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X-Men #5

by Tori B. on September 14, 2013

We’re getting into Battle of the Atom now and the actions of past, present, and future X-Men are scattered across the board, and even for our team of similarly titled “X-Men”, opinions seem to differ on how to handle their situation.


Writer: Brian Wood | Artists: David López, Cam Smith, & Laura Martin
Cover: Arthur Adams & Marte Gracia | Publisher: Marvel


Battle of the Atom so far is working out because it focuses on a multitude of different teams of X-Men, we have past teams, and a handful of present teams, as well as a team from the future. Why this is working so far is that it bounces between characters quickly enough that issues don’t suffer from repetitive conversation (as Bendis is often known for) although Wood, who has written this issue within the X-Men title, handles the balance well, even managing to keep the focus amongst his own hand of characters with appearances from Rachel and Jubilee (and even baby Shogo!). Events of this caliber tend to split teams based on opinions, and this is no exception. Tension has already been touched on in previous issues of X-Men so the flow of split seems natural enough—although this constant splitting of teams is turning into a tiny nuisance, remember when the X-Men worked through their differences while they all fought side by side, together, as a team?

Aside from just focusing on what sort of mischievousness Kitty and Rachel seem to be up to, Wood also brings us to follow what past Jean and Scott are also trying to do. With everyone on the run (or on the chase) one would imagine it’d get tiresome at some point with seemingly pointless fighting and running around, but Wood manages to break up some of the tensions with more tender moments when we focus on Scott and Jean (who have also been going through a rougher patch lately). Though they’re in some high stress situations, they still seem to be making the most of it—and it’s nice to see at least one nice thing coming out of this crazy calamity.

There’s a really good flow to the event so far. Between each title, it doesn’t at all seem choppy, and the end of this issue was the perfect set-up to the next. It seems like Bendis, Wood, and Aaron have some good communication happening between them. There’s even in a consistency amongst character writing—particularly with the newer characters, Wood writes Molly with an offhand attitude, and Xavier seems to be just as mischievous as previous issues (while Molly may not entirely be a new character, it’s clear that her grown up self is different than the 11 year old we all know and love).  Just as the writing has flown between writers, the same can be said about the art as well. We’ve seen work from Frank Cho and Stuart Immonen so far in the event, and while we’re used to seeing Olivier Coipel’s art for X-Men, López comes in with a style that rings similar enough to Cho and Immonen, that it doesn’t break the rhythm of reading the event.

So far Battle of the Atom isn’t entirely disappointing. (My bias is tired of Jean Grey, but it’s not an X-Men event without being about Jean so who am I to say.) There are a lot of interesting characters that show up and everyone seems to be hiding more than they let on, and it’s certainly building up to something. Anyone who’s been a fan of any of the X-Men titles involved up to this point, will probably enjoy it so far, the build into each of the next issues will at definitely hold a reader and bring excitement into the series.  

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