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A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5: Review

Sep 2022
Kieron Gillen, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5 Review by (September 23, 2022)
Captain America's resurrection disproves the claim that the Krakoan resurrection system only works for mutants. Maybe it only worked for mutants because they were the only ones stored in its database. So maybe Nightcrawler put a backup for Cap in the database before they went on their suicide mission to the North Pole. But if this is so then it will add fuel to the fire of human demands that resurrection shouldn't only be for mutants.

A.X.E.: Death To The Mutants #3 parallels this issue. It shows Starfox persuading the Eternals to let mutant psychics override their built-in inability to harm Celestials. Ikaris dying in the attack on Progenitor, who destroys the Eternals' resurrection system. Phastos uses the ancient big hole in Lemuria to bypass most of the Great Machine's security, and the Machine itself helps him switch it to default mode which stymies Progenitor's attack on it. And we see Syne, the last remaining Hex Eternal, team up with the mutant Exodus for their own attack on the Celestial (which may figure in our #6).

Immortal X-Men #7 also parallels this issue. It follows Nightcrawler as he persuades Destiny to tell him the only way she foresees to save the mutant race when Progenitor attacks Krakoa. The plan includes Captain America's inspiring death facing the Celestial, and his resurrection via the mutant method. It includes Destiny, her lover Mystique, Egg and many other significant mutants staying to die on Krakoa as the rest are secretly evacuated. Then NC stages a series of suicide attacks on Orchis with Prof X ensuring that his resurrected version remembers what happened each time. This enables him to eventually get past all defences to kidnap Moir MacTaggert to help the Great Machine.

This issue leads immediately into a tie-in A.X.E.: Avengers 1-shot which follows the mixed group into the Celestial's body where they are attacked by its antibodies. Tony Stark is sent into a dream-state where he is presented with all the failures in his past. This is Progenitor judging him and giving him a pass because he never gives up. Note that Iron Man is the only Avenger actually present in this story, so this issue is more like A.X.E.: Iron Man.

The A.X.E.: X-Men 1-shot follows that and takes the group further into the Celestial's body. But again the bulk of the issue is Progenitor judging Jean Grey negatively, mainly for destroying the D'Bari world as Phoenix.

The A.X.E.: Eternals 1-shot completes the trio as Ajak is judged but is also freed by Progenitor from the mutant psychics' control so that it will be her *free* decision whether to attack him in the end (presumably in our #6).

Meanwhile in the A.X.E.: Starfox 1-shot he gives the Prime Eternalhood back to Zuras in exchange for Zuras letting all humanity use the millions of portals the Great Machine has throughout the world in order to take refuge in the Machine's fractal dimensions.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the Celestial Progenitor rejected the deal Starfox had cooked up with world leaders for promises of peace on Earth because he didn't believe such promises. So he decided to kill everyone now. We saw the people around Captain America turned to skeletons. Cap survived beneath his shield but not the person he was trying to protect.

But now it seems that for the rest of the world doom happens more slowly but they can see it coming. We look in on the 6 ordinary humans singled out in #2 who we saw judged individually last issue. Tom asks why him as his son prepares to confess his deep secret. Katrina ignores her negative judgement in favour of helping people around her. Kamali, widow of Arjun of the 6, waits patiently for death. Daniela is with her mother who wonders why other people are looting shops when they're all going to die. Jada brings a cup of coffee to Cap. Young Kenta's parents comfort him.

Steve Rogers had believed the world was going to make it. Jada always knew they'd fail but appreciated Cap's effort. She says she's estranged from her family but Steve urges her to use the time left to contact them. Jada laughs that he just can't stop being inspirational. And she admits that the vague hope that the world isn't as bad as she thinks is the only thing that kept her going.

