The following review is for the Battle of the Atom Crossover, chapters 1 & 2, which include the Battle of the Atom and All-New X-Men Ch.16.
We begin with Magik traveling into the future to see what they are fighting for (remember, her mutant power is teleporting stepping disks that can traverse time and space) and sees the future X-Men fighting hordes of Sentinels. That was a flashforward as currently the Original X-Men team at the Jean Grey School are enjoying school lunch, with Teen Bobby thinking of starting a food fight, when they receive an alert of a new mutant causing problems. She’s a career criminal who conjures up dragons and such and decides to lay waste to her city. Before they can subdue her, Sentinels decided to pop up and lay waste to the entire group.
Kitty protects them with her power, but Scott leaves to protect a civilian family and winds up getting blasted. That’s when his older self’s team shows up and the two teams decide to work together to eliminate the threat in general. The beauty of it is that they hold no real animosity with each other, despite the light banter, and work seamlessly to take out the Sentinels. That’s probably because Wolverine and Present Beast were there.
However, one of them gets in a lucky shot and critically injures Teen Scott. This causes Older Scott to literally vanish until Triage (Christopher Muse) manages to bring Teen Scott back to life. Once the police shows up, Cyclops’ team splits.
Back at the Jean Grey school they finally decide to send the kids back because, as it should have been obvious, having one of them die or get critically injured will completely screw up the time stream. That’s when the future X-men show up and volume one ends.
Volume two begins at the New Xavier School, where they are reviewing the battle and Triage is freaked out about his powers and Scott tells him that he’s grateful for the save. Triage then claims that the X-Men are so used to this sort of crazy thing that they have no idea how crazy it is, but Scott assures him he does.
At the Jean Grey school the future X-Men consist of Xavier (named after his Grandfather so Legion and Blindfold must’ve gotten busy), Future Kitty (who hugs Wolverine from missing him and worries present Kitty about her future appearance), Future Beast (who has mutated into a Chimera thing), Ice Hulk (who looks exactly like he sounds), Female Xorn, Molly Hayes, and Deadpool. They tell them they came to send the teenage X-Men back home only for Wolverine to attack.
It turns out that Jean Grey made him do it so she and Scott could get away so she didn’t get sent back to the past. She’s suspicious of them and ran for it, because Xavier shielded the future X-Mens thoughts. It doesn’t help that the last person wearing Xorn’s helmet killed Jean Grey in that school, as Rachel Grey points out. Female Xorn removes her mask to reveal she is in fact a future Jean Grey, who should not exist, indicating they did screw up the time stream.
It ends with the X-Men jet that the pair stole washed up on a beach and them running away.
Okay, so over the last year Marvel has been screwing with time in the Heroic Age (a fact lampshaded in Superior Spider-Man #17) more than usual. We’re not talking simple time-displacements like Rachel Grey and Cable, but have been royally manhandling it by damaging the past. In fact they have literally broken time, so you can imagine as a consequence we have these paradoxes piling up.
It doesn’t help that the original five were allowed to remain in the present when one of their deaths would essentially screw over the time stream even further. With all the Sentinel attacks that’s a given. So their stupidity in taking them into the field is finally rectified as they just seem to be getting the message now that they’ve had an example up front and there’s no doubt it probably made things worse.
Jean Grey is proving not to be the woman everyone looked up to. First she reads minds uninvited, then she manipulates Scott after doing so on Henry failed. They kissed in the last issue, because apparently she feels the need to botch time further as well as teenage hearts, and it is revealed that knowing about her death has led to these abundances of mistakes so she doesn’t want to go back.
Some of the interactions were interesting. Kitty was a bit shocked by her future appearance but notice how they mirrored each other when they discovered the two teenagers were missing, and the present and past Hanks were more fascinated by their appearance than anything. The past and present Bobby’s however, were utter stumped by what they became.
Now, in terms of art work there are certain moments between them that are less than stellar. The Stepford Sisters have identical hair styles in the first volume, which hasn’t been in effect since Irma decided to be a new her. Not to mention Ororo’s face when the reveal that Female Xorn is actually Future Jean Grey.
There are some continuity errors as well, such as the aforementioned hair styles and Christopher freaking out about his powers when at this point he has raised the dead twice. I want to give this a perfect score but, leaving aside the art, this shouldn’t have even taken place as it was stupid of the X-Men to risk their present in the first place.
It gets a 4 out of 5.
This review is for Superior Spider-Man #17, which has been long awaited since it brings forth Miguel O’ Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099.
For those of you who don’t know he’s a scientist who was pressured into messing around with human experimentation and decided enough was enough once it ended badly the first time. He intended to quit but his boss, Tyler Stone, had him drugged with a drug called Rapture that could only be gained by working for the company. Rather than remain an addict, he used the Human Experimentation process to give himself powers and took on a Day of the Dead costume to battle him.
Even when the 2099 line of series ended, this dude was so popular that he ended up in several crossovers and Spider-Men games recently and, when it was falsely dropped that he was going to be the Superior Spider-Man, people got mad at the lie. Hence why he’s here now.
Anyway, it starts with him recognizing the temporal distortions using his enhanced vision and dealing with bi-planes and dinosaurs. At the source of all evil, Alchemax, he discovers that for once it’s not their fault. That’s fairly rare.
Remember all of those events in Marvel screwing with the time stream in the heroic age? Yeah, like sending Galactus to the Ultimate Universe, it has royally screwed with the time stream and is removing Tyler Stone from existence piece-by-piece. Normally that would be a good thing, but he’s Miguel’s father (not that he knows it) and if he’s removed then no more Spider-Man 2099. So, in the interest of self-preservation, and because he has already gone and would create a paradox if he didn’t, Miguel is forced into the present.
In the mean time, we see the fallout of the events of the Run, Goblin, Run arc.
Former Horizon employee Tiberius Stone (note the last name) has blown the whistle on all of their dirty little secrets in order to get revenge, leading to the company being folded into another company that has employed him. He’s relishing the fact that he now has power over them and threatens Peter that he now even owns Spider-Man’s Web Fluid Formula. You don’t threaten the Superior Spider-Man and because his spider-sense was reacting around him, it’s all the justification he needs to beat the man to a pulp.
The Daily Bugle is getting the information from a source, but after the last screw-up they aren’t taking chances with it, since what happened in the last issue. In the Goblin Underground, Phil Urich is reprimanded harshly by the Goblin Kingpin of Crime since his actions could have led to the Goblin Protocol being discovered, but then the goblin gets an idea and lets up on it. At Horizon Labs, the gang apparently has a time machine lying around and decides to go back to the past to get dirt on Tiberius when the machine activates itself and out pops the future Spider-Man.
Otto catches up with Phil, who is still cocky since everything he’s doing at the moment is above the board. Otto, not really caring, decides to end him when Miguel appears and web-lines him since the douche is his Grandfather, meaning if Otto wastes him then no more Miguel O’ Hara.
So, now we have a reason for the two Spider-Men to duke it out. One’s ego and the other’s self-preservation. Considering Otto has so far fought with just about everyone Peter has teamed up with, I really didn’t expect much else but I’m dying to see it through to the end. Miguel has different abilities than most other Spider-Men as he doesn’t have Spider-Sense but enhanced reflexes, sight, natural webs, and can move so fast he leaves a decoy behind.
It’ll be an interesting match-up to say the least.
The art is beautiful as always and I really cant find anything wrong with the issue barring no Spider-Man beating down the other…yet. For this review I give it 5 out of 5 and worth picking up.