Battle of the Atom Part #3 (X-Men #5) Review
Well, it’s Marvel Wednesday again so it’s time for a review. This time it’s the continuation of the 10-part Battle of the Atom story that started this month.
The issue begins with Older Jean explaining she can’t keep that Xorn helmet off for more than a few minutes because her powers have grown out of control without it. When Jubilee (now a vampire mother if you weren’t keeping up with her story) points out that the kids stole what was apparently their only Blackbird, Xavier and Old Beast point out that it was hardly the only one they had and end up forcing Modern Beast and Teen Beast to reveal they made a second one that they call Dove. Xavier then pops a pill called a Cerebro Spike and they take off after the two teens. That’s right, drugs are good for you in the future apparently.
Teen Scott and Teen Jean meanwhile steal some clothing and someone’s bike to continue their getaway as the future team secures the Blackbird. Xavier’s drug kicks in and creates a Cerebro-like projection allowing him to track the teens down with Older Jean’s help. At the school, however, Rachel and Kitty find themselves at an impasse because they don’t want to force the kids to go home.
Considering that Rachel (and her brother) both come from the future or alternate future and stay in the present, she feels like she doesn’t have the right to throw stones, while Kitty feels comfortable around them and hates the idea of sending them back to the past where they will be mind-wiped and suffer (Scott being possessed, Jean dying twice, Beast becoming Beast, Angel getting wiped after being Archangel), so they decide to be irrational and interfere. I could say that this is a case of putting their feelings ahead of the fabric of space and time, but at this point it doesn’t really matter. So many teams and heroes interfere with the space and time fabric that it happens all the time.
Anyway, the teenage runaways send out a call for help when they get spotted by the future team and thus begins a game of cat and mouse, involving Teen Scott finally blasting Beast for bringing them there and then trying to get them to go back. No matter how you look at it this is his fault in the first place (which Maria Hill will attest to in the next issue if you read the previews). Rachel and Kitty arrive and lays into the adults which gives the runaways time to steal their ride. How they managed to do that around people that have augmented senses and telepathy escapes me short of the fact that the plot demanded they do it.
The issue ends with them heading to Utopia and meeting who Teen Jean called for help, Older Cyclops and his team. Teen Scott is not pleased since they haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye. Personally, I’m looking forward to conversations between the teens and this team of newcomers and leaders.
This issue was more plot advancement but realistically speaking there is a major flaw in this whole storyline in general, in that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. To begin with, Beast shouldn’t have brought them into the future knowing that they would learn several things that would entice them to stay. He was dying, but come on all his accusations at Older Scott about abusing his power ring hollow considering he’s responsible for this.
On top of that, while I respect they let the teens make their own decisions, common sense dictated that they really should have forced them back so they didn’t risk breaking the time-stream again. Short of undoing all of X-Men history we know they’re going to go back one way or another and get mind-wiped. Of course, what Professor Xavier does with the knowledge of how the future plays out will be the question I’m asking.
Either way I honestly don’t see this going ten issues without some kind of antagonist, meaning the future X-Men are either traitors or pawns. Considering that the adults were going to send them back in the first place before the future team pops up and Xavier creeps a good portion of the readers out, it’s another nail in the coffin. That or the enemy from the future shows up.
I give it a 4 out of 5 and await the Uncanny X-Men’s role in the story.