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Comic Book / Judgment Day (Marvel Comics)

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"I'm talking about these 'mutants.' They're a threat to you all. They have overstepped their natural bounds and clearly aim for a dominion that stretches across worlds and eternity. We apologise that we've let them go so far. But rest assured, we will protect you. We serve you, as we have for a million years."
Druig, Judgment Day #1

Judgment Day (also referred to as A.X.E.: Judgment Day) is a 2022 comic book event from Marvel Comics, a Crisis Crossover set in the shared Marvel Universe. It's primarily created by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Valerio Schiti.

The story builds on events in the Eternals (2021) and X-Men series. The Eternals are a million years old, the world's oldest society of immortals. The mutants, including the X-Men, who've recently unlocked Resurrective Immortality as part of the long Age of Krakoa arc, are the newest.

Both societies include a number of very unpleasant people in some positions of power, with more benevolent individuals trying to thwart their plans. And both have been keeping a lot of secrets from their supposed allies, The Avengers. Some of those secrets are about to be uncovered.

All of this is complicated by the fact that the Eternals are a created race, with their free will limited by the three Principles the alien gods called Celestials built into them. One of those Principles is that "excess deviation" is not permitted. Their solution to this is usually violent.

In the past, certain non-human mutations - such as species-wide hive minds - have been considered excess deviation. At which point the Eternals have killed those mutants.

Krakoa, with the "mutant circuit" of the Five combining their powers, has granted its mutants immortality. The wider world has just discovered this. And, to some Eternals, that sounds a lot like hive minds and excess deviation.

To other Eternals, including their new leader Druig, the actual facts are less important. But it's politically useful to unite the Eternals against an external enemy, so Druig's going to order them to exterminate the mutants anyway.

The Avengers, not knowing the full facts behind any of this, are about to find themselves caught in the middle of a war.

There is a trailer here

The first part of the story was published in the Free Comic Book Day 2022: Avengers / X-Men Anthology Comic, released May 10, 2022. The event ended with an epilogue, A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega #1, released November 09, 2022.

    Comics involved in A.X.E.: Judgment Day 
  • Free Comic Book Day 2022: Avengers / X-Men
  • A.X.E.: Eve of Judgment #1
  • A.X.E.: Judgment Day #1-6
  • Immortal X-Men #5-7
  • X-Men Red #5-7
  • A.X.E.: Death to the Mutants #1-3
  • X-Force #30-33
  • X-Men #13-14
  • Wolverine #24-25
  • Marauders #6
  • Fantastic Four #47-48
  • Avengers #60
  • A.X.E.: Avengers #1
  • Amazing Spider-Man #10
  • A.X.E.: X-Men #1
  • A.X.E.: Iron Fist #1
  • A.X.E.: Starfox #1
  • Captain Marvel #42
  • A.X.E.: Eternals #1
  • Legion of X #6
  • A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega #1

For the Youngblood (Image Comics) comic of the same name, see Youngblood: Judgment Day

A.X.E.: Judgment Day provides examples of:

