Mikhail had been one of his country's supersoldiers, fighting against Apocalypse and his Horsemen. Mikhail caught Apocalypse's attention after defeating War, prompting Apocalypse to kidnap Rasputin in order to brainwash him and covert him to his side. Afterwards, Mikhail resurfaced, now a Prelate in Apocalypse's regime and bearing the title of Horseman.
Often referred to as the "forgotten" horseman, Mikhail led his ships to Europe and offered the humans salvation. This salvation, through his "Upstart Program", saw that normal humans were grafted with cybernetic implants. This was merely a plot to create pliant slaves to help Mikhail crush the Human High Council and overthrow Apocalypse. To stir up humans, Mikhail had the mutant Empath play with their emotions. When the Council sent Donald Blake, Gwen Stacy, Victor von Doom, Tony Stark, Sue Storm, Bruce Banner and Ben Grimm to investigate Mikhails claims, they were captured and became some of his first subjects.
Blake and the others broke free, and Blake confronted Mikhail just as he sent his Stryfe Force to attempt and assassinate the Council. While the cyborgs were eliminated by von Doom, Blake confronted Mikhail alone. Although just a mere man, Blake sacrificed his life to kill Mikhail. Impaled by Mikhail's walking stick, both men were thrown out a window and plummeted from Big Ben to their deaths.