The X-Men Just Resurrected Marvel’s Greatest Avenger

The following contains major spoilers for AX: Judgment Day #5, available now from Marvel Comics.

While the war between the Eternals and mutantkind has brought about Judgment Day, it has brought about the most desperate attempts to save the world that it has ever seen. Not only have the Avengers given new life to a twisted Celestial god, but every preconceived notion and deeply held truth has been all but thrown away entirely if it means any chance at survival. For some, this means turning their backs on everything they’ve ever known, while for the mutants of Krakoa it means rewriting their most sacred rule of all.

AX: Judgment Day #5 (by Kieron Gillen, Valerio Schiti, Marte Gracia, and VC’s Clayton Cowles) finds the world reeling from being deemed unworthy of continued survival by the Progenitor. In spite of this, Captain America is unwilling to accept this Celestial’s judgment as anything other than tyranny. With Jean Grey’s help, Cap sends a message to the entire world in the form of a rallying cry, one which brings upon him the Progenitor’s wrath. While losing the one man who could possibly unite the world might otherwise be a blow there is no coming back from, Nightcrawler knows full well that isn’t the case. At least, not as long as he is able to break Krakoa’s most important law to bring Captain America back.

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2019’s House of X #5 (by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz) introduced two of the biggest developments the Marvel Universe had ever seen in the forms of The Five along with Krakoa’s Resurrection Protocols. The former is a team consisting of the mutants Egg, Elixir, Tempus, Proteus, and Hope Summers. Together, these mutants are able to combine their powers in such a way that they could create new bodies for their fallen brethren, although that is only half of the process.

Following their creations, these shells would then be imbued with the memories and experiences of that deceased mutant courtesy of Cerebro. Considering Cerebro was specifically programmed to track and copy mutant brainwaves, the gift of resurrection on Krakoa was one relegated to mutants alone. The very nature of the Resurrection Protocols has become so sacred to Krakoan society that bringing anyone else back is effectively sacrilege. Then again, the Marvel Universe’s currently impending rapture does change things, although not necessarily enough that eschewing established principles won’t have grave consequences in the future.

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When the existence of the Resurrection Protocols first became public knowledge, it shook the entire world to its core and brought back mass waves of anti-mutant sentiment. Luckily, the technicalities and established traditions inherent to the Protocols were both legitimate means of dismissing the ensuing outcry. Or rather, they were at the time, but now that Captain America has undergone the process for himself, the rest of the world isn’t likely to be so gracious assuming it survives Judgment Day.

If the Progenitor is defeated and Judgment Day is halted, then the mutants of Krakoa will have to deal with the fact that they brought back an outsider. It is hard to imagine doing so would mean opening resurrection up to humanity, yet that would only earn mutants an even greater level of distrust by the global community. The only thing that is certain is that nothing will ever be the same after this moment. And, even if resurrecting Captain America saves the rest of the world, it might just be what brings about the end of the one mutants have fought so hard to carve out for themselves.

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