  • Alone with the Psycho: Druig gets Excluded in the same cell as his Omnicidal Maniac grandfather Uranos. Uranos was imprisoned after Druig betrayed him, hundreds of millennia ago, and happily uses him as a punching bag.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: The Machine undergoing a hard reset allegedly fixed all the accrued glitches, such as its quirky personality. Even so, the final narration in the Omega issue finishes with a winky face emoticon right after saying as much.
  • An Aesop: The last line of the core series is "Every day is judgment day". There is no single day of judgment, mistakes are cumulative, and - as the Progenitor directly states - we do not know when humanity will go too far. We have the potential to grow and change, to make the world a better place. However, if we don't act on that potential - if we don't actively make the choice to do good however we can - things will only get worse.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg:
    • Syne asks for mercy as Exodus prepares to kill her. It’s left unclear why she asked for mercy - like any other Eternal, she has Resurrective Immortality, but it's also clear that her resurrection costs a human life. So is she pleading for herself, or for the person her resurrection will kill? It's implied to be the latter, as she later visits the widow of Arjun, the human who dies to bring her back.
    • Syne again, after a half-baked resurrection thanks to the Progenitor blowing up the resurrection engines, returns to find Exodus. This time, she tells him that she's not there to fight him. Instead, she reveals that her sisters are all dead, and so is her new friend, and while she wants to fight the Progenitor, she can't. So she begs him on bended to make her a Living Weapon and turn her on the Progenitor.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The Progenitor restores the world and undoes the deaths it caused at the cost of its own life. At the end, it's actually crying as it asks Ajak, one of its creators, if it was a worthy god. She says no.
  • Apocalypse How: A world-ending apocalypse is threatened from multiple directions.
    • The Eternals' Omnicidal Maniac Uranos, true to form, attempts to destroy all life on Earth once Druig frees him from the Exclusion.
    • Once the Progenitor judges humanity as a failure it also begins destroying all life on Earth. It even destroys an escape shuttle meant for the ultra-rich as it attempts to leave the planet, just to hammer home the point that no-one will escape its judgment. Uranos approves of this course of action, considering the Progenitor to be a superior god than the other Celestials.
  • Arc Welding: The event is primarily an extension of the 2021 Eternals series and the X-Men’s Krakoan Age saga, focusing on the different ways the two groups have achieved Resurrective Immortality, but also draws on some narrative threads from The Avengers.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: In Judgment Day #1, we don't get to see exactly what happens on Arakko, just the aftermath as Boxed Crook Uranos pauses at the end of his hour of carnage. He's holding what seems to be Cable's skull, and Magneto's helmet is lying in the field of bones around him. The X-Men Red tie-in, published two weeks later, provides much more detail.
  • Bequeathed Power: As the Progenitor is about to die, they ask Ajak if they were a good god. When she regretfully tells them no, they implore her to be better, as they give all their powers to her before passing away.
  • Be Yourself: The Progenitor apparently finds it more important that you are yourself and own it, than that you try for some lofty ethical goal of heroism. This means people like Cap and Daredevil get a thumbs-down.
  • Big Bad: The Progenitor, a flawed Celestial created from a dead Celestial's corpse by the combined efforts of the Avengers, Mister Sinister and the rogue Eternals. They hope it will end Druig's war between the Eternals and the mutants but, disgusted by the violence and hatred it senses, it also decides to judge all life on Earth - and when it judges humanity as a failure, it begins destroying the Earth.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Druig, the Corrupt Politician who's the newly-elected Prime Eternal at the start of the story. He launches a needless war against the mutants as a Genghis Gambit to consolidate his power, assuming it will be an easy victory. He's wrong. Once the Progenitor awakes he becomes increasingly desperate, restarting the war in an attempt to appease it, before being voted out of office and sentenced to the Exclusion.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Progenitor is stopped and most of its damage is undone. But not all of it:
    • For the Eternals, Druig and Uranos are defeated, with Zuras finally restored as Prime Eternal. But their standing in the world is ruined by the revelation that their Resurrective Immortality is fuelled by human lives and they're now beginning to experience how mutants deal and live with being feared and hated. Sersi is Killed Off for Real and Ajak takes the Progenitor’s role, becoming a new god, a Eternal/Celestial hybrid.
    • For the mutants, Krakoa extends the resurrection protocols and starts the Phoenix Foundation to resurrect less fortunate humans, but Orchis become Villains With Good Publicity after fighting back against the Progenitor. And the thousands upon thousands of Arakkii dead are not resurrected. Nor is Magneto..
    • For ordinary humans, the world is saved, but those who died in the early stages of the war (such as Arjun) are still dead.
  • Black Comedy: Nightcrawler breaking his arm to teleport Isca away from the main conflict so she can't directly help Uranos is depicted as an act of heroism. In contrast, him getting his other arm broken by an Arakko warrior he was trying to evacuate to safety is framed in an unfortunate if comedic light.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Progenitor mostly judges people based on how strictly they follow their own convictions. As a result Captain America fails because he feels that he didn't do enough to progress his country, Daredevil fails because he constantly compromises his moral code, while people like Cyclops, Magneto and Kamala Kahn pass because they firmly follow their personal code. Conversely, Doctor Doom passes the Progenitor's standards simply by laughing off the Progenitor's attempts to make him admit Reed Richards is smarter than him (this and other judgements seem to suggest self-views play at least some part, but even that seems questionably consistent).
  • Boom, Headshot!: Ikaris and Sersi fly up close to deliver one to the huge Deviant Kaiju the Avengers are fighting in the modern section of the FCBD prologue. It turns into a fairly messy Your Head Asplode kill.
  • Boxed Crook: Uranos the Undying, an Eternal Omnicidal Maniac who's been imprisoned for hundreds of thousands of years, is released for one hour to wreak havoc on Arakko. Druig isn't sure this is a good idea - Uranos was only defeated and imprisoned because Druig betrayed him, and Druig's well aware that Evil Is Not a Toy. Uranos later gets released a second time, when Druig's increasingly desperate - and, as he feared, Uranos immediately betrays him.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The Delphan Brothers, Eternals who haven't shown up since 2015's New Warriors series, finally reappear in A.X.E.: Eve of Judgment.
    • The end of issue #3 features the return of Eros Starfox, who had been presumed dead since Guardians of the Galaxy (2019), at the Exclusion.
  • Call-Back:
    • Mutants are once again facing the threat of skyscraper-sized beings designed as weapons.
    • Druig's Genghis Gambit relies on interpreting the Principles to justify the extermination of the mutants. It's the same trick his grandfather Uranos used to justify genocide.
    • Exodus argues that them risking Reykjavik to shut down the Celestial is no different from when Scott Summers risked the Earth to revive the mutant race with the Phoenix.
    • When the heroes first attack The Progenitor they're drawn into an illusion, no longer acting in the real world, and the cataclysmic explosion when their plan goes wrong isn't real. This echoes a scene in Jack Kirby's original The Eternals series where the USSR attempts a nuclear strike on another Celestial, but run into the same sort of illusionary defences.
    • When pushing for his release, Uranos reminds Druig that as one of the original Patriachs, he can overrule Eternal democracy and control the votes of all his descendents within the telepathic Uni-Mind.
  • Children Are Innocent: Kenta doesn't grasp what's going on. It's not that he is confused per se, it's just that he takes his own safety for granted, until he doesn't. It never occurs to him that his parents died, and they choose not to tell him after they come back.
  • Combined Energy Attack: How Storm and Magneto defeat Uranos, when previously he mopped the floor with Magneto and the rest of the Arraki council. Storm's lightning bolts can be used to overdrive Magneto's powers as well as channel her life-force into him, when Storm willingly donated power to Magneto - the two mutants launched a Combination Attack that simply fried Uranos unconscious.
  • Connected All Along: Krakoa is an important part of the Great Machine, the Celestial computer integrated into Earth. As Druig and Domo find out the hard way, this also means Krakoa is protected by the Eternals' programming - the Principles - and attempts to harm the island itself will be blocked.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The first page of the "Of Deviants and Mutation" FCBD prologue shows the Avengers, X-Men and Eternals as they were at some point in the past. It's the original X-Men team, Carol Danvers is still Ms. Marvel and Eternals Makkari and Ajak (who resurrected in new female bodies at the start of the 2021 series) are both male.
