X-Men – Battle of The Atom has begun and the foundation has been set for the rest of the crossover. What better way to spotlight the X-Men while the rest are in Infinity and celebrate their 50th anniversary than to stir the pot once more. Doesn’t hurt being centered around time travel. Nothing new and it is what they deal with best other than fighting for their rights and survival.
Bendis laid out the foundation for this crossover event by taking us to that inevitable moment where the original five must go home to the past. And the best way to enforce the urgency for them to do so? Put one at risk and show the actual possible consequence for what could happen to any one of them if they get hurt. It was also smart on Bendis’ part to sum up what has led to this moment in time because this is an event that many readers are going into whether a fan of the X-Men or wanting to see what all the hype has been about. Probably could have went without Magik’s part in the beginning, though again that it’s something which made this friendly for all to jump in and be aware of the situation they all find themselves in. Good and bad when the aim should be focused mainly towards those who are already fans of the book.
Not much really to say wrong about this issue, it accomplished what it set out to do. We are introduced to the future mutants, new readers are welcomed, motivations are clear, and the urgency is there which will be the driving force for this story. It did well connecting both All New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men in a manner which made sense. They both still face issues with Sentinels and it is something which brings them together even when at odds. The humor is there as well in some clever dialogue, and more so from others without too much reliance on Iceman. Aside from the humor, the drama was sold and that is something to expect from the X-Men when it involves their future and present.
One problem you do notice is that Cho makes the young mutants look older than they really are. This has been an inconsistency for many up to this point and it really does distract when you can’t see them for what they really are or find sympathy in age. This is not to say they weren’t good in terms of quality, because he handled the illustrations well enough. Speaking of the dragons and dinosaurs especially, this was something which really fit his style.
This crossover event shows a lot of promise as this will once again shake up the mutants world. We are not aware of who will take what side just yet on this issue, but that is something that this is building up for. I find this issue made to give us a reason to continue to follow this event and Bendis gives good reason to for current fans and new readers.