Yeah, I can honestly say I’m glad this is over and I will sum it up in a single review, so keep reading for my review of Battle of the Atom Part 10 and closing thoughts.
It starts with a shower of missiles from above as Xorna and Xavier have somehow telekinetically overridden SHIELD’s safeguards to get them to unleash their payloads upon the gathering. This is the first problem. Telekinesis does not work that way. I could understand them mind-controlling some chumps into firing everything or if one of them had Technopathy, but this was just stupid.
While the X-Men try to stop the rain and Present Beast makes the vow never to Time Travel again, which will be broken in a year or two tops, they also seemed to have forgotten that Magik’s mutant ability is Teleportation and just because she passed on her Soulsword doesn’t mean Colossus can do it too. Either way the missiles don’t explode, leaving Maria Hill to wonder just what the hell they shot and discovering that its…
Now, this comes as no surprise as SHIELD has been dicey in general. But for the Commander to not know that every Helicarrier has these damn things on it or know they were producing it in this number is fucking ridiculous and screams corruption and incompetents. On top of that, these Sentinels have had magic applied to them so that the future Sorcerer Supreme couldn’t strip away or something. Since when does SHIELD even have a sorcerer department?
The only good thing about it is they killed Future Beast, after which the fighting just adds in a third party. Not only do Cyclops’ and Wolverine’s teams squabble like children, but Future Jubilee bites despite being an immortal regenerating vampire and Future Colossus gets his brain mind-crushed by Xavier. This pisses off Magik into her evil-alter ego, who now has a legitimate reason to kill the psychic douche and everyone is bitching and whining about it rather than letting her finish him off before he causes more trouble.
Xorna Jean blames Wolverine and Cyclops for this entire fiasco because of the event that led to their Schism. Wolverine continues to annoy me throughout the entire fight that has her kicking their asses with psychic fire that I’m assuming she has spontaneous developed, until the O5 X-Men show up and get their asses kicked too. It only ends when she can’t control her powers and explodes, giving everyone enough time to flee as SHIELD finally gets their shit together.
Then comes the Epilogues where Present Iceman has made himself a douche before Wolverine takes over for him. While both sides agree that SHIELD can’t be trusted, which is a damn given at any point and time, Wolverine tries to take the high-ground again in a speech that, by all means, establishes that he’s a douche every day he wakes up. At this point, when they should be mending bridges, his ass has just bombed them all over again and none of the sensible X-Men on his side countered this.
Then we skip to Kymera mentioning she was tasked with tracking the Brotherhood, Adult Shogo and Present Jubilee having a moment, and Magik bidding her dead brother, Future Colossus, a final good-bye. That night Kitty decides to jump ship to Cyclops’ school and takes the O5 with her.
Now, while I expected and am pleased by this, her reasons are fairly shallow and not expressed deeply beyond a sense of betrayal. Her breakup with Bobby, which last I checked shouldn’t have even been a relationship after that date night, came off as vague in that you get the feeling a writer just wanted it to stop and made her look better by derailing Iceman for a few pages. She had plenty of ammo for quitting, I might add, but she chooses the weakest of reasons and, for some reason, Rachel didn’t join her despite all their moments this event.
I’m going to sum up both this issue and event in two words: EPIC FAIL.
The event dragged on for twice as long as it should have. Most issues repeated things that have been said and established that the feud between schools refuses to die, with Wolverine acting like he’s in the damn right and Cyclops is a murdering psychopath. What happened to the Wolverine in AvsX Consequences who understood him at the end, even if he hated him? And don’t get me started on the shit with Storm and Iceman, its like the story writers want Wolverine and his X-Men to seem like the bad guys.
And what the hell happened to Molly?
The only good thing is that Kitty has joined Cyclops’ team with the O5 and we have some actual antagonists in the form of the evil Xavier outside X-Men Legacy. Whoever penned this ought to be a damn shame for wasting the X-Men anniversary and two months of every poor soul who read it’s time.
This issue and event get 2 out of 5.
Okay, so issue #9 of Battle of the Atom is out and here’s the subsequent review.
