Battle of the Atom #1 and All New X-Men #16 Review
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.