Here we are. The days of the huge, multipart X-Men crossover events return with X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1. What will it be about? Will Doop be in it? Major Spoilers sat down and had a peek. Your review after the jump!
The art is incredible
Too much familiarity
Not enough given to want to buy more
X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in X-Men: The original X-Men decided to stay in their future in hopes of preventing the horrible events caused by the present Cyclops. Confusing? Of course it is, otherwise it wouldn’t be an X-Men comic.
SENTINELS? CHECK. HORRIBLE FUTURE? CHECK
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my X-Men readings, it’s that their future is never good. There’s always catastrophic devastation, mutants struggling for survival and, of course, Sentinels. It appears things haven’t changed much as Illyana Rasputin slips into the future, catching a glimpse of future X-Men battling Sentinels in a destroyed city area. The rest of the issue brings together the All-New X-Men and the Uncanny X-Men in Phoenix, AZ as a new mutant is destroying the town. Things get out of hand, Sentinels attack, young Scott Summers almost dies leading to the original X-Men being sent back to their original time. Of course this is interrupted by a heavily mutated Beast, monstrous Iceman, female Xorn, an incredibly old Deadpool and a few other characters I don’t recognize, coming through the portal to warn of a disastrous mistake that will end their species.
As a first issue, this is a fairly solid one. It sets the stage, introduces all the key players and provides action, mystery and intrigue to hook the reader. I actually found it to be rather new reader friendly as a complete lack of understanding wouldn’t hinder the entire experience. The action and pace are quick and Bendis’ dialogue is restrained, allowing the events to drive the story. It was also nice to see the characters finally realize the devastating consequences of having past versions of themselves live in the present. Sadly, there is a slight sense of déjà vu. Once again, the X-Men are faced with a future where their species is on the brink of extinction and Sentinels are everywhere. For a new reader this may be exciting and fun, but a X-Men veteran will probably be disappointed. The big reveal at the end is appealing (old Deadpool is badass), but with this being a ten-part crossover, it’s not one I’m willing to spend $3.99 per issue on. Bendis may throw a curve ball, but so far, this feels very stale. That’s unfortunate because I’ve liked his rejuvenation of the X-Men franchise. Make no mistake, it’s a fun and enjoyable issue, but as a start to a (excessively unneeded) lengthy story, there’s little here that draws me into the event.
IT APPEARS DOOP TOOK UP BAKING
There is a panel in X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 with Doop in a baker hat carrying a tray of cookies. That alone made my purchase worth every penny. The rest of the issue is as awesome as that image with Frank Cho and Stuart Immonen knocking it out of the park. Everything is a big spectacle and the whole issue looks kinetic. There may be a few too many splash pages for some but I like my X-Men stories looking grand. The two artist’s styles blend quite well and the change is hardly recognizable. These are big name artists on a big name title and they don’t disappoint.
BOTTOM LINE: I’LL READ MORE, NOT BUY
I enjoyed X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 but there isn’t enough to make me want to buy more. The fact that this is part one of ten doesn’t help. The hook at the end will have me read the next few parts but I can’t justify spending money on it. There’s too much familiarity here and gives very little not seen before. The art is fantastic and certainly the best thing about the issue, supplying an epic look that the story promises to deliver. Even with the stellar artwork and Doop’s cameo, I have to give X-Men: Battle for the Atom #1 2.5 out of 5 stars.