By Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo, & Marte Garcia
Battle of the Atom continues in Uncanny X-Men #12 with chapter 4. The crossover pits the original five X-Men from the past against some X-Men from the future, while the X-Men in the present try to make sense of everything and do the right thing. Confused yet?
Young Scott and Jean go to the island of Utopia to see present Cyclops and ask for help. Most of his team feel he should send them back, but Scott may see things a bit differently. Kitty Pryde is having a hard time dealing with the situation with the future X-Men and she begins to question if she is doing the right thing. Future, present and past collide in this chapter.
Brian Michael Bendis deserves some credit for juggling several X-books, and not just writing them, but writing them well. He is planting the seeds for several team members to switch sides throughout this storyline, and these are key members that would shake teams up quite a bit. He also writes this uncanny team very well. They are a complete mess and don’t trust each other, and it shows. His Magik continues to be one of the more intriguing characters in the book, and she just randomly vanishes half way through this issue and the reader almost wants to follow her too. His team dynamic is faulty, and it’s just great to read.
The artwork of Chris Bachelo is an acquired taste. Some fans love it, others don’t care for it so much, but he has a definitive style that is easily recognizable. His art has gotten better since he’s started this series, but there are still some panels that look a bit rough. On a few pages, Emma Frost looks kind of manly, but in others she looks normal; it’s inconsistent. He did a nice flashback picture as Emma and the girls root through Jean’s mind. While his art has grown on the series, there are still spots that will frustrate readers. This book has the potential to be great, but it will need more consistent art to get there.
Chapter 4 of Battle of the Atom leaves the reader with questions about who’s playing who and what players will be switching sides. Marvel has been putting out good X-events lately, and this looks to be another solid one. Chapter 5 can’t come fast enough.