The second act of Battle Of The Atom begins, and whilst there isn’t much in the way of plot progression in this issue, Bendis provides plenty of much-needed back-story for these mysterious, future X-Men.
We discover, that, in the future, Alison Blaire, AKA Dazzler (it’s not clear whether or not this is the actual Dazzler or Mystique, who has been impersonating her in the pages of Uncanny) is convinced to run for US President by the rest of the X-Men and… she wins, becoming America’s first Mutant President. Yes We Can etc etc. Only, just as she’s about to begin her inauguration speech, she is attacked and killed by a weird fiery blast, and a bunch of strange monsters attack. This seemingly leads to another Mutant ‘schism’ as Beast realises that the humans will never accept Mutants.
We don’t find out much more, as the rest of the issue takes place even further into the future, with Magik, along with OG-Beast and OG-Iceman meeting the other side of that schism, who are of course, not best pleased to see them. We learn a bit more about these characters, including that, yep, that is Jubilee, and we also see that Colossus has Magik’s soul-sword. There’s also more mystery raised about Iceman and his future, as he seems to have split into 2 halves. This group of X-Men initially refuse to help, but in the end, a bunch of them travel back in time with Magik, Hank and Bobby, and arrive in our time to team up with Cyclops’ team. So now we’ve got warring factions of X-Men from the present, the past, and the future going at it, oh man, the rest of this story is going to be mental.
As I said, there wasn’t much plot movement here, but it was very useful to find out more about the Future X-Men, and even though we did get some answers here, it only raised more questions. What were those monster that attacked President Dazzler? What evil actions have Beast and his team done? What’s the deal with Iceman? Who is the guy in the Iron Man suit? I think comics are always at their best when they have the reader desperate to find out more, and the X-Books are certainly doing that at the moment. Throw in the usual great Bendis dialogue and fantastic artwork from Stuart Immonen, and this book, and this crossover, continue to be extremely enjoyable. There are 4 chapters left, man, I’m pumped.