A.X.E.: Judgement Day opened with a bomb being dropped. Planet Arakko was devastated as Uranos was unleashed by the Eternals. In Uranos’ wake we get hints of powerful omega level mutants swept aside and murdered by this being of pure destruction. But, what are the details? X-Men Red #5 fills that in showing us some of what Uranos did and how he did it.
Written by Al Ewing, X-Men Red #5 really just fills in that gap expanding on the death and destruction. We see the Eternals’ full assault beyond Uranos giving us an idea of his power and how easily he swiped the mutant defense to the side. What’s more interesting is we see how many different ways Uranos was able to defend himself setting up a villain and force that feels like a true threat. Not only do the Eternals have this beast of a being who sees anything not Eternal as not worthy of existing but also other forces that bring just as much destruction. We also see how planned out the assault was hitting Arakko in multiple ways and on multiple fronts, each with a devastating effect.
While Ewing gives some interesting small details and a lot of intriguing moments of confrontation, the issue as a whole really just expands on what we already have read and experienced. The exception to that is the ending which definitely should have folks buzzing. But, unless you really care about those details, there’s not a whole lot added. We get a better idea of who was wiped out and we see how tough Uranos is, but we already knew that. And let’s face it, our imagination of how tough he is already made him an unstoppable force.
The art by Stefano Caselli is nice. It doesn’t quite have the impact of the previous iteration of events but there’s memorable moments visually. Caselli is joined by Federico Blee on color and Ariana Maher on lettering. The visuals of X-Men Red #5 are interesting in that there’s a desperation about them, it’s chaotic. That is captured quite well. You get a sense that the attack is swift and the individuals of Arakko have been caught off-guard and unprepared. But, what isn’t present is a connection. I didn’t feel the “holy shit” that I did when first witnessing events. That might be due to the fact I knew what was happening. But, there’s an emotional punch that doesn’t quite feel there.
X-Men Red #5 isn’t bad in any way but it’s mostly a repeat of events from a different perspective. It’s a case where showing doesn’t really add a ton to the story. Uranos is still a badass. Arakko is devestated. We have more details. It’s the last few pages that really stand out as being a big deal. And all of that could be handled in the main series in a page or two. Imagine that ending as an opening and then moving on. The impact would be amazing. Still, if you want to know exactly how Uranos defeated everyone, X-Men Red #5 drops the details and fleshes out that aspect of A.X.E.: Judgement Day’s opening salvo.
Story: Al Ewing Art: Stefano Caselli
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Ariana Maher Design: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review