A major mutant dies, the Eternals get a surprising new leader, and Earth is turned to ash in AXE: Judgment Day #4

·3 min read
 AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia
AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia

September 14's AXE: Judgment Day #4 turns the entire story on its head with huge developments for the Eternals and the X-Men, with the Avengers still caught in the middle as the Celestial makes its judgment on Earth.

And with that last bit, the event - which still has two issues to go - reaches a massive climax, with repercussions that will undoubtedly be felt throughout the entire Marvel Universe.

Because the Marvel Universe as we know it may not even exist anymore…

Spoilers ahead for AXE: Judgment Day #4

AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia
AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

AXE: Judgment Day #4 from writer Kieron Gillen and artists Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia, and letterer Clayton Cowles takes its toll on all sides involved - and passes the newly birthed Celestial's final, fateful judgment on the entire world.

But we'll get to that.

First up, the mutant casualties. In this week's concurrent X-Men Red #6 from writer Al Ewing, artists Stefano Caselli and Federico Blee, and letterer Ariana Maher, Magneto manages to hold himself together after having his heart ripped out by the evil Eternal Uranos in the previous issue. In #6, Storm backs him up, using the electromagnetic combination of their powers to supercharge him enough to keep his blood pumping through his control of its iron content.

The pair finish off Uranos's forces in X-Men Red #6 - just in time for Uranos himself to be unleashed once more in AXE: Judgment Day #4, with Magneto fighting his last stand against the nigh-unbeatable villain, dying of his mortal wounds.

AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia
AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

You'd think that wouldn't be a problem, with the mutants having the Resurrection Protocols that allow them to be brought back from the dead. But Magneto just deleted the DNA and psychic data necessary to do so, meaning he may have just died for real. We'll go ahead and guess that "died for real" still doesn't mean "died forever" - though there will likely be some lasting toll on Magneto, whatever happens.

As for why Druig, the current Prime Eternal who declared war on mutants in the first place, unleashes Uranos a second time, it's because he's about to lose his Prime Eternal status in a vote called by the heroic Eternals Sersi and Ikaris.

They announce their candidate for Prime Eternal - the recently returned Eros. And to seal his victory, the hack the psychic Eternal Uni-Mind in which the vote is called to allow the mutants in - all of whom vote for Eros. Uranos promises Druig the votes of his bloodline (which includes both Thanos and Eros, who are brothers and nephews of Uranos) if he is freed.

AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia
AXE: Judgment Day #4 art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

In desperation, Druig agrees, but Uranos betrays him, and instead goes about trying to destroy the mutants once more - leading to Magneto's death as described above.

But Magneto buys enough time for Tony Stark to lead the Eternals in trapping Uranos back in his prison, and Eros is voted Prime Eternal.

Eros refuses to use his powers to manipulate the minds of the people on Earth to love each other, instead addressing world leaders to come together in peace, and promising that the Eternals will share Celestial technology to help advance the human race.

However, all of this winds up being for nothing - as the newly built Celestial makes his judgment - and gives Earth and all life on it the thumbs down. As Captain America tries to shield civilians from the Celestial's energy blasts, he and apparently everyone else on Earth turn to ash.

Ominously, the descriptive text for September 21's AXE: Judgment Day #5 given in the back of the current issue reads simply, "It's too late."

But this is Marvel Comics - so we're guessing someone, somewhere, is going to manage to save the day.

Will AXE: Judgment Day make the list of the most impactful Marvel Comics events of all time?