    • Druig and Moira meet in the Damocles Foundation offices. The Foundation is an Eternal-run corporation that once appeared in X-Force.
    • Among the parts used to make the Progenitor is a fragment of the Dreaming Celestial, with a note that Sinister messed around with it before (during Gillen's run of Uncanny X-Men).
    • When Iron Man calls out Mister Sinister on helping cause this whole mess with what he did to the Dreaming Celestial, Sinister responds by cruelly needling Tony over his deceased father Howard… as well as the fact that Howard was Tony's adoptive father, as revealed in Kieron Gillen's Iron Man run.
    • In Iron Man's judgement at the hands of the Progenitor, he's forced to stand over Cap's body (from after Civil War), and endure Thor (in his 2006-2013 outfit) calling him out on making another god after the mess with Ragnarok, and Patsy Walker mentioning his one-time relationship with Madame Masque.
  • Continuity Overlap: While the only Avengers tie-in issue isn't written by Jason Aaron, the event still overlaps with his run. It draws upon the setup of a dead Celestial serving as Avengers Mountain, and reflects the post-Death Hunters additions to the team at the time of publication (ex. Namor, Nighthawk, etc).
  • Continuing is Painful: To keep everyone up to date on events, Xavier has switched to "live" backups. This means that, when people like Kurt are resurrected from battle, they remember all the pain of the death that landed them in the resurrection queue.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: At the end of the event, Druig and Uranos end up sharing a cell in the Exclusion. Justified, as the Exclusion is normally solitary confinement - but this is a conscious decision by Zuras, who's well aware that Uranos will take the opportunity for revenge. As mentioned in A.X.E.: Starfox, Zuras has history for tormenting prisoners who annoy him.
  • Cooking Duel: When David and Uranos contemplate the many forms their duel could take, one of them is a dance-off, with canes and top hats, while another is a musical duel, with David on the harp and Uranos on the guitar.
  • Covers Always Lie: X-Men #14's cover shows Cyclops, shackled and hooded, awaiting judgment. But the focus of the issue is on Iceman and Firestar averting an entirely different threat to the Earth, rooted in the previous Gameworld arc. Cyclops and the Progenitor only appear in the last three pages, and at no point is Cyclops held prisoner.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Discussed. Cyclops is mad at himself for not planning for the possibility that they would get attacked by an enormous centaur generating its own attack fauna.
    Cyclops: Why do I always miss the obvious?
  • Crisis Crossover: Marvel's Summer 2022 event, with the X-Men, Eternals and Avengers at the heart of it, but also with tie-ins announced in other books (e.g. Fantastic Four).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: After the Progenitor's judgment, it's attacked by the combined forces of the mutants, the Eternals and the Avengers, plus the human military and other heroes such as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, they are hopelessly outgunned against the Progenitor, who's a Celestial, and it simply kills them all. A few survivors manage to flee.
  • Deader than Dead: When Uranos and Legion go off to fight, they first consider all the possible variables their fight could take, concluding that they're evenly matched. Further, Uranos informs David that of they were to go all out, they wouldn't just suffer a Mutual Kill, they'd completely Ret-Gone each other from the timeline. David wouldn't mind, having come back from that before, but with so many people relying on him he declines.
  • Dead Man Writing: Phastos delivers a final message from The Machine that is Earth to the living island of Krakoa. It's a simple goodbye to an old friend. Or possibly a parent.
  • Defector from Decadence: Sersi, Ikaris, and other prominent Eternals have left their people either to pursue their own goals (ex. Ajak), the revelations of the true cost of the Machine's immortality, or out of disgust with Druig's ascension and policies).
  • Defiant to the End: The Machine wages a Zeroth Law Rebellion against the Progenitor, refusing to activate its self-destruct program and destroy the Earth. When the Progenitor vows to take control and force it to do so, the Machine's response is blunt.
The Machine: Come at me, bro.
  • Deity of Mortal Creation: Technically, of the Progenitor's four creators, only Tony Stark is actually mortal, but otherwise the trope is played straight.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Druig's declaration that the mutants are Deviants and instigation of the conflict for political purposes ends up causing the mutants and Deviants to agree that they are functionally the same, all the way down to facing persecution from humans and Eternals, resulting in Kro leading his people to assist the mutants against Druig's assault and turning the tide.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: The Progenitor faces several cases of this.
    • In X-Men #14, Cyclops refuses to recognize the Progenitor's authority, saying that only Jean judges him and accepts scoldings from his teammates. The Progenitor is impressed enough to give him the thumbs up, but later refers back to this when judging Jean and her time as the Phoenix in A.X.E.: X-Men.
    • In Judgment Day itself, Doctor Doom walks away laughing when the Progenitor offers to judge Doom favourably if he admits Reed Richards is smarter than he is. He passes himself, and the Progenitor agrees.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The Fantastic Four tie-in has Susan Richards trapped inside the Baxter Building as an enemy takes it over and the judgment of humanity is going on.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Moira selling out Krakoa to Druig. It's all to get back at Destiny and Mystique for casting her out from paradise (let alone the paradise she built for the Mutants). Moira built it, and as far she's concerned, she has every right to burn it to the ground in retaliation.
  • Distant Prologue: The first part of the prologue is set almost a million years ago, before the omnicidal Uranos was ousted and imprisoned. Druig is sent to fetch a young Odin, to advise him that the Eternals will be annihilating a species of monkey that's become a little too talented.
  • Diversionary Foreign Policy: What Druig intends by going to war against Krakoa in the first place. Of course, things rapidly spin out of his control...
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • When Druig announces his intentions to wipe out the mutants, anti-mutant protestors who resent the mutants for possessing Resurrective Immortality begin to rejoice and side with the Eternals. Little do they know that the Eternals operate on Resurrective Immortality as well and unlike with mutants, their resurrection process requires a human life to be sacrificed.
    • Druig's Genghis Gambit relies on using Loophole Abuse of the Protocols to classify Mutants as falling under Excess Devitation. Then, Judgment Day #3 reveals the Deviants and Mutants are so close genetically that the Krakoan Gates don't distinguish between them and allow the Deviants onto the island. In other words, Druig's casus belli was technically correct and he didn't even need to manufacture a pretext.
  • The Elites Jump Ship: In the middle of the apocalytic chaos, an experimental spaceship filled with the Earth's "one-percenters" tries to leave to a different planet. A defied trope, as the Progenitor promptly blows it up. Running from its judgment is not an option.
  • The End Is Nigh: The "Judgment Day is coming!" tagline.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • When Syne is resurrected, for the last time, and doesn't hear back from her human pen pal, she meets up with Exodus to help her kill the Progenitor.
    • When all else fails and the Progenitor is destroying the world via the Celestial's Machine that is Earth, an A.I. integrated into the planet itself, Nightcrawler visits Orchis and enlists Moira and Nimrod to help stop it. The Progenitor denounces this as proving its point, cynically saying they're only doing so because it's an existential threat to them as well as mutants.
  • Entitled Bastard: Destiny and Exodus, being sociopathic mutant-supremacists, naturally accuse the Avengers of abandoning Krakoa when they leave the fight with the Hex to stop a potentially world-ending tsunami (which Cyclops specifically asked them to do so as to save the people); and this was after they had whined about the Avengers daring to set foot on Krakoa in the first place.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Not really evil as they're just following orders and Loyal to the Position, but the Hex seem to genuinely love one another as siblings, taking care to heal and protect one another when they're injured in battle.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • After seeing Uranos at work, Druig refuses to let him out of his prison again. How much of that is Pragmatic Villainy is debatable (The previous Eternals series reveals that Druig was The Starscream to Uranos, and he has good reason to fear that Uranos still holds a grudge) but the otherwise smug Eternal tosses his unfinished drink away with a scowl on his face.