It begins after Cyclops popped into the room with X-Men aplenty in tow, only to end up in a white room in his mind and face-to-face with Xorna Jean. Being Cyclops and her being a telepath and Jean, what happens next is expected. She kisses him and he notes she’s not his Jean because she’s a better kisser. Oh Cyclops, really…
Snapping back to reality we learn Xorna Jean and her Brotherhood left during that time frame. Emma calls Cyclops out on Jean being in his head, but she no longer has an all-access pass so I can add that up to jealousy, while Future Phoenix warns him not to let her get in his head again since he has no idea what she’s capable of. Cyclops tries to order them to start tracking the Brotherhood down when not-dead Wolverine shows up because Wiccan saved his ass.
He also swears off sex since he got gutted by his son with Mystique (which is going to be hell to explain when Kurt comes back) but considering Storm is his current partner I doubt that’s happening.
After the usual meet and greet and blame-game, with tantalizing hints that something won’t let the O5 go back and yet no answer because Kymera reports Deadpool is dead, we skip to the Brotherhood. They can’t do what they set out to do, and Future Xavier ends up paralyzed like his grandfather, so Future Beast has decided to skip to Plan B. Teen Jean once again remains vague on what she saw, because the writers keep dragging the mystery out, and they land at Cape Citadel and start raising hell.
This naturally gets the attention of SHIELD and Maria Hill, who really should have taken that vacation Cyclops had Magik send her on. Back at the school Future Phoenix is trolling his younger counterpart and Wolverine is being a hypocrite when they get the message too. Thus begins a battle royale where we have everyone throwing down.
It is revealed that Ice Hulk is basically an Ice Clone that gained a little sentience and serves Xorna Jean that they can’t reabsorb, Kymera is Storm’s daughter, and Magik finds her badass future brother awesome. Eventually the fighting stops when SHIELD arrives and Dazzler (Mystique) is antagonizing Maria into launching the tear gas while she borders on another breakdown. Xorna Jean then has all the Helicarriers fire missiles on the gathering of mutants and then snaps a witty line as the issue ends.Now, unless those missiles reveal that they’ve been building Sentinels somewhere on that base, I can’t find any logic in what they were planning on doing here. More than anything I’m tired of the damn subterfuge. Can we get some straight answers for once, it’s not like the future is going to remain the same once they go back.
It gets a 3 out of 5.
I prefer Jimmy Hudson to Raze already.
Okay, so issue #8 of Battle of the Atom is out now and so is my review. I’m not going to lie, this issue could have been better, but you’re going to have to read to find out.
It begins with Cyclops’ team getting ready to march, only to realize that Young Bobby and Hank are gone with Psylocke. They didn’t even waste panels showing that they already lost the two they were supposed to protect, which probably would have made it better to keep them at the base with the other students they left behind. After that they get a tower dropped on them, so bad opening move for our heroes.
Raze, the abomination of Wolverine and Mystique, was imitating Psylocke and captured the two. With their prizes in hand, they leave Ice Hulk to hold off Cyclops’ team, who were saved by Wiccan. Cyclops has Magik and her future-brother teleport inside, while Phoenix Quentin melts the ice giant, only for the Russian siblings to find Molly and Deadpool waiting inside. There’s some bad blood between the pairs, with Molly disillusioned and vengeful towards the X-Men and Deadpool referencing that Magik unleashes something bad onto the world.
Ultimately it ends when Magik teleports Deadpool outside about a hundred feet up and lets him fall while she stabs Molly in the back with her Soulsword. That’s how quickly a fight with a teleporter is supposed to end. We then go back to Cyclops’ team, who have encountered Teen Xavier. Wiccan offers them some magical protection while Magneto claims his helmet can protect him (which it didn’t on Utopia from Jean), but Xavier just has Krakoa eat them all, which is the third time on Cyclops’ end.
