After a slow chapter 3 and 4, Chapter 5 of the big X-men event Battle of the Atom brings back the action!!
We start off with a psychic battle for the record books. On one side, we have Emma Frost and the Cuckoos with Jean Grey from the past. And on the other, future Jean Grey. Seems kind of one-sided at first. But then the Cuckoos start dropping like… cuckoos.
In the meantime, Scott (both the original one and the present day version) have a real ringer on their hands: The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning team, led by Wolverine himself. Cyclops is my favorite X-men. So, seeing two of him take on a whole group of other X-men was exciting.
Although, it’s a little more convoluted than that. You see, even the X-men among the Jean Grey school are conflicted about attacking the the younger version of Scott and Jean.
Young Scott does the one common sense thing I have been waiting to see in a comic: why not blast a psychic when their engaged in a psychic battle? C’mon, they can’t fight an intense battle on the mental plane while defending real-world attacks. Oh wait! Future Jean Grey can, and does.
Frosty-naut (or Future Iceman, whichever you prefer) clubs the younger Scott hard enough to make him see red. Then Wolverine jumps on his back and shouts for present day Iceman to help him.
The lines for the psychic battle are more clear. Especially after Emma goes down, proving (yet again) that she is no match for Jean Grey. In fact, no one is… except for Jean Grey.
The younger Jean outlasts the older Jean and teaches her mind to absorb knowledge about the future. Despite the warnings, she’s dying to know what could possibly be so bad about the future.
You know who else wants to know? Illyana. She shows up at the Jean Grey School and takes young Beast and young Iceman to the future so they can see for themselves.
Back in the present, Deadpool gives an amazing speech.
“[The Future] is so screwed up they made ME an X-man.”
Even Wolverine tells him so, to which Deadpool replies it was all lies (c’mon, this is Deadpool).
Now that younger Jean Grey has seen the future, she tells younger Scott that it’s time for them to go.
But just when we think the situation is finally settled, Illyana appears in the future with the two younger X-men and they make a startling discovery…
The writing for this issue was superb. Easily a step above the last two issues. Kudos to Jason Aaron.
And I’m very glad the story is finally moving forward, but I still have some reservations. For the past three issues, the Future X-men have made a big deal out the mysterious catastrophe that occurred because the past X-men stayed in the present.
I think Henry McCoy may be at the center of this problem. He and Iceman are the only X-men to have a Past/Present/Future version. It was present day McCoy who had the GREAT idea to bring the past X-men to the present. Also, we know from an earlier issue that SHIELD think Henry McCoy is a problem because he does whatever he wants (foreshadowing?).
Still, this big catastrophe has been hyped up over several issues. Marvel has a mixed record of delivering on the hype. Hopefully this talented cast of writers won’t let us down.