We’re going to be taking a couple issue break from our usual run of X-Men and not continue where we left off in issue #4. Good thing they gave the first story arc a decent book end or there would be a lot of fans out for blood for an interrupted plot right now. Since we’re not starting off from there, we’re going to be continuing on from ‘All-New X-Men’ #16 as we enter the third chapter of the ‘Battle of the Atom’.
Once again this crossover event has become one of my favorite Marvel events in years and we’ve barely scratched the surface.
We begin where the last chapter ended – Scott and Jean have run off and now everyone needs to find them as it’s time to restore the timeline and send everyone back to where they rightfully belong.
This is the first chapter not written by Brian Michael Bendis though you really won’t feel the difference as Brian Wood hits the ground running and clearly makes this feel like a cohesive story.
The focus here isn’t on too much action (though there is some) and is more a look into Scott and Jean’s growing relationship as well as how the X-Men aren’t agreeing as to what they should be doing with the Young X-Men.
While Scott and Jean have abandoned the Blackbird in the last issue, we go back to how the X-Men are going to attempt to track them down. Apparently they only have 1 Blackbird these days but Beast suddenly point out a new and experimental craft that they have at their disposal – the Dove.
While Scott and Jean are running, we get quite a bit of inner dialogue between the two. It’s really showing that their interest in each other is still growing (and Jean checking out Scott while he changed was entertaining). It also shows that she isn’t all powerful quite yet as she has to lower her mental barriers (which are already leaving a trace) in order to call out for help.
So onto The Dove, they take out Hank’s latest project (and future Hank’s favorite plane) out for a spin to track down the missing students. They really skip over how and why it’s so cool and just really put it there as convenient transportation. They are able to track down the two runaways and just as it looks as if the X-Men are going to grab the students, Rachel Grey and Kitty Pryde break in on the fun and insist that the students be able to live their own life. This insistence is actually a cover as Rachel allows for Scott and Jean to get away.
Where do they end up going? Well it looks as if they end up on a certain asteroid turned abandoned island that you may recall from quite a few story arcs. Why are they here? Well that would be due to Jean having asked for help from the one group of mutants who would be willing to. Elder Cylcops’ and his group of X-Men. When they arrive on the island Cyclops, Magneto, Magik, and more are all waiting to take them to safety.
So as a chapter of ‘Battle of the Atom’ I’m giving it a good rating (which will be reflected below.) As an issue of ‘X-Men’ I would probably only give it a 2 as most of the lead characters aren’t really focused on.
Great issue for the crossover but not for those only following this book.
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: David Lopez Lopez