Review: Battle of the Atom Chapter 8


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Battle of the Atom receives its first casualties and the pace continues nicely. See what Tom and Loz thought of chapter 8. With 2 issues to go, how are you feeling the feels? Spoilers ahead.

Tom’s Review

Well, to be sure, the action has certainly arrived – but it just doesn’t feel very well executed, I’m afraid. Partly this is because, eight comics into the story, we still don’t really know most of these characters – in fact, is it just me or have we now even been told the name of the youth who looks to be daughter of Storm and the Black Panther?

Dialogue is over-heavy, with Scott giving a speech that reminded me so much of the old pun that he lectured too much. At one point, one character from the future says, “Been waiting for a piece of you since the Stark Tower / Baxter Building Wars.” Seriously, who speaks like that? In my view, Chris Bachalo‘s art doesn’t really help matters – in the cliffhanger scene, I’d swear future Quentin Quire looks like he’s yawning, while present-day Cyclops has a ruby butterfly around his head.

Matters aren’t helped by the fact that Bendis fluffs it. Loz pegged it correctly that ‘Psylocke’ was in fact the shapeshifter (called Raze, apparently). But this is no big reveal – it’s a reveal that barely happens on-page, actually. It’s all done rather too neatly, making it feel slightly forced, as though Bendis knew he needed a mechanism to get ANXM Hank and Bobby caught. And, after a Jubilee-heavy last installment, this issue simply has the sentence, “Sentinel X should have his baby-self and young Jubilee to safety soon.” And, weirdly, the future Xavier is amazed that Krakoa exists and is not a legend – when he telepathically subdued the creature just last issue.

Up till now, BotA has had a strong sense of flow; Bendis ruins that, in my view. Not least because Wolverine’s being almost dead, a major theme in the last chapter, is actually forgotten bar on the recap page!

Not that this is a terrible issue, it’s just not particularly good when compared to everything that’s come before. It sets up some rather weird ideas; that the timeline is screwed up enough that the ANXM can’t be sent back, for example, which rather turns the whole plot into a bit of a mess, but perhaps has potential. And then you have the oddity of Raze travelling back in time; I can only assume either, a) he traveled back to a different time to the one they were trying to send the ANXM back to, b) he lied about what he saw, or c) Bendis dropped the continuity-ball. Anyone care to say in the comments why they think I reckon that?

All in all, an extremely disappointing continuation of BotA. There are now only two issues left, and they’d better be stronger than this. BotA had a really strong start, but this really does drag it down.


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Loz’s Review

This issue continued the ass kicking but left me with a lot of questions. Here’s the bullets, in no particular order:

  • So as I foresaw, Psylocke was actually Mysterine (Raze, but I prefer Mysterine.) But what I really want to know is, how did he defeat Bling!, Jubilee, and Shogo(s?)
  • Future Wiccan, YAY. But what I really want to know is, is he the same Wiccan we’ve read previously?
  • Wolverine…er…Future Jubilee….er, I love your look and your attitude but what I really want to know is, how you are the leader of the X-Men, how you got the scar and how you came by you’r energy claws.
  • So Cyclops, you have a plan or do you not have a plan? What I really want to know is, why have you all grouped together in an easy to hit little group with no thought for detection.
  • Colossus and Magik together again. You’re cool an’ all and I’ma let you finish, but what I really want to know is, What happened between you. The last thing we saw was Colossus threatening to kill Magik if he ever saw her again.
  • Bendis, if you’re going to mention event’s no matter how cryptically my mind is going to want answers. What happened at the Stark/baxter building wars. What is Magik going to unleash on the worl THIS TIME? Tinker!
  • Do soul swords now cut more than magic. I’m guessing yes as Magik has used hers to cut through sentinels, which leads me to question:
  • Are Bruiser and Xavier both dead? Along with (a) Dead…Pool, that make’s three fatalities. Not sad to see them go. They served a purpose. Xavier’s stabbing was just a little less satisfying than Bruiser’s was for being a pretty formidable foe. I guess he was an arrogant sod and falls come to those types however formidable.
  • What I really want to know is when it’s going to be revealed that Sir Robert is not an ally. That Ice Hulk was still standing, or flying through the air, last we saw it. Who’s in control of it?
  • So Mysterine went back in time to see if the Time cube was broken. He was there for less than three minutes. What I really want to know is: That’s really specific. So you arrive, you wait a minute, then another?  Is 2 minutes, or even a minute enough to alert a past Xavier just reading in the garden to a foreign malevolent mind within visual range?
  • And another thing, Where, exactly, is future Xavier from? It’s seems like, As Tom Mentioned above, that if he was who he appears to be, he should know of Krakoa. But then if future Beast and Xorna are our all-new counterparts Beast should know Krakoa exists too.

This issue had some nice action. I enjoyed the mini revelations, but there’s so much else I want to know more than some of the things that were given us offhand. It seems there are issues with what needed focus. I actually miss some of the character focus from previous issues. It feels this issue lacked proper focus. Apart from the scene with Xorna contemplating her actions, it was just filler. This is odd for a storyline that only has two chapter left.  The storyline wasn’t the only thing that lacked focus, what is going on with Bachalo’s art? In places it was acceptable but then some expressions and faces were not the best. I mean come on. Kid Omega looked way better in the last few issues drawn by other artists (cough…Immonen…Cough). Sooooooo… 2 Atoms.

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So what did you think? What did you like in this issue? What did you hate? let us know in the comments.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, we were both rather harsh there! You raise some interesting questions, Loz; btw, I think Raze never fought Jubilee and Bling!, ’cause they ran out and he just followed pretending to be Betsy.


    1. loz says:

      Either way we missed some important scenes/dialogue. Had they all regrouped? There was no Jubilee/jubilee interaction. I just assumed that they had not joined the main group yet. I would have thought the X-Men would have all separated into smaller groups and attacked from different directions.
      Oh and Kymera was named a couple of issues ago, but it was missable. We still don’t know anything about these people.


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