Apocalypse’s Powerful Upgrade Becomes the Biggest Curse for 1 Original X-Man


  • Angel’s failed resurrection by Madelyn Pryor has horrifying consequences in Dark X-Men #3, made possible by the character’s iconic metal wings.
  • The original X-Men member’s transformation into Archangel by Apocalypse continues to have long-lasting repercussions.
  • Gambit’s desperate move using Angel’s metallic wings results in his immediate disintegration, one final indignity as a result of his decision to receive metal wings to replace his lost organic wings.



Warning: Spoilers for Dark X-Men #3!A so-called blessing from Apocalypse just became a curse for Archangel. Warren Worthington III has experienced a multitude of transformations in the past. Some are good, but other transformations are outright horrifying. His most important upgrade came when Apocalypse restored his wings following their amputation. His most recent – courtesy of Madelyn Pryor in Dark X-Men #2 – seemed to be his most powerful yet, even if it is nightmare fuel.

Dark X-Men #3 – by Steve Foxe, Jonas Scharf – made it clear that same upgrade from Marvel’s newest big player has seemingly already coming back to haunt Archangel. What takes place in Dark X-Men #3 may be Archangel’s darkest moment, but it would never been made possible without Apocalypse’s transformation process.

X-Force #18, Apocalypse gives Archangel his wings back

As one of the original X-Men, Angel’s transformation into Archangel at the hands of Apocalypse was one of the most thrilling, most gamechanging X-storylines of the 1980s, and as witnessed recently in the pages of Dark X-Men, this major character turn continues to have repercussions to this day.

Gambit Kills Archangel Using His Wings

Gambit kills Angel 01

Dark X-Men features Madelyn Pryor debuting her own X-team, though not without some casualties. When Archangel is killed in battle, she attempts to revive him using her dark magic, but when both his body – and Madelyn herself from Limbo – fall under the influence of Orchis, Angel returns as a terrifying shell of himself. Now forced to treat his former teammate as an enemy, Gambit has Azazel teleport him onto Angel’s back, using his own powers to overcharge the metallic wings gifted to Warren long ago by Apocalypse. Gambit’s desperate move results in the late Angel’s almost immediate disintegration.

Angel agreed to become Apocalypse’s Horseman, War, in exchange for restoring his wings in X-Factor (1986) #18 – written by Louise Simonson, with art by Walter Simonson.

This is very much an instance of the chickens coming home to roost or, more simply, the past coming back to haunt the present. When Angel first agreed to the transformation that Apocalypse gave to him, it was at a point in his life when he was desperate for his wings back, as his original feathered wings were cut off during the original Mutant Massacre storyline of 1986. Not only did he want them back badly enough to endure the pain that came with the procedure, he agreed to become one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen as repayment, in a classic “selling his soul” moment.

Apocalypse Gifted Angel His Downfall

Gambit kills Angel

Subsequently, Angel’s metallic wings have had a complicated history in their own right. Dark X-Men #3 not only depicts Warren Worthington’s tragic loss of life, and his failed resurrection, but in the process it includes a devastating defeat that is made possible by the wings that he bartered his heroism for. It all traces back, sadly, to Warren’s original inability to accept the loss of his wings; had he never sought to replace them, the long chain of events leading to his horrible demise in Dark X-Men #3 would not have come to pass. This was the gift that Angel asked Apocalypse for, but clearly, he got far more than he bargained for out of it.

Dark X-Men #3 is on sale now from Marvel.


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