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Blade grins as he opens his leather duster to display his silver sheriff star in Avengers #45, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Jason Aaron, Luca Maresca/Marvel Comics

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Blade is the new sheriff of Chernobyl

Also, Dracula lives in Chernobyl

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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.

Dracula lives in Chernobyl right now. I mentioned it last week, but I’ll recap: the Lord of the Vampires recently manipulated the Ukrainian government into giving him sovereignty over the greater Chernobyl area in Marvel Comics. He lives there now with hordes of bloodsuckers. And in this week’s Avengers #45, he petitioned the nations of the world for sovereignty.

Marvel Comics has a vampire nation now, and its leaders are demanding Blade’s head on a pike. You can imagine that Blade feels a certain way about that, but the Avengers have a clever, Old-West-style solution.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

The Avengers #45

Black Panther offers Blade an opportunity to show his “own people they don’t have to be like Dracula,” to convince the vampire hunter not to leave the Avengers, as Boy-Thing looks on, in The Avengers #25, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Jason Aaron, Luca Maresca/Marvel Comics

Fortunately, before Blade can walk out on the Avengers entirely — and even leave his adorable wooden-stake making friend Boy-Thing behind — Black Panther finds a solution very much to Blade’s liking. Obey the letter of Dracula’s demands by handing Blade over to the new vampire nation, but the spirit of Blade’s own interests by appointing him a UN lawman over vampire territory.

The real question here is: As a new global leader, is Dracula getting an invite to the Hellfire gala, and if so, what is he going to wear?

Way of X #1

Legion levitates above Nightcrawler as he renders the latter’s body into atoms in Way of X #1, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn/Marvel Comics

And speaking of Marvel’s merry mutants, the X-Men umbrella got a new ... whatever it is that goes under umbrellas, with Way of X, a series all about the dark side of Krakoa that so many fans have been worried about since ... since they first found out about Krakoa.

Oh, also, Legion is back.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1

A woman with flowing black hair, wearing a hospital gown, hoop earings and bracelets, leaps gracefully and unaware into the path of a freight truck blaring its horn in bright purple letters in The Many Deaths of Laila Star #1, Boom Studios (2021). Image: Ram V, Filipe Andrade/Boom Studios

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr is a new series that’s already drawing comparisons to The Sandman in its depiction of the modern lives of Hindu deities, as Death meets her own death. But the real star of its first issue is Filipe Andrade’s art (with assistance from Inês Amaro). I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for certain.

Nightwing #79

“I think those kids took my wallet,” Dick Grayson says as he glances around in shock, “never tell Batman about this.” “Too late,” grins Barbara Gordon, “I’ve already put it in the group chat.” Dick looks at her poutily as his phone dings in Nightwing #79, DC Comics (2021). Image: Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo/DC Comics

I’m not sure if this is the first time that the Batfamily has been portrayed as having a group chat, but still. The Batfamily has a group chat.

The Mighty Valkyries #1

Rüna the Valkyrie prepares to free a strange alien seer from a glass dome as she remembers her name for the first time in thousands of years, in The Mighty Valkyries #1, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Torunn Grønbekk, Erica D’Urso/Marvel Comics

It’s good to see Jane Foster back in The Mighty Valkyries, and in what looks to be a Loki team-up, no less. But the new series backup is all about the mysterious unnamed valkyrie who looks just like the one from the movies, and now we know her name, lost for thousands of years: Rüna.

Old Guard: Tales Through Time #1

The hostess of a speakeasy commiserates with Nicky and Joe that Germany has changed and the law “does not even allow men to dance together anymore! [...] Yet we are a tough weed to destroy. You understand, yes?” in The Old Guard: Tales Through Time #1, Image Comics (2021). Image: Andrew Wheeler, Jacopo Camagni/Image Comics

This is just to let you know that that The Old Guard anthology series? Yep, you can start picking it up now, for stories like Joe and Nicky on a date in just-pre-WWII Berlin.

Captain Marvel #28

With surprise, Spider-Woman realizes why Captain America broke up with her boyfriend Rhodey/War Machine, as Carol explains that it was because of seeing a future where Rhodey had a great kid with someone else. Two black and white striped snakes in a pot observe the drama with glee, chatting amongst themselves in Captain Marvel #28, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Kelly Thompson, Jacopo Camagni/Marvel Comics

This is a Doctor Strange’s pot-full-of-catty-snakes appreciation post. I don’t know where or when they were introduced, but I like them whenever they show up.


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