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Comic Review: All-New X-Men #17

All-New X-Men #17 Stuart Immonen Battle of the Atom 6

All-New X-Men #17 introduces readers to the bright, shiny Battle of the Atom future, and nobody draws bright and shiny better than Stuart Immonen. His pencils give this sixth installment of Battle of the Atom the life and verve it needs to build up momentum for the last two issues to come, and glosses over some of the inevitible writing hiccups that come from a time travel story.

Immonen’s work dazzles right from page one with a gorgeous white and gold image of Dazzler sitting in a chair, fielding the suggestion that she run for president of the United States.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis takes a page from Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” election campaign to position Dazzler as the hope for mutant kind–a hope that gets dashed in dramatic fashion.

All-New X-Men #17 alternates between the future X-Men in the future (can we come up with names for all these X-Men teams?) and the history of the future hank McCoy’s X-Men who travel to the past.

Confused yet?

As young Ice Man puts it: “I need someone to sit down with me and draw a flowchart explaining what’s happening here.”

Bendis keeps the story straight most of the time. He’s now got a second future Bobby Drake happening in badass ice wizard Sir Robert, who joins future Jubilee, Colossus, Colossus’s handlebar moustache and a knock-off Iron Man as the legitimate X-Men of the future. There are a few more on the team, but they don’t all get full introductions.

The only part where it really goes off the rails is at one page turn where in one panel, Jubilee is shouting at everyone not to spoil the future, and on the next page, Colossus is shouting “Wolverine, settle down!”

Which future X-Man is Wolverine?

Bendis never makes this clear.

Nevertheless, Stuart Immonen’s art offers a strong through line to power readers past this sometimes confusing Battle of the Atom issue.

The Dazzler opening page is great, but even better is Immonen’s image of Colossus and sister Magik reuniting in the future. It’ll put a smile on your face to see big Piotr lift smiley Illyana up like a little girl. Bendis doesn’t give any background to where Magik is in the future, but it’s enough to see Colossus’ excitement, and to recognize him carrying Magik’s sword to know that she dies in the future.

If it were any artist other than Immonen, All-New X-Men #17 might’ve stuttered through a confusing bit of storytelling. Instead, this is one of the most visually stunning issues of Battle of the Atom, and it finishes by bringing the true future X-Men to the present to set up the final act of this event.

7 out of 10

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  1. October 20, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Jubilee is called “Wolverine” in the future. At the end of Battle of the Atom #5 (Wolverine and the X-Men #36) she had claws made of “light”.

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