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All-New X-Men #17 [Marvel Comics] Review

Posted on October 6, 2013 AT 08:07pm

Part 6 of Battle of the Atom is here, and with it comes a lot of intensity, some major events and a lot of complications, mostly in the plot. With as many moving parts as this book has, it’s difficult to really keep track of everything going on. There are now four sets of X-Men in play, with the original five from the past, the groups from the present, the group from the future, and the other group from the future all mucking up the time stream. That is all complicated by several members of each group making things worse in their own ways, as well as some events from the future revealing themselves and showing a bit of the reasons as to why the world has gone to hell.

This is a really entertaining book when not in a crossover, but inside it, it’s more of the same. It’s complex, convoluted and at this point, barely making any sense. With so many characters in the mix and the scenes jumping from the past to the present and to the future so often, (many times without the accompanying caption of what time period is being shown) it is really tough to try and keep everything in order and organized in any coherent way. Things will likely begin to sort itself out in the near future with there only being four issues left in the event, but right now in the thick of it, it’s too confusing to really get too involved in.

Writers Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Wood and Jason Aaron all had parts in constructing what is a very elaborate endeavor. With Bendis at the helm for the major X-titles, it’s his job to keep a fair portion of this running smoothly, and here he favors conversation over plot. There is usually a lot of talking in his work, but most of the time it has a purpose, and that is something that is lacking in this issue: purpose. There seems to be no explanation as to what’s going on, and when there is, it doesn’t go over well. Hopefully by the next installment this will change, but this crossover has really thrown this book off its game.

The art team of Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia all do their part to make this a great looking book, however. And like every issue they’ve done as a team, it’s worked perfectly. This book still looks leaps and bounds better than any of the others in this limited universe, and better than most books in comics right now. The only salvation for this issue is the artwork, which presented the story in beautiful fashion, though there wasn’t much left to salvage.

Summary: With beautiful artwork and a convoluted and frustrating plot, this series goes from terrific to middling in the blink of an eye. With the All-New team barely even a focus in this issue, it’s fair to say that the end of Battle of the Atom can’t come soon enough.

Pros: Incredible artwork.

Cons: Confusing story, lack of plot development.

Grade: C+

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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