Every week I tore into the latest chapter of Battle of the Atom the instant my comics arrived. Usually I set my books aside for when I had a chance to read them all. With this, I couldn’t wait. Battle of the Atom kicked off with the first two chapters during the same week and I was hooked. The past X-Men staying in the present continued to be a problem, so much so that the X-Men of the future needed to comeback and rectify the situation. But who are these future X-Men? SPOILERS!
Time travel and the X-Men go together like PB and chocolate, you can never go wrong mixing the too (unless you use some off-brand Chuck Austen PB). The most interesting aspect at first was who the future X-Men were. Some were obvious like Iceman (though he was some sort of giant, silent golem), grown-up Molly Hayes from Runaways, a further mutated Beast (now complete with one ram horn), and Deadpool, Then there was a young looking Professor X, and a female Xorn (I’ll explain who Xorn is eventually) throwing in a curveball. Thankfully, the woman behind the mask wasn’t kept secret long; it was the past Jean Grey who never went home all grown up. The mask was to keep her psychic powers in check. The young looking Professor X was his grandson.
The future X-Men came to send past X-Men home, giving some cryptic future reasoning that they couldn’t detail because of paradoxes and such. Past Jean and Cyclops runaway and are pursued. Present Cyclops and his X-Men intervene (Cyclops and Wolverine still aren’t talking – it’s a thing). Magik (Colossus’ sister) calls bunk and breaks into the school, taking past Iceman and Beast with her to future to investigate. There they run into the real future X-Men. Gasp! Shock and twist! This team is lead by Jubilee (with energy Wolverine claws and still a vampire – don’t ask), the recently adopted baby Shogo in an Iron Man like costume (Jubilee’s son), Phoenix Force possessed Quentin Quire, Wiccan (who’s now the Sorcerer Supreme), Storm’s daughter, Colossus with the bitchin’ mustache, and a Gandolf looking Iceman. He has a freaking ice-beard!
The faux future X-Men reveal themselves as the future’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Apparently freaking Dazzler of all people was elected President. At her coronation, Sentinels attacked, killing her and many others. Beast finally broke, giving up on Xavier’s dream. Apparently, the future will radically change depending if the past X-Men stay or go. The Brotherhood collect the five and attempt to send them back, but some force is preventing that from happening. Battle ensues, people die. The Brotherhood stay in the past on the run, Storm’s daughter stays to hunt them, and Kitty Pryde quits, joining Cyclops. Oh, future Kitty was actually Wolverine and Mystique’s son.
This story succeeds mostly by playing on the time travel gimmick; seeing the future incarnations, wondering how they arrived at that point, and becoming slightly frustrated because they vaguely allude to future events. Where the story lost steam was during the last two issues. It became obvious the end game was setting up future stories, which was to be expected because that’s how comics work. I didn’t expect a neat bow to be placed on everything, but some answers, or any would have been nice. Why would sending them back change/fix anything? What was preventing them from going back? Why didn’t Colossus grow a mustache sooner?
The ending also failed because it didn’t clearly set anything up. The story just ended. Does that retroactively hurt the story? No. I had a blast reading it and look forward to reading it again, collected. Considering X-Men overall has been firing on all cylinders since Marvel NOW! started, this weak point sticks out more when juxtaposed against the last year. Besides, Jean Grey’s about to go on trail in space and Nightcrawler’s coming back.
What was your favorite part of Battle of the Atom (mustache)? Did the ending work for you? Comment below!
Metal mustache vs. ice-beard. Can’t decide.