Today we again look at the new, ongoing X-Men crossover “epic” Battle of the Atom. Before we get into the review of Part Two proper let’s talk about that title. For part one click here.
For those of you who aren’t giant dorks like me you might have missed that the title is a play on the phrase “Children of the Atom” which is also the title of a 1953 novel by Wilmar H. Shiras. The book was about a group of young people who were born as mutants due to their parents’ exposure to a nuclear explosion years prior and now are gifted with superhuman intelligence. Apparently it’s never been officially confirmed but since the X-Men were originally depicted as a group of young mutants Stan Lee may have been heavily influenced by this book when he created their original comic (plus Stan Lee is well known for taking a lot of inspiration from popular fiction when creating comics so it would make historical sense). The X-Men, and mutants in general, have been referred to as “the Children of the Atom” for decades by Marvel Comics (often in the description of the team within the comics themselves) to the point that the title is probably more associated with them than with Shiras.
|1950s speculative fiction is the best speculative fiction|
Full review after the jump.
|The All-New, All-Different X-Men!*|
*[Not including Beast, Iceman, Deadpool, Shadowcat, or any of them, really]
For the record this is a review of All-New X-Men #16 which was written by Brian Micheal Bendis with pencils by Stuart Immonen, ink by Wade von Grawbadger and colors by Marte Garcia.
While “discussing” whether the past teen X-Men should be sent back to their timeline Beast’s time machine suddenly activates and a group claiming to be the X-Men of the future arrive demanding that the five displaced teens be sent back to the past. Made up of older versions Kitty Pryde, Beast, Iceman, Deadpool and an adult Molly Hayes (of The Runaways) along with a man claiming to be Charles Xavier’s grandson and a woman dressed as Xorn they say that letting the teens stay in this time period will have disastrous results for the future. However Marvel Girl strongly suspects they’re lying and acts appropriately… appropriately for a hot-headed teenager, anyway.
Art wise this book is solid aside from the occasional weird face some characters make. Whatever; that’s fairly minor. The writing is actually really well done. A few things happen in this issue and they’re interesting but where it really shines is the strong characterization. Bendis really seems to get these teen X-Men. The highlight of this issue was Marvel Girl’s psychic chat with Teen Beast and then Teen Cyclops as all three characters acted pitch perfectly. I especially loved that after failing to convince Teen Beast to follow her plan when Marvel Girl turned to Teen Cyclops he agreed instantly without needing to her why she wanted to do it or any logic behind it. Jean needed help, thus Cyclops immediately threw everything out the window to help her without any hesitation. Because that’s his damn soul mate. These days it often feels like Marvel, or Fox, or whoever like to seriously downplay the connection between these two characters but this is the perfect example of what they were really made for each other (…sorry Emma).
|The band is back together!|
Xorn is, of course, the big exception to my nitpicking about the team since I am SUPER interested with what’s going on with her but since her identity isn’t revealed until the second to last page of this book I won’t spoil anything about it until next time (though it may well be common knowledge by now, honestly).
|Pictured: Future Iceman. Probably.|
All-New X-Men #16 gets 3 Adorable Pandas out of 5.
-The story still feels a bit slow