It’s the penultimate issue of this year’s X-Men event. The final fight in Battle of the Atom has begun. It’s past, present and future X-Men vs. the future brotherhood, and it’s a bit disappointing so far.
The first half of this comic is mostly exposition. It involves further discussing between the different X-men teams, mostly about stuff we already know. There are a few new tidbits of information, but it’s nothing that couldn’t have been said in a more efficient manner. The new answers we do get are casually thrown in and forgotten; if you aren’t paying attention, you may even miss some of them. It doesn’t help that some of the dialogue feels a bit rushed, or that it’s blatantly interrupted by the plot.
The second half is by far the better half. It’s mostly a giant fight between the three X-Men teams and the future brotherhood. It’s not much of a fight considering how outnumbered the brotherhood is, not to mention that one of the future X-Men has the phoenix force, but it’s at least visually appealing. It’s also hard to believe that future Jean Grey lasted so long against young Jean Grey, Phoenix Kid Omega, both Cyclopes and the future team’s Iron Man equivalent (Shogo). Jean Grey may be powerful, but Phoenix alone should be enough to defeat her. Have they given Shogo an official code name by the way?
The ending cliffhanger is kind of interesting, but it pales in comparison to pretty much every other cliffhanger in this crossover. Spoiler warning: A bunch of SHIELD helicarriers are taken over by a mysterious force and fire all weapons at the mutants. Xorn/Future Jean Grey seems to know it’s coming, implying there’s yet another unrevealed power figure. If that’s the case, he/she probably should have been revealed sooner. If not, than the writing is a bit clumsy. Another other problem is that not only should the mutant gathering be large enough to survive the attack, but one of them has the phoenix force. This missile attack doesn’t really feel like much of a threat.
If you’ve been enjoying the crossover so far, I still recommend this. That said, this is probably the weakest chapter yet. There are no real surprises. As much as it tries, it’s not all that exciting. Save for one moment between the two Quentin Quires, none of the jokes are the least bit funny. When compared to the rest of Battle of the Atom, this comic just exists. Hopefully the final issue will be more interesting.