The X-Men have been QUITE the active bunch in the Marvel universe. Between the schism which split the X-Teams, the founding of the Jean Grey School, the AVX event, and the arrival of the ALL NEW X-Men. Basically, the X-Men are all over the place, and there are too many of them to count. So what does Marvel decide to do? MAKE MORE OF THEM!
But, these aren’t just any X-Men; they’re X-Men FROM THE FUTURE! And, in case you’re REALLY unfamiliar with the X-Men, they have played with the fabric of time and space more times than Doctor Who. So it just makes sense for them to meddle in it some more now doesn’t it? Well, that’s what is happening in Marvel’s newest X-Men event title, “X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM.”
This issue starts out like many a X-Men comic in recent months with Kitty Pryde training the “All New X-Men,” who are comprised of the original 5 X-Men, and taking them out on a “low risk” mission. As you would assume, the mission turns out to be anything BUT low risk, when they are ambushed by a swarm of Sentinels. Thankfully, and I say that loosely, the modern Cyclops arrives with his UNCANNY X-Men to assist Kitty, his younger self, and his entire old team from the Sentinels. All seems well, and the pair of Scotts are about to enjoy a moment, when suddenly, a Sentinel launches a surprise attack on the young Jean Grey, only for the young Cyclops to take the blow for her, effectively killing him.
Now, for my fellow Doctor Who fans, we can all see the temporal implications of this act. The fact that now Modern Scott is erased from existence, the entire fabric of space time SHOULD have folded in upon itself, as it did in “The Wedding of River Song.” However, thanks to one of Modern Cyclops’s recruits, he was able to return young Scott back to life and restore the time stream before it destroyed itself.
This near death experience FINALLY knocks some sense into Hank McCoy; the original X-Men have to be returned to their own time. Beast, Wolverine, and his X-Men team are about to send the team home, WHEN SUDDENLY, another time portal opens up, revealing a team of X-Men from the future.
This team of X-Men, consisting of a middle aged Kitty Pryde, an “old as dirt” Beast, the grandson of Charles Xavier, a HULKING Iceman, an adult Molly Hayes (or Princess Powerful), a female Xorn, and, to round everything out, DEADPOOL. What has this rather strange team of X-Men come to tell our heroes?
Well, to do the exact thing that they (Wolverine and company) were going to do. However, their interruption allows for the teenage Scott Summers and Jean Grey to make their escape. These events conclude the first 2 issues. The third issue can be summed up as follows: the X-Men asking themselves if they are truly doing the right thing by sending the original X-Men back to their own time, or if they should allow them to choose when the wish to go back. All the while the team attempts to chase down the young runaways, only to find they have asked for the help of MODERN Scott Summers.
Once in the company of Scott, Magneto, Emma, and their team, the young X-Men ask for their help in securing their freedom to choose to stay in the present time. This scene serves two purposes. One, to show just how obvious it is that these kids need to go back to their own time, and two, to reveal the ever rising levels of stupidity displayed by the young Scott Summers. Proving that no matter what time period he is from, Scott is and always will be a completely selfish idiot, only looking for his own satisfaction.
Even though he experienced his own erasing from existence, due to his younger self being killed, he wants to allow them to stay in the present. Why you ask? Because he wants to have his Jean by his side. However, in the fifth issue of this story, it appears he would be getting more Jean than he hoped for when the mysterious lady Xorn reveals herself to be none other than JEAN GREY.
However, not all of the Uncanny X-Men are happy to see this fully grown Jean Grey. Emma Frost sees this as another opportunity to prove herself the superior telepath to her rival. Emma, the Stepford Cuckoos, and even Young Jean initiate a telepathic battle, all while the Uncanny X-Men initiate a PHYSICAL battle with the X-Men of the future and Wolverine’s X-Men.
After much unnecessary fighting, and a hemorrhage or two given to Emma and her Cuckoos, DEADPOOL stands up and declares that all of their fighting is pointless, and that the only reason that he and his team of X-Men are there was to PREVENT a war of mutants in the future. The 2 teams take this speech to heart, and after peering into older Jean’s mind, even young Jean feels it is time for her and her friends to return home. So all’s well that ends well…
But if this is the case, why are there 5 more issues? It appears that the future X-Men are not all as they seem. When Magik, of the Uncanny X-Men, recognizes these future mutants, she knows something is quite wrong with them. To prove her theory, she takes the young versions of Iceman and Beast along with her to travel BACK TO THE FUTURE, from whence these X-Men came. (How many times have I said X-Men in this review? I hope you folks at home are able to keep up). When they arrive in the future, they are greeted by a group of Sentinels, much like many of the possible futures the X-Men have encountered. However, these Sentinels are quite different. They do not attack the group but instead welcome them…to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, complete with its OWN team of X-Men! (How many teams is that now? 5?)
This event is shaping up to be QUITE the fun ride. Each issue, save the 3rd, keeps the reader interested and invested in the outcome of our Mutant heroes. While it seems obvious in terms of the laws of quantum physics what the children should do, we are also faced with the moral dilemma of forcing a view or choice upon another, something the X-Men have been fighting against since their inception. The future X-Men teams have interesting designs and structure and are both looking like they have a lot to offer this story.
One thing I am glad this event comic is FINALLY seeming to make people realize is just how much of a selfish twat Cyclops truly is. he is willing to put all of time and space in jeopardy all so he can have a chance with the fourteen year old version of his ex-wife, who he cheated on.
With amazing and consistent artwork throughout, alongside an engaging storyline that I can’t WAIT to see the next issue for, BATTLE OF THE ATOM, is shaping up to be BY FAR the best event of the year.
-A storyline that will keep readers on the edge of their seats
-A story that will keep readers GUESSING
-Deadpool’s speech…seriously, it’s that good
-The third issue seemed slow and didn’t need to be there