X-Men Battle of the Atom #2
By Jason Aaron, Brian Wood, Brian Michael Bendis, Esad Ribic, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Matt Milla, Chris Bachalo, & Stuart Immonen
Battle of the Atom finishes up its ten part crossover with a slightly larger than average size finale, which was written by all the current writers, and many of today’s hot artists. This crossover has been pretty interesting because it’s one of the few in recent memory where the two groups of X-Men don’t actually like one another.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has lost control of their weapons because Xorn took it upon herself to rid the world of the present batch of X-Men. There are too many for Magneto to stop at one time. Sentinels are dispatched, heroes and villains die, and Wolverine and Cyclops still don’t get along.
Primary writing duties on this issue belonged to Jason Aaron. He did a fine job with concluding the story arc, and made it action packed. One of the funnier things about this issue, and one thing Aaron does well, is his treatment of Cyclops and Wolverine. There is no love lost between these two, and Aaron is actually very good at writing both characters. Aaron also does a really nice job developing Xorn in this last issue. She shows her power and, much like Bisop in Messiah Complex, her motives are not necessarily wrong, she’s just going about it the wrong way. There are four epilogues this issue, each done by a different writer. The fourth epilogue will most likely be the one talked about most because it will have the most impact on the X-books going forward.
The art duties were split up as well, but Esad Ribic and Giuseppe Camuncoli take the bulk of the work. Ribic is absolutely wonderful in his pages. The first appearance of the sentinels looked gorgeous, and there was an homage to Uncanny X-Men #1 where the original five are in the exact same pose of the cover fighting Xorn; there is no other way to describe it other than breath taking. Once Ribic bows out, the art does take a bit of a step down. Camuncoli is good enough but when being compared to Ribic it’s not really fair. Overall though, the art was done very well.
Battle of the Atom has been one of the better X-Men crossovers in recent memory, and one that wasn’t hard to keep interested in. All the books were written well, and for the most part, the art was good too. If Marvel can keep putting out crossovers that actually matter, ones that actually have an impact moving forward, I’ll keep reading.