X of swords was a crossover comic book by Marvel that instantly wowed people with its intriguing storyline and action-filled art. However, the show stopper was Apocalypse’s Deadly Scarab blade. Ever since the creators of the Marvel Universe debuted Apocalypse as a supervillain, he was always the perfect example of being wickedly cool. The blade was first introduced in “Powers of X#4”, in September 2019. In the X of Swords, we see him journeying to Egypt to find the Scarab blade.
Here is all you need about Apocalypse’s iconic Scarab Blade.
The Inspiration For the Blade
The inspiration behind this fictional sword was a sword called Khopesh. It was native to Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt and had a curved blade which made it look awe-inspiring. The curved appearance of the blade also meant that the sword could not be used for daily work, and would only ever be wielded in war. The shape of the blade also ensured it slashed through the human body, causing as much damage as possible.
The Khopesh was ideal for hand-to-hand combat, especially, when body armor was not considered a major protective item. The curved inside of the sword meant it was perfect to pull all an opponent’s limbs or pull his shield out of the way. The Khopesh was found in the tombs of many Egyptian pharaohs, including Tutankhamun.
The Origins of the Scarab Blade
According to the story, the sword was made as a gift for Apocalypse by his sister-in-law. In the comic, she is called Isca the Unbeaten. She gave the blade to him to celebrate the birth of his and Genesis’s children. The four horsemen of Apocalypse, War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death. The four horsemen were Apocalypse’s first line of attack and were also his most deadly fighters. The blade for the Scarab was cast from melted blades of Red-gold iron, taken from the defeated Uhari Vanguard. The Scarab blade was considered the symbol of the kingdom of Okkara.
The blade was originally cast in four pieces, each representing one of Apocalypse and his wife Genesis’s children. The four pieces were put together to create the blade we now know as the Deadly Scarab Blade. The Scarab blade was said to be “imbued with eternal sadness”, as it was cast from the blades of the fallen army.
Breaking the Sword Apart Again
Apocalypse wielded the sword in battle when the land of Okkara was under attack. He and his children were responsible for sealing the chasm that was created in the land. However, Apocalypse’s wife Genesis, and his children were sealed at the other end of the chasm. They were trapped in the hellish dimension of Amenth. Amenth was a dark, scary dimension, under the control of the God, Annihilation.
When Apocalypse lost his family in battle, in his anger and loss, he broke the blade back into 4 pieces. Each piece was placed in the empty tomb of one of his children in The Temple of the Horsemen. The temple was constructed by Apocalypse, as the final resting place of his children, and a monument of their lives. The pyramid was built in four parts, and each part was a tomb to one of his children. He mourned his family for millennia, and the blade was left behind as a symbol of his grief. Throughout his mourning, he visited the tomb to grieve his children again and again. He also waited for the time he could open the portal to Amenth and bring back his wife and children.
The sword was also called “The Blade of Sadness”, and “The Blade of Mourning” on occasion. Its origin from the melted blades of fallen warriors, and the loss of Apocalypse’s children made the blade notorious for being associated with sorrow. Apocalypse learned his children were alive when they attacked Starlight Citadel.
Reassembling the Blade
When Apocalypse learned his children were alive, he was livid. In the comic, he expresses his anger about how the tomb was actually a monument to people that were living. He found out his wife was dead. Nonetheless, he became happy about the return of his children, until they told him they hate him. When he got into a conflict with his children, 10 soldiers from Krakoa and 10 from Amenth were asked to duel each other.
Apocalypse was one of the chosen fighters and he chose The Scarab Blade as his weapon. He traveled back to the temple of the Horsemen with Gordon and broke the pieces of the blade out of the tombs. Before leaving, Apocalypse destroyed the whole temple and assembled the pieces back into the Scarab Blade. He decided to face his children wielding the Scarab Blade.
The Last Fight
The last time the blade was used by Apocalypse was when he was about to fight his own wife. After the betrayal of his children, he joined the X-men and had to face his wife, Genesis. Genesis and her children had become the leader of the forces of Amenth. Apocalypse recognized the helm she wore in battle. As predicted by Saturnyne’s tarot cards, Apocalypse faced Genesis in battle using the Scarab Blade. The battle signified his need to leave his past behind. A violent battle ensued, and at the end of it, The Scarab Blade was broken by Genesis’s Twilight Sword. The Starlight Citadel was the last place the blade was ever used.
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The Scarab blade fits Apocalypse’s villain persona very well. The shape of the blade gave it extra lethality, and for a supervillain like Apocalypse, it was perfect. The blade was as terrifying as its owner. The story of the blade also completed a whole circle. Its beginning was the birth of Apocalypse’s children, and in the end, he used it to fight against his family.
The blade is also said to be “imbued with eternal sorrow”, and it fits the part. Being cast from red-gold iron taken from the swords of fallen soldiers, then being buried inside the tombs of the four horsemen for millennia. The sword finally met its end, in the Starlight Citadel when Apocalypse fought Genesis. The last appearance of the sword was in “X- Men (Vol 5) #15.