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Red light from above vaporizes agonized human figures into skeletons, as the small figure of Captain America futilely raises his shield to protect another in AXE: Judgment Day #4 (2022). Image: Kieron Gillen, Valerio Schiti/Marvel Comics

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The Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals just fought a god, and the god won

[Sung to the tune of ‘I Fought the Law’]

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

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.)

AXE: Judgment Day #4

“You have all lived enough,” intones the huge Celestial, through narration boxes that all people on Earth can hear, “If you had a million years, you’d never do enough. You’ll always be better tomorrow.” The Eternals and Avengers look on in horror as it turns its massive thumb down in AXE: Judgment Day #4 (2022). Image: Kieron Gillen, Valerio Schiti/Marvel Comics

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.

Batman vs. Robin #1

“Whoever you are, this is in unforgivably poor taste,” says Bruce Wayne, as he thinks of all the possible supervillains who could have created the illusion of Alfred Pennyworth standing in his doorway. “Alfred Pennyworth is dead.” In Batman vs. Robin #1 (2022). Image: Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar/DC Comics

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.

Predator #2

A teenage human girl holds up a couple of aliens, in a snowy locale, stealing their bike but leaving them survival equipment in Predator #2 (2022). Image: Ed Brisson, Kev Walker/Marvel Comics

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.

Venom #10

A tall, handsome, horned symbiote figure, explains to a pathetic, symbiote-dripping Eddie Brock that he is trapped in an endless temporal cycle where he eventually becomes the tall figure himself in Venom #10 (2022). Image: Al Ewing, Bryan Hitch/Marvel Comics

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.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #15

Superman/Jon Kent, dramatically kisses his boyfriend in Superman: Son of Kal-El #15 (2022). Image: Tom Taylor, Cian Tormey/DC Comics

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.

Amazing Spider-Man #9

Mister Sinister asks “Those webs, do they come straight out of your —” “No,” Spider-Man interrupts him. “ you WANT them to?” Sinister continues, in Amazing Spider-Man #9 (2022). Image: Zeb Wells, Patrick Gleason/Marvel Comics

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.

Batgirls #10

Mr. Fun, a balding man in nerdy glasses, khaki slacks, a button down, suspenders, and a tie, nurses a whiskey in front of a crazy yarn wall and muses about how he’s going to take out the trash in Gotham City in Batgirls #10 (2022). Image: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Neil Googe/DC Comics

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:

Mr. Fun, a balding man in nerdgy glasses, khaki pants, a button down and tie, and suspenders, clobbers Nightwing off a rooftop with a golf club while Batman and Batgirl look on in horror. “Mulligan of DEATH!,” reads the cover of Batman: Family #7 (2003). Image: Stefano Gaudiano/DC Comics

That Mr. Fun?!


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