Here’s our review of Chapter 6 in Battle of the Atom. Is it one to miss, or was this a crucial part of our story. Definite spoilers below. Be warned.
OK, here’s the problem with chapter 6: the art. It’s not that it’s bad art, it’s just that there are so many full-page spreads – and, consequently, the story just doesn’t move on very far. All of that makes this the least satisfying chapter of BotA to date, even if it is the one that finally gives us some answers. We find out what’s turned the Beast bad in the future – a brilliant touch that fits in with Hill’s reflections on Hank in the previous issue, oddly enough. And we briefly meet the real future X-Men, who choose to travel back to the past to battle their renegades (well, not all of them; sadly future Quentin Quire looks to stay behind, a shame as he really interested me).
I’m not entirely clear what it was that happened to the, ah, key person in ths timeline (I’m trying to avoid spoiling anyway who’s not in the know). The art seems to hint at a sort of demonic invasion of some kind, and carries a hint of the Phoenix Force to it in my view – suggesting that the X-Men are going to have to look into this future timeline and try to unravel this mystery. At the same time, I do like certain elements of this future timeline – specifically, Jubilee, Iceman, and Quentin Quire, all of whom look to have a fascinating future ahead of them.
Speaking of Bobby, my favourite image in the whole comic is the smug look on Bobby’s face on the last panel!
As much as I wanted to like this issue – the art’s good, and there are some really fun scenes – the problem is that it really felt like a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ issue, and that’s frustrating in a storyline that’s hardly been fast-paced so far. I almost gave this 2 Atoms, but I think the Days of Future Past parallels earn it another one.
The words, “As an Aside” are very apt here. As an aside, we see what Magik was up to. As an aside we meet (briefly) the real future X-Men. As an aside we get the motivation for our villainous(?) future mutants. Here’s the kicker: As an aside, it kind of works. But, as an aside, it’s not enough. Here’s the bullets:
- Con: As a whole this issues art is gorge. But, is that Emma on the first page. Maybe the white could have been Alison’s trademark Blue. And while I type that, my mind is telling me, “no stupid, look at the facial expressions. It’s totally Dazzler. ” Again though the coloring is doing interesting things. Is that Rogue on the next page in green and the skunk stripe or is it an ambiguously colored Kate Pryde?
- Con: By the next page, I knew Dazz was gonna bite it. Before I turned the page. I just didn’t know how. I was expecting a mutant sniper.
- Pro: Manner of sniping. That was a nice splash page despite the horror at seeing Dazzler so spectacularly expire.
- Pro: Tempus did make it to the future X-Men. She seems to be the only identifiable Uncanny X-Kid in the future.
- Pro: Kid Omega makes Pheonix. That’s sure to annoy some Jean Grey-Pheonix purists out there. And I loved his attitude. “Go to Hell McCoy.”
- Is Red/black amalgamation of Cloak and Dr. Strange Shogo?
- Pro: Bobby. You are my favourite of the All New X-kiddies. Immonen is doing a bang-up job of bobby’s expressions.
- Didn’t Piotr threaten to Kill Magik if he ever saw her again? I guess massive amounts of time heals?
- Harsh. Not only Dazzler died but Storm and Maddrox too.
- Kymera? Interesting. Which leads me to: Wolverine is Jubilee’s future moniker? And she’s the leader of the X-Men, or at least she calls the shots?
- Animax. Have we already met our big Bad? Did anyone else think of the new mutant from chapter one when DC was attacked? And if Ice-Hulk is in the past, is there more mind bending to come? Is there not only our Ice-Man in the future but All-New Bobby’s future self there too on the opposing side, and is he controlling the Ice-Hulk from afar or just hidden? Or is Sir Robert not as allied with the future X-Men as they think?
Anyway, there are a lot of tid-bits in this issue. I actually really enjoyed it. I think online we’re beginning to see this backlash of readers wanting more action. While I thought a similar thought a couple of chapters ago, I’m fine with the pacing. Most other crossovers are bang bang bang and this one is a writers dream. It’s pack loaded with dozens of Easter eggs and things that are making my head tick again and again. So while this issue is an aside. It works very well as one. Maybe not so much a chapter though. 4 Atoms, but only because it’s got me feverishly guessing at what’s going to happen and itching for the next chapter. Man they’ve got a lot to do in the next 4 issues.