Battle of the Atom Chapter #3 (‘X-Men’ #5) ended with young Jean and Scott having met up with the Uncanny X-Men. Looking for a way to avoid going back home they felt that finding the support of the older Scott Summers was the only way to go.

Brian Michael Bendis is being kind to us in this series and so far each book has continued exactly where the previous one has left off. Which is great as long as the story keeps moving forward. My issue with this one really stems from the introduction feeling like the first half of the book is actually a recap of what’s been going on with a 2 page spread of Cyclops introspection on deciding what to do with his younger self and Jean.

I was amused that the new Uncanny X-Men students really gave a narrative on what was going on since one of them was wondering what they were waiting for. Still, it wasn’t amusing enough and immediately went into more stalling. Now the Uncanny X-Men team had to have an internal debate of the pros and cons of keeping these students in modern day times.

Don’t get me wrong there are some good moments here and I’m still loving this event, I just felt that this was a space filler issue. Magik at one point acknowledged she time traveled and knows more about what is going on than she’s letting on. Right as that happened, she transported herself out of the issue so we still don’t know what part that is going to play.

The best thing, though, is when the book nears its end. Emma already made her choice. She contacted the future X-Men and summoned them to their location so the kids could all be sent back in time.

That immediately led to Emma and the older Jean Grey facing off. That’s right ladies and gentlemen it’s what we’ve all wanted to see for years. The White Queen vs The Black Queen in all of their glory! Well, not all of their glory. In theory, this Jean never became the Phoenix OR The Black Queen. In fact, she might not even know the reference.

Even with this being my least favorite issue to date they’ve ended it in a way where I don’t just want to see what’s going to happen next. I need to see it!

I don’t think the slower tone in this issue will match the rest of the series as all of the teams have had time to start really talking. I’m looking forward to how this is going to be resolved and if they are going to now find a loophole to bring future Jean and Xavier’s grandson to the present in order to fill those shoes, if the time travel will somehow let Xavier retcon the events in AVX, or… I’ve got so many theories I could go on for pages.

That is how invested in this story I am and that’s how much I want to see the next chapter give more ideas on where this is going.


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo