Here goes: the final review I will ever write for an X-Men: Battle of the Atom comic.
I’ve seen it all; the ups the downs, the weird future X-Men, the psychic battles, the countless explosions, everything. But alas, I must wipe the tears from my eyes for I have a review to write. Following the two worst chapters of the crossover comes the second issue of the flagship title: Battle of the Atom, is it good?
X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2 (Marvel Comics)
Everything this crossover brought into the X-Universe and everything that was already there is about to get blown to hell by S.H.I.E.L.D missiles. So how do the X-Men react? They’re the X-Men for crying out loud, they’re going to quip! The banter is as always fantastic despite the seemingly hopeless situation. I’ve decided that I’m not going to describe the issue’s story at all, I want it to be fresh for every reader. But what a story it is.
The first question we have to ask is: how did this change the X-Men universe? I think that this tale of the merry mutants will be remembered for years to come, and I attribute that to the kick-ass ending. X-Men die, switch sides, and make life-changing issues before this crossover comes to an end. In fact, it took four whole epilogues to sort out all of the lasting effects of this comic.
What really made this book a wonder, however, were not the lasting effects, but rather, the wonderfully written character interactions. A particularly great example of this was when Scott and Logan finally confront Xorn-Jean, an encounter we’ve been waiting for since the beginning. Shogo and Jubilee have a heart-breaking scene, and the All-New X-Men really make the crossover all worth it. All the characters were written as well as could be imagined and everyone got a little bit of spotlight.
Artistically this book was a joy to read. Esad Ribic is a phenomenal artist and this is some of his better work. I totally agree with the decision to make all of the epilogues have a different artist, that gave them some diversity and made the ending more memorable.
Another great aspect of the book were the moral values brought up and contemplated. Is it ever a good idea to time travel? What if you know how you’re future plays out? What is there to fight for if humans will always win? This book is fairly depressing but makes you truly care about the characters.
Had the story ended on a high-note this review would be totally different. Not everything turns out well at the end, sort of like real life. The sun did not come up and make everything swell, the X-Men still made mistakes and harbor regrets. I appreciate the risk taken by not making everything just dandy in the end.
- Character interactions and encounters are awesome and emotional
- Great art throughout
- The All-New X-Men finally have their moment
- The cover advertised Frank Cho art but there was none in the actual comic
Is it Good?
Yes. After two terribly issues the X-Men rallied like I knew they would. This is a satisfying and interesting conclusion and makes me hopeful for the future of the X-Men.