Xavier (and somehow the unmelted Ice Hulk) reports in as Deadpool hits the ground and apparently dies and they decide to flip the switch to send the O5 back. Magik arrives to stop them, only to be telekinetically restrained by Xorna Jean while the other team tries to escape Krakoa and are hurting it from the inside. Yeah, apparently whatever Magik does makes everyone hate her because they all try to kill her, between Raze offering to gut her and Xorna Jean trying to make her kill herself like she did in their timeline. Eventually she teleports herself out while Future Colossus shanks Xavier with his Soulsword.
Here’s the stupid part though, they try to send the O5 X-Men back but they won’t go. Testing the machine with Raze indicates that it won’t work for just them, with old Hank stating that in theory they caused so much mayhem with the time stream they can’t go back through the time cube as Cyclops’ team arrived.
This issue just single-handedly rendered the entire event, issues that could have been spent on progressing the individual series’ stories, meaningless. Bad enough they have Molly playing for the bad guys, they wasted my time if there was no real threat of them going back. The 616 universe can’t be sustained if you take important characters from the past like that, look at what happened when Wolverine killed Hank Pym in Age of Ultron!
I could handle the plot holes when it came to things like psychic protection and the stupidity of certain characters, but this was too damn much. The heroes didn’t even win or make it in time, it’s a fucking cop-out that the O5 remain! They have made it that, short of sending clones of the O5 into the past or Magik teleporting them back to that time period or Eva Bell when she learns what she’s doing, the O5 are freaking immortal because if one snuffs it the timeline will snap.
They’re going to have to retcon or asspull an excuse to explain away this. The one who pinned this story was an idiot and so were the dunderheads that wasted the X-Men’s fifth year publication like this. Smooth move Marvel.
This gets a 2 out of 5, don’t waste your money on it.
Okay, so issue #7 of Battle of the Atom Review Time. Let’s get to it.
To begin with Jubilee wakes from her nap to her adoptive baby Shogo’s crying. You see, Young Iceman left him with Broo the Brood. Now, while Broo is one of the softest characters I have seen in an X-Men comic pre-bullet to the head, he’s going to terrify an infant. There’s no helping that.
Jubilee then receives a little present from Bling! and Armor for him, which will protect him from harm, since it is pointed out the X-Men don’t exactly inspire safety given they are attacked weekly by something. It’s keyed into Jubilee’s biometrics already and, when it is suggested someone else adds in, she offers Bling! the second spot since she came up with the idea. Bling! is flattered, but she’d rather have someone to talk to over Mercury. Teen romances aside, they then hear the alarm telling them that the others have returned.
Wolverine tells Rachel with telepathy to keep an eye on the future X-Men they’re with mentally. He claims something feels off. Good guess…only about six issues too late to matter. Eventually these X-Men drop the charade when they find out that Magik took Young Beast and Young Iceman to the future, causing Xavier to start acting like a douche bag attack Bling!, which gives Rachel an opening to look into his mind and declare Logan was Right.
Bullshit. Everyone with a brain cell knew better than to trust them. It shouldn’t have taken that damn long.
Xavier tells Future Kitty to ‘Do it’ and she shapeshifts into a male Mystique with Wolverine claws and shanks him, calling him Dad in the process. Given that Wolverine has a shitty track record with his own kids, this doesn’t surprise me. I’m still wondering how the child was conceived when Logan and Mystique have tried (and succeeded occasionally) to kill one another and she’s currently with Sabertooth. Xavier then has Xorn Jean take out the X-Men in Hank’s Lab, where she blasts Old Hank by accident and he decides to lock down the school while she goes to help the others up top.
Apparently Blue Wolverine didn’t kill his father since he’s still there, but Wolverine lost his healing factor recently and can barely breath. Jubilee decides to tear out Xavier’s throat with her claws (vampire, remember?) but inches from it Ice Hulk tosses her out of the way and through a solid steel wall. Rogue tries to take his power and mind, but there’s no mind in there so she gets knocked out when he backhands her. Good showing from the Avenger Unity squad member there.
Psylocke decides enough is enough and simply knocks the thing out with a ninety-pound psychic flail, one-handed while holding Shogo, and crack jokes about how being a mom was easy. While I don’t recommend the baby having seen such violence, the thing just knocked out his vampire mommy so I get the sense he felt it was justified. Xavier talks trash to Rachel and makes demands when she puts his ass in his place like the little bitch he is before getting knocked out from behind by Molly.
