REVIEW: ‘A.X.E.: Death To The Mutants,’ Issue #1

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A.X.E. Death to The Mutants #1 - But Why Tho

A.X.E.: Death to The Mutants #1 is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Guiu Vilanova, colored by Dijjo Lima, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It’s published by Marvel Comics. The Eternals have declared war on mutantkind, with Prime Eternal Druig deeming their ability of resurrection as “excess deviation.” Unsurprisingly, a group of Eternals have rebelled against these orders and plan to defeat Druig. Ikaris, Sprite, Sersi, Thena, and Kingo go to stop Druig’s forces from attacking Krakoa while Ajak & Makkari attempt to forge a new god—with surprising results.

In the first issue of Judgement Day, Sersi told Iron Man that unlike the Avengers or the X-Men, the Eternals are not a team; they’re a society. That is on full display here, as the rebelling Eternals have learned that their resurrection comes at the cost of human life —and it’s a cost they’re not willing to pay anymore. As he’s done with previous works featuring the Eternals, Gillen uses the big comic book fights as a backdrop to ruminate on the nature of religion and the great or terrible things one chooses to do with it. One panel is especially haunting when the Deviant Kro leads the Eternals to the site of a Celestial’s judgment, and forlornly states “This is where we learned with full certainty that our gods do not love it.” Heavy stuff for a comic book crossover.

Vilanova takes a page from Judgement Day artist Valerio Schiti and decides to go big with his artwork. There’s a horror-laced sequence where Ikaris and his group of Eternals encounter a group of rabid beasts. They seem to blend into the endless shadows as they attack the godlike creatures, their red eyes twisted in hate. Another page features the Eternal Zuras and Professor X locked in psychic combat, their faces twisted into a severe grimace as they battle mind to mind. This is some awe-inspiring stuff, especially where the final pages are concerned. Lima, who sadly passed away earlier this year, brought the same intense colors that he did to X Deaths of Wolverine. Characters with light-based powers actually glow and each Eternal has a distinct color scheme to their costume.

Lanham rounds out the creative voices by continuing to give a distinct voice to the Machine that powers Earth. True, a lot of that personality comes from Gillen’s unique writing, especially a metaphor that compares the Eternals and X-Men to players in an RPG. But Lanham’s the one who gave the Machine its distinct blue and black color scheme, as well as the design that feels like what a machine would actually say. And when it comes to the issue’s big reveal, he has a two-page spread in which a major proclamation is delivered. From the wording to the size of the letters, every bit of it is constructed to send a chill down readers’ spines.

A.X.E.: Death to The Mutants #1 turns its focus to the Eternals who have rebelled against their mutant-killing mission, offering more profound meditations on belief and top-notch action. Gillen is working hard to make this a comic book crossover that stands out from the pack, and so far he’s succeeding.

A.X.E.: Death to The Mutants #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


A.X.E.: Death to The Mutants #1
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TL;DR

A.X.E.: Death to The Mutants #1 turns its focus to the Eternals who have rebelled against their mutant-killing mission, offering more profound meditations on belief and top-notch action. Gillen is working hard to make this a comic book crossover that stands out from the pack, and so far he’s succeeding.

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