Fans attending the Marvel Comics: Marvel Fanfare with C.B. Cebulski Panel at New York Comic Con got their first glimpse at Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti’s secret 2023 comics series! Check out the brand-new character designs below and stay tuned in the months ahead for more news about the highly anticipated saga from two of today’s biggest comic superstars!
Marvel’s events in recent years have been interesting. Many started strong and quickly fizzled out. Others never lived up to the hype. And others had about as much depth as a piece of paper. Recently, Marvel has shifted things around with more focused events like Devil’s Reign which have matched the hype and vision. A.X.E.: Judgement Day #2 is an ambitious issue and delivers in both action and depth delivering an event that might be far more than just a long drawn out battle.
Written by Kieron Gillen, A.X.E.: Judgement Day has the Eternals seeing mutants as the ultimate deviation and thus needing to be wiped out. Caught in the middle of the two groups’ battle is not just the Avengers but the world as a whole. A.X.E.: Judgement Day #2 delivers a second chapter that is both grand in its vision and scope but also narrows things down as well.
Gillen does an impressive job with the issue which is broken down into three main stories. We’re introduced to six individuals who will play a role in what’s to come. One is obvious by the issue’s end but the other five is intriguing. There’s the battles that rage between the X-Men and the forces of the Eternals. Then there’s the attempt by the Avengers and some of the Eternals to reawaken the Celestial that currently is the base for the Avengers. Their goal is to create a god that the Eternals will listen to. It’s that last bit that’s rather interesting. The series is very much about extremism. There’s the religious extremists that currently rule the Eternals. There’s also some extremist elements within the mutant community and their ability to be reborn after death. That too has religious implications and reverberates not just through the mutant community but that of the human population too which some now see mutants as “gods” withholding “fire”.
The art by Valerio Schiti is pretty solid. Color is provided by Marte Gracia with lettering by Clayton Cowles. Overall, there’s a lot to cover with so many different locations, events, and characters to juggle. While it’s generally really good two issues arise. There’s some action that’s too muddled to figure out everything going on. I can’t quite make out the specifics and only general events. Also, Mr. Sinister looks rather odd at times. The face structure looks like he’s almost wearing the Jigsaw mask from Saw. When everything else looks good, these small things stand out.
A.X.E.: Judgement Day #2 is a solid second issue with an ending that really shakes up the event. It sends it in an unexpected direction but one that makes sense based on the title. Where it takes things overall, who knows, but so far, this might be Marvel’s best major event in years.