Review: Battle of the Atom Finale

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BotA finale

It’s over. So what happened? What did we like? What did we dislike?  Click below the break to find out and remember, when we say spoilers, we mean spoilers, so enter at your own risk.

Loz’s Review

Hmmmm so much happened here but …oh let’s just do bullets.

  • Pro/con: The art. I guess it’s polarizing. I loved the art in the beginning of the book, but then by the end it had devolved into a free for all of sloppy.
  • Pro: I actually loved the homage to the Magneto/Original 5 battle. It was neatly done, unexpected and a pleasant surprise.
  • CON: “To me my Brotherhood.” Enough with this. Your brotherhood now consists of Mysterine, Bruiser and Ice-hulk. Good luck with that. OH and how the hell many strikes from these seemingly ineffectual soul swords can you flippin take. Surely you should be dead by now.
  • Con: the Brotherhood seem to be a loose end.
  • CON: Kymera is sticking around. Great one.
  • CON/PRO: SPOILER: so when does Wolverine die? He’s alive and kicking here.
  • Pro: Xorna’s outburst at Cyclops and Wolverine.
  • Con: we still don’t know what it was that happened to make Jean Psycho.
  • Pro: no more Xorna.
  • Con: Wolverine/Jubilee’s death.
  • Pro: An amazing Shogo/Jubilee scene. I loved it. She really did get some great moments throughout BotA.
  • Pro: there’s still a schism.
  • Con: Cyclops’ smug grin on the last page. This was not quite in character. Speaking of which:
  • Con: Kitty’s outburst at the end. I can get behind the whole trust thing, but her treatment of Iceman is a bit too much. If she and him were a couple who were serious about things there should be more communication. His response to her was horrible. This seemed like a plot device to separate them so he could move on. Even Ice-Master told him to grow a beard cos all the ladies dig ice beard. Um…..riiiight?
  • Pro: SHIELD deployed Sentinels. Yup that was great imagery.
  • Pro: Omega Phoenix. Even though Xorna whooped you for a minute there, you still rock.

I felt this issue tied things up okay and BotA really has made a difference in the X-Men’s lives, but it was like that feeling you get when you’ve been to this great overnight party and then in the morning everyone’s gone and there’s that pit feeling in your stomach that everything is over. It all felt a bit anti-climactic. I’m excited to get back into the everyday swing of the titles. BotA was a fun ride but there’s something missing.  Maybe I need the next issue of each of the titles to really process what has changed.

Oh, and best line of the whole book, ” I don’t take orders from you Storm. How’s the marrriage by the way?” 4 atoms for that line alone, but 3 for the book as a whole.

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Tom’s Review

As my wife observed, they look like they’re in a musical. “Do you hear the people sing, singing the songs of X-Men…”

Forgive me, but in light of that panel, I’m going to structure my review a little bit differently this time… Do you hear the people sing?

First, the angry men. Future Beast definitely applies here, even though, with BotA over and done with, I’m yet to understand quite why the Brotherhood went bad in the first place. The death of Dazzler in their timeline looks to be more related to either a mutant or a mystic, y’know? We at least get to know more about Xorn, who goes pretty insane (and does anyone really believe she’s dead?). In reality, we learn that BotA is all about getting these angry men (and women) in place to cause maximum chaos. Xorn is quite deliberately presented as the Magneto to the ANXM, and that’s fine with me, making me expect to see a lot more of her and future Xavier et al.

Will you join in our crusade? That sentence pretty much sums up the impact of BotA. You have the Brotherhood attempting to break Xavier’s Dream, with future Beast in particular trying to set off a somewhat insane rallying cry. And then you have the dramatic shift in the X-Men universe, with Scott on the ascendant. It’s a post-Schism reversal (rather than negation), with the two Aaron-penned books charting Wolverine’s school and the two Bendis-penned books now portraying Scott’s. Scott’s crusade just became a lot more potent, and if the latest issue of Uncanny Avengers is anything to go by… things are gonna get wild. (Although Kitty’s choice seems odd to me, and a trifle inconsistent with previous chapters.)

The beating of the drums. So the Sentinels are back with a vengeance, and so very well-rendered. Maria Hill is completely out of her depth when it comes to mutant affairs, and this is going to be good. Xorn’s strategy – to trigger the S.H.I.E.L.D. attack – suddenly made all the sense it previously had not. Well done with that twist. In the world of the X-Men, S.H.I.E.L.D. are becoming the villains. How will this affect Uncanny Avengers?

Some will fall and some will live, but the deaths are sadly a bit of a cop-out – nobody from the present, although the emotional impact on Magik and the Hanks is very well-realised. I can’t believe future Jubilee was killed.  We have a wonderfully poignant scene between present-day Jubilee and Shogo.

There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes! BotA is all about preparation for the future, the traditional Bendis-headed crossover that acts as first chapter in a story. It can make the individual plotline rather disappointing – see Secret Invasion, essentially the prologue for Dark Reign – but can set up some really cool elements. The issue will get a lot of criticism for this, as will BotA as a whole – absolutely nothing is resolved by the end!

And now, sadly, the off-notes in the tune; as I mentioned, Kitty’s motivation seems odd to me. Plus I’m left wondering why Magik didn’t teleport the combined X-Men out before the Sentinels even emerged.

Still, all in all, I really enjoyed this issue. We’ll do separate reviews of the whole BotA saga, but for this issue –

4 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.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Gehirn says:

    Reblogged this on Jean Grey.

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  2. Paul Bowler says:

    I thought Battle of the Atom #2 was a good ending to the series. I really liked the scene with Jubilee and Shogo at the end, that was brilliant. There were some parts that could’ve been handled better, but on the whole I enjoyed the last part of this storyline.

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  3. Marius says:

    Great Reviews as always!
    Here are some of my thoughts: Overall, I liked this book. The action was great and the epilogues, especially the one with Jubilee were awsome. But Wolverine’s self-righteousness was really off-putting and annoyed me beyond belief and there are so many unanswered questions. After a 10-issues event I want answers and not a setup for the next year.
    Kitty’s outburst came as a suprise to me, but it does make sense (from an editorial point of view), so Iceman can hook up with Firestar over in Amazing X-Men. I will call them Boblica.
    I hope we will get a glimpse of the S.H.I.E.L.D.sorcery devision. Wanda is probably the head of it and personally made the sentinels spellproof.
    There is one thing that bugs me most of all: In BotA #1Magik sees the future Brotherhood fighting against sentinels. Has it been mentioned when she did this? Was she just casually visiting the future?
    In conclusion: For me BotA isn’t a worthy 50th anniversary for the X-Men. Just kill Wolverine and end the schism.

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    1. loz says:

      For fear of making my review section too long I left a couple of points out but you just pointed them out. Thank you. 1. Yes, When did Magik see the Brotherhood. 2. Wolverine’s attitude. I think Editorial was trying to make him the heroe of the piece but really he’s not.
      Yes, I also want to know who’s on SHIELDS Sorcery department. I also want to know if the SHIELD sentinels are linked to the Blockbuster Sentinel in Uncanny.
      I also agree about all the questions. This is why I’m itching for the next few issues of each of the books but I would have liked a more satisfying end. On the whole I really enjoyed this crossover and it was a worthy 50th anniversary event.

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