A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6 Review

Writer: Kieron Gillen

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

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: 5.99

Release Date: October 26th, 2022

The apocalyptic finale event of the year wraps as A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6 by Kieron Gillen comes to close . It’s not that nothing will be the same again—it’s that unless heroes can find a new way to be heroes, everything will be nothing forever.

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 #6 Review.

THE DISPATCH

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6 wraps this week like most event books lately… surprising, uneventful, and lackluster. What appeared to be heading towards an epic battle of massive proportions deescalated to our heroes’ “reasoning” with a celestial, all-powerful, god. Well, in fact, our heroes use the power of words to get this celestial god to realize it’s not a god at all causing it to rewrite its wrongs.

So, this epic build-up of war, which then turned into Tony creating a “god” to stop this war, which then morphed into said “god” destroying and judging the world, gets talked off the bridge before ultimately committing suicide. Now sure, some serviceable undertones and themes are scratching at the surface throughout A.X.E.: Judgment Day such as how awful humanity is in general and who has the right to judge. But, I can’t help shake this feeling that event titles continue to have… no real conclusion and always back themselves into an almost inescapable corner. And thus the answer to this corner was to flip the test onto the teacher instead… Nope! I don’t buy it, Gillen. Sorry.

QUESTIONS

Additionally, so we can all clarify, here are some huge question marks while leaving A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6. Why was Tony judged with a passing grade but Cap failed? And, what are the repercussions for Tony basically fathering another world-ending device, entity, etc.? Is a peace treaty really the biggest conclusion of this event? And why were the Avengers able to thwart the Final Host way back in Avengers #1 by Jason Aaron but couldn’t do the very same now with the help of the mutants and Eternals? Moreover, won’t the entire world be angry at not only the Eternals, and the mutants, but also the Avengers for their contributions to this event?

WHAT I LIKED

On another side note, I loved the premise of showcasing the repercussions of this event. People stayed dead and will slowly come back to life from the Five, which is genius. How many events involve so much war, battles, and death only to be covered up immediately after like nothing happened. Gillen decided to incorporate some sort of start which is fantastic. However, these ramifications should be felt throughout the entire Marvel Comic Landscape. A.X.E.: Judgment Day isn’t something we can just skirt over and forget. It’s big, world-encompassing, and needs to be addressed in every ongoing. This isn’t a fault of Gillen but lies on the shoulders of the future writers to come.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

A.X.E.: Judgment Day attempts to do what all good events (at least) try to do. And what is that you might be asking? Well, it attempts to better organize the Marvel Universe while also drawing attention to other “branches” that fans don’t normally pay attention to all while shipping the writer’s story and themes under the surface. A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6 definitely makes that premise abundantly clear. Additionally, more eclectic characters were introduced, however, the push is an overall change that I’ll have to see to believe.

In the incredibly short term, it appears as though that’s the package Gillen is shipping. Eternals are as equally hated as mutants and the world drastically needs to recover after billions are dead. Opportunities for mutants to become loved are present but how long will they last? My point is that A.X.E.: Judgment Day ends with the feeling of change, however, past practice dictates that this probably won’t happen. Moreover, even if you’re ok with how this event ended, one can’t simply skip over how overly confusing and heavy A.X.E.: Judgment Day was for readers to comb through. Overused word balloons and lettering cluttered pages and weighed down later issues including A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6. Ultimately, I was getting burned out and fatigued from the confusion and heavy lettering.

Epic battles became more scarce, fight scenes almost nonexistent, stage time of regular characters dropped only to be replaced with everyday nonessential humans, and a celestial god became more of the focus than our heroes. Gillen’s intent seemed to draw the reader in for a much deeper, more cerebral tale than what appeared on the surface. However, I feel that it was those elements that wore me out in the end.

FINAL THOUGHTS

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6 felt way too long and ultimately ended with a discussion, a test, and nothing overly clever or boisterous at all. There was no “wow” moment. No “big” sacrifice readers will totally care about. There was no deal with the Devil or well-orchestrated plan that saved the day. A.X.E.: Judgment Day #6 just kind of… ends. Actually, it ends just like Wonder Woman 1984 with a heavy discussion about truth and humanity. Plus, I can’t help but wonder what the repercussions will be. Billions die. Places obliterated. The world was decimated. And all branches from a war between the Eternals, mutants, and Tony Stark stepping in and partially playing god himself. How does the world recover? Where do we go from here? I’m hoping we get to find out. However, I’m nervous (as always) that the event is just going to be forgotten like all the rest.

Would I buy the trade? Well, if you would have asked me three months ago, I would have said yes for sure. A.X.E.: Judgment Day came out with a bang, involved dozens of big characters well, and threw out some wicked curveballs including resurrecting a Celestial, Uranos, and so much more. However, as the series continued, I feel like it lost its intensity, big reveals, and epic showdowns that drove the story forward, to begin with. I can’t help but leave A.X.E.: Judgment Day underwhelmed and disappointed. It’s almost as if the pitch was knocked out of the park but the execution wasn’t outlined enough to stick the landing with the same vigor with which the series began. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

7.1/10

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