A.X.E.: Judgment Day #3 Review

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Art: Valerio Schiti, Mark Brooks, Marte Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Jay Bowen

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: 5.99

Release Date: August 31st, 2022

Well, it may not be the exact way or how you thought it would happen BUT Judgment Day has arrived. And, our MARVEL heroes understand just what they have to do in order to survive this final judgment. However, will they even have to or is it too late? Let’s dive into A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 by Kieron Gillen as we discover if our heroes are smart enough to get themselves out of this mess.

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 #3 Review.

A TRUE EVENT

The good news readers is that A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 feels like an event. Gillen has made this story all encompassing connecting humanity, mutants, heroes, and even celestial beings. This just feels incredibly important leaving this reviewer to wonder the last time he’s felt this way. KING IN BLACK should have felt like this but its focus was too much on VENOM and simply tossed in MARVEL characters as extras. What about EMPYRE? Well, that attempted to be more galactic in nature but fell flat while trying to focus on distant characters and stayed very surface-level in terms of story. What about the WAR OF THE REALMS? This was probably the closest in feeling to A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY as it connected multiple MARVEL landscapes. Yet, the focus remained more on THOR.

A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY does a phenomenal job at co-mingling multiple comic stories from the AVENGERS, X-MEN, and ETERNALS into one well-tuned choir of voices with a melody that’s pleasing to the ears. Each MARVEL counterpart has a purpose and manipulates the narrative well. Plus, A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY does a fantastic job poking the reader towards checking out the other characters and titles. It’s plain to see that Gillen has taken quite some time planning and orchestrating this event causing this reviewer to become even more excited for what’s to come, not only from A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY but also MARVEL COMICS in the future.

THE DISPATCH

Now, as for A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3, fans will realize that the mutants are the main focus this week, which isn’t a problem if you’ve been following their comics closely. So, I can see how many readers disconnected to the X-MEN titles may also feel a bit detached to this week’s issue as well as lack some understanding. Nevertheless, Gillen finds a strong way to incorporate the Deviants while revealing some rather unique feelings about how the mutants see themselves in the process which was quite fascinating. It was extremely ironic to see that the mutants search for acceptance from humanity but seemed incredibly taken back by the notion of even being related to Deviants. I absolutely loved this subtle angle by Gillen that could cause some massive problems down the road in the X-books.

Furthermore, I also admired the theme surrounding humanity playing God again… and again. But more importantly, humanity once again tries to “kill” god. The concept of the creation becoming the creator. Tony Stark thought he could create a god in man’s image ultimately. And here comes the mutants trying to play god again by killing it. This theme is huge and is something that’s been around in storytelling since “stories” have been a thing. A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 simply showcases that theme in spades and also highlights the simple fact that mutants are no different than humanity, which is also no different than the ETERNALS or Deviants or anyone else for that matter.

EVENT CONCERNS

Now, my biggest concern actually comes in what I think Gillen is hinting at for the future and not in A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3. And since this review is solely on THIS issue, I can’t necessarily find fault yet. Alas, I still want to address an area ahead of time that I hope this event doesn’t turn towards. With the entire world being judged by their deeds, it could very well be that CAPTAIN AMERICA thinks that if he can unify the world, everyone will be spared. Therefore, if you can find a way to get the entire world to “love” each other and be kind to one another, as well as accept one another, then maybe everyone will be spared. So, what if we used a super-powered being to fake the world out to get them to feel this way for a short time to be judged at that moment? Well, my problem with this is that “if” this is the solution… it’s not a solution. It’s a bandaid that’s put on a missing limb and frankly is a bit corny. If I could paraphrase a wise man, it feels like Gillen may be under the Beatles’ philosophy which states “All You Need Is Love”. I, myself, believe the Comic would be better suited with the Tina Turner philosophy, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”.

ART

A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 is sharp, bright, and is prepared with an almost glossy shine that sounds appealing. However, the color choices and tone of the issue don’t compliment the character design overly well showcasing a darker look that makes many panels and characters within those panels hard to distinguish. Moreover, the lettering is… everywhere. This isn’t Clayton Cowles’ fault. If anything, it’s Gillen’s narration that clutters each page causing the panels to get extremely compact. Yet, when given the space to fight, the action is vibrant and intense. It’s just some of the color choices that simply don’t blend overly well causing the reader’s eye to lose focus. Again, the easiest way to describe A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 is too busy.

FINAL THOUGHTS

A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 really didn’t have a ton of action or give outstanding moments. Yet, the story evolved nicely and went towards its logical next steps. Additionally, it was a bit too wordy this week drawing my attention more towards the lettering and less on the illustrations, background, and characters. I had to reread the issue multiple times and pause to solely look at the pictures alone instead of a more simultaneous and natural approach. Nevertheless, Gillen’s themes and character connections were spot on with a heavy focus on the mutant clientele in this week’s A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY.

I feel the plot will most certainly capture the reader’s attention this week as Gillen continues to develop some solid story beats. Plus, the weight and magnitude of the story feels important. Couple the story beats with a well-flavored pacing and the only thing A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 feels like it’s lacking is some more action-packed moments. Readers should find A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 to be quite entertaining and only mildly complex. Surprisingly enough, it was the art this week that felt the most lacking with its dark coloring and smaller panel layouts that made the issue harder to decipher. Overall, A.X.E. JUDGMENT DAY #3 wasn’t a bad issue, however, it also wasn’t the best of the event to date. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

8.2/10

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