This is what pisses me off the most. Seriously, why the hell is Molly playing for their team instead of the other future team? Did X-23 gank Chase and Nico or something in Avengers Arena and she blames the others?
Anyway, Deadpool declares his love for Psylocke and wants to express it in battle, but seeing as she’s with child at the moment and Shogo does have a nifty little gift for moments like this, Jubilee tells him to ‘Push the Beep-Beep’. He does and Armor’s power forms around him in the shape of a hamster ball. The kid loves it, but is taken by Jubilee while Psylocke stays to take on Blue Wolverine and Deadpool…I’d give her 50/50 odds.
Old Hank and Xorn Jean in the meantime have locked down the school and taken control of the defenses to attack the other X-Men they know are coming, while Xavier has subdued Krakoa. Xorn Jean tries to play it up like this wasn’t their fault and they didn’t want it to come to this, but it rings hollow considering Wolverine’s about to kick it.
On the outskirts Cyclops’ team has arrived and Sentinel-X goes to assess the situation, where he runs into Jubilee, Bling!, and Shogo. Given that they’ve just had a bad few minutes, you can imagine they are on edge and a guy dressed like Iron Man with a sentinel paint job is asking for trouble. So he removes his helmet and shows he’s Adult Shogo.
This makes a lot of sense seeing as he’s a normal human (maybe) hanging around with the X-Men. He needs some damn protection and Iron Man is just a genius who hangs around with gods, so the suit is a good thing. Jubilee is happy since that meant they never took him away from her as a baby. You know, for being a vampire who hangs around mutants often labeled as terrorists or under attack by purifiers or nimrods. Psylocke then shows up and says that things have gone pear shape, ending the issue.
Now this issue drops the exposition and gets to the damn revelations and action, finally ending the drag fest. And Wolverine got stabbed. These are only good things in my eyes. Finally some damn progression that makes this issue worth picking up, but I can’t say I’m happy with the lead up.
Still it gets a 4 out of 5 and the next issue will hopefully have Cyclops’ saving Wolverine’s ass and making him swallow some humble pie.
It is with some hesitation that I post this review of Battle of the Atom #6, because it does very little and I can safely say that the shortness of this issue could have covered the information in two or three pages and brought more of the story along.
It starts with a flashback of Dazzler becoming the first mutant president, for about thirty seconds. Then she promptly gets killed by, not sentinels, but what looks to be some of those dragon-like creatures from the first issue made by that mutant gone wild. I find it hard to believe that their security sucked so badly she managed to get close enough to cause that much destruction and they were relying on one guy who could duplicate himself. After all the shit they’ve gone through they should know better than that.
What, were they going soft?
Then, in the current future we see the Magik’s team meeting with the future X-Men, who do the whole ‘you need to leave routine’, but Colossus is happy to see his sister and has her sword (which is basically her soul). Meaning some real bad stuff went down. Given that present Colossus told her he would kill her the last time they met for manipulating him into becoming the Juggernaut, I would have rather the issue focused on that.
But, after the first round of the usual spiel, we flashback again with Beast stating that for every two steps forward they take seven back as he hangs over Dazzler’s corpse. At this point the future X-Men reveal they know about the team who went back to the past, but rather than stopping them from screwing up the time stream by dragging them back, they just tell the others to go to stop making it worse. Freaking Young Iceman points this out by the way.
So, after Quentin threatens to throw Young Beast into the sun in the same manner that Logan tried to kill young Cyclops, a few of them want to vote to help since they hold some blame. Kymera and Piotr are for, Wolverine against, In the end, Older Cyclops team makes it back to their school when Magik pops up with the real future X-Men.
This issue was really short and, again, most of the details were a rehashing of the last few issues with a backstory that could have been solved in 2-4 pages. I can’t give this more than a 2 out of 5 as it is in no way worth the cost of the comic and the event is dragging along. They should have just made a villain from the future come back to the past or something.
Hell, they could have brought the girl from the first issue as the main future villain.