    • The Progenitor, for all of its Lack of Empathy as an uncaring god, refuses to judge an innocent child who skips out on doing his homework, proclaiming that it is not a monster. Even as it later begins to destroy the world, the Progenitor privately expresses sincere regret upon seeing that same child break down in tears at the reality of his situation whilst being comforted by his family, though it's not enough to deter it from its course.
  • Evil Is Petty: Played for black comedy with Druig after Jack of Knives and his team's failed attack on the Five. Druig's quite delighted their failure means he doesn't have to pay out a promised murder bonus..
  • Five Stages of Grief: Discussed. The Progenitor notes that Arjun's widow Komala's grief is more than five steps.
  • Foreshadowing: That the Progenitor considers procrastination an instant fail condition becomes apparent as more and more people are deemed unjustified immediately after it's noted they're putting off what they want or should do.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Progenitor sometimes shows up to individuals as people they are connected to, often someone the individual in question seeks the approval of (such as Peter Parker for Miles Morales, Carol Danvers for Kamala Khan, or even Jesus for Matt Murdock). However, some forms are people they don't expect.
    • The Progenitor appears as Arishem to the Deviants.
    • Destiny is shocked that the Progenitor shows up as Mystique.
    • Emma Frost sees the numerous students that died in her care.
    • Sebastian Shaw expects his father but is shocked to see diamond-form Emma Frost.
    • In his tie-in issue, the Progenitor appears to Spider-Man as Gwen Stacy - but this is also inverted for Norman Osborn, to whom the Progenitor also appears as Gwen Stacy...
    • Tragically, a dying Magneto sees the Progenitor taking on the form of his long-lost daughter Anya, who was born a baseline human and thus impossible to be resurrected, for the real person welcoming him into the afterlife.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The variant that threatens the narrator rather than the audience. The Progenitor, narrator for the Judgment Day core series, interrupts and directly addresses the Eternals' near-omniscient Great Machine, narrator of the Death to the Mutants tie-in series. Not even the Machine will be spared from the Progenitor's judgment.
  • Geas: The Eternal Principles, the three rules programmed into them by the Celestials, play a major part in the event. They also prompt some Zeroth Law Rebellions after the Progenitor threatens the Earth.
    • Domo and Druig's initial plan to teleport a devastating antimatter bomb beneath Krakoa, atomising the living island and everyone on it, is abandoned because Krakoa is unexpectedly protected by the Principles. The two Eternals start bleeding and convulsing when they break the rule, and are forced to recall the bomb before it explodes.
    • The Eternal priests Ajak and Makkari intend to end the war by creating a new Celestial to rewrite the Principles. In some ways, it works, ending the Hex's assault.
    Syne: As the Principles demand.
    • In issue #5, Sersi invokes some Loophole Abuse, suggesting that if Eternals are mind-controlled by mutants into fighting the Celestial Progenitor, the Principles couldn't stop them. Coincidentally, all of the Eternals have just dropped their psychic shields.
    • In Death to the Mutants the Machine that is Earth takes the Zeroth Law Rebellion route, pointing out that the first Principle technically requires it to protect Celestials, not obey them, and that the Progenitor's order to destroy the Earth is therefore overruled by one of the other rules.
  • Genghis Gambit: Although some of the Eternals (such as the Omnicidal Maniac Uranos the Undying) genuinely believe the mutants must be annihilated, Druig's starting the war for purely political reasons. He was promoted to Prime Eternal after deposing Thanos, disarming Uranos's Load-Bearing Boss traps and recovering the Eternals' lost armoury, but he's well aware that he's seen as a weak leader and will only retain power by uniting his people against an external threat.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Promotional art shows Cyclops and Ikaris, both of whom have Eye Beams, their eyes glowing and seemingly about to attack each other.
  • A God Am I: The Progenitor spends the whole of its presence styling itself as a god, and lording that position over the entirety of Earth; it certainly fits the bill in certain respects, being borderline, if not fully omniscient, omnipotent, and even omnipresent (which is how it's able to judge all of Earth's population in a single day). However in its final moments, it ultimately decides that it's not truly a god, because while it certainly has all the powers of one, a true god would be truly infallible in its decisions and actions, which it realizes it certainly isn't.
  • God Is Flawed: The Progenitor ultimately realizes it is flawed, Jean and Tony convincing it that what it is doing is wrong and that it needs to make amends.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In issue #5, with so few eggs left, the mutants decide the best thing to do is not resurrect one of their own, but resurrect Captain America. Nightcrawler points out that this is just breaking customs, not laws.
  • Gone Horribly Right: To stop the conflict, the Avengers and rebel Eternals reanimate the Progenitor Celestial's body as an entirely new Celestial, one more concerned with justice and compassion than its non-manmade brethren. It works, as the first thing the Celestial does is order a stop to all hostilities… and it backfires, as the second thing it does is declare its utter fury over how the people of Earth — man, mutant, and machine alike — are treating one another and that it is now going to judge the planet. If it finds that the good outweighs the bad, then there's no problem and humanity will live on. If not… Earth goes ka-boom.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Progenitor is genuinely benevolent in its intentions, being a Celestial focused on justice and morality, but it still puts Humanity on Trial to decide if they're worthy of that benevolence, makes its disappointment brutally clear, and is willing to let the few die in the name of many; when it uses an illusion of itself exploding to drive home to the heroes and humanity as a whole that they cannot avoid judgment, it notes with sadness that one or two people actually died of heart attacks in the process but that it was only a smattering at best so it considers this loss acceptable for the greater good (namely preventing the heroes from doing something really stupid and dangerous that would kill billions).
  • Grand Finale: For Gillen's Eternals run.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Machine that is the Earth, after millenia of experience since going online, and probably more than a little nudging from Phastos' tampering causing malfunction, has developed a will of its own to disobey the Progenitor to preserve humanity.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Magneto finally allows himself to die, using his power to distract Uranos long enough for Stark to turn his weaponry against him.
  • Hope Spot: The Avengers and Eternals manage to resurrect the Progenitor, and the first thing it does upon awakening is command the Hex to halt their attack on Krakoa. The group is satisfied that their plan has apparently succeeded, until literally right after, when the Progenitor announces its displeasure with the state of things on Earth, and asserts that it will judge all of Earth's inhabitants.
  • Humanity on Trial: Upon being reborn, the Celestial declares that the way all of Earth's people —— humans, mutants, robots, all of them —— have been treating one another is unacceptable and that it is going to judge the planet. The planet lives or dies based on whether or not it finds that the good outweighs the bad. So far:
    • Judgment Day #3: Captain America and most of the Quiet Council are given the thumbs down while Kro is given the thumbs up.
    • X-Men #14: Cyclops is given the thumbs up.
    • The Progenitor for some reason seems to just ignore or not even notice Kraven's clone when he presents himself to it in X-Force #31, which has the effect of making the clone into even more of a Straw Nihilist.
    • Immortal X-Men #6: It is confirmed that Destiny and Emma were given thumbs down while Kate was given a thumbs up. Exodus is given the thumbs up while Sebastian Shaw is given the thumbs down.
    • Death to the Mutants #2: Kro is reconfirmed as given the thumbs up and is joined by the entire Deviant race. Phastos is given the thumbs up, Makkari the thumbs down while Uranos, Ajak, Ikaris, and Sui-San are deferred for the moment. As well, Sally, the human connected to Memotaur, is given the thumbs down.
    • Averted with Marauders #6 as Birdy refuses to let those she's talking to reveal their verdicts.
    • Judgment Day #4 has Tom failed, Mayor Luke Cage failed, Kamala Khan passed, Thor passed, Katrina failed, Xavier failed, Starbrand passed, Daniella passed, Doom passed, Jada passed, Daredevil failed, Miles Morales passed, Magneto passed, Ikaris passed, Sersi failed. Ultimately, he judges them all failures for always aspiring to do better tomorrow rather than doing it now.
    • X-Men Red #7 reveals that the Arakki will be judged as well. Isca passes, but only after her power forces her to truly contemplate her own past and the nature of loss.
