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Early Review: X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #1

Not one, not two but THREE different X-Men from different time periods. If you've been reading X-Men comics lately, this is exactly what you've been waiting for.

The Good

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With each issue of Brian Michael Bendis' ALL-NEW X-MEN or UNCANNY X-MEN, I've been in a bit of awe. After the events of AVENGERS VS X-MEN, the X-Men became divide. Cyclops did some disastrous things even though he had good intentions. It was Beast that decided to bring forth the original X-Men from the past into the present in order to try to prevent the current Cyclops from going down what he saw as a dark path. Time travel and the X-Men go together like superheroes and spandex but I've been hooked with every issue.

This is where it all starts bubbling to a boil. The reality of it is, there is an almost limited sense to the direction of ALL-NEW X-MEN. How long can the X-Men from the past stay in the present without serious consequences occurring? That's something we're going to see starting with this issue -- in a big way.

The premise of this event is we'll be seeing X-Men from the future journey to the present to try to straighten up the problems of having the X-Men from the past forward in their time. Yeah, it sounds like it could get messy and confusing. But Bendis makes it so compelling. We've seen so many different alternate futures in the X-Men comics. What we haven't been aware of is what effect could having the original X-Men in the present. There's also been the question of are they actually from the same timeline since it used to be Marvel characters couldn't travel within their own timelines. Rest assured, answers will be give. Some, at least.

Bendis sets this story up nicely. With a splashy opening, he also immediately establishes the characters and mood of the current state of X-Men. Sprinkling in the bits of humor makes the story that much more enjoyable.

In terms of art, it's a visual feast. With Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger along with Marte Gracia's colors, you'll have to step back and say, "Wow!" It all just looks so good. We get a variety of scenes. There's some nice big splashy layouts that really allow the details and dramatic poses to be used without a feeling that we're getting short-changed in terms of storytelling. There's quite a few characters present here and they all look good, as they should.

The Bad

It may be another crossover but, seriously, I've been waiting for this since ALL-NEW X-MEN #1. When crossovers start off like this, I have no complaints. Well, this could mean some bad things for some characters, especially if you've looked at the future solicits...

The Verdict

Is the end near? Time travel has often been a big factor in X-Men storylines and this one is about to erupt in a big way. Brian Michael Bendis has been setting up this story since taking over two X-Men titles. We are treated to some great art and action is cranked up to get us hooked from the beginning. Some of today's readers may feel on the verge of crossover overload but it's stories like this that make it worth it. As soon as you finish, you'll wish to see another chapter ASAP. I am fearful of what could happen to some characters. But that's just a sign of good storytelling. Bendis has made me care about some of the X-Men in new and different ways I didn't think could be possible. Reading this, I found myself letting out a big sigh while a smile formed across my face. I cannot wait to see more.

On sale September 4, 2013. Checklist and preview can be seen HERE.

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