REVIEW: ‘A.X.E.: Judgement Day,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A.X.E. Judgement Day #2

A.X.E.: Judgement Day #2 is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Valerio Schiti, colored by Marte Gracia, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Following the end of the first issue, the massive Eternals known as the Hex have risen from the ocean and attacked Krakoa. While the combined forces of the X-Men and the Avengers battle the monsters, Iron Man works with Mister Sinister and the Eternal Ajak to bring a new Celestial to life. However, their creation has some…unintended effects.

In my review of Judgement Day #1, I said that it was the “thinking man’s comic book event” due to its tackling of religious themes. That continues here, as Ajak doesn’t just want to bring an Eternal to life to stop Druig’s campaign of genocide. She hopes that she can build a better god than the ones she believes in. Likewise, Captain America and Cyclops make a formidable team as they direct the Avengers and X-Men to do battle. Their belief in their teams is just as strong as the Eternals’ belief in the Celestials, if not stronger. And my belief in Gillen’s skills as a writer are stronger than ever; he manages to infuse this with just as much action and pathos as his tenure on Immortal X-Men.

Gillen also chooses to open the issue in a unique way. Instead of immediately leaping to the battle, readers are introduced to six people around the world: a teenager in Canada, a man in London, a teenager in Tokyo, an elderly man in Mumbai, a hardworking girl in Sao Paolo, and a girl struggling with the revelation of mutant resurrection in New York. “Six people. They are all important,” the narration reads, and that declaration is proven true by the issue’s end. This feels like Gillen’s metacommentary on significant events like these: if you are going to proclaim that “this story matters,” then that should extend to every character within the story.

Schiti, Gracia & Cowles continue to prove that they’re the best artistic team to carry out Gillen’s grand vision. Schiti fills page after page with massive battles between the Hex and the various heroes, while displaying how alien these Eternals are. Their angular design is reminiscent of Angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion, and their actions literally shake the Earth. Fire spews into the sky, turning it reddish black. Bright blue waves crash upon Krakoa’s borders. And in the biggest moment, Exodus dives into one of the Hex’s brains and unleashes a full wave of psychic energy, which Gracia depicts as a massive violet explosion. Cowles’s lettering is constantly shifting, as characters either communicate telepathically or bellow out declarations – Namor and Exodus are the biggest examples of the latter. Together, they make this comic feel as big as it should be and I love it.

A.X.E.: Judgement Day #2 is the comic book equivalent of a blockbuster with brains, as it continues to flesh out the conflict between the three factions. Now that the meaning behind the series title is revealed, the Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals have entered an entirely new conflict – and the rest of the Marvel Universe may pay the price.

A.X.E.: Judgement Day #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.


A.X.E. Judgement Day #2
5

TL;DR

A.X.E.: Judgement Day #2 is the comic book equivalent of a blockbuster with brains, as it continues to flesh out the conflict between the three factions. Now that the meaning behind the series title is revealed, the Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals have entered an entirely new conflict – and the rest of the Marvel Universe may pay the price.

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