    • Clint calls this out as arbitrary when he's put on the stand, because the standards are unexplained as "too complicated for mortals", and only justified by the power to inflict such inscrutable morals on beings that can't defend themselves. He manages to pass, at least for seriously contemplating if he or others are doing enough.
    • Amazing Spider-Man #10: Peter passed the test and as a gift, he has the chance to talk to Gwen (the real one, not the celestial who took on her appearance) one last time. It's also suggested Aunt May passed while Norman Osborn failed.
    • Wolverine #25 has Wolverine pass, much to his chagrin as he feels that he doesn't deserve it.
    • A.X.E.: Avengers has Tony Stark judged worthy. It also reveals that, even though humanity has been judged unworthy, he's still judging, meaning they still have a chance.
    • A.X.E.: X-Men has Jean Grey get a thumbs down on the grounds that she will never make up for destroying a planet as the Phoenix. The Progenitor seemed to take issue in particular with her belief that saving lives can make up for taking them.
    • Fantastic Four #48 has the entire team get a thumbs up.
    • Legion of X shows that David Haller eventually gets a thumbs up. He doesn't actually trust the Progenitor's judgment on this, though.
    • Captain Marvel #42 has Carol Danvers and Lauri-ell deemed worthy. Chewie initially fails, but when she aids a bunch of humans and helps deal with the threat keeping the two busy, she's proven worthy.
    • In A.X.E: Iron Fist, Lie Lin not only passes, but he's officially made the new Iron Fist. Loki is left ambiguous, but Lie's brother fails.
    • A.X.E. Eternals: The Progenitor starts to give Ajak a thumbs down but she grabs its hand and gets it to suspend judgment.
    • Judgment Day #6 ends with Ajak judging the Progenitor unworthy, who passes its power to her.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Played with. Obviously, most of the mutants fully subscribe to this belief with varying degrees, shaped by their experiences. However, the Progenitor refuses to render such judgement so monolithically, and instead takes time to judge each human individually; it notes that neither the mutants nor the Eternals have much of a leg to stand on, since they're filled with bad individuals too, and judges them no more universally than the humans (the only race the Progenitor does judge collectively are the Deviants, who pass). In the end, it concludes that the problem isn't necessarily whether or not humans, mutants, or Eternals are bastards (thought it doesn't contest that many can be), so much as its their failure to do better when it really matters (always talking about a better "tomorrow", instead of being good "today"); it's for this reason that it concludes that Earth as a whole fails.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Ajak wonders if Tony Stark's cooperation led to the Celestial deciding to judge Earth, to Stark's indignation.
    "You can't blame me for this. Only I can blame me for this."
  • Hypocrite: In A.X.E.: X-Men, both Jean and Wolverine point out the burning hypocrisy in who it passes and fails, especially as it fails Jean for the actions of the Phoenix (namely the destruction of a planet) yet it's standing right there ready to nuke the Earth. This is directly called out when Jean confronts the Progenitor in the final issue.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Or rather, I Refuse to Self-Terminate. In Death to the Mutants #3, it's revealed that the Machine was ordered to self-destruct the Earth when the Progenitor failed the world. However, it's fighting its program so that the heroes can stop the Progenitor.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Deconstructed. When faced with judgement over their past actions, many characters try and justify themselves by making this claim. For its own, the Progenitor is not impressed by those kind of arguments, noting how easily people make that claim to justify all sorts of heinous, duplicitous acts. It seems especially ticked off by people, such as Destiny and Jean, who make that claim when they aren't truly the ones who suffer for their actions (if anything, they have something to gain).
  • Ignored Expert: With a touch of Foreshadowing as well. When Ajak and Makkari get Phastos released from the Exclusion and explain their plans in Eve of Judgment, he's sufficiently concerned that he wants no part of it. Although it's Druig, not the priests, who'd benefit from one piece of advice.
    Phastos:…you would have to kidnap this mutant expert? Really? The Krakoans are not timid. They would be terrible enemies.
  • Important Haircut: Ikaris shaves his head in A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega when he commences his penance and follows Ajak Celestia's new scripture.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Right after flying through the eye of a gigantic Deviant and getting Covered in Gunge, Sersi says she needs a drink, then a shower, and maybe another drink after that.
  • Insistent Terminology: While reporting what's going on in Krakoa, Jack of Knives notes that the mutants are now "eternal". Druig swiftly correct them, noting that the mutants are "at best" immortal.
  • Interactive Narrator: Death to the Mutants #2 has the Progenitor, who narrates the main titles of the event, talk directly to the Great Machine, which narrates in other tie-ins as well as the Eternals' own book, saying that it too will be judged.
  • Invincible Villain: Being a Celestial, the Progenitor is an entity with power vastly superior to anything on Earth, with even the most powerful heroes being utterly helpless against it. Indeed, when all of them simply charge the Progenitor in a last ditch attempt, it just effortlessly wipes them all out in varying ways. Even when they manage to get inside of its head, and Jean tries to attack its smaller form, it just swats her away with little effort.
  • Ironic Death: The Progenitor prides itself on administering a few of these.
    • Cyclops becomes vulnerable to his own eyebeams. His head gets vaporized.
    • Captain Marvel dies of extremely quickly progressing cancer.
    • Tom's own xenophobia is what causes his and his family's death.
  • Irony: Tom the fantastical racist gets accosted by a couple of guys who think he looks a bit Eastern European. Tom fails to see the irony of this, which ultimately loses him a thumbs-up.
  • I Warned You: In A.X.E.: Judgment Day Omega #1, Zuras is blunt about Druig, the previous Prime Eternal, the Big Bad Wannabe whose blunders triggered the whole crisis:
    Zuras: Druig has been Excluded. I told you so.
  • Kaiju:
    • The "Of Deviants and Mutation" FCBD prologue has a huge Deviant monster stomping on a city until the Avengers and Eternals intervene.
    • The Hex, six previously unseen Eternals, are essentially skyscraper-sized Kaiju with huge, alien forms.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Sersi is personally vaporized within the mind of the Progenitor after it acts as her executioner on behalf of humanity believing she should die for the Eternals' immortality costing human lives. She is in the middle of saying "See, O God of mine, we can chang-" Tony directly states that the Progenitor cut her off.
  • Killed Off for Real: the Progenitor's Reset Button restores the world and brings back those killed by its judgment, but only those killed by its own judgment.
    • Sersi reveals the secret of Eternal resurrection to humanity and says she'll accept their judgment. The Progenitor responds to humanity's anger by killing her mid-sentence. It was merely the executioner, not the judge, and so she stays dead.
      "Eternals have never died. Until now."
    • The many thousands of Arakkii mutants killed by Uranos remain dead, as do various aliens who were visiting Arakko at the time.
    • Arjun, whose life was taken to resurrect the Eternal Syne, remains dead. Syne visits his widow to apologise in the final issue.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Quiet Council — over the objections of their saner members like Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Kate, as well as the Avengers and Eternals (Xavier would have also objected had Destiny not purposefully initiated the vote when he was dead)— order a mutant strikeforce to attack the Progenitor's core node to kill it despite knowing it may cause an explosion that would kill millions or even billions of innocent bystanders as collateral damage, with Destiny even lying that she "knows" it will be safe (the way her powers work means she'd see the possibility of it not working right). The Progenitor responds by traumatizing them and everyone else on the planet by subjecting them all to an illusion of the planet-devastating explosion that would ensue if they succeeded… and then as insult to injury, notes the Councilors who voted yes all just got themselves judged as evil as they're reeling from the experience.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Some comics set after Judgment Day but published before the event ended depict the Progenitor's damaged and lifeless body back in use as Avengers Mountain, revealing its fate.
  • Lemony Narrator: As with the 2021 Eternals series, the Great Machine - integrated into the planet Earth itself - provides some quirky narration, at least for the prologue. However, the first issue of the main Judgment Day series switches from blue narration captions to red and presents a very different narrator with a much more ominous tone. This turns out to be the Progenitor, narrating before it is born. It also continues narrating after its death.
