The X-Men and Eternals fought a bitter war in Marvel’s greatest event in years – but which side actually won?
Warning: SPOILERS for Immortal X-Men #9
The war between the X-Men and Eternals is finally over, and Marvel has surprisingly declared a winner in the conflict. The Judgment Day crossover event dominated the entire line for nearly three months in real time, and devastated the entire Earth in the process. Since the event began with a war between the two groups, it only makes sense that it would end with the war’s conclusion, and Immortal X-Men #9 reveals a clear winner.
Druig, the Prime Eternal before Judgment Day, believed that the X-Men’s mere existence violated the last of the Eternals’ three directives: Protect Celestials, Protect Humanity and Correct Excess Deviation. Reasoning that mutants were a clear example of “excess deviation”, the Eternals launched a massive attack against the island of Krakoa, and the X-Men retaliated. Seeking to resolve the conflict, Iron Man awakened the Progenitor Celestial; this turned out to be a terrifying mistake as the Celestial decided to judge the inhabitants of Earth within 24 hours. The resulting conflict nearly destroyed the planet.
In Immortal X-Men #9, written by Keiron Gillen with art by Lucas Werneck, the X-Men meet in the aftermath of Judgment Day. Kitty Pryde sits on the Quiet Council as she overhears after-actions reports by Storm about the goings-on on Arakko (Mars). Pryde knows the end of the war hurt the X-Men, but their group is in a far better place than the Eternals, who have lost the goodwill of humanity entirely. “The grumps can put a negative spin on it, but we’d won the Eternal War and Krakoa had come through Judgment Day hurt but fundamentally intact.”
The X-Men Defeated The Eternals, But At What Cost?
Kitty Pryde is right to a certain extent. The X-Men have certainly “won” the war, but many of their number are dead and the island was seriously damaged. While the Eternals’ greatest secret was released to the world – the fact that a human must die whenever an Eternal is resurrected – the X-Men are forced to use their resurrection technology on humans in the form of the Phoenix Foundation. It’s a tremendous public relations victory, but their greatest technology is now no longer theirs to keep secret and safe.
Even so, the X-Men continue to exist in their current form, while leading Eternals have died and other resorted to becoming a band of good Samaritans who must hide in the shadows. The end result is complicated: in the public eye, the Eternals are pariahs but the X-Men are still feared throughout the world. The X-Men know their current standing is precarious, and while the Eternals have been defeated, there are other powerful enemies on the horizon.