Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review: X-Men - Battle of the Atom Part 5

Sorry this has taken so long. Lately I’ve been feeling unmotivated and, just like through summer, am dealing with personal problems that have been consuming my time.

Anyway we’re still looking at X-Men: Battle of the Atom and thankfully this is the issue where shit starts getting interesting. It only took four issues…well, four and two thirds because things still take a while to get to the point. Really the ball drops in the next issue, which I would totally like to get to in less than a week and a half if that is at all possible.

For the record we’re reviewing Wolverine and the X-Men #36, which was written by Jason Aaron with art from Giuseppe Camuncoli on pencils and Matt Milla with Edgar Delgado on colors. The previous reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Review of part five after the jump.


Shit just got real!
Marvel Girl finally finds herself confronted by Xorn and the two begin a psychic duel, with Emma Frost and the Stepford Cukoos joining the teenage Jean Grey’s side for less than heroic reasons. At the same time Cyclops, his team of X-Men along with Teen Cyclops fight their own battle against Wolverine, his team and the future X-Men. Meanwhile at the X-Men’s school Magik suddenly appears in front of the still time displaced Teen Beast and Teen Iceman and takes them all into the future so they can see for themselves what happened to cause this problem.

I have to say that this issue, no matter what grade I give it, is an unhappy read because it boils down to superheroes fighting superheroes with no villain in sight. I am so sick of this scenario; I was sick of it with Avengers vs. X-Men and I was sick of it with X-Men: Schism. It’s like Marvel did the Civil War comic some years back and decided that it was the greatest work of art they’d ever done [Writer’s Note: It wasn’t] and have been trying to recreate it ever since.

Anyway that aside this is probably the first issue that I actually really enjoyed as we got some answers and we got some cool action. The psychic duel between Marvel Girl and Xorn was pretty cool; seeing one psychic after the other dropping like flies due to the strain until it ended with the two of them was pretty cool. The other fight stuff was…fine. Except for the fact that they were fighting each other at all.

Ah, more time travel; that's clearly what we need right now
The best thing about this book was that we started getting some answers…answers that we should have gotten at least two issues ago but better late than never, I suppose. Adult Cyclops flat out states he believes that Xorn is not his dead wife come back but rather the adult version of Marvel Girl, which I’m going to call a confirmation. Also middle-age Kitty Pryde is confirmed to be a completely different person from the Kate Pryde from Days of the Future Past, which is confirmed because she and Rachel Summers FINALLY had a conversation about it. And while the future X-Men continue to be insanely vague about their own timeline we finally proper evidence (as opposed to circumstantial evidence) that they were lying about the situation to at least some degree, thus making it clear who’s in the wrong. That’s all good…it just sucks that it took this f**king long to get any of this. And, let’s be clear, this isn’t a lot of information. At all. The writers could have EASILY revealed this tiny bit of data earlier than this is as opposed to issue after issue of the present day X-Men bickering. In fact the final page of this issue actually gives us more than all of the above put together despite being little more than a teaser.

By the way, now that we know (or a least are relatively certain) that Xorn is grown-up Marvel Girl as opposed to the Jean Grey we used to know can we agree that’s she’s a pretty big asshole? I don’t just mean how she acts in these issues but rather the idea that she’s wearing that helmet, which seems to be in pretty bad taste. If it were the Jean Grey who had been murdered by Xorn Pretending to be Magneto Pretending to be Xorn then at least there could be some dark symmetrical logic as to why she’s taken that identity. However since it’s Marvel Girl, someone who probably never even met that dude, it’s almost kind of like she’s mocking the fact that she was supposed to be killed by the dude and managed to avoid it. I don’t know, it’s just kind of weird and if I were Wolverine, Cyclops or Rachel Summers I’d beat her up for it.

You dick.
Art wise things are alright but it’s not really clicking with me. Maybe it’s because it feels kind of scratchy and not as detailed oriented as I’d like but whatever the reason I wasn’t really 100% on board with the art. The overarching story, which is obviously extremely tied into the story, is probably the best done in this issue compared to the previous ones but as far as the content of dialogue and it’s ability to stand on its own Wolverine and the X-Men is probably the weakest of the titles. I might start picking up All-New X-Men after this crossover (assuming it still exists) but I won’t be reading this title. Also Wolverine. He sucks. But that’s not really important for what we’re talking about now.

At the end of the day, no matter what else I can say about it, this book is the first time in the miniseries that I feel like I care what’s going to happen next. My interest was piqued and I was dying to know what was going to happen next. That’s a good thing and exactly what you want from a series like this. It has taken a while but Battle of the Atom has finally gotten interesting. 

Wolverine fighting Cyclops? What a refreshing change of pace
I give Wolverine and the X-Men #36 4 Adorable Pandas out of 5


Pros 

-Pretty cool action 

-We start getting some answers 

Cons 

-The best part of this book doesn’t happen until the very last page 

-How many times am I going to have to see heroes fighting heroes?

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