All-New X-Men #16
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Review by Joey Braccino
Well, that escalated quickly.
In true X-crossover fashion, Marvel went ahead and released Battle of the Atom Chapter 2 on the same day as Chapter 1 because… why not!?
At the end of Chapter 1, the X-Men of the Future came to the present day to warn the X-Men of the Present to send the Original X-Men of the Past back to the past or else a terrible future would come to pass. Get it? Yeah, it makes more sense when you read it.
Regardless of the nonexistent gap between chapters, Bendis chooses to slow things down for All-New X-Men #16. Much of the issue revolves around the introductions of the members of the Future X-Men team. There are some excellent surprises on the team (Princess Powerful all grown up!), including a last page reveal that will have the nerd community all a buzzing. The characters are interesting, and the character beats between the Future X-Men and the staff at the Jean Grey school are excellent. While some may be let down by the drop in action and explosions, especially given the exhilaration of X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1, I welcome the slower expository nature of this chapter. Bendis ekes out bits of information regarding the larger conflict and conspiracy at play, establishing the current players and teasing intercharacter conflict without resorting to fisticuffs.
Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Marte Garcia are the quintessential All-New X-Men team. Dynamic, innovative, and vibrant, the All-New X-Men aesthetic mirrors the youthful energy of its core cast. And the big character reveal at the end of the issue is as exceptionally illustrated as it is written.
Buy. Battle of the Atom rolls on, and we haven’t even gotten past week one yet! The overall conflict hasn’t quite been established yet, but All-New X-Men goes a long way in setting up the major players and laying the foundations for a larger character-driven drama. The time travel might be a little confusing, but Bendis handles it with humor and care. Check it!