I don’t know what’s more amazing, I’m getting some decent views for my reviews or the fact that I’ve been doing this for a month consistently. The only way to find out is to keep going, and today that involves Battle of the Atom #5 of 10.
The issue picks up with everyone recovering from Xorn Jean mentally freezing them, including Magneto apparently, as she does battle with four other psychics. Now, once again, considering that it was stated that Cyclops, Magik, and Magneto had some psychic protection in All-New X-Men #10 or #11, the least the writers could do was have Magneto take off the damn helmet and Scott take off his mask before it happened. Yeesh.
Young Cyclops wants to help his girlfriend, like a good boyfriend should, but his older self states they have their own fight as Wolverine comes in talking about how he’s getting kids involved, again, which led to Schism in the first place. Please note that Wolverine has no right to talk as his school is possibly one of the most dangerous places on Earth, especially after taking in some of the Hellfire Club brats, and that trip to the Savage Lands was less than peaceful. Young Cyclops blasts him to save us the trouble and Storm tries to play commander, ordering both sides to stand down and painting Scott as the villain, which he calls her out on since she brought the ones causing the conflict here.
Xorn Jean meanwhile manhandles Irma psychically, angering Emma even more than simply being an adult Jean Grey entails, and they quickly go into trash-talking. Being the object of Scott’s affection and their ages are brought up as well, which was due, making it seem like a petty squabble between two women rather than the fate of the future. But, even with Young Jean and two remaining Stepford Sisters, it isn’t enough and Emma gets taken down, with her daughters.
Rachel, Kitty, and Older Kitty arrive, but because her powers are being dampened by Xavier Rachel can do nothing about the psychic battle while Kitty says she hates her older self. Oh yeah, she’s defecting after this event is over. Then, when Young Cyclops tries to help he gets attacked by Ice Hulk and once again the hypocrites speak of stopping the fight with kids present while the future X-men says a couple of bruised kids is worth it to get the original five home and the Cyclops pair decide to settle this the old fashion way–by blasting them.
Oh, and Deadpool says Goldballs is a legend. If I could trust him, this would be awesome.
Magik meanwhile shows up at the Jean Grey School and picks up Young Iceman and Beast for a little field trip to the future. Magik has been once, but she feels the future X-Men are lying in her very bones thanks to being demonic or something and, since all of them have their doubts about who these future X-Men say they are, naturally the only way to get some answers is to go check on the future yourself.
On Utopia, Young Jean wins against her older self and sees something that make her shocked to her core. Personally, I think that fight was fixed and Xorn Jean showed her what she wanted to. At the same time Deadpool gives a speech saying that things were so bad in the future they made him a part of the X-Men, which shouldn’t be so bad considering he was the heart of X-Force, but Young Jean backs him up and says its time to pack it in and leave.
Older Cyclops doesn’t want to let it go, but Magneto points out if its a pretty girl with red hair involved he should always be questioned. For examples see Rachel, Jean, Hope, Madelyn, and so on. Wolverine thanks Deadpool, but Deadpool mentions that it was all a lie under his breath.
Yeah, at this point we can safely assume they aren’t as kosher as we were led to believe. You know, if you ignored the evil faces Xavier kept making. But to compound at the end it Magik arrives with her two passengers in the future, at their school with freaking sentinels that act polite and a bunch of future X-Men…including Kid Omega hopped up on the Phoenix, Gandalf Iceman, Mustache Bar Colossus, and Iron Man?
I’m not going to lie, it was only half the series in and I could tell that these X-Men were playing some kind of second agenda.
I’m not saying they are evil, yet, but it seems like they’ve got their own goals and are lying to their past selves. Look at how they popped up when they were already getting ready to send the rest back and how they resorted to violence so suddenly. I’m more saddened by the fact that future Molly may be a bad guy than anything, but I’m reserving judgement until we get the full story at the end.
Issue #10 has action, the art is nice, and the plot finally moves, so it gets a 5 out of 5.
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.
I admit I was not into the English Comic Book scene until earlier this year. Because of that, I am now ashamed that I have missed such great stories. This is now one of them.
