By Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen and Marte Gracia
Battle of the Atom introduced us to a new brotherhood of mutants that would be the villains of the event and later become a thorn in the side of the All-New X-Men. Now they’re back and they want revenge on the time displaced teens.
There is a lot to like this issue writing wise as Brian Michael Bendis delivers a pretty solid script. It’s good to see Bendis utilizing X-23 this issue, she’s been on the team for a while and never really had her moment, until now. Bendis does write all the characters well here, and he gives the All-New team more panel time this issue, which never hurts. Bendis is great at giving us little character moments that enhance the reading experience. The conversation between the two Beasts is a great example of this, as it shows Henry what he might become if he can’t fix some of the many problems he’s created for himself. As always, it’s nice to see the joke about someone stealing Cyclops’ bike is still alive as well, in movies and comics. There’s no doubt that Bendis has really taken over the X-Verse and made it one of the best titles on the shelf lately.
The art is drawn by Stuart Immonen with colors by Marte Gracia and Jason Keith. Stuart does a very good job this issue, which is pretty common, but there are some odd panels in the book. Agent Hill looks off in her cameo in the issue, but that shouldn’t ruin the book for you. Immonen does have some very explosive action pages that start very early on in the issue and don’t slow down. X-23 finally gets a chance to look vicious as she attacks the new brotherhood and Gracia and Keith use excellent tones and shades to portray these pages. Immonen shines brightest on his couple of giant page fight sequences. He manages to show off his talent on a huge scale, and it looks phenomenal.
This issue wraps up an entertaining brotherhood arc. Brian Michael Bendis has injected some life into the X-Men books and has kept the quality of this title very high. Immonen has had better issues, but it’s hard to say he ever has a bad issue. This duo has proven to be great at everything they try and that doesn’t look to change any time soon.