We’re seven chapters into the 10-part crossover and at last, the battle in Battle of the Atom has begun. This issue has a number of twists, some foreseen and some not. There’s some good psychic fighting and a good X-Men style brawl. Personally, this is my favourite issue so far.
Even with all the chaos inside, there’s still room for both story and character development. Jubilee in particular has some great moments, and baby Shogo is so cute here. He’s given some protective tech that will hopefully be seen again after this event. Rachel Grey Summers also has a great moment in this comic, and at last shows her potential after her powers were misrepresented in earlier issues. Also, you can’t go wrong with Psylocke’s telepathic ninja skills. This issue also reveals the proper identity of several of the future X-men; at least one from each team. Iron X-boy in particular is a nice surprise.
The end of this comic promises the fight will only grow more intense in the remainder of the crossover. The real future X-men have arrived outside of the Jean Grey institute, ready to invade along with Cyclops’s crew. Besides a few reveals though, most of this comic’s surprises were unfortunately spoiled in the solicitations.
The art is also great. It’s a clean look that, while sometimes low on detail, it still perfectly fits with the rest of the event. The visual representation of the psychic fight was a lot better than earlier in this comic. The fights are always easy to follow. Facial expressions are of a particular highlight, expressing sadness in seeing the original young X-Men leaving, anger when the fake future X-men are exposed, and the delightful surprise when Shogo’s protective shell is revealed.
I’m now very excited for the next issue. Now that the real fight has begun, there shouldn’t be much more talking left. This issue kicks off the event’s climax and carries the sense of fun Brain Wood is usually good for. We finally have a sense of where this event is heading, yet the ending could still be a total surprise. If you’re an X-Men fan in general you should at least read this issue. Buying it would be better.