Marvel’s merry mutants have spent the past few years since their excellent new genesis in House and Powers of X largely keeping to themselves on the living island Krakoa. Their interaction with the wider world of Marvel’s heroes has been limited, and when it does happen, it’s strictly on their own terms. That’s changing this summer… for better or worse. Because “worse” here might mean all out war.
Marvel has lifted the lid on its big summer event for 2022, Judgement Day, a three-way smash up between the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Eternals. It’s penned by Kieron Gillen — current Eternals scribe and also spearheading Immortal X-Men in the upcoming third wave of Krakoan-age books, the Destiny of X — and illustrated by Valerio Schiti with colours from Marte Gracia. On the surface the new crossover calls to mind past line-wide X-events like Avengers vs. X-Men and Inhumans vs. X-Men: one big Marvel faction has a problem with mutantkind, and now they’re going to argue/punch each other about it.
This time, the Eternals (who have discovered many secrets about their own past in their current series) uncover a “devastating truth” about mutants, who of course already have plenty of secrets they have been keeping since the establishment of Krakoa as a sovereign state. Meanwhile, the Avengers — who are already on the outs with the Celestials and their agents the Eternals for making Avengers HQ inside of a dead Celestial they’re excavating for research purposes — find themselves thrust in the middle of the Eternals’ brazen assault on Krakoa, looking to calm both factions down before the ascendant Homo Superior and Earth’s most ancient defenders tear the planet apart.
It’s all what you’d expect out of a Marvel crossover — lots of punching and yelling, lots of deep secrets to uncover, lots of big revelations that will mean nothing is ever the same again until it sort of is in time for all this to be upended by the next event. Or, as writer Kieron Gillen puts it, getting to conduct one particular movement in a grand symphony. ““There’s a classic metaphor to describe the Marvel Universe — a toybox, which creators take toys out of, play with and put back. I get it, but it’s never quite how I’ve seen it — I think ‘play’ in another way. I think of a music shop, with all these instruments with their different qualities suggesting different songs, different stories,” Gillen told Marvel.com. “For all the Marvel instruments I’ve played, I’ve never written an event. Writing an event is something different. It’s not like playing an instrument. It’s having all the instruments in the Marvel music shop. That’s not like writing a song. That’s like writing a symphony.”
It’ll be interesting to see, given Gillen’s own deep involvement with the ongoing future of both the Eternals and the X-Men, jut how things play out. The Eternals, of course, are coming off their on-screen debut in the MCU last year, and mutants have been riding high in this revitalized Krakoan era after a few years lying fallow in the comics world. Bringing the latter up against the former, especially for their first really in-depth re-integration into the wider Marvel universe beyond Krakoa’s shores, will create a lot of tension for X-fans who’ve mostly been able to confine themselves to the events of those particular books, rather than the big ol’ Marvel Multiverse.
Hopefully things will go a little bit better for mutantkind this time around. We’ll find out more when the opening salvo of Judgement Day begins in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day 2022 offering Avengers/X-Men #1 on May 7, and when the event itself kicks off later this summer.