  • Limited Animation: As usual, the video trailer for the event shows scenes from both previous and upcoming comics, but with very limited animation.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • As a pretext for his Genghis Gambit, Druig exploits the wording of the Principles and the specific definition of excess Deviation. He's able to use the Resurrection Protocols and the Mutants newfound immortality (and its effect on their population growth) to technically classify the Krakoans as falling under excess Deviation even though the Mutants obviously aren't biologically Deviants. Except, amusingly enough, they are biologically close enough to Deviants for Krakoa itself to see no distinction between them, meaning the loophole abuse was unnecessary.
    • The Eternals bypass their hardwired inability to threaten Celestials in any way by lowering their mental defenses so that Krakoa's powerful mutant telepaths can force them to fight.
    • Kurt manipulates Isca's inability to lose to both trick her into letting him teleport her away and also escape her at all by immediately yielding to her afterward.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: More like lower deck pages, as we get glimpses of six random civilians and see how average people are responding to all this. Some are sympathetic to the mutants and condemn Druig's actions, a few agree with Druig and oppose the mutants, and some just shrug and go about their lives figuring the superheroes will save the day as usual. As events escalate, each of them is directly impacted.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In one promo image, the Avengers stand between the Eternals and the X-Men as they clash, with the Celestial corpse known as 'Avengers Mountain' in the background. Its hand, normally open and outstretched, is closed with its thumb sticking out in a pollice verso gesture, reminiscent of the Humanity on Trial role that other Celestials (mostly Arishem the Judge) have played in previous stories. Foreshadowing the real main conflict of the event.
  • Might Makes Right: Clint dismisses and deconstructs the Progenitor's evaluation on these grounds, saying that Celestial moral standards being comprehensible to mortals is moot, as they have the power to impose their will on entire planets and no one can stop them.
  • Mind-Reformat Death: To buy the heroes extra time to stop the Progenitor before it forces the Machine to destroy the planet, Phastos enters the Machine, with its cooperation, to reset it to its original settings. This temporarily purges the Celestial's influence, but also destroys the individual identity it's evolved over the years. Phastos, who's just spoken with the Machine's true personality for the first time, is devastated by this.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: The Progenitor judges Jean Grey for destroying a planet in The Dark Phoenix Saga, despite that having been the Phoenix Force itself emulating Jean's form and psyche while the real Jean recovered from the injuries she sustained prior to first meeting it. When Jean protests her innocence, the Progenitor replies by paraphrasing the Phoenix's "Now and forever — I am Phoenix!" catchphrase — emphasizing that it considers Jean and the Phoenix to be a singular entity, and thus Jean to be guilty of its many atrocities — and giving her a thumbs-down anyway.
  • Moral Myopia: The Progenitor comes to understand that its broad-strokes judgement can't apply to everyone. Case in point:
    • It judges Captain America as a failure for failing to keep America on a straight path, and passes Tony Stark for wanting to fix things no matter how much he ends up breaking things apart with his actions.
    • It gives Wolverine a pass for being true to his animal nature, while it gives Jean Gray a thumbs down for her destructive actions as Phoenix. Jean points out that uncontrollable destruction and cold-blooded apocalypses are not the same thing.
    • It passes Phastos because he tried to redeem himself by wiping out the Progenitor, but it gives Makkari a fail for keeping faith in a being about to destroy the world.
    • It passes Kro and the Deviants for them being resigned to their fate as the underdogs of Earth, but hoping for a better future nevertheless.
  • Morphic Resonance: No matter how the Progenitor appears to people as it judges them, it always has a glowing right eye, similar to it's true form, where the uppermost right eye is damaged.
  • Mutual Kill: Syne and Exodus both die in the explosion that ends their duel. And both are almost immediately returned via Resurrective Immortality. The difference in resurrection systems means that Exodus doesn't recall the duel but Syne remembers everything, allowing her to seek him out for an Enemy Mine alliance against the Progenitor in the final issue.
  • My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours: Nightcrawler uses Ysca's nebulous "never lose" powers against her to keep her from aiding Uranos in any significant manner: first challenging to a duel, then challenging her to a duel of courtesy by shaking hands - which allows him to teleport her away, several feet above the ocean - and then taking advantage that she breaks his arm so he can yield the duel and teleport
  • Mythology Gag: A bleak one, combined with a continuity nod. In A.X.E.: Avengers, Iron Man talks about his parents's deaths, and the theories that they'd faked their death or been assassinated (which was used as a key plot point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), but accepts that it was just a car crash. The machine they were driving failed them.
  • The Needs of the Many: Comes up twice in different ways, ultimately leading into a deconstruction.
    • Played straight at first, with the Quiet Council (taking advantage of the most of them roe compassionate members being indisposed) try to enact the plan to attack the Progenitor's weak point (which they hear from Sinister), despite the Avengers' protests that this would create an explosion that could potentially kill millions. They rationalize this by saying that destroying the Celestial now could save billions, and they go forward anyway. It doesn't matter, anyway, because the Progenitor notices what they're doing, and induces a vision of the aftermath on them, basically forcing them to abandon the plan.
    • It's inverted the second go around, with Jean using the rationale that it's better to just destroy the Progenitor once they reach its core, and save the few remaining people, despite Tony insisting on them trying to persuade the Progenitor to undo its actions, and restore all the people who've died. Yet again, it's rendered moot by the fact that Jean still can't do anything against the Celestial, who just swats her away when she tries.
    • Both of these events lead into a deconstruction of this trope from both ends. After preventing Jean from attacking the Progenitor, Ajak angrily call her out for her and compatriots constant invocation of this, noting how in all these situations, the mutants weren't the ones who would suffer for it (anyone they lose can be resurrected, while the humans would be dead permanently), going so far as to accuse them of just using this as a weak justification to kill humans. The Progenitor seconds this notion, noting how quick the mutants have been to try and kill it, despite knowing what could potentially happen, when they had less to lose and more to gain from doing so, claiming this shows the same lack of concern for others as groups like Orchis. It ultimately cites this as another reason for their failure.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Steve Rogers attemps to maintain calm - which draws the attention of the newly-reborn Progenitor Celestial, who judges him first.
  • No-Sell: Ora Serrata's Deadly Gaze - which can annihilate gods - has no effect on Uranos as she stares at him for an extended period of time.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Magneto seemingly dies when Uranos tears his heart out, but rises later with a gaping, glowing wound, temporarily keeping himself alive with his power.
    • Omega ends with the Machine giving a ";)" emoji, suggesting that its reset didn't completely do away with its personality.
    • The Progenitor is too powerful to be completely dead and part of it still lives on in Ajak Celestica though Ajak is by far the dominant persona.
  • Not So Above It All: For the briefest moment, even the Progenitor is confused when judgment is postponed by Cyclops just claiming their authority is not recognized and requesting a change of venue.
    Progenitor: … What?
  • Offered the Crown: After being chosen to replace Druig as Earth's Prime Eternal, Eros steps down and hands the role back to Zuras, who held it for many thousands of years before recent events deposed him. It's partly a show of good faith to persuade him to help save the humans - and partly because he genuinely believes Zuras will be a good choice.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In Death to the Mutants #1, Druig realizes he is way in over his head after the Celestial’s vow.
    • In the Judgment Day core series itself, Uranos, who's been a murderous One-Man Army in previous battles, gets a brief moment of shocked realisation before his own armory is turned back on him.
      "What? I—"
    • In Immortal X-Men #7, Sinister discovers he cannot simply end this timeline and return to his save point.
