With the Battle of the Atom now in full swing, this issue is mostly action. Cyclops leads the actual future X-Men against the fake future X-Men, Colossus and Magik team up for the first time since AVX, and several little twists show themselves. In my first impressions post I said it was good, and I still think that. The flaws became more noticeable in my second reading though.
First, the good stuff. A lot of the action in this issue is pretty good. It was nice seeing the Rasputin siblings working together again, especially with how awesome Magik was fighting. The action outside the school was also fun, with towers being thrown around and Krakoa being used against Cyclops’s team.
There are a bunch of random references to non-existent future stories. Some sound like stories that could potentially be foreshadows, while others mostly play for laughs. Some of the plot twists are easy to miss if you don’t pay enough attention, but they do make the fake future X-men a bit more interesting. There also remains an ominous nature around future Jean Grey, almost as if her intentions haven’t been fully revealed yet.
On the downside, some of the future X-Men are almost completely ignored in this issue. Half of Cyclops’s team barely does anything in the fight – they simply get swallowed by Krakoa. Also, none of the school’s defenses are used against the invading X-men, even though it was clearly stated that the fake X-men have hacked the system. This may be remedied in the next issue, but it’s worth noting.
As with last month’s Uncanny issue, this one is drawn by Chris Bachalo but coloured by several other people. It’s a lot easier to follow his action scenes when other people colour his work. Even so, some of the fight scene panels make it difficult to see exactly what’s going on. Even when it can be followed, Bachalo’s fight scenes appear kind of boring. His facial expressions also feel more limited than usual in this issue. The art holds this issue back a lot more than it should.
If you’ve been enjoying this event so far, you’ll likely enjoy this as well. While the art holds it back, the writing is solid enough. I’d be lying to say I’m not worried about the next two issues though, seeing how Wolverine and the X-Men has been terrible lately. It doesn’t help that WATXM 36 is my least favourite issue in the event so far. Either way, I’ve already decided to drop WATXM once this crossover is done. How good the next two issues are will likely affect whether I try Amazing X-Men or not.
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This felt like a bit of a let-down, and I blame most of that on Bachalo. I don’t like his style, especially when it comes to action. With a better artist, this issue would’ve been dynamic and exciting. Instead, it just fell kinda flat.