Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Valerio Schiti, Mark Brooks, Marte Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Jay Bowen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 10th, 2022
As the planet quakes, an improbable multitude of superheroes and not-so-superheroes formulate to uncover an amicable solution between the ETERNALS and the Mutants. Consequently, the most acceptable methods of madness are oftentimes just that… Madness. Let’s dive into A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2 by Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schiti as the ETERNALS try to wipe out the last surviving Deviants on Earth, otherwise known as Mutants. Can these X-MEN ever catch a break?
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the A.X.E. Judgment Day #2 Review.
Out of the gate, readers will notice that A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2 is a bit busy as well as jumpy. Immediately, the Celestial narrator does a fine job explaining the premise of everything that’s going on. However, the narration does clutter the pages and doesn’t mix well with the surrounding action. Nevertheless, the actual story beats and plot threads, even though they were predictable, were extremely stimulating crafting a common goal among the key players.
I sincerely liked the direction Kieron Gillen went, as well as the introductory compass from which A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY began. Oftentimes, events begin out of nowhere or provide little understanding as to the why. Yet Gillen built this event on the backs of three different ongoings and followed their stories well. My respect for his writing prowess, research ability, and willingness to utilize the stories around him shows the class act Gillen truly is. He’s taken his ETERNALS story, thrown in some Hickman-level X-MEN, and an excessive amount of Aaron’s AVENGERS to create this formal comic dinner. And can I tell you, the payoff is truly for the hardcore comic fan who’s been paying attention to these plethoras of comic titles for the past couple of years. Gillen is making these stories all feel like they matter, providing them with weight, and ushering them into the fold.
Nevertheless, my concern in an ever-changing culture is that I use my comics as an escape from the current events, especially event comics. I’m looking for something big, powerful, and epic without the political parallels or undertones. So, the last line and page of A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2 threw up a few red flags that I hope turn into nothing. But, the line “You are all important. Every single one of you.” lightly splinters into a possible cultural debate especially as we see Mutants and Humans wage war.
Sure, the political arena has not been entered yet (and I could be jumping the gun) but I’m nervous that future issues may result in more from that tone. I know, it’s one line at the very end of the issue. And it very well may not be the intent. However, it was a surprise statement that could have been said in a different way so as to not spark any current undertones such as simply “You will all be judged!”. Same cliffhanger. Same ending. Same direction. But it’s the way it was stated that causes me to feel like there was a bit of our current cultural climate sprinkled into my comic event.
Now, without throwing out too many spoilers, I’d simply like to share a few of my concerns, quips, quandaries, and praises. And truthfully, it comes in the avenue of artistry more than story. Simply understand that I don’t view the art as bad, however, I feel it’s the design that makes A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2 suffer. As stated earlier, it’s busy. Yet what makes it so busy is not only the cluttered narration but the pan-out view of monstrous ETERNALS causing a severe lack of detail within every fight. Mix that style with the bright color choices, oddly shaped panel layouts, and incredibly small characters squeezed into spaces causing this land of confusion cascading throughout the issue.
Additionally, the Hex ETERNALS are big, however, their size masked the detail I’d expect in these monstrous creatures. Moreover, the vibrant color pallet that would normally benefit a comic does more harm than good. Smaller-designed characters combined with vibrant colors take away from the detail I’d expect from a respected artistic creative team. Furthermore, a few panels of Sinister, as well as the human throwaway characters seem recycled and used a couple of times throughout A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2.
A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2 continues exactly where issue one left off, provides little growth until the final page reveals, and clutters the comic with heavy dialogue and gaudy page design. Sure, readers will find a ton of action but little character development due to the wide cast of characters involved. The overarching plot is certainly interesting and still has this reader’s attention. Nevertheless, I fear that some current real-world climate may have dropped into my breakfast cereal and it raises some concerns moving forward. Overall, A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2 isn’t bad by any stretch. Gillen and this creative team do their very best to cram a ton into a small package without making the story feel like it stalls out.
But, the “curveball” at the conclusion of the issue seemed a bit too predictable for this early on in the story. Yet, that could be a great thing! What surprises await? And that readers are the most exciting part of A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #2. It’s not what happened in THIS issue it’s more about what’s to come. Therefore, since the score comes solely on THIS comic and not future installments, I can’t help but leave this comic desiring more in THIS issue. However, I’m still pumped for what’s to come as I hope to continue to use A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY as the real-world escape I feel it’s supposed to be. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!