded blows with M. The Dark Riders caved in their base and teleported away to go after Triage on Genosha, but Magneto was there to protect him.

(Uncanny X-Men IV#5) - Magneto hit Tusk and Deadbolt with a car while Spyne stabbed Triage and Psynapse locked down the healer's mind. After Magneto seemingly killed Psynapse and Spyne, the other X-Men (M, Sabretooth, Archangel) arrived, and savagely defeated the Dark Riders. Archangel sliced Hurricane in half, Psylocke erased Harddrive's mind, Sabretooth ripped off Deadbolt's arm, then the X-Men blew up the Dark Riders on the remains of Genosha.

Comments: Created by Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, Whilce Portacio, and Art Thibert..

Profile by Chadman.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Dark Riders have no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Uncanny X-Men IV#1, p21, pan1 (main)
X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula#1, p7, pan1 (original Riders of the Dark)
X-Men II#14, p10, pan4 (group)
Uncanny X-Men I#296, p18, pan3 (with Stryfe)
Cable II#17, p14, pan1 (new Dark Riders)
Cable and Deadpool I#27, p20, pan1 (reanimated Riders)


Appearances:
X-Factor I#65-68 (April-July, 1991) - Jim Lee, Chris Claremont (writers), Whilce Portacio (penciler), Art Thibert (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men II#14 (November, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Mark Pennington (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Force I#17 (December, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Greg Capullo (penciler), Harry Candelario (inker), Bob Harras (Editor)
X-Men II#15 (December, 1992) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Mark Pennington (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#296 (January, 1993) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Brandon Peterson (penciler), Terry Austin (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Factor I#86 (January, 1993) - Peter David (writer), Jae Lee (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Kelly Corvese (editor)
X-Men II#16 (January, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Mark Pennington (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men II#21 (June, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Brandon Peterson (penciler), Dan Panosian (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men II#23 (August, 1993) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Mark Pennington (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Cable II#17 (November, 1994) - Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Mike Sellers, Matt Ryan, Kevin Dvorak (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Cable II#18 (December, 1994) - Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Mike Sellers, Matt Ryan, Hilary Barta, John Lowe, Ken Branch, WC Carani (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Cable II#19 (Janury, 1995) - Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Mike Sellers, Kevin Conrad (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#93 (September, 1995) - Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Dan Green, Matt Ryan (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#94 (October, 1995) - Larry Hama (writer), Chris Alexander (penciler), Mike Sellers, Al Milgrom (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Men Annual '95 (October, 1995) - JM DeMatteis, Ralph Macchio (writers), Terry Dodson, John PAul Leon (ipencilers), Jon Holdredge, Shan Martinborough (inkers), Mark Powers (editor)
Wolverine II#95 (November, 1995) - Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Dan Green, Matt Ryan (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#96 (December, 1995) - Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert, Luciano Lima (pencilers), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#99 (March, 1996) - Larry Hama (writer), Val Semeiks (penciler), Dan Green, Dan Panosian, Chad Hunt (inkers), Bob Harras (editor)
Wolverine II#100 (April, 1996) - Larry Hama (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Alpha Flight II#4 (November, 1997) - Steve Seagle (writer), Scott Clark, Martin Egeland (pencilers), Chris Carlson, Howard M. Shum (inkers), Jay Gardner (editor)
X-Man#46 (December, 1998) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), J.H. Williams III (penciler), Mick Gray (inker), Glenn Greenberg (editor)
X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula#1 (April, 2006) - Frank Tieri (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Nick Lowe (editor)
Cable and Deadpool I#26-27 (May-June, 2006) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Lan Medina (penciler), Ed Tadeo (inker), Nicole Boose (editor)
X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula#4 (July, 2006) - Frank Tieri (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Nick Lowe (editor)
Wolverine: Origins#12 (May, 2007) - Daniel Way (writer), Steve Dillon (artist), Axel Alonso (editor)
X-Force III#21 (January, 2010) - Craig Kyle, Chris Yost (writers), Clayton Crain (artist), Jeanine Schaefer (editor)
Uncanny X-Men IV#1-5 (February-May, 2016) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Greg Land (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Daniel Katchum (editor)


First Posted: 08/16/2020
Last updated: 08/16/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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