Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: X-Men - Battle of the Atom Part 6

Battle of the Atom Part Six. Not much to talk about so let’s just get into it. This review is of All-New X-Men #17 which was written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Stuart Immonen (pencil), Wade Von Grawbadger (ink) and Marte Gracia (colors). Previous reviews: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Full review after the jump.

The X-Men of the future....again!
Some years into the future Beast, Kitty Pryde and Xorn approach Allison Blair, aka Dazzler, about running for president of the United States, which she does and, in fact, wins the election. However during her inaugural speech she is assassinated and much of the surrounding area is laid to waste, presumably by ant-mutant terrorists. Several years following this Magik, Teen Beast and Teen Iceman magically arrive from the past (our present) only to be confronted by the X-Men of that era. While they angrily refuse to answer any question they do admit one thing: the team of X-Men who have been making noise in the present are NOT with them and are some sort of splinter group with a hidden agenda.

F**king finally! We get some answers and man , it was kind of worth the wait. We still don’t know everything but I am very happy to know something. The opening scene of this issue probably should have been the opening scene of the first one, or at least part of it. This possible future, what little we’ve seen, is unlike anything that’s ever been depicted. Even if the present day X-Men never learn any more about the future I absolutely am stoked to see more. Even though it didn’t end well a version of the Marvel Universe progressive enough to elect a mutant president is a universe I’d like to see more of. We see a bit of what likely prompted Old Man Beast and the others to travel time but we don’t know yet the exact plan of action or what their actually trying to accomplish. We’re given the correct amount of teaser and it works out well.

Giving your inaugural address with a paramilitary group standing behind you?
Probably not the best first impression for the American people
Also if you recall I really wasn’t super keen on the future X-Men when the first appeared as they seemed a bit on the dull and unimaginative side but it’s the opposite with this second team. Iceman as an ice wizard called Sir Robert (Who I shall henceforth refer to as “Iceman the Grey”)? Jubilee taking on the codename “Wolverine” and seemingly leader of the X-Men? A mysterious Iron Man/Sentinel lookalike? Someone who looks suspiciously like a possible daughter of Storm and Black Panther? Some sorcerer guy? Colossus with a damn mustache? Hell yes, sign me the f**k up! That’s what I call a team of future X-Men!

I admit that this issue is, like some of the previous issues, mostly talking. However the difference is that it’s mostly exposition and moving the plot forward. Before this it was mostly the X-Men standing around saying “This is something we should probably do something about” for three issues. Here we get more plot than we had in the last five issues. And, because they don’t simply dump everything on us at once, there’s still a ton we don’t know which makes us want to keep reading. The second half of this crossover has so far been much, much more interesting than the first.

The art in this issue is weird. I think I may have a problem with the coloring as things feel kind of dim at times but that’s an extremely minor issue. But things in general do look a little strange and at least one panel, a shot of Colossus embracing Magik, looks bizarre and physically impossible. I’m not an art guy but it’s hard to miss that. Also I noticed Colossus’ sword vanishes and reappears from panel to panel a few times.

I guess in the future Colossus is a contortionist
Speaking of the Rasputin siblings is anyone else bothered by their happy embrace here? If I recall the last time we saw them together Magik revealed that she could have cured Colossus of the murderous influence of the Juggernaut’s power, something that had made the last few years of his life a living nightmare, anytime she wanted to. She chose not to because she wanted to teach him a lesson through suffering (and also, you know, because she’s a sociopath) and in the end the usually stoic Colossus pretty much told her to go f**k herself. Now I can see good ole Pete forgiving and forgetting over time, especially as the scene sort of implies Magik dies in the future, but Illyana sure seems happy to see him to. It’s just weird imagery, especially since I’m not sure she’s capable of things like “feelings”. Whatever.

A quick nitpick, if I may, about one of the new characters. There’s clearly a guy who is either Quentin Quire all grown up or a decedent of his who seems to be wielding the power of the Phoenix. Look, I’m not naïve enough to believe that just because the Phoenix Force was clearly destroyed during AvX it would never be used again but couldn’t Marvel go a f**king year without having it show up again? I mean this just brings up so many questions that really didn’t need to be brought up at this point. Why does the Phoenix Force exist in the future? How does it come back into existence? Could Jean Grey (the one that died) still be merged with it? These questions likely aren’t going to be answered in this story, which is fine, but this feels like an overdose of the Phoenix that no one asked for. 

There’s not a whole lot to say about this issue. It’s mostly exposition and set up but its good exposition and set up. Again this is stuff I wish they had done earlier than part six but now that it’s here it’s welcomed. Continuing from Part Five the pace of the crossover has picked up and continues to be a good read and, like last time, I’m dying for the next chapter. If I had to pick a favorite part it’d be the fact that apparently Jubilee, clearly still a vampire, has become the new Wolverine. Which means in the future I theoretically would actually enjoy a comic/cartoon called “Wolverine and the X-Men”. What a time to be alive.

Wolverine, minus my seething and unattractive hatred
(Also, yeah, I was totally wrong about Jubilee's role in series)
I give All-New X-Men #17 4 Adorable Pandas out of 5.


-In the future Jubilee replaces Wolverine, thus making this the greatest possible/alternate future in the history of Marvel Comics

-The story continues to be good


-The art has some problems


  1. About Magik, Magik isn't as unfeeling as you'd think. She's more like a damaged girl who's currently finding herself.

    1. "A damaged girl, currently finding herself" seems a bit optimistic considering how Magik and Colossus had their falling out, which clearly painted her as being a monster. Regardless I completely maintain what I said about her in the context I said it in.

    2. I can accept what Magik put Colossus through, but she wanted him to understand what she went through with her own demonic possession (Darkchilde side). He was adamant on seeing her as his "little snowflake" who can do no wrong but after the bad deeds she's committed before when she was "demon possessed", she feels she can no longer be that kind of girl and I can imagine it being painful for her. She wanted him to let her go because she feels she's no good anymore. It did put her in a villainous light I admit but I sense no malice behind it. She's damaged but she can get through it. If you like, we can say that Magik has developed a distorted viewpoint

      Of course I'm optimistic about Magik. She was a hero before. She can be a hero again when she rediscover her humanity.

    3. I don't think we're going to see eye to eye on this this one as whatever the reason, to me, Magik displayed a clear lack of empathy that was very disturbing (regardless of how wrong Colossus was). It is, of course, just my opinion.

      I still maintain that for this comic, in this situation where the falling out was still pretty recent, my comment was valid based on what had actually occurred as opposed to character development that may or may not happen one day.

      Also it's funnier this way, which is the most important thing.


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