Battle of the Atom Review: All-New X-Men #17 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen


All-New X-Men #17

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

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


The short of it:

It’s all one giant story about the future, years in the future. How far? Disco made a comeback and made Ali Blaire into the center of the universe, well, disco and Beast and Xean wanting her to run for President. If anyone could be the first mutant President, it would be Dazzler, right? Right, because it totally happens and people love it. Humans, mutants, everybody, and there’s a big celebration and Ali thanks Hank, and tells the world that this is a sign of unity. Then she dies, big fireball to the chest, security pans out, but most of them are dead too. Why? Giant demon alien monster thingies tearing up DC!

But that was then, and now is even further in the future, where Yana took Kid Bobby and Kid Hank to go find out why the Future X-Men are dicks. The X-People at the future Jean Grey School want them to go right back where they came from because time travel is a super no-no, and Adult Vampy Jubes and the Iron X-Man want to make sure everyone keeps their mouths shut. They do, however, admit that the ‘Future X-Men’ that have been back in the present haven’t been X-Men for years. Not since President Dazzler was killed and Hank fully realized that humans hated them so much and would just kill them…even though I’m like, ninety percent sure it was just demon creature looking things that did it, and he obviously did something, but they aren’t telling that to the people from the present. That’s for the readers sake!

Bobby doesn’t care anymore, he’s seen the Ice Wizard of future Westchester and wants to know how the hell he’s Gandalf the Cold and IceHulk! It’s also there that we find out that Angry Adult Vampy Jubes is called Wolverine now, that Phoenix (Quentin Quire) hates Hank McCoy, and that while Wolverine is in charge, you don’t argue with Colossus. Back in the present, the Uncanny X-Men get some visitors and the time stream utterly weeps from the shocking levels of abuse that the X-Men put it through.


What I liked:

  • What Bendis does here is something he should have done in Age of Ultron; that is spend an entire issue introducing us to these unfamiliar versions of familiar characters so that we have some context and ability to give a damn.

  • Illyana smiling is such a rare thing, but for a change it didn’t look creepy in this issue. She looked like a girl excited to not only see her brother, but to know that he lives a long and seemingly happy life. Every so often she’s permitted to have a soul. Every so often.

  • Future Colossus has an awesome stache.

  • One eyed Maria Hill doing her best Nick Fury.

  • In the wide shot of future X-Men and the like there were plenty of gems, but my personal favorite? FUTURE EVA! My favorite new mutant has an alternate future ahead of her!

  • President Dazzler?! I’d buy that book!

  • The adamancy of some of the future X-Men from letting the time travelers know anything about their future. You know how much sense that makes? A LOT! This entire book has been about time travel and how it only makes things worse because the people from the past want to do things differently now that they know the future, and that just screws it up. Characters that are aware of this, and keep yelling about it, nice touch.

  • I say this every issue, but man, the art is great. Stuart, Wade, and Marte make for a fantastic team


What I didn’t like:

  • The giant mass murder in the future is clearly not human on mutant or mutant on mutant or even robot on mutant. It’s clearly monsters on mutants, so why does Beast blame the humans for it? I see the humans getting slaughtered just as heavily as the mutants.

  • For as much as I liked the Yana/Piotr stuff, the last time they were on panel together he was swearing unholy vengeance against her for the Juggernaut stuff and how she let him be a monster when she could have fixed him at any time just so he’d know what her life was like. So the happiness is a bit weird.

  • Why would Madrox ever put the body condom back on? He’s too bad ass for spandex.

  • An X-Men team led by an angry Jubilee. God help them all.


Final thoughts:

The X-Men are the abusive boyfriend of the time stream, they just keep beating it and beating it and saying that the timestream is making them do it, but that they love it and it’s for the TS’s own good…but then they go pound a few beers back and beat it some more.

Man, all these looks into the future are really just showing us one thing….Wolverine isn’t there (well, Logan). Wait, two things, Cyclops isn’t there either.

Hope, Xean, Adult Vamp Jubilee, Cable in recent years, Evil Grandson of Xavier….what the hell is up with these western inspired raggy capes with hoods? The X-Men keep fielding members who look like they belong in an old Duke Wayne movie.

Who the hell is this Dr. Strange? Because I keep wanting him to be Striker from Avengers Academy, because of the hair

Wait, why is Old Kitty wearing his Days of Future Past Concentration Camp jumpsuit at the victory speech for President Dazzler? Is that just a random fashion statement for her? She dresses like she’s from the camps while nobody else does the same?

So Xean is Young Jean who never goes back to the past, does that make Chimera Beast into Young Hank that never went back to the past and Gandalf the Cold is Young Bobby who never went back? Because Quire definitely mentions watching Bobby go through puberty.

After this book, can we get a moratorium on Bendis and time travel? X-Men has been him doing it right, but it’s getting headachey as he adds in more characters and eras, and deep down I fear something like Age of Ultron happening again.

Overall: 8.5/10

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