A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega #1: Review

Nov 2022
Kieron Gillen, Guiu Vilanova

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega #1 Review by (November 12, 2022)
This issue caps the A.X.E.: Judgment Day mini-series and event, but it is really an issue of Eternals with no Avengers present and only some token X-Men.

It sets up the new status of the Eternals, but it has not been made clear whether the Eternals own series will continue. Instead the issue advertises the post-AXE adventures of the Avengers and X-Men.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The issue opens with Eternals priestess Makkari finishing her account of the Judgment Day event in her people's favourite mode of words and images (ie comics). She describes how Sersi died to prove that Eternals could change, which helped priestess Ajak persuade Progenitor that it was mistaken in judging that Earth and its inhabitants deserved to die. So the Celestial god undid all the death and destruction it had committed (apart from resurrecting Sersi), dying itself in the process. But at the end it passed its power to Ajak making her the Eternals' next god Ajak Celestia.

Now Makkari sits at the feet of Ajak and a statue of the new religion's 1st martyr Sersi, and the deaf/dumb priestess signs the question 'what next'? to which Celestia replies "Heresy".

Next we get a list of proclamations from the returned Prime Eternal Zuras.
The Titanian Eternal Eros (Starfox) is declared a true Eternal with the role of Pope-Minister For Change.
No attempt will be made to brainwash the human race into forgetting that every Eternal resurrection requires the premature death of a human. After all, the current human civilisation won't last longer than a few thousand years (a blink of the eye to the Eternals) so they'll forget it then anyway.
The mutants on Krakoa (island) and Arakko (Mars) are now allies of the Eternals, and any Eternal who harms them will be Excluded.
In reparation to the humans they will be offered clean energy sources plus technology they won't be able to understand.
The Eternals have made mistakes and must do better.
Druig is Excluded for his war-crimes in the Judgment Day event.
Ajak's ideas are self-confessed heresies, and her followers risk Exclusion.
The Great Machine was reset to its default state during the event, which has removed certain recent 'bugs' (eg its flippant/sarcastic attitude).

Many Eternals themselves hadn't known about the cost of their resurrection (because Eternals like Zuras and Sersi had arranged for any of them who discovered the truth to forget it during rebirth). (During Eternals #6) Ikaris was resurrected and discovered that his young friend Toby Robson had died for it, but (in the following issue) Sersi (via Jack Of Knives) persuaded him not to confess to Toby's family. Now he visits Toby's mother Sophia in New York who has worked out what happened. The angry woman tries various ways to kill him but to no effect. Then they collapse in joint grief.

In London Sally is visited by the giant Eternal war machine Syne (1 of the 6 Hex). (In A.X.E.: Death To The Mutants #2) she and Syne exchanged online chat about poetry without her realising what Syne was. Now Syne appears in 'person' on a world tour to apologise for her actions before she and the other Hex are locked back in the Eternals' armoury. She urges Sally to start her long-delayed poetry zine. While she's in 'storage' she'll write her own laments, and if she's ever unleashed again she'll share them with Sally's descendants and hope to see copies of her zine.

In the temple of Ajak Celestia Phastos greets Eros who apologises that he can't join the heretics. He's needed to keep an eye on Zuras. And he hopes to get his parents (Mentor/A'lars and Sui-San) freed from the Exclusion, possibly to start a new colony on Titan. Phastos joins Kingo Sunen who asks the smith if he thinks Ajak can really change things. Phastos points out that the Great Machine can't resurrect Sersi, which *should* have destabilised it and destroyed the planet. But that hasn't happened so things *are* changing.

They join Ikaris, Makkari, Sprite and Thena beneath Sersi's statue. Ajak greets them and ask if Gilgamesh or the other Forgotten will be coming. Ikaris tells her that they can't give up their role of policing the Eternals, and they don't trust *any* Celestial. Celestia advises them *all* to watch her and judge her actions. She must be a better god and they must all be better Eternals. Young Sprite asks what *exactly* are they supposed to do. Ajak replies that humans justly hate them, so they must go among them as penance to do good works and learn from them.

Now we get a list of Ajak Celestia's heretical reinterpretation of the Celestial Principles, which were built-in to the Eternals when the Celestials created them. Uranos had claimed that they must take the Principles literally, but she believes they can be interpreted.
1) Protect Celestials. While it is true that Eternals can't attack Celestials (including herself), during Judgment Day she learned that they must also protect Celestials from themselves when they are in error.
2) Protect The Machine. She believes that the Machine is not just the physical thing they call the Great Machine but also the planet and the Eternals combined in 1 system. They should protect each other.
3) Correct Excess Deviation. To her this means that they should act to remove any dangerous predator from the environment, ie protect the weak from the dangerous.
4) You Have 24 Hours To Justify Yourself. This was the ultimatum issued to the world during Judgment Day and it is claimed here was permanently ingrained in the Eternals by Progenitor. Ajak interprets it as to act as if every day matters.
Ajak concludes by promising to find a way to free the Eternals from *domination* by the Principles. But in the meantime she says that they must rise above them.

A short interlude as Zuras visits Uranos in the Exclusion where he has been given Druig to torture. Zuras tells Uranos that he will be let out for 1 hour when he will be bound to the service of the mutants on Arakko (which he spent a previous hour devastating in AXE:JD#1 and X-Men Red #5).

Now to the Deviant city of Lemuria where Eternal Thena is chatting with her old-time Deviant lover Warlord Kro. She tells him that her heretic band of Eternals will be leaving Lemuria to perform their penance to the human world, but they'll return whenever the Deviants need them. We learn that Ajak is the god of the Deviants now too. She has promised to try to end the curse of Excess Deviation too. They jointly mourn Sersi while standing in front of (I believe) the statue Thena's recent Deviant lover Tolau built of him and her (which Thanos melted in Eternals #9).

Meanwhile Phastos teleports to Krakoa to deliver a message from the Great Machine to the spirit of the Island which manifests as an ancient tree. Angry Wolverine reluctantly lets him past to Cypher (Doug Ramsey) who is the communication channel to Krakoa. Doug 'reads' the message and conveys the tree's thanks. Phastos explains to Logan that when the Celestials created the Machine which runs through the whole planet a million years ago they used the living island as a template. And the message from the Machine, recorded before it allowed its intelligence to be drastically reduced by its reset in AXE:JD, was effectively "Goodbye Mommy/Daddy/Self/Other".

Ikaris with a newly-shaven head revisits Sophia Robson who has agreed for him to become her lodger while he seeks to do good in the world. Later we see the heretics roam the land in mufti. Ikaris helps a family in the rain in the middle of nowhere by magicking up a spare tyre for their car and changing it by hand. Phastos melts the gun of a mugger. Thena flies a cyclist out of the way of a speeding car. Sprite 'liberates' the billfold of a rich man and gives it to a beggar. Speeding Makkari gets involved in a police shoot-out.

All through the issue we've had a voiceover commentary by the Great Machine which finishes by assuring us that no trace of its 'malfunction' remains. But it ends with a smiley icon which suggests that it's not being entirely truthful.



Guiu Vilanova
Guiu Vilanova
Andres Mossa
Pascual Ferry (Cover Penciler)
Pascual Ferry (Cover Inker)
Matt Hollingsworth (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Cypher, Druig, Great Machine (Eternals AI), Kingo Sunen, Kro, Phastos, Sophia Robson, Sprite, Starfox, Syne, Thena, Uranos, Zuras.

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

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