By Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo, & Marte Gracia
As Battle of the Atom winds down, we are getting closer to some answers in this crossover. We still don’t get them all, but enough is revealed in this issue of Uncanny X-Men to keep the reader guessing and coming back for more.
Cyclops wants to form a plan before facing off against the future X-Men, but their cover is already blown. With all of the original 5 captured, future Beast makes an attempt to send them back to the past. Colossus and Magik get some sibling bonding time; this usually ends with someone getting stabbed in the back, and so much death that it becomes trendy.
Bendis continues his hot streak. Between this issue and his work on All New X-Men, he has been lights out. The biggest question that he has kept from readers is the reason for the future X-Men coming back, but we do get some more answers, like what happens to Magik in the future and why Colossus carries her sword around. He’s also done a nice job developing the future Jean, as she seems very interesting and she takes charge this issue. And the last panel sets up a potential lovers quarrel between Scott and Jean; I’m officially giddy.
Chris Bachalo stepped up his game big time this issue. This may possibly be his best issue of anything I’ve ever seen. The battle between Colossus and Molly is gorgeous, and he used excellent panels. Colossus’ fist decking Molly is great. His scenes with Magik attacking Jean were well drawn and there was no confusion over what anything was, just good clean art. The last panel when we see a smug Cyclops with his team finally ready to throw down with the future team Jean was beautifully captured. Bravo Mr. Bachalo.
The crossover nears its end, and Bendis and Bachalo have delivered the finest issue to date. If the last two chapters can match this past one, Battle of the Atom can be considered another classic tale involving the X-Men.