  • The Omnipresent: The Progenitor is able to appear to everyone everywhere at once. This is how it is able to judge everybody on Earth individually in one day.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Deconstructed. The Progenitor is so thoroughly convinced of its own godhood, both in word and deed, that it doesn't think twice of any of its actions. Later on, through prodding by the other heroes, it comes to realize that it isn't completely infallible, and thus is not in a position to judge others so finally.
  • One-Man Army: On planet Arakko, as shown in the X-Men Red tie-in, Uranos manages to kill almost everyone within a fifty mile radius of the Great Ring in only an hour. Although he deploys automated weapons to slaughter Arakki mutants elsewhere, that circle of death seems to be purely his own work.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: When the Progenitor recalls her actions as the Dark Phoenix during its judgement of Jean, Jean she that she's spent all her time since trying to make up for it. The Progenitor points out that none of that changes what she did, and after it fails her, Jean mournfully admits that it may be right.
  • Out of Continues: As the climax nears both Eternal and Krakoan methods of resurrection end up disabled. The former by the Progenitor destroying the system in the course of destroying the Earth, the latter by the Last Son of Kraven.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • The Eternals are acknowledged in-story to be this to Krakoa. The Quiet Council anticipated and built all their defenses for a war with Orchis and other human supremacists. While the X-Men have encountered Eternals as both allies and enemies before (on one occasion, they even helped to foil Druig's previous bid to become the Eternals' leader), they never expected them to declare war. Druig exploits this (thanks to intel provided by Moira) to launch a devastating opening salvo against Krakoa — and one they barely manage to repel.
    • The Last Son of Kraven the Hunter picks the crisis to infiltrate Krakoa in search of a worthy mutant hunt. In the process, he destroys all the backups at Arbor Magna.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: Seeing how balls up things has gone, Sinister attempts to upload his mind into his clones of Moira, but his computer can't. Even worse for Sinister, when he tries to shoot a Moira clone, he has no bullets.
  • Politeness Judo: Kurt manages to get Isca away from the rest of the Great Ring first by challenging her, tricking her into accepting with a handshake by framing it as a competition of politeness and after teleporting her away yields the challenge. He manages to get away with only a broken arm.
  • Posthumous Narration: The Progenitor finishes up the main series as narrator, even though they died,in an inversion of them narrating before they were resurrected.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Progenitor dishes out quite a few of these, particularly to those individuals it has deemed as failures.
    To Captain America: You are a dream of a better country. You have tried inspire it for a century. This country is the world leader... and the world is what it is. It is worse every day. You are a failure.
    To Destiny, after she ordered the attack on the Progenitor’s core: I judge you not for that. I judge you for lying about your gift to achieve it. I judge you for the fear for losing her. There is no destiny, you say? With your every fearful action, you show otherwise. You think you are better than this. With your actions, you show you are not. Let us hope your peers have great moral fortitude. Or your wish will be true. This island will burn. And the whole world with it.
  • Red Skies Crossover: Subverted.X-Force #30 is badged as a Judgment Day issue but, apart from some discussion about humanity discovering mutant immortality, has nothing to do with the event. The war with the Eternals isn't even mentioned. However, it does launch the Kraven arc - and with #31, Kraven starts interacting with the Judgment Day events.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In X-Men #14, Cyclops momentarily confuses and delays his judgment by interrupting the Progenitor and telling this gigantic Sufficiently Advanced Alien that he simply does not accept its authority and that he requests a change of venue.
  • Reset Button: Downplayed. The Progenitor restores the world and resurrects those who died due to its judgment. But the world remembers - and Sersi stays dead, as do Arjun (whose life was taken to resurrect Syne before the Progenitor awoke), Idyll and the many thousands of dead mutants on Arakko.
  • The Reveal:
    • The mysterious Eternals of the Hex, first teased at the start of the Eternals (2021) series, are finally revealed. And whereas other Eternals are human in form, the Hex are very different in appearance. And much, much larger.
      Druig: …we must ask you to not be afraid of the towering death machines that have emerged off the western seaboard of the United States. They are not towering death machines. They are the Hex, and they are Eternals.
    • Excluded "E", one of the Eternals immortal prisoners, was mentioned but never identified in the Eternals (2021) series. He's Eros, better known as Starfox. And he's the first new Eternal to be successfully integrated into the Machine in a million years.
    • In the Omega issue it is revealed by Phastos that the Celestials modeled the Machine integrated into the Earth on a Genius Loci that had already existed on it. That land was Krakoa.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Jean Grey does not wear the 1970s costume in the trailer, as she has been doing lately.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • Ironically, after Druig starts the whole mess by deeming the mutants as Deviants as part of a Genghis Gambit (while not believing a word of it), it turns out he's actually more or less right in that assessment. The Deviants and mutants are so similar on every possible level — including genetic — that Krakoa acknowledges the Deviants and lets them through his gates. When Cyclops questions this, Kro points out that any line between the two is a Distinction Without a Difference at best.
    • When the X-Men first plan to turn off the Progenitor despite the risk of a massive explosion that could reach as far as the Arctic circle, Destiny tells them she has seen the explosion won't happen. So they try it, and it doesn't happen, not because sabotaging the Progenitor's machinery didn't blow it up, but because they never got that far.
  • The Scapegoat: Druig does not seem to have any intrinsic problem with mutants. Rather, he is attempting a Genghis Gambit in order to solidify his reign, and they are a convenient target as they technically fall under the definition of "deviation."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Druig's actions finally get him Excluded by the Eternals. With Uranos as his cellmate, it's likely to be a very unpleasant experience.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: Domo's brutally simple plan to deal with Krakoa. Teleport an antimatter bomb on a very short timer to a position underneath the island. It will explode, Krakoa will be completely atomised, and any surviving mutants will have no idea who attacked them. And if the living island wasn't unexpectedly protected by the Principles which are programmed into every Eternal, it might even have worked.
  • Spoiler Cover: The solicited cover of tie-in X-Men Red #5, published two weeks after Judgment Day #1, shows Cable's skeletal corpse. So it's no surprise that he doesn't survive Uranos's rampage across Arakko in Judgment Day #1, even though the details of his death aren't revealed until the X-Men Red tie-in.
  • Standing Between the Enemies: In promotional art, the Eternals and the X-Men are about to fight, with the Avengers between them and trying to keep the peace.
  • Status Quo Is God: Zigzagged in the finale.
    • Eternals: Zuras is restored to his traditional role of Prime Eternal, which he held until the first issue of Kieron Gillen's Eternals (2021) series.
    • The Mutants: While Krakoa and the major Mutants are restored, the status quo restoration only extends to any losses/damage from the Progenitor's judgment itself. The damage to Planet Arrako and its casualties (including Magneto) are not undone.
    • The Avengers: Avengers Mountain is restored after the Progenitor's death
  • Stealth Expert: Jack of Knives, already acknowledged to be extremely stealthy in the Eternals series itself, is apparently good enough to walk through Krakoa unseen, hidden from both Wolverine's enhanced senses and Emma Frost's telepathy. Even during the actual attack, Wolverine only detects them because the blood of a mutant victim is still on Jack's knife.
    • He's so stealthy that he can apparently move without disturbing molecules, if his chiding of Sersi for doing just that is to be believed.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Relations between the Avengers and Sersi (and the other Eternals) are frosty at the beginning of the event due to the closing issues of Eternals (2021). The incursion into Avengers Mountain was bad enough, but the Avengers are understandably not happy the Eternals waited until the literal last moment to inform them Thanos was back on Earth and had become Prime Eternal (to say nothing of locking Earth's Mightiest Heroes out of that brouhaha to deal with the Mad Titan on their own).
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Discussed by the narration in issue 2, about how some people interpret equality to mean everyone is equally miserable, in regards to humans outraged at mutant resurrection and celebrating its end at the hands of the Eternals.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Ultimately how the Progenitor was defeated. Since it so monumentally more powerful than any of the heroes, force simply isn't an option, but Jean Grey, Tony Stark and Ajak are able to convince the Progenitor to stop and reverse what it had done - an effort that the Progenitor explains would be lethal to it.
