REVIEW: ‘A.X.E.: Eternals,’ Issue #1

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A.X.E.: Eternals #1

A.X.E.: Eternals #1 is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Pasqual Ferry, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It’s published by Marvel Comics. As the Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals continue to journey into the heart of the Progenitor they face even more challenges.  Iron Man and Jean Grey have both been tested by the Celestial, and now judgment falls on Ajak — the Eternal priest who gave it life. How does she justify her faith?

Like the Avengers and X-Men one-shots before it, A.X.E.: Eternals #1 sees Gillen focusing on Ajak and the struggle with her faith. Faith can be a great or terrible thing, depending on the actions one takes for their beliefs. And when it comes to Ajak, she’s fought and killed in the name of her gods — so naturally, the Progenitor’s test is for her to confront all of the opponents she’s encountered over the years. All of this leads to a stirring discussion about how far Ajak is willing to take her faith and if it makes her worthy in the Progenitor’s eyes. And Ajak isn’t the only Eternal suffering from a crisis of conscience; Ikaris and Sersi wrestle over whether to reveal that humans have died to resurrect the Eternals and how that affected their own trials.

And in the same vein as the other one-shots, a top-notch artist brings the story to life. Ferry delivers both awe-inspiring and terrifying artwork, particularly where the Progenitor is concerned. The Celestial takes the form of a seemingly perfect, glowing golden god, a prelude to the horrors contained within its innards. And there are plenty of other splash pages worth the price of admissions, including the first, where Jean erupts in a fiery blast of energy, to the last featuring a wide collection of heroes. But Ajak’s at the center of it all, Ferry dedicates many panels to her face as it shifts from confidence to fear to acceptance.

But where the book shines is in the use of color from Hollingsworth. He shifts through various hues, but the most prominent is the dark pink that usually accompanies the Progenitor when it’s about to judge someone. That menacing shade of magenta looms over most of the story, becoming even more foreboding as it takes over Cowles’ lettering. Cowles gives the Eternal speedster Makkari her own form of speech since she’s mute; the speech bubbles are more square than round and come from her throat rather than around her head. This gives the impression of a speech modifier and also adds to the sci-fi vibe of the whole book.

A.X.E.: Eternals #1 is a meditation on the nature of faith and what people are willing to do for it, using the Eternals’ Ajak as its focal point. Not only do these one-shots help add more dimension to Judgment Day as a whole, but they also build upon the themes present in that storyline. If you’ve been enjoying Judgment Day, you’ll definitely want to pick up this one-shot and its predecessors.

A.X.E.: Eternals #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


A.X.E.: Eternals #1
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TL;DR

A.X.E.: Eternals #1 is a meditation on the nature of faith and what people are willing to do for it, using the Eternals’ Ajak as its focal point. Not only do these one-shots help add more dimension to Judgment Day as a whole, but they also build upon the themes present in that storyline. If you’ve been enjoying Judgment Day, you’ll definitely want to pick up this one-shot and its predecessors.

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