We are a few short weeks away from Marvel’s big summer event A.X.E.: Judgment Day which means it’s time for lead-in comics! Out this week is A.X.E.: Eve of Judgment by event writer Keiron Gillen and Pasqual Ferry, which serves as a good way to catch up on the Eternals as well as fully understand the conflict at hand in the upcoming event.
Knowing full well Gillen’s run on Eternals has been robust, detailed, and the kind of comic that requires you to pay attention, it’s nice to see Marvel release a lead-in comic like this. By the end of the issue, you’ll have an understanding of the complexities of the Eternals and how some are good and some are bad, how the Deviants fit in, and ultimately why the villain Druig wants to kill all mutants.
From the get-go, Gillen makes it clear the captions are spoken by Earth itself, aka the machine the Eternals are sworn to protect. The voice of Earth is a bit punchy and fun, allowing for a bit of humor and good color commentary as it takes us through everything. This is also a good one-shot for the fact that real stakes are in play as Druig makes his first attempt on the X-Men’s lives. Often with primer stories like this, there are little stakes since it’s all about filling readers in on details if they haven’t been reading prior comics, but it’s nice to see there’s a real threat in play with this issue.
After reading this issue it’s also easier to see how A.X.E.: Judgment Day will play out given the “good” Eternals feel guilt over how they are reborn. The Eternals are a society that is not as one and some major changes could take place when the Avengers and X-Men get thrown into this war.
Art by Pasqual with colors by Dean White do well, especially panels with group shots. Energy effects are well rendered too, which aid in showing off the Eternals’ advanced technology. The anti-matter bomb shown in the preview is creative and weird but also looks technological. Some faces can look too simple for their own good, but the storytelling moves things along and doesn’t inhibit the dialogue.
Dialogue can get a little dense at times, particularly in a later scene. Essentially there’s some philosophical sort of talk going on that necessitates the longer dialogue, but from a visual storytelling format, it slows things to a crawl.
For the fan who hasn’t been keeping up with Eternals, A.X.E.: Eve of Judgment is necessary reading. It fully captures the complicated nature of their waring sides, establishes why the main villain wants to kill mutants and sets up the summer event with necessary details. If you’re at all interested in Marvel’s summer event, A.X.E.: Eve of Judgment is required reading.
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