Posted on October 16, 2013 AT 08:03pm
The end has nearly arrived for the X-Men as their epic Battle of the Atom crossover hits it’s eighth chapter with Uncanny X-Men #13. A book notorious for taking an in-depth look at Cyclops and his team of new recruits, this time the kids are gone and Scott and the veterans are now a part of the major battle between both present teams, both future teams an the original X-men currently in the present because of space-time tomfoolery. This book is hitting the “stop talking, start punching” portion of the familiar X-Men set-up, and the punching is intense and much more brutal than it’s seemed in the past.
This series shows the future X-Men, both schools of the present (the Jean Grey and Charles Xavier versions, respectively) and the members of the original team fighting against another team from the future that was revealed to be the All-New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which arrived as the original future saviors. This means that now the future Xavier, Jean, Beast, Molly Hayes, Deadpool, Ice Giant (Iceman, kind of?) and the future son of Mystique and Wolverine, Raze, have infiltrated the X-Men stronghold and have thus been exposed. This brings about a frantic fight to save/destroy/fix/who the hell knows the world as it is now, with, in predictable fashion, the Brotherhood taking an early advantage thanks to Raze and Xavier, who uses the mutant island/man Krakoa against the X-Men. The battle sequence is fast, intense and furious, but even more importantly, utter confusing. The pace is moving so fast that it’s incredibly difficult to keep up, especially with some of the scenes later on in the fight. There are a few interesting reveals, however, especially when it comes to the fate of one member of the Uncanny team.
Brian Bendis, Jason Aaron and Brian Wood have been up and down on this book all event long, and with this being Bendis’ book, it would be apropos to have this be an excellent installment of what is an incredibly well-written title. The scope of this event seems to have gotten out of hand a bit as the flurry hits it’s most fevered pitch, as this whole issue has the feeling of a car spinning our of control. It’s quick, frenetic and an absolute mess, and it comes at a time where information if very, very important. The overall message gets through, but only because it’s basically spelled out for the reader during a limited moment of calm.
The art team of Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Mark Irwin, Jaime Mendoza, Victor Olazaba, and Marte Gracia have made this look good, but not quite as high quality as the others. Gracia makes an effort to brighten up the artwork of Bachalo, but the Gumbyclops innovator is at it again, making everything seem a bit stretched out and odd. While it’s a marked improvement from Bachalo’s earlier Uncanny X-Men work, it’s still not enough to save what is already a flawed issue.
Summary: While there is a great concept in this issue, it’s a complete mess. The plot gets lost in the fight, and the fight is too frenetic to really hold much merit. Hopefully the second to last issue will clear thing up a bit, but with this insanely fast plot and so-so artwork, this is definitely not a strong addition to the “Battle of the Atom” crossover.
Pros: Interesting story and plot progression, improved artwork
Cons: Pacing is way off, plot gets lost in the conflict.
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