Decent Issue. Questionable Ending
Although Battle of the Atom has lasted longer than it probably should have, having some slow moments along the way, it has overall been a very entertaining story. It does however all come down to this ending, as although it's been good so far, a bad ending could ruin the entire story.
The X-Men and the future Brotherhood go at it one last time, with S.H.I.E.L.D. inadvertently attacking the mutants as well.
This was a very good issue as a whole, but it had quite a few problems, with the ending being one of the main problems. Also unlike solicited the issue would actually be written by Jason Aaron who did a brilliant job of making the issue very exciting. He did however not didn't do a fantastic job of ending the story, as although a certain part of the outcome was already spoiled, the ending wouldn't give much clarity to the overall story, making it feel rather unnecessary. Aaron would however add a lot of suspense and drama to this issue as well, with there being some very interesting dialogues, though the poor ending still overshadows all this quite a bit.
The artwork on this issue would be the other big problem, as although there were some very talented artists with the main artwork being done by Esad Ribic and Giuseppe Camuncoli, and the epilogue artwork featuring more of Camuncoli's work, also featuring art from Chris Bachalo, Kris Anka and Stuart Immonen. The main problem with the art was that it was clearly very rushed, with it being poorly detailed. There would however be the odd phenomenal panel, and the layout overall was amazing, but the roughness of the art made it very hard to enjoy it, even with the beautiful colours from Ive Svorcina, Andres Mossa and Guru Efx.
The issue would start straight from where Wolverine and the X-Men #37 left off with the X-Men being attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D. missiles, that were fired by the Brotherhood. Now this would be a very exciting sequence with the fight between all the X-Men and the future Brotherhood taking up most of the issue. During the fight there would be some amazing interactions, but the best would be between Wolverine, Cyclops and the future Jean Grey. On top of this the younger X-Men would also add some fun to the sequence with what certain members had to say about the events.
We'd also get to see some Sentinels in this issue, though what bothered the X-Men most about this was the fact that they were S.H.I.E.L.D. Sentinels. Now naturally this wouldn't make the X-Men happy, and naturally so. The addition itself was however rather hollow, as it would have been nice to have seen a bit more action involving the Sentinels, as their appearance seems to be mainly to set up the future events of Wolverine and the X-Men. Other than that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s involvement in this issue was overall very decent, as although they seemed mainly background characters, they added a different tone to the issue, and overall I look forward to seeing the aftermath of this sequence.
The main story would be followed by four epilogues, two written by Aaron, one written by Brian Wood and the last being written by Brian Michael Bendis. Now I won't go into any detail about these epilogues, but story wise they'd be the best part of the issue, and did a fantastic job of giving a little bit of closure for the characters, setting up the future of the X-Men brilliantly. The epilogue that interested me the most however had to be the final one by Bendis that would see Kitty Pryde air her feelings over the event in a very exciting fashion.
This was an exciting issue, but due to a poor ending and very rushed artwork it was probably overall the poorest issue in the story, with it making the story feel irrelevant and unnecessary. There would however be some explosive moments, and some shocking developments with the epilogues doing a fantastic job of setting up the future of the X-Men titles, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to overcome the sudden and poor ending. Due to this I'd only recommend this issue to anyone who's been following the story so far, or anyone that loves explosive action, as otherwise it's only essential for the epilogues.