- Cover by Arthur Adams
- Written by Brian Bendis
- Art by Stuart Immonen
BEWARE OF SPOILERS
‘Battle of the Atom’ continues here in issue #16 of ‘All-New X-Men’ with continuing writer Brian Bendis and the artwork being picked up by Stuart Immonen, the long term writer of this title who was not involved in the special issue #1 launch of this event.
We left our X-Men in the last issue deciding over the fate of the young team and whether to send them back to their own time period when a future X-Men team arrived to further confuse the situation.
The last issue steam rolled through setting up the event by throwing the two X-teams in at the deep end with the action and quickly bringing about the time paradox that would catch the interest of the future X-team. In comparison although there is a lot of character thrown in to this issue there is much less by way of action and almost the entire issue takes place in the moments after the future X-Men arrive.
The change in pace is imperceptible and fits the story perfectly. These types of massive cross-overs can sometimes lose character time by focussing so heavily on the big action set pieces but actually Bendis spends this issue focussing on the interactions between the past, present and future X-teams. It’s a chance to flip the concept of the ‘All-New X-Men’ book on its head by having the present X-Men left in a state of shock by meeting their older selves much in the way the teens first met their present day versions.
There are of course sparks that fly albeit at the hands of teenage Jean Grey and that does make for an interesting artistic sequence seeing all the multiple versions in battle but actually that’s an added bonus in an issue which is clearly designed to setup the character dynamics.
There’s a good twist ending that I won’t spoil for you here but clearly the change in the timeline has had a massive effect on the future that I cannot wait to see explored further.
The story is of course brilliant but lets not forget the artwork. Immonen replicates the brilliant work he did in the opening issues of this title by visually distinguishing between the different eras of X-Men. In some cases he know has three different versions of each character to draw sometimes even in the same panel. He handles is perfectly and the visuals remain unique and in no way confused which could easily happen with any lesser artist.
This is a must read!