All-New X-Men #17 (Battle of the Atom – Chapter 6)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Review by Joey Braccino
Well. It all makes sense now.
After a slobberknocker of an chapter with last week’s Wolverine & The X-Men #36 by Jason Aaron, All-New X-Men #17 ramps up the Battle of the Atom crossover yet again with a traumatic flashforward to the Future X-Men timeline. In the opening sequence, Brian Michael Bendis brings us from the future mutants’ highest point to their very very lowest in just a few panels. The scene is shocking and graphic, and it lends some necessary background to the Future X-Men that have been jerking our current band of mutants around for the first few chapters of the crossover.
I wish I could talk about what specifically happens, but I can’t—it’s just too damn good and too damn effective considering the larger story at work in the X-Universe. I will say that Bendis wisely spends most of the chapter exploring this future and the flashforward, allowing for a wholly forward-moving chapter rather than the recap-heavy issues of the last few weeks. Everything in this issue contributes to the story and the conflict forward, including introducing new players to the current timeline and further defining the conflict.
I do wish that this crossover was less mutants-vs-mutants and perhaps brought in some of the Sentinel-intrigue from Chapter 1, but alas, drama is drama.
While not at the same scope of an Olivier Coipel or Jimmy Cheung, Stuart Immonen’s cinematic style is exactly the right blend of realism and kinetic action that these event crossovers call for. The aforementioned shocker of a panel is laid out perfectly, achieving a level of emotional impact and resonance that other artists simply could not match. Wade von Grawbadger’s heavy lines lend Immonen’s realism a certain weight and roundness, while colorist Marte Gracia’ solid palette maintains a the energy and vibrancy of the characters.
Check it out! Bendis kicks off the second half of Battle of the Atom with a dedicated flashforward issue. The events in All-New X-Men #17 are shocking for sure, but necessary in establishing the true scope of the conflict of the crossover. It will be interesting to see how these new players affect the story moving forward, and I can’t wait until next week!!!