Mutants, will they ever learn? It’s almost as if the last 50 years of conflict, colossal bad times (and occasional baseball game) have taught Logan, Scott and the rest of the gang nothing.
Still, if X-Men: Battle Of The Atom proved anything over the course of its ten-issue crossover extravaganza, it’s that a harmless little Schism really is the least of the X-Men’s surmounting problems.
X-Men tangle with the space-time continuum, and hijinks ensue. For seasoned mutant sympathisers, it’s impossible to see this event for anything but what it truly is: a retread of old, tired ground. That being said, it’s still so damn satisfying to watch the past, present and future generations of the X-Men collide that it’s easy to revel in the ludicrous amount fan service being dished out.
In celebrating the X-Men’s 50th anniversary, Battle Of The Atom succeeds in paying tribute to three generations of teams, whilst still propelling all involved towards a fairly predictable ‘new’ status quo.
Credit where it is due: Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron and Brian Wood did a remarkable job of keeping everything accessible throughout. Keeping up with the X-Men titles and ever-expanding roster is notoriously difficult, though newcomers will quickly find their feet here.
Long-time readers will enjoy the snappy interplay between characters, and hats off once again to Aaron for his continued attempts at making us give a damn about Iceman. He’s certainly succeeding, though it might have something to do with the frosty wizard beard that future-Drake is sporting.
The art, however, stumbles in places. That said, trying to keep a level of consistency between the likes of Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen, David Lopez, Chris Bachalo, and Giuseppe Camuncoli was always going to be a tough, if not impossible, task.
At the very least it’s a showcase of the incredible talent Marvel has on tap, but also yet another sign that the publisher should rein in the scope of its Summer event books.
Battle Of The Atom set out to achieve two simple goals: alter the status quo and celebrate 50 years of mutant oppression, and the creative team have succeeded in achieving both these goals.