Why are the credits on the cover for Bendis, Cho and Gracia?
Bendis only wrote the final epilogue in this book, and even though it was by far the high point of the issue, hell, of the entire event, it was Jason Aaron who wrote the majority of this issue. And Cho and Gracia, who are both credited as the artists on the cover, didn't work on this book at all! What is going on Marvel?!
Editorial mishaps aside, the two and a half month Battle for the Atom comes to a close, and what a dazzling finish it was.
The final battle with S.H.I.E.L.D. ends up being quite a revelation for Marvel's merry mutants, and for readers, as we find out that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been hiding their very own Sentinels. While it was the evil Xavier from the future who actually engineered the attack on the X-Men, and the release of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Sentinels, the real juicy bit of plot threading here is the fact that these Sentinels exist, and show the true feelings of S.H.I.E.L.D. This little tidbit of information will likely change everything going forward between the X-Men and all of the various members of S.H.I.E.L.D. I was a little surprised we didn't see Dazzler in this issue, seeing as she was on the bridge with Maria Hill when all of the weapons were deployed.
Also here in the final issue of the event, there was some thinning of the herd, as numerous characters from the future were sacrificed for the sake of drama. Even though he was only around for a short while, the bond between future Colossus and Magik was quite touching, and it's sad to see him gone so soon. Lots of cool story possibilities there I thought.
Despite some of the future characters dying, I found many of them to be interesting and welcome additions to the X-Men cannon. Particularly, it's nice to see that Shogo grows up and develops a deep relationship with Jubilee. For a character that has been stale for decades, Brian Wood has successfully managed to add something interesting to Jubilee, and finally develop her beyond her long-stagnant bubblegum-popping yellow trenchcoat (sorry, Gishler's vampire Jubilee is kind of a throw away IMO). Beyond that, we also have Storm's daughter to get to know now, and it's a pretty safe bet that we will see all of these characters again someday. After spending the last few weeks with them, I'll be happy when that day arrives.
Now...the biggest, and most stunning development to come out of Battle of the Atom...
Kitty Pryde and the original five leaving the Jean Grey School to join Scott Summers at the New Xavier School!!!
Wow, completely awesome. Brian Bendis continues to amaze and delight me with the decisions he's making. The long-time reader in me completely lost it the moment I turned the page to hear Cyclops say, "Professor Pryde...Pack up your students and we'll be waiting for you back at the New Xavier School." It's like putting the band back together again, one piece at a time.
While I trust Bendis completely with the direction of the X-Men universe right now, the one thing I hope that he will lean heavily on for reference is Joss Whedon's development of Kitty and Emma's relationship. The way that Whedon wrote those characters in relation to each other was just about perfection, and I hope Bendis can catch some of that lightning in a bottle and deliver a bit more of that era to us going forward. If he doesn't though, I'm sure that what ever he does do will be just as awesome.
I think my thoughts are kind of all over in this review, so sorry for the tough read, I'm just really ecstatic about Kitty joining the cast of Uncanny, and about the direction the X-Men books are headed currently. For my money, there are no better comics on the rack right now than the core family of X-Men titles, and Battle of the Atom was the perfect showcase for that.
Here's to a great ending for a great crossover, and I can't wait for Amazing X-Men #1 next week. Finally, Kurt is back!