Remember that time the future X-Men showed up to tell the past X-Men that they needed to return to their own timeline but young Jean and young Scott didn’t want to so they ran away and joined up with present-day Cyclops? Of course you do, it’s only been one week since the last chapter of the Battle of the Atom crossover event. Uncanny X-Men #12 is filled with so much unnecessary exposition that stripping away all of it would leave the issue a husk of its former self. You’d be left holding a front and back cover, some advertisements for various Marvel products, and a few full pages of actual comic that moves the story forward.
It’s safe to assume no one is starting this crossover with the fourth chapter, so the amount of recapping that Brian Michael Bendis does is baffling. Having Jean and Scott explain to present-day Cyclops and his team of X-Men just what has been going on is forcing the reader into a conversation that should have happened off-panel between this issue and last week’s X-Men #5. If there’s one point of interest that comes from the interaction between Jean and Scott and the Uncanny X-Men it’s the hint that Magik might know something more. She promptly disappears about halfway through the issue, and with it goes the chance of this issue being more than just a refresher course on all things Battle of the Atom. I’m only half-joking when I say the biggest revelation in Uncanny X-Men #12 is finding out that Maria Hill really hates Beast, and that’s in the opening panels.
There’s one saving grace to this entire issue and his name is Chris Bachalo. His renderings of the X-Men are some of the best out there right now, and although the characters in this issue aren’t given much to do, he draws them all to a tee. Even if it’s just for a panel or two, Bachalo represents all of the characters across the variety of different teams, and the result is definitely something worth looking at. Admirers of Bachalo’s art will surely be disappointed that the issue isn’t more action-packed as the amount of detail in his splash pages normally is staggering. It’s a shame that with such a drastic change in artist that Uncanny X-Men #12 kept the Battle of the Atom event at pretty much the same place as we last left it.
Grade: GOOD (6/10)