Welcome back to the Marvel Rundown! Unlike some of Marvel’s major events in the past, writer and event creator Kieron Gillen (along with all the amazing artists working on Judgement) has made sure that each A.X.E. tie-in book is worth picking up at your local comic. And because I thought All-Out Avengers by Derek Landy, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata, and Cory Petit was a DON’T BUY (the villain was soooooo unappealing, and in my opinion, she’s more Star Wars than Marvel Universe, which has always had more of a Star Trek vibe), I decided to review another A.X.E. tie-in issue as Judgement Day is shaping up to be one of my favorite Marvel events yet (TBD until I see how it ends).
The review contains SPOILERS, so try not to get judged before you can scroll down to the Rapid Rundown for a short review of the new Alien #1 of more A.X.E. tie-ins.
And as always, if you have any thoughts or questions, drop us a line in the comment section or stop by our socials @comicsbeat!
A.X.E.: Death to Mutants #2
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Guiu Vilanova
Colors by Alex Guimarães
Letters by Travis Lanham
As I said above, I am enjoying this event. However, as someone diagnosed with ADHD, which is caused by abnormalities in brain structure, I have a thought or a million about being judged as a bad person because of procrastinating on a making zine (as I type this, I am procrastinating on working on the trauma and endometriosis story everyone says would help me move on from this depression). I guess if Marvel were the world outside our window, I would be judged (although, sadly, I admit that it’s a relief that the Progenitor is not passing judgment due to my Jewish heritage like my Catholic ex-bestie in freshman year of high school).
At this point in Judgement Day, I am not sure that it is fair to level criticism at who is being judged because we don’t know who this new god is yet, other than “purloined knowledge,” “ambitious plans,” and “Tony Stark,” or what Gillen’s plans are for the event’s outcome —although a pro-religion stance doesn’t seem very likely.
Marvel Comics’ Judgment Day event has underscored the religious nature of what’s been brewing across the Marvel Multiverse since the mutants started playing G-d and creating mutants-only heaven and hell (S’ym still seems to have machinations in limbo). Although our Marvel heroes hold a religious devotion to a legal concept known as parens patriae, which is the idea that a state (or, in this case, its heroes) has a protective role over its citizens. Flowing from that state’s parens patriae power, it can bring lawsuits (or, in this case, fight universe-altering wars) on behalf of its citizens to protect their rights (in some instances, without the victim’s consent).
Humanity, at least through its elected officials, has given implicit power to the Avengers, Eternals, mutants, and other superpowered beings to protect humans from their most significant threats whenever necessary. But what happens when you believe G-d has granted you that power, not the people you protect? What happens when that power is threatened? Well, that’s how you end up with monsters.
But who are the monsters in this event? Ikaris has adamantly argued that the Eternals are the true monsters, and their new god must end their reign. At the end of A.X.E.: Death to Mutants #1, the current Prime Eternal Druig’s droogs found a message carved into the wall, “Death to the Eternals,” which I now assume was written by Ikaris when he rescued Gilgamesh in the first issue. Whereas Druig, trained from each of his births to do the Celestials’ bidding, is like any good despot and religious zealot and isn’t deterred from his genocidal mission to kill all mutants. (Uh, the Machine Called Earth to Druig? Are you there, Druig? That seems hypocritical. Can’t you resurrect yourself too? Wait, are you a soul-eater?) Either way, humanity is again caught in a destructive war of gods who only take “a beat” to consider their actions.
However, if you’re not a god, there is a lot to consider in Death to Mutants #2. Not only are there religious components of the story, but there are also the Eros as Madonna components. Don’t judge me. I had grand plans for this review. But then, halfway through the issue, a thirst trap named Starfox-Space Slut, A.K.A. Eros, showed up. Of course, he’s dressed to the nines wearing a cute little choker and a Saturday Night Fever-inspired white suit that is so tight, the pants could double as dance tights. But the best part is that Vilanova drew him with the biggest bulge, and Guimarães shaded in those v-cut abs, which is all I noticed for the rest of the issue.
- Wolverine #24
- The latest chapter in the never-ending saga of Logan barrels head first into Judgment Day, pitting Wolverine and frenemy (maybe?) Solem against a Hellbride and the reanimated corpse of the Progenitor. Benjamin Percy utilizes the setting of the event well, nailing Logan’s voice in an explanation of why he refuses to listen to the judgment of the Celestial. There’s an understanding that Logan’s getting pretty old to keep doing this, but he’ll do whatever he has to protect the ones he loves. Federico Vicentini does a great job on art here, bringing a vibrant energy to each page. There are some particularly gnarly panels that really show the range of what he can do, and with Frank D’Armata’s colors, it’s as though the blood is dripping off of the page. I’m still not sure how I feel about Solem from the few arcs he’s been in, but for all his quirks, he’s an interesting foil for Logan, and his inclusion here makes a lot of sense. —CB
- Immortal X-Men #6
- Another Avengers • X-Men • Eternals: Judgment Day tie-in as the Krakoans deal with the aftermath of their botched celestial deicide attempt. Moving away from the action, most of the tie-ins have been dealing with the various judgments being handed out by the Progenitor, and here writer Kieron Gillen and artists Lucas Werneck dive into the rulings on some of the Quiet Councils members as well as the path that Sebastian Shaw will take in the face of this threat. With the extensive number of tie-ins, this event has the threat of overreaching and being bogged down in X-Men vs. Eternals fighting, but this turn in the event gives the storyline a bit of breathing room as it turns inward, showing how they have faced or expect to face judgment. Clever insights and meaningful dealmaking make this issue highly reminiscent of the best Game of Thrones episodes. —GC3
- Alien #1
- Since acquiring the rights to the franchise with the purchase of 20th Century Fox in 2019, Marvel Comics has already published one Alien #1 besides this one… but even after only a few pages, this new run seems primed to deliver on the potential of the IP. Written by Philip Kennedy Johnson with art by Julius Ohta, colors by Yen Nitro, letters by Clayton Cowles, and a cover by Björn Barends, this issue contains the first part of a six-issue arc called “Icarus,” set in the year 2217. While we mostly get exposition here, it’s very all very on-brand Alien set-up for a story that pits one of the often-forgotten keystone elements of the franchise against another Weyland-Yutani Xenomorph experiment. While its clear many of the characters here are coming from the previously released Alien Marvel Comics, I haven’t read those, and didn’t have a problem following along with this story. And while there’s only one Alien attack in this issue, it’s gory enough to wash away the lingering taste of PG-13 violence from a recent Alien vs. Predator re-watch… and thank Ripley for that. —AJK
Come back next week for even more fantabulous Marvel Comics reviews! And don’t worry, it’s still Judgement Day on the Machine Called Earth.