Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Battle of the Atom has been the crossover that I was looking forward to for a long time, and so far it hasn't disappointed, as although it's still to hit top gear, it has been extremely fun, and entertaining, and I'm always excited between each instalment.
The younger Cyclops and Jean Grey have reached Utopia where they try and gain the help of older Cylcops' X-Men.
This was yet another great addition to the Battle of the Atom storyline, tough also the worst so far. Brian Michael Bendis did a great job of continuing from where X-Men #5 left off, but the issue itself didn't do a great lot to help the stories development. It did however still have some brilliant sequences, with yet again more amazing dialogue from Bendis, which added a lot of drama, and excitement. It did however also lag at times, trying to do too much set-up with nothing really paying off in this issue. Bendis did however leave the issue with a brilliant cliffhanger, and I really hope that this is followed-up properly in Wolverine and the X-Men #36, and that the series finally reaches a higher gear.
Although I've never been a huge fan of Chris Bachalo's artwork, I have been enjoying it on this series. I did however really dislike it on this issue, as a lot of the art reminded me of why I disliked it in the first place. For starters his artwork doesn't really go well with any of the previous artists in this story, and although I already knew this, seeing it made it more obvious. I also hated Bachalo's artwork on the future X-Men, and especially the future Beast and Deadpool. I did however once again love his layouts and colours, as the layout adds a lot of depth and tone to the issue, whilst his colours also added more tone and depth, being the best thing about his artwork.
This series has seen S.H.I.E.L.D. have a huge involvement in it, so it was no surprise that it would be the issue to introduce them to this storyline. Now to be honest I feel that it's a good thing to add S.H.I.EL.D., as it adds some diversity, giving a different possible path in the future stages of the story. At the same time I also liked how it was condensed in this issue to nothing more than set-up, as although I complained slightly about the issue having too much set-up, and not enough payoff, this is something that needs setting up whereas some of the other things could have lead into a payoff in the same issue.
The main focus of this issue would see Cyclops contemplating whether to help these younger X-Men, or to help the others in sending them back to their own time. To be honest I thought given the close call in X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 that it'd be a no-brainer, but the way Bendis handled this decision was brilliant, showing that it wasn't actually as easy as you'd initially assume. Besides this I also loved seeing the different opinions that the other X-Men members had, and how this would show how much friction this situation has caused.
Whilst this was happening the future X-Men, along with Wolverine's X-Men would continue searching for the two younger X-Men. The sequence itself was interesting, but I would have much preferred them to have been closer to actually doing something a little more productive, as although I don't want things rushed, their search has been a little slow. I did however enjoy the interaction between certain characters, as well as the fact that the present Kitty Pryde still wanted them to stay, seeing her older self as something she doesn't want to become.
Although this is the worst issue of the crossover so far, it was still very interesting, setting up things brilliantly. At the same time it was just a little too much set-up, and although this will probably help the story as a whole in the long run, it hurt this one quite a bit. I would however still recommend it, as it shows that the story still has a lot to give, and I'm sure the next instalment will be outstanding.