Battle of the Atom Review: All-New X-Men #16 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen


All-New X-Men #16

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia


The short of it:

At the Secret Xavier School of Uncanny Awesomeness the Uncanny X-Men are watching the footage of their fight with the Sentinels in Arizona. Studying it, using it as a learning experience. Hijack is more concerned with the fact that every time they leave their base Sentinels attack them, which the Stepford’s blame on SHIELD, but he’s not so sure it’s government. Anyway, everyone argues while Christopher goes to talk to Scott about how freaked out he is, since he did bring Scott’s younger self back to life in the first part of the event. Scott assures him it’s just another average day in the crazy life of being Scott Summers.

Meanwhile Kid Scott is with the X-Men when the X-Men from the future show up to take their jobs. I mean stop bad things from happening. People are cautious, but one of the future X-Men is apparently Xavier’s grandson who is all ‘you let them stay and that ruins the future!’ and then SuperBeast (as I shall call him) is all ‘and we’re going to fix it!’. And the best part? The X-Men can’t say anything about them trying to change history because they’re in the process of doing the same thing. Wolverine goes around the circle smelling and identifying everyone, and enough check out that he bothers to ask the real questions. They start explaining why they’re here and what they need to do, but Logan’s claws pop and everyone gets into a fight until the Icemen (past and present, not future) stop it. That’s when Wolverine lets everyone know…he didn’t do it. Someone made him. And Jean and Scott are gone.

Because two minutes ago, while the talk was going on, Jean was mind linked with Kid Hank and not happy with the fact that she couldn’t read the minds of the future X-Men. She wants to bail out, but Hank doesn’t feel it. He’s curious. So she asks Scott instead, and when he agrees she triggers Logan to cover their getaway. One Blackbird later and that getaway is achieved! Jean is freaked, she doesn’t want to go home, she doesn’t want to go back and get on track to work her way to her own eventual demise, and she thinks these unreadable future X-Men are sketchy, and she will NOT let Xavier mind wipe her! Scott, on the other hand, is just happy to be with Jean.

So now the X-Men have to go find the missing Scott and Jean so that they can send them back in time and fix everything, and Logan’s team knows about the mental blocks. Xavier even explains why, but it’s not until Xorn speaks up that Rachel shows up to bitch that there’s a Xorn of all people, when the first Xorn was a Magneto that killed Jean.

So Xorn unmasks and gives everybody a reason to trust her without question.


What I liked:

  • I really like the designs for SuperBeast and IceMonster. Those are my names for them now.

  • Bendis writes a funny Deadpool. I was expecting full blown obnoxious because, well, Deadpool, but he’s been amusing in the two appearances this week.

  • The reactions to their future selves was fun. Hank and Hank being fascinated by SuperBeast. Bobby and Bobby being freaked out by IceMonster. Kitty not wanting her skin to ever look like that. I laughed.

  • The end of Jean and Hank! Huzzah! I’m so glad that she’s the kind of girl that immediately says screw off to whoever doesn’t go along with her. It means she’s stuck on an adventure with Scott!

  • The Xorn reveal was pretty good, even if I sorta saw it coming.

  • Stuart, Wade, and Marte really do set a gold standard for what the X-Men should look like.

  • I absolutely loved the conversation between Cyclops and Triage. The kid has every right to be freaked out by his powers raising the dead, but he’s got the absolute best teacher for this. A guy who lives, eats, and breathes total craziness.


What I didn’t like:

  • Not enough Rachel! Her showing up last issue created such a damn tease! I want more Rachel!

  • Jean is kind of a bitch. “Oh noes! I can’t read their minds!” “Should you be reading their minds?” “SHUT UP AND DO WHAT I SAY!” “Um, no.” K, screw you, SCOTT! WE’RE LEAVING!” “Anything for you Jean.”

  • While I actually don’t mind what happened with Xorn at all, anytime I see that mask I want to punch something.

  • After two issues by Brian, I’m actually afraid of letting other voices in!


Final thoughts:

*Note: The first thought on here is from before I even opened this issue*

Great. Xorn. Who is it this time? Previous ones have been Magneto, Evil Xorn, AoA Husk, and it’s always some sort of shock reveal and only Magneto has panned out. Who is it this time? Future Rachel? Future Jean?

Man, Molly from Runaways grows up She Hulk sized.

So we’ve got an immortal Deadpool, an adult Molly, Xorn, an old Kitty, Xavier’s grandson, and further mutated Beast and Iceman. How far into the future are they from? How old is this grandson of Xavier that looks to not be that young? How old is Beast? Especially with the reveal of Xorn. The ages are just really weird and the timeline is headachey.

I mean, that’s some straight up Day of Future Past Kitty Pryde.

Frank Cho on the bookends, Stuart Immonen on the All-New issues, Chris Bachalo for Uncanny, David Lopez for Wolverine and the X-Men, and Giuseppe Camuncoli on X-Men? This might be the more gorgeous mutli-artist event in YEARS! Seriously, whichever editor at Marvel worked this out, give him a giant golden medal of awesome for getting us top notch artists for the event instead of using fill in guys.

I don’t trust this ‘grandson of Xavier’ with his creepy eyebrows and the logic that he’d have to be Legion’s son, and I would never trust anyone spawned from that loon.

The more I see it, the more I think Storm’s mohawk should have stayed in the eighties.

I’m not shocked that I’m already loving an X-Men event. That’s normal, I can’t think of the last interbook X-Men event I didn’t love (Schism was a mini, doesn’t count). I am, however, shocked that I’ve read two Bendis event issues in a row and loved that. That has never, ever happened before.

Now let’s hope Brian Wood keeps up the awesome next week!

Overall: 8.5/10

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