Before I get into this review, there are only two new comics on my pull list this week. This and the All New X-Men special. So instead of my usual first impressions post, I’ll just review these two straight up.
All New X-men 17 is part 6 in the 10-part Battle of the Atom crossover. The last issue ended with the reveal of another future X-men team. This issue mostly takes place in the future, as Magik, young Beast and young Iceman confront the future team led by … Jubilee with laser claws? I’m cool with that. There are also some, um … future flashbacks? Time travel can be confusing sometimes. Anyway, these flashbacks partially explain why the X-Men are divided, yet they still leave some to mystery. These scenes work fairly well.
Where this comic falls short is that most of it is the other future team discussing their course of action. As much as you have to properly introduce this team, three out of issues are dedicated mainly to people discussing things rather than doing things. Not only that, but half of the dialogue feels like exposition, and there isn’t all that much characterization in this comic. It also uses too many 2-page spreads with too little text, making this a very short read. If you count each of the 2-page spreads as one page, this is a 14 page comic.
In contrast, look at Messiah Complex (13 issues long), where every single issue had something happening. Sure, there was discussing as well, but it was intercut with action. Second Coming (14 issues long) only had one exposition issue of this sort, and it was in the middle of the event giving it some much needed downtime. So far, this crossover is half-exposition issues. As much as each individual issue may be good, it’s going to read awkwardly as a whole. The rest of this crossover had better have a lot of stuff happening, because this is becoming Secret Invasion of the Future.
The art is very good for the most part. Especially in the future scenes, there is a lot of environmental detail. The establishing shots with a number of superheroes in the background are great. Another panel has a large crowd with a mixture of humans and mutants, and pretty much everyone looks unique from each other. And then there’s the chaotic 2-page spread that may reveal the true threat of the crossover – it’s delightfully insane. Even with everything going on, there’s still room for subtlety in facial expressions. Also, you can’t complain about Colossus’s porn stache.
The story part of this issue makes the event more interesting, but the excessive talking is starting to wear on the pacing. It’s also a bit short for its own good, making it hard to justify the $4 cost unless you’re very much enjoying this crossover. Still, it’s at least worth reading if you’ve been enjoying the event so far.