Being the first major “X-Men” crossover event in a while, I was prepared to give this an in-depth review. However, the more I thought about it I realized that there just wasn’t a whole heck of a lot that really warranted discussion here. The premise is that a group of X-Men from the future -- Kiddy Pryde, Deadpool, Ice Man/Hulk, Beast, Charles Xavier Jr., Molly “Bruiser” Hayes, and, ugh, Xorn -- have come back in time to get the time-displaced original X-Men -- young Scott, Jean, Bobby, Hank and Warren -- to return to their own timeline and keep the future from getting even more out of whack. As is often the case here, these future X-Men are leaving out a few key details and this leads to lots of fighting, psychic power battles, and even more time-travel shenanigans. If nothing else, the series does add a lot of new characters to the series (even if most of them are just variants on older ones) and implements a significant change in the status quo for Bendis’ “All-New” and “Uncanny” titles.
That’s really what this is: An extended storyline from these two titles that winds up taking Jason Aaron’s “Wolverine and the X-Men” and Brian Wood’s “X-Men” along for the ride. To their credit, the writers appear to be perfectly fine in playing along with these events and work in details from their titles when they can to liven things up. Seeing Future Phoenix Quentin Quire meet up with his younger self is a highlight of this event. Yet for all of the fighting, the name dropping of important future events, and angry shouting between the cast, “Battle of the Atom” feels considerably less substantial than previous events like “Messiah Complex” and “Second Coming.” Even if those events were also chase stories at their core, they still had more twists and turns along with a scope and stakes that felt pretty epic for superhero comics. Not so much with this one, though it does have some great art from the many artists involved here and points towards a clear direction for Bendis’ titles. That should tell you who this is for and on that level it’s fine for what it is.