By: K. Michael Williams
It’s Judgment Day, and Marvel’s swinging the gavel!
A.X.E.: Judgment Day #1 opens the gate to a power struggle that features the Avengers, the X-Men (and plenty of other mutants), and the Eternals.
A.X.E. Judgment Day #1 Trailer
The story opens when Mutants and Avengers come together to stand against the Eternal Druig, who plans on eradicating all Mutants. When things get complicated, a new ally dives in. The foundation for the conflict is grounded in the “Third Law” of the Eternals. That’s “Correct Excess Deviations.” As the new leader of the Eternals, Druig decides Mutants are humans with high concentrations of genetic Deviant matter. i.e., creatures with excess deviations. So, the Eternals are bound by law and thus obligated to exterminate the mutants.
The storyline’s smartly engrained in continuity. The merging of so many storylines could create plot confusion for many readers. While you may know all the players, you may get lost in context. For example, unless you’re a regular X-Men reader, you may not know about the Quiet Council or the colony the Mutants have on Mars.
There are a ton of characters to keep track of with a focus on the Eternals. Fortunately, writer Kieron Gillen delineates the characters, highlighting in-fighting and melodrama. That’s a good move, giving readers a chance to discover characters without the usual punching and fighting. We’re sure those elements are coming — and we look forward to them — but the writing successfully sets up interaction and politics in anticipation of an epic conflict between Eternals, mutants, and ultimately whoever stands in their way.
We loved the complex relationships even among characters that have previously been explored hundreds of times. A.X.E. Judgment Day #1 is a skillful packing of many unique characters in the opening salvo. There’s foreshadowing that gives us reason to believe this could be an event that actually changes how we view these characters. Events like the attack on Krakoa and mysteries like Tony Stark’s abduction of a friend draw readers into what promises to be one of the biggest crossover events of 2022 for the popular comics publisher.
Apocalyptic events are common in the comics biz. A.X.E. Judgment Day #1 uniquely opens the door for what promises to redefine what apocalyptic events should be: impactful, emotional, and powerful. Is this the beginning of the end of the world as we know it? Will the Celestials have to intervene? Find out in the next issue of this six-issue run.