Artists: Frazer Irving & Kris Anka
This has been a very good series up till now, as although it's not been outstanding, it has been very enjoyable to read. I am however more focused on the upcoming Battle of the Atom crossover, and look forward to seeing the involvement this series will have.
Cyclops' X-Men take on a Blockbuster Sentinel in a brutal fight that could spell the end of these X-Men.
This was a good issue, but nothing special, being slightly mediocre. Brian Michael Bendis did a decent job with this issue, but it felt a bit rushed, making way for the upcoming Battle of the Atom storyline, being nothing more than a filler, and an early set-up for future events. It was however still interesting, and I really enjoyed the mystery in this issue. There was also some brilliant monologue from Cyclops in this issue, and that with the dramatic dialogue was a nice addition, helping to give tone, and depth to the issue. I also loved how Bendis handled the characters reactions in this issue, as with all the action there needed to be this kind of emotional response.
I wasn't too sure on the art in this issue, as although I love Frazer Irving's art, with his art on this series being very good so far, there are times when I question whether his style suits this series, as although it suited the Magik centred story, also suiting last issue, I wasn't entirely sure if it suited this one. I did however like the detail in Irving's art, as although the faces looked slightly awkward at times, with Emma Frost's diamond form still not looking right, it was overall very good, and I loved the emotion from Cyclops. This issue would however also have artist in Kris Anka working on it, producing art during the S.H.I.E.L.D./Madripoor sequences. Anka's art was also good, but not as good as Irving's.
This issue would see a Blockbuster Sentinel go against Cyclops' X-Men in a phenomenal battle. Now as fights go this is a very good one, and if it wasn't for the suddenness of this battle, as well as the lack of meaning it would have been even better. As it was however this was still an outstanding fight, and I loved seeing the X-Men function as a team during this. I also loved seeing the younger X-Men come out of their shells a bit more, and look forward to seeing the developments of this, and hope that they make up for the quickness of this set-up fight.
This issue would also have a lot of monologue from Cyclops, with that being the main form of storytelling in this issue. This isn't the first time that Bendis has used this style of storytelling in this series, as just a few issues ago Magik would do the same. Much like then I enjoyed this, as although it wasn't expected either times, it's a very unique, and interesting way of telling the story. I did however much prefer it this time round, as I felt that last time round it took away slightly from the story, adding an anticlimactic tone to the issue, with other things helping to pick up the overall quality of that issue. This time however it added a lot of emotion, and showed what was going on in Cyclops' head, which I loved.
S.H.I.E.L.D. would also once again feature in this issue, still having an interest in the X-Men. Overall I found this sequence to be mostly unnecessary, as there was only one thing that made it interesting, and that was the clarification that Mystique is still pretending to be Dazzler. It would also appear due to this, and the actions of Mystique during this issue that she still has a plan up her sleeve, and I question whether this is something that will pay off in Battle of the Atom or after (I personally think it will pay of in Battle of the Atom due to her involvement in All-New X-Men as well).
This wasn't a terrible issue, but it is probably the worst in the series so far. It had some interesting monologue, with plenty of emotion, action, and some mystery. It was however overall a bit mediocre, being more of a filler/set-up issue, also having too quick a pace. I would however probably still recommend the issue, as it was a good read, and has a lot of interesting mysteries to it.