With the X-Men celebrating their 50th anniversary and being placed on the sidelines during Infinity, what better time for an X-crossover. Battle of the Atom sees familiar ground in X-Men crossovers; it involves time travel and horrible possible futures where Xavier’s mission has failed, spelling disaster for mutant kind .
The first issue lays out what we’ve already been told leading into this event. A series of events convinces Wolverine and his school that they need to send the time traveling original X-Men back to the past. This plan is nixed when the arrival of a ragtag group of future X-Men travel back to our present to warn of some impending danger involving the meddling of the original X-Men. In coming back, the future X-Men may have made things worse as original Cyclops and Jean Grey escape the school to avoid being sent back to the past.
BOTA is without a doubt one of writer Brian Bendis most straightforward openings to an event, ever. Readers who found Marvel’s other current Avengers centric crossover Infinity over complex will enjoy venturing into the X-universe. This book does an excellent job of being friendly to new readers. While characters seem to be over explaining things for newcomers, that however does not take away from the action movie pace of the story. Bendis manages to give most of the characters such a unique voice with the limited amount of page space in the book. Oh and good god almighty, finally someone is properly using a Runaway. We’re sincerely hoping Molly Hayes has a big role in this crossover because ever since the series was canceled the Runaways have served as nothing but cannon fodder in other books. Yes we’re still hoping for a new Runaways book.
The art being split between Immonen and Cho doesn’t feel like fill in art. It’s well balanced between Cho’s action sequences and Immonen’s deeper character drama moments. One just has to hope this level of quality in the art retains throughout the other titles.
Overall this is a must read for X-fans and anyone who’s became disenchanted by 90’s over saturation of X-Men books only to never came back to comics. Battle of the Atom looks to be a proper way to celebrate fifty years of X-Men with a scope that stretches form the teams origins to its glorious tales of possible futures. Also did we mention, no being left to wait. You can pick up part two this week as well in All-New X-Men #16?
9.5 out of 10! Near Perfect set up for a crossover only suffering from limited page space for the characters.