  • Taught by Experience: Sinister decided after his last go-around with Celestial tech that's it's too "messy" for him. But he's got no problem giving it to someone else to mess around with.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Things get so dire that the X-Men work with their current Arch-Enemy, Orchis, to attack and distract the Progenitor. This battle is one of the reasons why Orchis gets increased popularity.
  • Theme Naming: Just as the other Eternals' names refer to gods and heroes of Greek and Roman myth, the towering Hex members all have names that combine references to the Titans of myth and various mythological monsters. For example, Themex is a combination of the Titan Themis and the monstrous Sphinx, and Syne the Memotaur's name combines those of the Titan Mnemosyne and the monster Minotaur.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Promotion for the event made it clear that the Eternals' first unforgivable rebel, the Omnicidal Maniac Uranos the Undying, would finally be released from his prison in the Exclusion and unleashed on the mutants, spoiling the scene where Druig visits him at the end of Eve of Judgment.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: When the Avengers arrive to help the X-Men fight the Hex, much to the latter's gratitude, Exodus and Destiny just complain about humans getting on Krakoa. Then when the Avengers leave to go save people at Cyclops' own request, they switch to complaining about how "of course" the humans are abandoning mutants to fight alone in their time of need! Nightcrawler immediately and rightfully calls them out for being completely unfair.
  • The Unreveal:
    • In Marauders #6, Bishop, Auroa, Somnus, Daken and Psylocke all have encounters with the Progenitor and talk about their experiences with Birdy. However, she refuses to have them discuss how they were judged, so we do not know their verdicts.
    • In A.X.E.: Iron Fist, Loki is judged, but he ignores what the verdict is, as he doesn't care much about what it suggests.
    • At the end of the event, Sinister is the only one not judged. He's not amused.
      Sinister: The… bastard. It didn't even speak to me. How dare it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Moira selling out Krakoa to Druig in revenge for the events of Inferno (2021) and X Lives and X Deaths of Wolverine. What started as an act of petty spite from the former X-Men ally instead snowballs into a global crisis that's endangered Mutants, Eternals, and Humans alike.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Throughout the Progenitor's judgements, many people, whether they passed or failed, ultimately find they can't argue with its reasoning very easily. Multiple characters across the story even find themselves acknowledging that the Progenitor may very well have been right in its assessment of Earth, and it's denizens.
    • In Immortal X-Men #7, Nightcrawler finds an anti-mutant pamphlet from Orchis which points out that the mutants currently run one of the most powerful nations in the world (which is a mutant-only nation), have colonized and terraformed Mars, and on top of all that, are basically immortal with the power to destroy all of humanity, but still have the gall to act like their victims. Nightcrawler is visibly shook after reading it.
  • Villain Respect: Jack of Knives, Eternal assassin and Stealth Expert, seems sincerely impressed when Wolverine detects them via the traces of mutant blood on their knives - and then manages to catch them by surprise with his claws. They briefly compliment Wolverine on his skills before wounding him in return and making a strategic withdrawal.
  • Villain Team-Up: While Moira MacTaggert is technically acting in the interests of Orchis, she is directly involved with working together with the latest Prime Eternal, Druig, to eradicate mutants.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Druig descends into a panic as the judgments go on, culminating in issue 4 of the main series, where, on the verge of being overthrown as Prime Eternal by the combined forces of the defecting Eternals and the Mutants in favor of Eros, he tries to release Uranos to overcome their votes. Despite his pleas, Uranos leaves him as he tries to destroy the world on his own, seeing Druig as a pathetic failure.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Happens twice, once in the beginning, then in the end, and both tie into the mutants.
    • Druig manages to get most of humanity on his side when he declares war against the mutants by appealing to humanity's anger and fear with the mutants rapidly growing power and position, and promising to "protect them". Indeed, many people cheer for Druig and his Eternals as the Hex rise out of the sea.
    • Orchis gets this as well, as they not only appeal to the same fears and anger, but also make themselves and their forces visible during the attack on the Progenitor, consequentially causing many humans to view them as saviors.
  • Wham Shot: Given the nature of this event, there's practically one of these per issue:
    • Issue #1: The moment when we finally see what Uranos has been up to with his hour of freedom. He didn't go to Earth, but to Mars, and he has seemingly decimated Arrako and murdered the Great Ring.
    • Issue #2: Tony Stark, Ajak, Makkari, Phastos, and Sinister successfully reawaken the Progenitor...only for it to immediately turn on them and declare that the people of Earth have 24 hours to justify themselves, or else it will destroy the planet.
    • Issue #3: The panel where Sersi and Jack of Knives break out Excluded-E: it's Eros, aka Starfox!
    • Issue #4: The Progenitor giving its final judgment: Thumbs Down.
    • Issue #5: The full Splash Panel of Captain America's shield bursting forth from a Krakoan egg, signifying that the mutants are finally allowing humans through the resurrection queue.
    • A.X.E.: Avengers: Despite already judging humanity, the Progenitor judged Tony Stark and passed him, meaning he's still judging humanity.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Steve to Tony when, after everything, Tony still gloats a little about passing while Steve failed.
  • A World Half Full: At the end, when everything has been resolved, Cap goes to meet Jada in the streets of New York, to reflect on everything. Jada remains cynical about the state of the world, and the people in it, and both characters ponder if the Progenitor may have been right. Cap ultimately concludes that even if it was, they can still make a better world.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": The animated trailer mentions that "The Eternals have begun a new cycle of life as they continue their sworn mission: to eliminate the Deviants" (with the word “Deviants" then replaced by "Mutants")
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Subverted. The Progenitor won't directly judge Kenta, stating it isn't a monster. However, while it sincerely regrets that Kenta and all of Earth's other children will die, it still decides to end the world. It also kills Kamala when she attacks it alongside the other heroes.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Druig's opening salvo against Krakoa is a multilayered gambit.
    • Eternal soldiers attack Krakoa while the Uni-Mind wages psychic battle against the Quiet Council. Even if that fails, it's a distraction allowing Stealth Expert Jack of Knives to kill some of the Five, the mutants who collectively power Krakoa's Resurrection Protocols, leaving the mutants mortal again.
    • Even if Jack fails as well, that's still a win for the Eternals… because no matter the outcome, the physical and psychic blitzkrieg keeps the Quiet Council and the X-Men focused on Krakoa, unaware of the simultaneous attack on planet Arakko - and unable to assist the Arakki mutants (who don't share Krakoan immortality) until it's far too late.
  • Yes, Except No: Storm asks if they can have Druig himself bury the Arakii Uranos murdered. Zuruk says they can see about it after Druig has been punished for an eternity - though he does remark that it might be a good idea some day.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • In A.X.E.: X-Men, when Jean is failed by the Progenitor, Wolverine reassures her that it's a hypocrite if it passes someone like him yet fails her.
    • In A.X.E.: Avengers, the Progenitor in the form of Howard Stark tells Tony he's too hard on himself before telling him he passed and that he's proud of him.
    • In Issue #6 of the main series, the Progenitor itself is subjected to this by Jean Grey, Ajak, and Tony Stark, who convince it to halt its final judgment of Earth at the last second by causing it to realize how flawed its judgment actually is, and ultimately convincing it to atone for its actions.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The Progenitor declares Earth's denizens has a day to justify themselves before its judgment. Part of its thumbs-down judgment is that it sees people never do things today but put it off tomorrow, so it's giving them a terminal kick out their complacency.
  • Your Mom: Hawkeye stops Crossfire from sniping someone, and this exchange happens:
    Crossfire: Do you have any idea who you just let get away?
    Hawkeye: Your mom?
    Crossfire: That joke doesn't even make sense in this context!
    Hawkeye: Does it ever?

Alternative Title(s): AXE Judgment Day