Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Battle of the Atom has been a brilliant crossover so far, as although there have been times where I've felt that there's been too much set-up and that the story has been a little too long, it has still been very enjoyable, and has had some amazing moments.
As both Wolverine's and Cyclops' X-Men regroup from their respective fights with the original group of future X-Men, who are revealed to actually be the future Brotherhood, the Brotherhood take the younger X-Men off in a Blackbird to instigate Plan B.
This was a very good issue, as although it wasn't brilliant, being far from what I expected it to be, it had some very exciting moments and Jason Aaron set-up the final part brilliantly. It is however the fact that this series has been so much set-up that has annoyed me, as although it has still been a fabulous series, if it had less issues, it would have less set-up, which would make it even better. Aaron did however do a great job of adding a lot of excitement near the end, and the dialogue throughout was very interesting, adding a lot of depth to the issue. In saying that the first part of the issue was rather slow, with unnecessary interactions, and if it hadn't ended in the exciting fashion that it did it would have been a very poor issue.
The artwork on this issue was also very good but not brilliant, as although overall Giuseppe Camuncoli did a fantastic job, there were a few things that bugged me. The first was the characters facial expressions and emotions, which were very awkward at times, though that is a usual problem of Camuncoli. The detail in his artwork was however very good considering the amount of characters involved, as although there were a few panels that felt a bit rushed, there were some panels that had a lot of characters that looked phenomenal. The layouts however would also help for that, adding a lot more depth and excitement to the issue, feeling more dynamic than they did in the last issue.
This issue would see the first encounter between Wolverine and Cyclops since Cyclops' team paid the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning a visit in All-New X-Men #11. It's always nice to see the tension between these two, especially since Avengers vs. X-Men, though it felt slightly unnecessary here. It was however the reaction that Wolverine's X-Men had to this new lot of future X-Men that interested me the most, as although it would slow the issue down a bit, it would show the amount of confusion that all the time travelling has caused. I also enjoyed the interaction between the two Quentin Quire's, as apart from being slightly humorous it would also add a WATX feel to the issue which was missing from the last issue.
This issue would reveal that the renegade X-Men from the future are in fact the future Brotherhood. It was nice to finally get something to differentiate the two groups from the future, as it was awkward talking about two different groups of X-Men from the future in the same sentences. I did however feel that this could have been added earlier in the story, when it was revealed that they weren't the true X-Men from the future. The actions of the Brotherhood in this issue would also be interesting, as although again it was mostly set-up it would create some exciting moments, setting up the conclusion brilliantly.
S.H.I.E.L.D. would make their second appearance of the story in this issue, and it was interesting that it came in this series as S.H.I.E.L.D. have made most of their recent X-Men appearances in Uncanny X-Men. It was however fitting that they were added to this issue, especially due to the fact that they are going to be a part of the WATX story that follows Battle of the Atom. There appearance as a whole in this issue however didn't really do a lot for this issue, yet again setting up the conclusion, though all this set-up should allow the conclusion to flow smoother.
This was yet another issue that didn't quite live up to it's potential, as although it went out with a bang, setting up the story's conclusion perfectly, it was slow at the start, having some unnecessary interactions, overall feeling like a set-up issue. It did however have some very exciting moments, and has me very excited for the finale next week, but I can't help but wonder how brilliant this story would have been had it been a bit shorter. Due to this I'd highly recommend it for people who've been following the story so far, but otherwise it'd be best to wait for the trade to come out.