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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder:
One of the four beasts saying: “Come and see.”
And I saw.
And behold, a white horse.

There’s a man going around taking names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody won’t be treated all the same
There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down
When the Man comes around

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in each sip and in each sup
Will you partake of that last offered cup?
Or disappear into the potter’s ground
When the Man comes around

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to the big kettledrum
Voices calling, voices crying
Some are born and some are dying
It’s Alpha and Omega’s kingdom come

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree
It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks

Till Armageddon no shalam, no shalom
Then the father hen will call his chickens home
The wise man will bow down before the thrown
And at His feet they’ll cast their golden crowns
When the Man comes around

Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still
Listen to the words long written down
When the Man comes around

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to the big kettledrum
Voices calling and voices crying
Some are born and some are dying
It’s Alpha and Omega’s kingdom come

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree
It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks
In measured hundred weight and penny pound
When the Man comes around.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts,
And I looked and behold: a pale horse.
And his name, that sat on him, was Death.
And Hell followed with him

– Johnny Cash, “When The Man Comes Around”

That chilling song, with its ominous message, is the kind of vibe we should expect when thinking about Apocalypse in the next chapter of the X-Men saga. According to Oscar Isaac, who will inhabit the villain in X-Men: Apocalypse, that song is “what I think we’re trying to channel with Apocalypse.” 

The actor sat down with IGN to discuss several facets of the upcoming epic, which will once again find Bryan Singer in the director’s chair. Isaac opened up about an aspect he finds particularly exciting: Recruiting his Horsemen.

“Without giving anything away, the recruitment of the Four Horsemen is very cool. It’s very interesting the way that he does that. You know the idea of – the way that cult leaders do – they find people that are in need of something and try to fulfill that thing in them – as it relates to every one of the Horsemen.”

Isaac also opened up about a bit about the character’s physical manifestation, since his powers are so vast and there’s an element to him where he can manipulate molecules and have multiple incarnations. Does he find that exciting?

“Absolutely. And at the same time figuring out what the limits are and how it relates to how he moves and what it costs him. That’s always a fun thing. So to be able to sit with [writer/producer] Simon Kinberg and – as a fan – just go through it and be like, ‘Well what about this!?! You know, this is something that he does in the comics and is there a way to incorporate this? Or if he has this power suddenly how do we make that not come out of nowhere?’ So it’s really fun to map that thing out. But yes, the nature of how his powers manifest themselves is to a certain extent quite open to interpretation. Because there are so many and they are so vast.”

On what the idea of Apocalypse means, the actor says he thinks much more in biblical terms when it comes what the character represents. He even uses that to spin the definition we associate with the word “apocalypse” on its head.

“We associate so strongly with destruction, but it actually means to lift back the curtains. On an individual level he’s able to reveal the true power of his Horsemen and what’s true to them. And I think to reveal the weakness – how weak we’ve become. Because this is an ancient entity. So to come to – I think 1983 – and say, ‘How did the world become so weak? How did we allow ourselves to become so weak and to enslave ourselves.’ I think that’s where he’s coming from.”

It certainly sounds like Singer chose an actor who has all the right intensity, talent, intellectual complexity, and gravitas to make Apocalypse a truly special villain. 

We will see when X-Men: Apocalypse takes over theaters on May 27, 2016.

SOURCE: IGN

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.