Then Nightcrawler appears and suggests that CA should inspire everyone afresh by visibly giving this false god a piece of his mind. And Kurt Wagner bamfs them to the North Pole at the feet of the Celestial. Professor X and other mutant psychics broadcast what happens to the whole world as Cap tells Progenitor how mankind has stood up to tyrants before and defeated them. He declares that the whole world are now Avengers and urges them to assemble and avenge. Then the god kills him and Kurt.

Nightcrwaler is resurrected on Krakoa and Jean Grey informs him that the ploy was successful - the populace is calmer and their anger is focussed on the Celestial. Kurt suggests the resurrection team prepare another egg for him because he and Wolverine are going out to annoy the god again.

The Krakoan Quiet Council plus some others are meeting to discuss a plan of action. They have support from many world leaders but they haven't actually decided what to do. Cyclops suggests they hit Progenitor's disabling node (as they tried in #3) after evacuating nearby cities. Tony Stark points out that the whole thing was an illusion generated by the Celestial, but Marvel Girl insists that the node itself is real. Sersi and Starfox remind them that the Eternals are hard-wired to protect Celestials, but they reveal that many Eternals have turned off their psychic firewalls so they can be 'possessed' and used in the attack. The precog Destiny claims this is the only chance of success, with a few tweaks.

Progenitor is aware of all this planning as superheroes and armed forces unite in an assault. The six giant Hex Eternal warriors are designed to combat cosmic enemies and they have the most effect. The Celestial counterattacks, but more heroes arrive accompanied by demons(?). This all leads up to the masterblow by Avengers (Captain Marvel, Phoenix, Starbrand and Sub-Mariner), X-Men (Exodus and Marvel Girl) and the Eternal Ikaris. Paving the way for Thor to strike the vulnerable spot with Mjolnir. But Progenitor kills them all, including Iron Man and the mutants controlling the Hex.

A spaceship full of mega-rich tries to flee Earth to another star system, but the god blows it up with a glance. It destroys the Eternals' resurrection system and that of the mutants on Krakoa, along with the rest of the island. Now it tries to close down the Eternals' Great Machine that is the Earth, but meets fierce resistance.

But we see that most mutants had escaped from Krakoa by a gateway to what appears to be Avengers Mansion. This was Destiny's addition to the plan which included leaving some people, including herself and Mystique, on Krakoa to die (temporarily) as a smokescreen. But they've only got a small number of resurrection eggs so they have to choose carefully who they need to bring back. Iron Man, Nightcrawler, Phastos, Sersi and Starfox confer as Progenitor continues to assault the Machine. Kurt Wagner opines that it's time for the stealth approach. They go to recruit Wolverine who's just emerging from an Egg, but he recommends the Eternal Jack Of Knives as a better man for the job.

Phastos assembles the team with those 2 plus Iron Man, Marvel Girl, Mister Sinister, Sersi and the Eternal Priests Ajak and Makkari. Phastos has arranged for Jean Grey to be able to control Ajak, Makkari and Sersi (but strangely not JOK) if their Celestial inhibition activates. Jack points out that all this would have been unnecessary if he'd succeeded in killing Hope Summers (in #1) to stop all mutant resurrections.

They teleport to near the Celestial shrouded by a ghost field, but the omniscient god knows they're there. They abandon stealth and Jack distracts Progenitor into killing him while the rest 'port inside. Jean Grey lets Prof X know back at the Mansion ...

... where they are preparing to resurrect a special player. Exodus objects to this heresy but Nightcrawler says that all rules must be breakable. And for the 1st time a non-mutant emerges from an egg - Captain America.

Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti
Marte Gracia
Mark Brooks (Cover Penciler)
Mark Brooks (Cover Inker)
Mark Brooks (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Scott Summers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Kurt Wagner)
Professor X
Professor X

(Charles Xavier)



(James Howlett)

Plus: Destiny (Irene Adler), Exodus, Jack Of Knives, Mister Sinister, Phastos, Phoenix (Maya Lopez), Progenitor, Starbrand (Brandy Selby).

> A.X.E.: Judgment Day: Book info and issue index

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