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Uncanny X-Men #13

Review by Paul Bowler

 Uncanny X-Men #13 Cover

After a team of X-Men from the future arrived, demanding that the Original X-Men  return to the past, the young Jean and Scott went on the run. The present and future X-Men tracked them down, and eventually they agreed to return. Magik took young Iceman and Beast to the future to investigate and discovered the future X-Men were actually the evil Brotherhood from the future. Back at the Jean Grey school the Brotherhood attacked the X-Men, leaving Wolverine, who has just lost his healing factor, mortally wounded and bleeding out. Emerging from the wreckage of the school, Jubilee was surprised to discover that Sentinel X is the adult Shogo from the future. Now its falls to Cyclops and the Uncanny X-Men, together with the real X-Men of the future who have travelled back with Magik, Iceman, and Beast to help the X-Men fight the Brotherhood and save the original X-Men.

Uncanny X-Men #13 sees Brian Michael Bendis bringing the various teams of X-Men, past, present, and future together against the future Brotherhood, as part eight of Battle of the Atom turns the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning into a battleground. The Uncanny X-Men and future X-Men are forced to dive for cover when a piece of the north tower is lobbed at them, enabling the Brotherhood’s shape-shifter Raze (who mortally wounded Wolverine in their surprise attack) to capture young Iceman and Beast.

Uncanny X-Men #13 preview 3

Xavier’s grandson orders the future Iceman to attack the X-Men again, Phoenix Quentin Quire steps in to deflect the debris thrown by the hulking Ice creature, leaving the X-Men free to reach the school. Magik and Colossus get inside first and have to fight their way past Molly and Deadpool. The Uncanny X-Men and future X-Men run into trouble outside the school, when Xavier commands Krakoa to swallow them whole, leaving the rest of the Brotherhood free to activate the Time Cube and send the original X-Men home.

Chris Bachalo’s art for Uncanny X-Men #13 really captures the heightening sense of urgency as this time warping conflict escalates, with the fate of the original X-Men hanging in the balance, Bachalo delivers some terrific action set-pieces. His work is nicely complemented with inks by Time Townsend, Al Vey, Mark Irwin, Jamie Mendoza and Victor Olazaba, as well as the superb colors provided by Marte Gracia. This issue is full of spectacular, bone crunching showdowns, with Colossus and Magik in particular pulling no punches as they race to help the original X-Men.

Magik teleports into the lab to stop them, but she is held back by the future Jean Grey who tries to get Illyana to kill herself with her own soul sword. Colossus deals with Xavier as the X-Men break free of Krakoa, and the Brotherhood’s attempt to send the original X-Men back to their own time encounters an unexpected technical glitch – something which inexplicably transgresses all the normal laws of space and time itself…

Uncanny X-Men #13 preview 4

If your thought things have been complicated so far, you haven’t seen anything yet, as Brian Michael Bendis crams so much into part eight of Battle of the Atom, that its no wonder the Brotherhood’s plans hits a surprising snag. For those of us who have long wondered what effect the original X-Men’s presence in the present day might have on the time continuum, let along the paradox’s it could potentially cause, well Uncanny X-Men #13 goes some way to finally addressing those issues.

We are also teased a few interesting points about Illyana’s involvement in events, after all, we know that she has already travelled into the future before in Battle of the Atom #1, and has long had her suspicions about these future X-Men. Her suspicions proved correct, as on her next trip into the future with Iceman and Beast, she learned from the “real” future X-Men that these mutants were actually the futures evil Brotherhood.  In Uncanny X-Men #13 Molly hints about what was unleashed hen she sees Magik, and later mentions the Stark Tower / Baxter Building Wars as she battles Colossus. The adult Jean also has a few choice “spoilers” for Magik as she fends off Illyna’s attack in the lab. Whatever it all means, it seems possible that Illyna’s role in Battle of the Atom could now be more crucial than we first realised.

Uncanny X-Men #13 is an absolutely cracking instalment of Battle of the Atom. It may have taken a bit of a protracted route to get to this point, but we are now beginning to see the various plot threads coming together at last. Things are really building up to a titanic showdown, which together with this issues time twisting surprise, will leave you eager to find out how the X-Men and the Brotherhood will deal with this unexpected turn of events.

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