Well here we are on my penultimate article covering the big X-men event: Battle of the Atom. The event centres on X-men from the past, present and future converging over the fate of a team of X-men that time-travelled from the past. If you want to catch up, I have covered the first two issues here, parts three and four here and five and six here. Spoilers for the first six issues will follow.
X-men #6 (Part 7)
This issue opens a little strangely in my opinion, bringing Brian Wood’s X-men team into the event more than they have been previously. This is something I found odd about the last issue of X-men featured in the event, that it forced in characters who Wood clearly loves, but have had little to do with the action up to this point. Although saying that I have got to love any appearance by Armor, surely the most underused X-man of recent years.
After that we move onto Wolverine and Rachel Summers discussing their fears over the X-men from the future who have been acting a bit strangely and concealing their thoughts from all telepaths. Wolverine has previously been a bit blind in his trust of the group but I don’t mind his about face here because it feels more in line with his characterisation to be distrustful of these characters. It’s only a few pages later that Charles Xavier Jr. snaps and it becomes apparent that Wolverine was right (if it was ever in doubt), the future visitors are totally ape-shit! A few characters show themselves to be totally different characters to who we thought they were and a big smack-down between the groups occurs.
While it is a bit quick, the battle is a great opportunity for David López to show off his skills. The attack on Wolverine in particular looks great, with both the shock and pain on Logan’s face being clear to see. The psychic battle between Rachel and Xavier is also another fantastic showcase, depicting Rachel as a fire woman while Xavier is shown as an ice man. It works well on its own but also as a callback to the fight in Wolverine and the X-men #36 which depicted the mental conflicts in the same way.
This was quite an eventful issue, revealing which side the future travellers are on (as well as a few little surprises I’ll leave for you to discover) before bringing Cyclops’ team of revolutionaries and the real future X-men for the climax. I’m sure the last few issues of this event will be action packed and I can’t wait to discover what exactly everyone is hoping to accomplish.
Uncanny X-men #13 (Part 8)
While I’m loving this event as a whole, it’s issues like this that really make me question the need for it to be ten issues long. Though there are some cool moments, much of it feels like filler and I can’t help but think its existence isn’t absolutely justified. We open with a double-page spread that is almost entirely devoted to what the good guys should do next now that the future Brotherhood of Mutants (they never actually call themselves this but it’s easier than calling them all X-men OK?!) have made their move. Throughout the issue this occurs many times with minor battles taking up whole pages that could have been been used much better.
The team-up between future-Colossus and Magik is a nice little moment, as the two are currently at odds in the present and she is apparently dead in the future. They get to face off with Deadpool and Molly Hayes but honestly the conflict is without peril as the two aren’t made into much of a threat, being dispatched in a few panels. Somehow the fight scenes in this issue are rather dull, with the most powerful players being dispatched through the same surprise move mid-fight.
The comic only features one real moment of importance, the revelation that they seemingly can’t send back the X-men from the past at all. This screws up the plans of the Brotherhood and may leave the timeline in peril, as surely they need to return to the past at some point for their present day versions to exist.
Uncanny X-men #13 was a slow, trailing issue with some bland fight scenes and I have to say it is the low-point of the event at this point. The full on confrontation that has been building for the past few issues looks to be finally occurring next issue, which will hopefully have less of a filler vibe to it. Something big needs to happen in the next issue to really tie this event together before the finale, which will hopefully set the direction of X-men comics in the months to come.