Artist: Chris Bachalo
Battle of the Atom has on a whole been a very exciting story so far, as although it has had a few issues that were slightly disappointing, on a whole it's been very entertaining, with some amazing moments.
As Cyclops' X-Men and a group of X-Men from the future prepare to take the fight to the renegade X-Men team from the future they are stopped in their tracks.
Though slightly disappointing this was a good issue, and Brian Michael Bendis did a great job of developing the story. I did however feel that there was too much going on for one issue, with too many sub-plots that didn't get enough development time, and cutting some would have probably made the others better. Bendis did however do a brilliant job of adding a lot of excitement and tension to this issue, though the many sub-plots did slightly take away from this. There was however some very interesting interactions, and the the development near the end was very interesting, making the last two chapters of this story look even more exciting.
The artwork that Chris Bachalo has been producing on this series has been overall very good, as although I am not a fan of his work in general, it suits this series brilliantly. I did however once again dislike it, as bar the style continuing not to fit as well as the other artists do, it also didn't help with the storytelling, as the style would make the story feel even more muddled than it already did. I did however as usual like Bachalo's layouts, as although they were partly to blame for the muddled feel at times, they also managed to add a lot of depth and excitement throughout the rest of the issue. I also loved how Bachalo handled the action in this issue, as his art would make the sequences much more explosive and exciting.
There would be two main fights/encounters in this issue, with one being Cyclops' team against Xavier Jr. Although this wasn't my favourite out of the two encounters, it was still very exciting at times, having a lot of tension throughout, also having a brilliant atmosphere to it. It was also very clever at times, as although most of the encounter was very predictable, there were a couple of points that were very interesting, showing that Xavier Jr. isn't a pushover. At the same time this clever development took away the amount of excitement that would be added if Cyclops' team was given a proper chance of fighting back.
The other fight would see the future Deadpool and Molly Hayes go up against Magik and the future version of her brother Colossus, with them both having Soul Swords. This was a much more entertaining sequence, and I really enjoyed seeing the sibling team-up, even if one of them is from the future. I also felt that this sequence was a lot more exciting, having a much better tone and atmosphere, with the dialogue also being much better. On top of that the fight felt much more organic, and spontaneous than the other, with some of the actions feeling very sudden and suspenseful.
Whilst all this is happening the future Jean Grey and Beast, along with Raze (who was revealed in X-Men #6 to be Wolverine's shape changing son from the future, who so far had been masquerading as a future version of Kitty Pryde) would get even closer to their goal of sending the younger X-Men back to their own timeline. Now I won't go into any detail as to what happens here, though anyone who followed the NYCC announcements can guess part of the development. The sequence was however very interesting and dramatic, and the developments were even more interesting, having me more excited for the final two chapters.
Though not one of the better issues in the story so far, it was still exciting at times, and did a good job of developing the story as a whole. It did however have too much going on, and would have probably been better if some of the sub-plots were cut. There would also however be some very exciting moments, and the issue as a whole would have been much better if not for the amount going on. Due to all this I'd barely recommend it, and especially if you've been following the story so far, but otherwise wait for the trade.