Rating: 4/5 – A big X-Men crossover that’s new reader friendly.
X-Men Battle of the Atom is the first big crossover since writer Brian Michael Bendis has taken over the two main X-Books, All New and Uncanny. This book does a great job of bringing new readers in as there’s been quite a few changes to the X-Books since the last big crossover, Avengers vs. X-Men. One of those big changes being that the younger X-Men from the past are now in the present day. That means two Cyclops, two Beasts and so on. It’s caused quite a few problems for the two teams and with this issue, the problems get to be even more serious.
This issue opens with Magick from the Uncanny X-Men visiting the future as she wants to see if the future is worth fighting for. We get a brief glimpse of another future X-men team fighting a group of Sentinels. From there we shoot back to the present day where the younger X-Ment team, along with Professor Kitty Pryde investigate a new mutant that Cerebro has identified in Arizona. As they attempt to stop this new mutant from damaging Phoenix, a group of Sentinels show up unexpectedly. This sudden attack then brings the Uncanny X-Men into the mix and that’s where the problems begin. The younger X-Men from the past are damaging the time stream, and the current group of X-Men want to send them back.
Like his previous big storyline Age of Ultron, Bendis is again dealing with time travel and the effects it has on the Marvel Universe. Bendis is using a bunch of characters to tell the story, and this time introducing a future X-Men team as well. It’s really a great first issue except for a couple minor points. First, when the Sentinels attack the All-New X-Men team and the Uncanny team jumped in to help, it just seemed like an easy way to bring the two teams together. Secondly, although the art is good, it’s not quite the Frank Cho that we’ve been used to. his pencils are not as defined as they’ve been in the past. It’s still good art, just not his usual look. And although it’s never a bad thing, Immonen takes over on the second half of the book. It’s two great artists, but having the two art styles doesn’t provide the singular vision.
Battle of the Atom is a fine start to a big crossover and Bendis makes it easily accessible when comparing it to Marvel’s other big crossover event, Infinity. Although there are lots of characters, alternate timelines and more, Bendis is making it simple yet exciting to follow.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – firstname.lastname@example.org
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