Lots to get to —and frankly, way too much— in week twelve of A.X.E.: Judgment Day. No time to waste, let’s go!
A.X.E.: Death to the Mutants #3, A.X.E.: Iron Fist #1, A.X.E.: Eternals #1, Captain Marvel #42, Fantastic Four #48, Immortal X-Men #7, Wolverine #25, Legion of X #6, X-Force #32.
After Progenitor’s final judgment, The Machine laments its loss to help the heroes save the day. When their final stand against the Celestial fails, The Machine promises vengeance in kind. Meanwhile, Phastos and Nightcrawler devise a plan of attack: the former will enter the hole in Lemuria that leads to inner core of The Machine (AKA Earth) to give it a hard reboot which will reset its connections to every Celestial, thusly buying the heroes more time. When The Machine returns, it displays no memory of anyone or anything that preceded it.
Meanwhile in K’un-Lun, Lin Lie —formerly Sword Master, presently Iron Fist— teams up with Loki (after forming a tricky deal with Lin Feng, Lin’s duplicitous brother) to save the mystical nation. For Lin’s bravery in restraint and Loki’s rare display of honor despite himself, both are given a passing judgment by Progenitor.
In New York, Captain Marvel and her half-sister Lauri-Ell the Accuser are helping save citizens from the chaos around them. They are simultaneously being judged by Progentor: the former wearing the face of Mar-Vell, the latter seeing her and Carol’s mother Mari-Ell. Carol’s cat, Chewie, meanwhile, fails judgment from Carol-Progenitor for antagonizing a mouse. Despite this, Chewie helps comfort people (such as Carol’s pre-teen fan Kit Renner) feel better and even fights a monster under the city. For their various efforts, all three pass final judgment.
Back at the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four (Three?) all contribute to the ongoing efforts to save the world… if they can save their base of operations from Oubliette and her new lackey, Space Boy. Just when all seems hopeless, however, Sue outsmarts the villain by showing her that she’s not actually the biological daughter of the old FF villain Cosmic Man, but instead a glorified hitwoman for him. Sue comforts her in this vulnerable moment, and Reed comes to a similar conclusion when he realizes it’s more important to spend what little time he might have left with his family over finding a solution to the impossible problem.
After Progenitor’s final judgment, Nightcrawler works to save who (and what) he can given the circumstances, and discovers that Orchis is still stoking anti-mutant sentiment in the face of apocalypse. When Captain America is resurrected as a backup plan, he continues his mission by forcibly drafting a former ally-turned-enemy to their ranks: the cyborg-ified Moira MacTaggart.
Kraven the Hunter, deciding mutants are his next big hunt, finally arrives on Krakoa with the help of Deadpool’s severed head, which later reconstitutes with a swampy organic body with the help of Black Tom Cassidy. Kraven procedes to terrorize Krakoa until he finally runs into his top target: Wolverine.
Back in the present, the field team proceeds deeper into Progenitor’s body. Sersi reveals she failed judgment because of her insistence to not let the humans know of their coming doom. Ajak is the next to face a psychic judgment from Progenitor, forcing her to kill every life she’s taken at the expense of her many resurrections over time. Progenitor criticizes her for her heightened piety towards the Celestials and begins to cast her a failing judgment, but she rebukes it and says her unwavering faith may still be part of her test.
Prior to Magneto’s death, Legion took the initiative to lead the Legionaires in battle against Uranos in and out of the astral plane, which ultimately helped Magneto and the Brotherhood to defeat him on Arakko. For once in his life, Legion felt he did the right thing and passed Progenitor’s judgment.
Before Progenitor’s final judgment, Wolverine and Solem square off against the Hellbride in the Arctic, but the former shows mercy when she becomes seriously injured in the fight, which convinces Progenitor to give him a passing judgment. Wolverine does not agree that he deserves it, seeing all the people who’ve died because of him.
For all the issues we have this week, there’s a surprising lack of forward movement here — which isn’t a bad thing, but a peculiar thing all the same. There must have been some delays that led to such a backup of tie-ins. In any event, it’s definitely a mixed bag. Immortal X-Men and Captain Marvel might have been my favorites; the former moves the plot ahead the most, while the latter does the sort of smaller-scale reflection stuff I like in an event storyline like this. With the event winding down fast, I wonder how it’ll all wrap up…
After this mondo week, just one is coming up on the horizon: X-Force #33.
- Writers: Kieron Gillen (DTTM, X-Men, Eternals), Alyssa Wong (Iron Fist), Kelly Thompson (Captain Marvel), David Pepose (FF), Si Spurrier (Legion), Benjamin Percy (Wolverine, XF)
- Artists: Guiu Vilanova (DTTM), Pasqual Ferry (Eternals), Michael YG & Marika Cresta (Iron Fist), Andrea Di Vito (Captain Marvel), Juann Cabal (FF), Lucas Werneck (X-Men), Rafael Pimentel (Legion), Federico Vincentini (Wolverine), Robert Gill (XF)
- Color Artists: Alex Guimarães & Erick Arciniega (DTTM), Matt Hollingsworth (Eternals), Chris Sotomayor (Iron Fist), Nolan Woodard (Captain Marvel), Jesus Aburtov (FF), David Curiel (X-Men), Federico Blee (Legion), Frank D’Armata (Wolverine), Guru-eFX (XF)
- Letterers: VC’s Travis Lanham (DTTM, Iron Fist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (Eternals, Captain Marvel, X-Men, Legion), VC’s Joe Caramanga (FF, XF), VC’s Cory Petit (Wolverine)
- Cover Artists: Esad Ribić (DTTM), Nic Klein (Eternals), Philip Tan & Antonio Fabela (Iron Fist), Juan Frigeri & Jesus Aburtov (Captain Marvel), Cafu (FF), Mark Brooks (FF), Ben Harvey (Legion), Adam Kubert & Frank Martin (Wolverine), Joshua Cassara (XF)
- Editors: Tom Brevoort (DTTM, Eternals, FF), Danny Khazem & Mark Paniccia (Iron Fist), Sarah Brunstad (Captain Marvel, Legion), Jordan D. White (X-Men), Mark Basso (Wolverine, XF)
- Publisher: Marvel Entertainment