WARNING: The following contains spoilers for X-Men Black: Juggernaut #1 by Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, Geraldo Borges, Rachelle Rosenberg and VC's Cory Petit, on sale now.
While the X-Men Black series has placed a spotlight on villains like Magneto, Mystique and Mojo, one of the big narratives coursing through the series of one-shots is the trials and tribulations of Apocalypse.
In the back-up story's first chapter, the millennia-old villain was shown experimenting on people on a South American island, hoping to transfer his essence to a new body. However, his plans went awry, and Apocalypse was sent hurtling through space and time, along the way devolving into a frail human.
In the latest chapter, the back-up story in X-Men Black: Juggernaut, En Sabah Nur has finally achieved his mission of being reborn in a perfect body, and the secret indregient to his success is someone he thought he actually killed.
Apocalypse's experiments in the present-day fell apart after a mental connection to his final subject, D, tossed him through the space-time continuum, although we're uncertain if he ended up in the past or the future. Either way, Apocalypse became a pseudo-primate, and was promptly taken prisoner by a bunch of homo sapiens led by none other than D, or as his subjects call him, Master D'Oerek. We have no clue how the test subject survived, as we thought he died in the Mystique issue in that very moment which dispatched Apocalypse on his journey.
Here, we find a healthy D, along with his minions, all fitted with Celestial technology -- coincidental because this same tech was used by Apocalypse to experiment on Din the first place. Now their roles are reversed, with D experimenting on apes using the tech, as well as the device Apocalypse was using to perfect his transfer: the Finch. We're not given any insight as to what D is trying to accomplish, though, because he's using a lesser being in the primate form of Apocalypse. It's unlikely he'd be trying to transfer consciousness into such a weak host, after all.
Nonetheless, D embarks on his experiment, only to fail just like Apocalypse did in the present day. This is because En Sabah Nur uses his reserve mutant power to grab D's hand, thus rewriting D's DNA with his own. The villain has finally attained the vessel he's been waiting for all his life, reborn and ready to conquer the world. He wants to start this quest by first subjugating D's minions, as well as the other primates running around this prehistoric era. In other words, Apocalypse is building an army.
This does leave us with a few questions. First, who exactly was D? He proved to be the key for Apocalypse's rebirth, being his ideal vessel and whatnot, so could he have been a mutant we're already familiar with?
Secondly, we're left wondering how D and his people end up with the Celestial tech when they met Apocalypse after the time-jump. We know Apocalypse studied this tech in his past, and also had access to such science from the Celestials' various visits to Earth, but D having access to this tech, and being an expert in using it raises more questions than answers. We know he got the Finch when his men ambushed Apocalypse, but it also remains a mystery as to how he was able to get the device working so easily, as well as how he ended up in the same place/time En Sabah Nur jumped to.
Either way, Apocalypse has been reborn, claiming he has achieved true immortality. If he is indeed in the past, one can only wonder how his craving for war will influence the present, and by extension, the future. There are many details we still don't know, so hopefully the X-Men Black: Emma Frost closing chapter sheds some more light on Apocalypse's riveting adventure, and the possible rewriting of his history.