All New X-Men #17
Review by Paul Bowler
A team of X-Men from the future have arrived in the present, claming the original X-Men must return to their own time, or the world will be doomed. Not wanting to go back, the young Jean Grey and Cyclops go on the run. They make their way to Utopia and seek help from the adult Cyclops and the Uncanny X-Men, but the modern-day and future X-Men track them down. However, Magik is suspicious and takes young Beast and Iceman with her to the future, where they discover it is actually a pleasant world and meet a completely different team of X-Men…
The opening moments of All New X-Men #17 offers a tantalising glimpse of future events for the X-men, where one of the most joyous moments imaginable for mutantkind goes tragically, and horribly wrong. Brian Michael Bendis superbly scripted storyline for Battle of the Atom continues to impress, and Stuart Immonen’s art gives these momentous events a cinematic quality that further enhances the scope and scale of these early scenes.
Its clear now that the future X-Men who travelled back in time to get the original X-Men to return home are not quite who they said they were. As we rejoin Magik, Hank, and Bobby, who have arrived in the future only to find themselves standing in front of a pristine looking Jean Grey School guarded by Sentinels and another team of X-Men.
So now we have not three, but four teams of X-Men to contend with, and it would seem that the future is not as horrific as the present-day X-Men have been led to believe. These X-Men are apparently the real deal, and claim they have nothing to do with the other X-Men who returned to the past. We get some great interactions between the present X-Men and the new future X-Men, as Illyana is reunited with Colossus, and a hilarious moment where young Iceman meets a wizard Iceman and asks him about the Ice-Hulk running around in the present with the “Evil X-Men”. Bobby’s reaction to everything is always great fun, especially here, and the expression on his face is priceless.
The future X-Men are reluctant to discuss future events when Illyana presses them for more information, and say that Magik, Beast, and Iceman should return to their own time immediately without any knowledge of what is to come.
We are now just over the halfway mark for the crossover event, this sixth instalment of Battle of the Atom is full of inventive twists, and it leaves you wondering exactly what Brian Michael Bendis is going to do next. The time travel element of this storyline makes it a compelling and exciting read, especially after this issues ends with the Uncanny X-Men returning to their secret school only to find they have some unexpected guests.
All New X-Men #17 effectively sets the scene for bringing the various teams from each time period together, presumably leading to a humongous clash between X-Men past, preset, and future as Battle of the Atom builds towards its final chapters.