The X-Men really love the concept of time travel. The original team have been brought to the future in order to ease the tension between Wolverine’s school for mutants and Cyclops’ school for mutants, whilst preventing a leader from drifting into darkness.
X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 places a major focus on the time displaced original X-men. We have an all new squad under the command of Kitty Pryde. Bendis gives new readers a great opportunity to get an understanding of the characters and the types of personalities they possess. Ice Man really adds some great humour to this story. You have got to love him. His comic relief makes this book so enjoyable! The events of the issue are also explained by the characters in such a way that younger readers can grasp on to concepts a lot easier. The X-men of the past seem a tad bit lost in the present. You wouldn’t say they lack motivation, but they certainly lack direction and do not fear the consequences of their actions. But all that changes mid-way in this issue when Cyclops plays hero… twice! The team then realises that the past is effecting the present and determining the future. Wolverine realises the risk that tampering with the time force has introduced to the history of the X-men and makes the decision to send the Original X-men packing. This creates the climatic conclusion as visitors from the future attempt to over-rule Logan’s decision.
The team of artists on Battle of the Atom manage to do a great job! You get to see X-men of the past, present and future… all at the same time. Each X-man looks amazing in their own right. The colouring in this issue just jumps off the page and basically blinds you with amazement! And this is not an easy task when Frank Cho is providing highly detailed art which spans from people to sentinels and even dragons! Stuart Immonen’s art completes the issue whilst providing some great imagery, especially when he introduces the visitors from the future. Marte Gracia’s colouring also does a great job of unifying the shift in art. You do not see the immediate shift easily. Visually there is a great flow of imagery to accompany the strong story that Bendis provides.
Sure it is another time travelling X-men story, but by know you should know that time shifts are always bundled in the X-men to create a working combo. This issue shows that Bendis has the ability to write a powerful, entertaining script that is presented to the reader through the use of exceptional art and great storytelling. With the concept of time travel and Brian Bendis in charge of two X-men titles… the possibilities are infinite as time itself!