AXE: Judgment Day is the best Marvel Comics crossover I’ve read in ages. Every issue so far and the vast majority of the tie-ins have been packed with tension, action, and character.
But what I like most is how the core title — which forms the narrative spine, from which the tie-ins split off like ribs — has delivered such expertly divided beats of story, completely and neatly reframing the direction the arc with the rhythm of release.
Issue 1 opened with “The Avengers and X-Men and Eternals are going to war,” and ended with “The good Eternals are going to try to make their own god, to tell the bad Eternals to stop the war.” In issue 2, the Eternals made their god, and it stopped the war but created a new problem. In issue 3, our heroes tried to destroy the god to avoid being judged, only to realize that judgment was inevitable. And now, in issue 4, our heroes’ Hail Mary plan to reshape the moral fiber of humanity as a species... Well, you’ll never guess what happened next.
But here’s a hint: It’s a six-issue miniseries, not a four-issue one.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
If you guessed “It doesn’t work, and the Celestial appears to have vaporized all life on Earth,” congratulations! I have no idea what’s gonna happen next, and I can’t wait.
Speaking of life after death, DC’s Batman vs. Robin #1 appears to be teasing the resurrection of Alfred Pennyworth, who died three years ago in the final throes of Tom King’s Batman run. With the nature of comic book twists and turns, it’s far too soon to say if Alfred’s back to stay — but if any book on DC’s shelves was going to do it, this title is more likely than most.
In his recent Damian Wayne-starring books like Robin and Shadow War, writer Joshua Williamson has explored the youngest Robin’s guilt over indirectly causing Alfred’s death, and how the stalwart butler was one of his steadiest role models, making it a shoe-in for closure in this also-Damian-starring miniseries.
I’m still utterly fascinated by Marvel’s newest Predator comic, which is set in a far future where humanity shares the galaxy with so many different and equally technologically advanced alien species that seeing some dude whose species you don’t even know is completely unremarkable. It’s Prey meets Star Wars and I’m really here for it.
I’ve found it annoyingly difficult to keep up with the timey-wimey shenanigans of the new Venom series, not to mention the five weird-ass symbiote dudes the book has introduced. This newest issue finally explains the whole deal: They’re all future versions of Eddie Brock, locked in an endless cycle of watching each other emotionally evolve into each other over the course of all time. Eddie Brock is now a new, self-destructive Kang the Conqueror and I feel like I understand what is going on in this book for the first time. I just wish it hadn’t taken 10 issues.
I don’t have much to say here other than: The fact that we live in a world where Superman can cap off a storyline with a full page spread of him kissing his boyfriend has not gotten old.
I don’t have much to say here other than: Mister Sinister being an absolute weirdo creep for laughs, 24/7, in every X-Men-related comic, is one of the best things of the Krakoan era.
Mr. Fun??? Mr. Fun?!?!?! The character I only remember because for years I have owned this comic, featuring one of the greatest and least explicable pieces of text on a comic cover ever printed:
That Mr. Fun?!