Artist: Stuart Immonen
I have been very excited about Battle of the Atom throughout the crossover so far, as although it has not had a great deal of progression over the first half, it showed plenty of promise at the end of the last instalment, renewing my excitement and having my hopes raised for the second half of this crossover.
Magik has taken the younger Beast and Iceman to the future to confront the real future X-Men. Also it is revealed the events that have caused the other future X-Men to come to the present.
This was a brilliant issue and the series has finally returned to the high quality that it started with. Brian Michael Bendis managed to bring some life back to this crossover, as although it has been good throughout, it has been a little slow since part three, whereas now Bendis has turned it back into the exciting and entertaining crossover that it promised to be in the first two parts. The issue was also very dramatic, having some very mysterious moments that kept the story interesting. The dialogue throughout the issue was also very perfectly, being very dynamic and entertaining, having a brilliant tone throughout, and if it's this exciting for the rest of the crossover it could become something phenomenal.
The artwork on this issue was also fantastic, and Stuart Immonen did a fantastic job. The detail of his art was simply amazing, as although some minor imperfections, it was relatively consistent throughout. The layout of Immonen's artwork was also handled perfectly, being very dynamic and at times impactful, adding a lot of depth and drama to the issue. The character's facial expressions and emotions were also handled brilliantly, adding even more depth, as well as making the story more dramatic as well, also adding suspense at times. There would also be some rather extravagant sequences throughout this issue which Immonen handled fantastically, as they were extremely exciting and explosive.
This issue starts by showing the future, with Dazzler running to become the first mutant president. Now I won't go into much detail about this sequence as to avoid spoilers, but I will say that it was extremely dramatic, and eventually got really exciting. I also really enjoyed seeing this possible future, and how it would make the mysterious parts of this story a little more clearer. I do however question whether this is actually Dazzler, or if Mystique would keep impersonating her for a long period of time? I do hope that this is answered sometime as it would be slightly annoying otherwise.
Magik and the younger Beast and Iceman would confront the "real" future X-Men in this issue as well, and the things they said about the group that has returned to the present makes things very exciting. I'll start off by saying that it was interesting to see how the other X-Men had changed over the years, having much different looks. I especially liked the new look for Jubilee, with her still appearing to be a vampire, looking more like one than she does the now. Besides that I found it funny to see Colossus with a moustache, and the interaction he and Magik would have was extremely interesting.
What does this mean for the future of the crossover? Without going into any details about the major developments in this issue, it has really opened the storyline up, leaving a lot of different possibilities. It also has left a ton of new mysteries, with a lot of questions, like who's in the right, and what should actually happen. Put it this way I expect that the story will get even more exciting from now on, and I for one look forward to seeing it. I also look forward to seeing more from these real future X-Men in the future of the story, and how the other future X-Men react to the interaction they had with Magik.
This was a fantastic issue that has gotten the crossover back to the level of quality that the first couple of issues showed. It also had some very exciting moments, as well as having plenty of mystery drama, suspense and emotion. There were also some brilliant interactions, and the future of the story looks very promising. Due to all this it's easy to recommend this issue and I can't wait for the next part.