The last crossover event that the X-Men were involved in was the ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ story line. With that long concluded and there being a whole slew of time travel going on in the X-Books since that time, the consequences are now at hand. While the ‘Age of Ultron’ gave ‘The Avengers’ their own time travelling issues we are now seeing ones for our favorite mutants.
I’m going to preemptively say that while I didn’t love the ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ crossover, ‘Battle of the Atom’ opens with a bang and has me hooked the entire issue through. Not only that, but it kept me wanting more! This is a rarity in recent major crossovers and I feel that if Marvel can keep each issue this strong, we’re going to have an absolute winner on our hands.
With the X-Men teams split between Wolverine’s and Cyclops’s camps, Beast felt that he had to bring unity to the mutants. Cyclops had to face up to the fact that he screwed up. The solution? Bring back the original team of X-Men from the past to see the consequences of their actions.
Yes that worked out well.
Once that happened we knew that the premise of the time travelers being in the present in ‘All-New X-Men’ would be temporary at best. You couldn’t keep them in the future and not completely remove the past from happening. That’s something that is addressed two fold in this issue! We’re now on the countdown to what I believe will be the younger mutants being returned to the past. Though what will happen to get them there?
We open the issue with a new mutant being spotted and Kitty taking the original X-men with her to investigate. Things go bad quickly, but fortunately for Kitty and her crew, Magik ports in the Uncanny X-Men.
Awesome! They save the day with some great dialogue mixed in as well. That is, until the younger Cyclops gets shot by a Sentinel (in what was my only complaint about the art in the entire issue. As I was reading it, I skimmed the panel and it looked for a second that Cyclops’s head was blown off and not just down.) As young Scott lays dying, his current self fades away. The team then has their healer save the younger Cyclops and the older one just reappears out of thin air. (I’ll admit I love that they used the exact same line.)
Clearly this is a time paradox waiting to happen.
But wait, there’s more!
The issue closes with the All-New X-Men all in Beast’s lab with everyone telling the younger X-Men they have to be returned to the past. Sounds like a solid plan (that the younger X-men aren’t being big fans of) until out of the blue Beast’s time cube starts up. He is swearing he didn’t start it when all of a sudden out of it pops 7 mutants with quite a few of them looking familiar. A giant ice monster in the back, a bald yet standing man to the left, An older looking Kitty next to her, Is that someone in Deadpool’s costume next up? A woman in a mask that Jean Gray fans should recognize (and surprisingly isn’t attacked instantly), one of the runaways, and in front an even more mutated Beast.
It looks as if the X-Men from the future have come a knocking and are there to prevent the X-men from making a mistake that will be disastrous to the future.
On a side note, oftentimes in these crossover events there will be one shot issues you can miss. This is not one of those events and you are going to want to pickup and read each issue in order. If you are on the fence and thinking about picking up the trade – I highly recommend this crossover and that’s something I haven’t felt strongly in saying in a long time.
X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Frank Cho