Battle of the Atom #4 (Uncanny X-Men #12) Review
And so begins the fourth entry in the Battle of the Atom.
The issue starts at the SHIELD Helicarrier, with them finally detecting a temporal anomaly. This causes Maria Hill to be the voice of what many people have wanted to say and blame Beast. She’s earned points in my book.
On Utopia there is an introduction all around between the kids on Cyclops’ team and the Young Jean and Scott. Celeste and Phoebe tease Young Jean, which Emma calls them out on having Jean Grey envy. They promptly respond they got it from her, being her clones/daughters, before the hive mind works together to project the images of the future X-men.
Cyclops goes through them all and questions if they are who they say they are, even though he recognizes most including Molly Hayes. For those who don’t know her, read the review I did for the Runways. Anyway, Magik confirms they are from the future which, if you remember the first part of the crossover when she broke her promise to Scott about traveling into the future (her teleportation allows her to cross time and space remember), she has seen and then goes off to do her own thing. This leaves the rest stranded on the island and forced to decide whether or not to send the kids back.
That’s when sides are drawn all over.
The future X-men argue with Rachel and Kitty, who are insistent on defending their right to stay. Rachel dislikes Storm’s taking the leadership mantle already (which is ironic considering Kitty gave her the role of Headmistress and now she’s lording it over her) and speaking for them all, while Kitty makes it clear that she dislikes the steps her future self has taken. Especially when you consider that these future X-Men aren’t saying anything about how bad the future is and shielding their thoughts, which automatically turns damn near every telepath against you despite the right to protect your mind. Kitty states that this isn’t what she signed up for as Future Jean Grey hears something telepathically.
Now they make a point that she’s being a bit emotional, but she also make a point that they should have the right to choose. Logan makes a point that this is Beast’s fault for bringing them here in the first place, but at this point Kitty is Mama-bear over her students and their loss will definitely hurt her if the cover for a future All-New X-Men I’ve seen foreshadowed properly. It’s starting to look like Kitty may very well defect to Scott’s side once the Inhumanity Event rolls around.
Back on Utopia, Older Scott has decided to help them on the same grounds as Kitty Pryde. Emma, however, rudely disagrees in a manner that I can’t help but think that she’s bitter about the whole ‘ripping the Phoenix out of you and breaking your powers’ thing that led to them breaking up. Magneto tries a gentler way of claiming that, much like Kitty, he’s being driven by emotion and needs to send them back.
To be fair, I’m in agreement with the Emma and Magneto. They pose a huge risk to the timeline since Doomlock on the time cube ensures that any action changed in the past affects the future rather than an alternate timeline. We’ve seen that already when time nearly rewrote itself and Young Scott nearly bit the bullet. But the way Emma says it, claiming that its only because he gets to have both his younger self to mold and Jean Grey, is damn cold.
Warren himself speaks up saying that they do need to go back, which he wanted all along, but he’s cut off mid-sentence and frozen. The same goes for Scott and I’m assuming the rest of Older Scott’s team (he and Magneto have anti-psychic gear while the Stepford Sisters and Emma are telepaths and shouldn’t be affected unless the plot demands it). Older Jean Grey decides to end this by mentally dominating her younger self,
Cue Emma calling her out and stating that she called them out there to send the kids back, not toy with them. If there is one thing Emma despises it’s an older Jean Grey and, broken powers or not, she’s willing to go toe-to-toe with her any day. She then makes a meta-comment that the message boards would love this and the issue ends.
First off let me say that they keep dragging the event out with all these build ups, so if there isn’t some earth-shattering Status Quo shake ups in the future I will be displeased. Kitty going with Scott’s team I can approve of being one. Maybe throw in Rachel too.
Next, we can see the cracks in X-Men unity at this point. Emma is undermining Scott’s authority (not for the first time I might add), whereas Magneto at least tried to reason with him with logic rather than claiming he’s thinking with the wrong head, but quite frankly this whole conclusion was made more complicated by what she’s done. The last time she pulled this, while under the Phoenix Force, she led to Namor attacking Wakanda, which was destroyed, and then caused them to slaughter hundreds in Atlantis in retaliation. There will be fallout considering she decided to undermine him in front of the kids.
I know that she, Scott, and Magneto are all leaders with clashing view points occasionally, but you are leading a revolution in the near future and can’t be pulling them in three directions.
The issue gets a 3 out of 5 for art and staying in tune with the characters I know and love. Even Emma’s betrayal was something I honesty expect from her. I just wish they’d get to either fighting or advancing the plot quicker.