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The legendary X-Men villain Apocalypse has a new, unspeakable name

He’s like Prince now

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The X-Men have been through a lot of change in recent months, moving to a sentient island, coming back from the dead, and starting a new nation with a lot of their former villains. And in this week’s Excalibur #1, the ancient mutant formerly known as Apocalypse decided to christen the next era of mutantkind with a new name for himself.

It’s ▪︎-|A|-▪︎.

If you’re wondering how to pronounce that, writer Tini Howard made a Tweet that should clear up any confusion:

In a follow up reply, she explained that readers don’t necessarily have to use it, as Apocalypse’s new name is “intended for mutant tongues alone,” and “only mutants can/are expected to say it.”

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? I’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor, me, enjoyed over the past seven days. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” Let’s get started!

Excalibur #1

The X-Men villain formerly known as Apocalypse opines on his new name and the strong generation of mutants who will be born on Krakoa, in Excalibur #1, Marvel Comics (2019). Tini Howard, Marcus To/Marvel Comics

Come on, Trinary, Rogue has a much longer history with Apocalypse, and if she can get it right, so can you!

Joker: Killer Smile #1

Batman’s fist slams into the Joker’s jaw, in a panel shaped like the word “PUNCH!”, in Joker: Killer Smile #1, Marvel Comics (2019). Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino/Marvel Comics

Joker: Killer Smile #1, a comic about the Joker’s newest doomed psychiatrist, came out this week and this panel is still great.

Hellblazer #1

Constantine meets an old man in a newsboy cap, with scars across his face and a long cigarette in his fingers, and realizes it’s an older version of himself, in Hellblazer #1, DC Comics (2019). Simon Spurrier, Marcio Takara/DC Comics

I’ve liked so many things that Si Spurrier has put out lately that I’m very excited to see what he does with a revival of full-on-Vertigo Hellblazer. This #1 is a promising start, and Takara’s art is great.

Nightwing Annual #2

Bruce Wayne reacts poorly to finding out that Dick Grayson has amnesia, in Nightwing Annual #2, DC Comics (2019). Dan Jurgens, Travis Moore/DC Comics

Look, [takes off professional comics critic hat], I can’t pretend to like amnesiac Richard “Ric” Grayson, but when you give me a comic drawn by Travis Moore that’s all about Bruce Wayne blaming himself for everything bad that happens to his children, I’m gonna feel a feeling.

Black Panther #17

Storm explains to Nakia that Wakanda is her nation, but Krakoa is as well, in Black Panther #17, Marvel Comics (2019). Ta-Nehisi Coates, Daniel Acuña/Marvel Comics

I’ve been curious how Jonathan Hickman and his X-Men team would address the Wakanda-Krakoa relationship but I have to admit that I thought we’d see it in the pages of X-Men, not Coates’ Black Panther.

Runaways #26

An adorable black cat offers the sacrifice of a dead mouse to Gib of the Gibborim in Runaways #26, Marvel Comics (2019). Rainbow Rowell, Andrés Genolet/Marvel Comics

OK, a little backstory. This guy is Gib, the newest member of the Runaways. He can only derive sustenance from blood sacrifice, but recently discovered that murder is pretty unethical! So he’s been depressed and starving until this lil kitty helped him out and I swear I teared up.

Venom #19

Dylan Brock reaches out for the symbiote Sleeper, to merge with it, in Venom #19, Marvel Comics (2019). Donny Cates, Iban Coello/Marvel Comics

In Venom #19, Eddie Brock’s son Dylan (conceived in a moment when Eddie, Anne Weying, and the Venom symbiote were all merged) tried to merge with Sleeper, a symbiote born of Eddie’s merging with the Venom Symbiote. It didn’t really work, and we don’t know why. But maybe it was because they’re weirdly kinda siblings? Maybe Dylan is part symbiote????

Basketful of Heads #1

The sheriff’s son shows off his dad’s collection of Norse artifacts, including an axe that glows red when the characters have walked away, in Basketful of Heads #1, DC Comics (2019). Joe Hill, Leomacs/DC Comics

This is just to remind you that Basketful of Heads, the first comic in DC’s new horror imprint, is worth checking out.

Old Man Logan #12

Realizing that he is dying, Logan asks Dani Cage and Bruce the hulk-kid to take him home, in Old Man Logan #12, Marvel Comics (2019). Ed Brisson, Mike Henderson/Marvel Comics

This week we said goodbye to Old Man Logan. May he rest in peace, because we never would have gotten Logan without him.

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