Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Valerio Schiti, Mark Brooks, Marte Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Jay Bowen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 13th, 2022
Let’s quickly recap! Druig discerned that mutants must be eradicated and declared an all-out war. Meanwhile, a secret alliance of Eternals, Avengers, and Mr. Sinister schemed to resurrect Avengers Mountain in hopes to stop this revolution of destruction. However, things went nuts as the recently resurrected Celestial called the Progenitor decided to give the entire planet 24 hours before wiping out everyone it deemed unfit. Thus, the X-Men, Avengers, and the rogue Eternals all joined forces to attempt to stop the Progenitor with a little help from Eros, Thanos’ brother. You know, the enemy of my enemy and all that… Let’s dive into A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5 by Kieron Gillen to see if any of these efforts will be enough to save the entire planet from judgment.
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The Avengers, Eternals, X-Men, and just about everyone Super, take it to the Progenitor for one last stand… that doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d expect. And I absolutely loved it! I’m tired of my heroes always coming together and overcoming the big bad with some magical wish or power that never existed before out of nowhere. Gillen makes this fight raw, real, and shocking. People die. Heroes die. And better yet, not anyone you’d expect. However, the clue for survival was hidden in a foundational plot thread that’s been brewing for years now. And it’s that reveal that makes this story even more intriguing.
Plus, as you look around the landscape of A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5, you’ll notice a world completely decimated. Readers, there is nothing left. It looks like Hell. So, what is everyone truly fighting for? Well, at this moment… life. And, this is what makes this issue so moving. Sure, I know the individuals that died will somehow come back. They have to. Plus, we all know that no one stays dead in comics long. Nevertheless, the impact is there causing the last page reveal to be even more intense.
Furthermore, I loved the metaphor of humanity fighting against God like they have a chance against the creator. Sure, I understand the Progenitor isn’t God, nor the god of the Marvel Universe. However, the parallels are real. Man so desperately wants to be in control and feels through pride and jealousy that they have a shot. But do we really? Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Isn’t that the true tragedy? Feeling like you have a say when in all reality… you don’t. Shouldn’t we just accept that someone else is in control? And is that how our heroes will navigate through this devastation? Is acceptance the only way out? We’ll have to wait and see come next month’s A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5.
Additionally, I’d just like to say (without spoiling too much) that I knew the last page of A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5 was coming at some point. It had to! If you’ve been following along with Hickman’s run that’s now led to this point, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Why couldn’t anyone be resurrected as long as Charles backed up their mind to some point? What’s stopping the portable Cerebro from downloading anyone’s mind?
However, I’m curious as to what comes after this event. Will resurrection remain for everyone or just mutants? Or will it be taken away somehow for good? Pandora’s box has literally been open and if mutants refuse to resurrect anyone, this war will never end. Mutant hate might actually be worse. At first, they could have said that it only works for mutants. But now, time seems to be changing. It’s these wrinkles that make this epic story seem simultaneously small all at the same time.
Valerio Schiti’s elegant and comprehensive line work adds exemplary depth and activity to A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5. Due to less monologuing and less smaller panel work, the boards aren’t nearly as congested as they have been allowing this team to better express the action. Moreover, it helps to create a more foundational feeling of chaos and hopelessness in the issue. Similarly, Marte Gracia’s colors continue to be dark and all over the place. The colors are the strongest in scenes surrounding gargantuan obstacles and committees of heroes. This creative team certainly nailed it this week!
A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5 has less talking from the Progenitor, more space to tell the story, and more room for the art to express the large, impactful moments. The deaths are big, the reveals are meaningful, and the story is perfect for the Marvel fan that’s been invested for years. That makes A.X.E.: Judgment Day a reward to those hardcore Marvel Comic fans and a definite on any pull list. Readers, the pacing is spot on, the action is intense, and our heroes are navigating a terrain that I haven’t seen this bleak in decades. Sure, we’ve had crises and events. But, not like this where we see the worldly impact on humanity and the overall society.
I hope that this piece doesn’t get brushed under the rug. I want to know how the world recovers. I want to see the ramifications of the big reveal on the last page. And what’s going to happen to Tony, Sinister, and the rogue Eternals? They need to be held accountable. The point is: that Gillen has made an event that’s hitting on all cylinders. From deep thoughts about life, religion, and origin to where the Marvel Universe will be heading after this event, Gillen continues to tie so much into one amazing story. You have to pick up A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5 and grab the back issues ASAP! Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!