The X-Men just can’t catch a break. It’s not enough that humanity is constantly trying to wipe out mutantkind; now they’ve got a group of immortal supergods coming after them. Marvel has announced Judgment Day, a new event series which pits the X-Men and the Eternals against each other, with the Avengers caught in the middle of the two super-powerful species. The series comes from writer Kieron Gillen and artists Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia. No additional creators were named in the announcement.
Along with the announcement, Marvel released a piece of teaser art for the event by artist Dustin Weaver.
Here’s how the publisher describes Judgment Day, which readers will get a first look at in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day: Avengers/X-Men #1 in May:
The X-Men have achieved immortality and mutants have taken their place as the dominant species on the planet. The Eternals have discovered long hidden knowledge about their species, including a devastating truth about mutantkind. The Avengers have come into direct conflict with the Celestials and are currently using a fallen Celestial as their base of operations, slowly unlocking its secrets… When the Eternals brazenly target the mutant nation of Krakoa, the Avengers try desperately to de-escalate a potentially apocalyptic war. But this is no simple conflict. The Eternals’ purpose cannot be denied and mutantkind’s future will not be threatened. And after the opening battles, new players and revelations for both sides will emerge as the inhabitants of the Marvel Universe are JUDGED by the greatest power they’ve ever come into contact with.
A teaser posted by Marvel last week to social media indicates that the Eternals now believe mutants are a new kind of Deviant, the creatures against whom the Eternals are sworn to protect Earth.
Judgment Day is coming. Summer 2022. pic.twitter.com/7zQxjlZdqf
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) January 28, 2022
Gillen is currently working on both the Eternals ongoing series and the upcoming Immortal X-Men series for Marvel, so bringing the two titles together seems a natural fit. Placing the Avengers between the two groups is just gravy. Schiti and Gracia have also previously illustrated an event book for Marvel, 2020’s Empyre, which brought together the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, so the team is well-versed in working on books with large casts.
In a statement accompanying the Judgment Day announcement, both Gillen and Schiti described their enthusiasm and approach to the story:
“There’s a classic metaphor to describe the Marvel Universe – a toybox, which creators take toys out of, play with and put back. I get it, but it’s never quite how I’ve seen it – I think ‘play’ in another way. I think of a music shop, with all these instruments with their different qualities suggesting different songs, different stories,” Gillen explained. “For all the Marvel instruments I’ve played, I’ve never written an event. Writing an event is something different. It’s not like playing an instrument. It’s having all the instruments in the Marvel music shop. That’s not like writing a song. That’s like writing a symphony.
“I looked at everything in ETERNALS and IMMORTAL X-MEN and everything else all the X and Avengers writers have done and thought… yeah, this is an event. In fact, an event is the only way to do justice to this. The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson described the music he was reaching for as Teenage Symphonies to God. I think that’s what the best Marvel Events aspire to be, and it’s what we’re aspiring to here. I want the scale. I want the heartbreak . I want a book that wears its heart on its sleeve even as it puts a fist in your face. I want something Wagnerian in its volume as emotional as God Only Knows.”
“It is great to have the opportunity to draw another Marvel event after Empyre,” Schiti added. “The difference is that last time I was just excited, but now I know how high the expectations are, so now I am both excited and a bit scared! Luckily for me I have the great Kieron Gillen and Marte Gracia watching my back and together we can face any cosmic threat!”
There’s certainly much more to come in regards to Judgment Day – they haven’t even mentioned all the tie-ins yet! – so keep an eye out for that as it’s announced. Free Comic Book Day: Avengers/X-Men #1 is due out along with the rest of this year’s FCBD offerings on Saturday, May 7th.