The Battle of the Atom has reached a fever pitch, and All-New X-Men brings forth even more future X-Men, yet there is still much to be resolved in this massive X-book crossover. So far so good, and here is hoping the best is yet to come. Brian Michael Bendis is great with dialogue, and as one would imagine, we get a lot of that here, but there is much that needs explaining.
The issue kicks off in the distant future, where for the first time in history, the United States has elected a mutant president, but during the inaugural speech things go terribly wrong. This chain of events sets the future Hank McCoy on a warpath, and that can’t be good for our current mutant dilemma in the present. There are so many mutant X-Men from so many different time periods you almost need a scorecard to keep track, and Bendis even acknowledges that in some of the dialogue.
So who are the good future X-Men, and who are the bad? That question won’t be answered here, but we certainly get more pieces to the puzzle. We get a glimpse of what makes future Beast go ballistic, and it’s a safe bet his group are the ones with the least desirable intentions. But one thing is certain, anyone jumping into the future NEEDS TO GO HOME! That much is crystal clear. There is plenty of the classic X-Men humor here, as well, as Iceman can not fathom why there is an Ice Hulk version of him and now an old man Wizard version of his future self. And Colossus is rocking the greatest mustache bar none!
Artist Stuart Immonen does great work here; his style is a classic and clean superhero boldness. Immonen's splashes seem to literally jump off the page, and there are plenty of huge moments in this book that he has little trouble making pop. His facial expressions really bring home the emotion, comedy and drama that comes in droves this issue.
By the end of the story, all the players are in place from all time lines in the present and things should explode from here. Marvel and Bendis have been doing a lot of time jumping and space travel as of late, and I can only hope that a big change is behind all this effort. If you haven’t been fond of many Marvel events this year, The Battle of the Atom has been a solid interesting read, and now I’m in for the duration. If you can keep track of all the multiple versions of characters, what time they’re from and why they need to either go back or fight for an all-new version of the future, then this is your crossover. It’s not as complicated as it seems, and all in all, it’s been well worth the investment.