I didn’t know what the Runaways was until the X-Men Crossover: Event Battle of the Atom took place and unveiled a character from the future called Molly Hayes. Being the curious person that I was, I googled her and found the series. When I do research into a character and their series, I like to be somewhat through and, as a result, found myself interested in the plot and marathon-ed the main series in about three days with distractions.
The Runaways (at least at first) is the story about six kids who find out their parents are a group of super-villains called the Pride, who own a great part of the West Coast which has little to no costumed heroes since most of the super-villains flock to the East Coast. Except for Wonder Man, but he doesn’t count as a hero according to them. The kids decide to run away and have their parents reported to the police, which are owned by the Pride, and end up being blamed for the murder they witnessed their parents comment earlier and kidnapping Molly Hayes.
With no choice they arm themselves and decide to bring down their parents themselves to save the world. Alex Wilder leads the group with his intellect despite possessing no powers, Nico Minoru discovers her powers as a witch, Karolina Dean learns that she’s an alien that derives her abilities from solar energy, Chase Stein steals his parents’ flame-making gauntlets and x-ray goggles, Gertrude Yorkes becomes telepathically bonded to a dinosaur from the 87th century she calls Old Lace, and Molly Haynes discovers she’s a mutant with super strength and invulnerability.
The plot reveals that the Pride were working for six-toed giants who wanted to cleanse the earth of humanity and needed 25 sacrifices to do so over 25 years, with this year being the final one. The kids eventually confront their parents and stop the giants’ plans, but it cost the lives of all their parents and Alex. They were separated by Captain America and sent to foster homes, but they all escaped and stole back Old Lace from Stark’s storage facility deciding to remain Runaways.
In the aftermath of the first volume it is revealed that the Pride prevented most villains from moving onto their turf by eliminating the competition, so with their deaths there was a power vacuum. Now, under the leadership of Nico, the group works to take out all of those looking to fill in the gap when they receive a visit from a future Gertrude Yorkes who warns them about a teenager who becomes a villain before she dies in Chase’s arms.
They confront the teenager, Victor Mancha, which awakens his powers. While Chase was hostile to him, due to the fact that Gert was his girlfriend and he witnessed a future version of her die in his arms, they assist him in retrieving his mother, who is taken hostage. It was revealed he is a child of Ultron, a cyborg who will eventually be able to pass as human in due time. After his mother was killed and Ultron was destroyed, the team takes him into their ranks.
Later on Karolina was chased by a Super Skull named Xavin. It was revealed that her parents arranged a marriage between them as well as sold out their home world to prevent an invasion of earth (which was pointless given the events of Secret Invasion and every other time). Xavin hoped their marriage would cease the hostilities between the Skrull Outpost and her home world. Karolina was originally adverse to the marriage since she’s a lesbian (whose first crush was on Nico), but Xavin shapes shifts to a female form and Karolina left the group to assist in the marriage.
As the series continued the pair returned after hostilities were resparked during the marriage and both the outpost and her home world were destroyed when the Skrulls launched an anti-matter weapon and made a star go supernova. During this time they traveled to New York to assist Cloak and Dagger, who they met in the first series, and dealt with a time-displaced Geoffry Wilder, who sought to sacrifice them in order to resurrect his son and wife. The conflict ended with Gertrude dying in Chase’s arms, giving him her telepathic link to Old Lace.
Chase went mad with grief and consulted with the giants who killed their parents, now stuck in Limbo, who offer to resurrect her for a single soul sacrificed to them. He eventually offered up his own, but since he was willingly giving up his own soul it would not count. In the end the Runaways manage to banish the giants to a realm beyond death, where Alex was assisting the Runaways in atonement to save Chase and fix Victor. Unfortunately they drew the attention of the Avengers and were forced to go to the Kingpin for help.
The Kingpin wanted them to steal an item that was made by the Yorkes, but it was a plot to send them all to 1907, where they met with Lillie, a wonder (meta-human) who could fly, Klara (who could manipulate plants), and the Yorkes. During this trip Victor fell in love with Lillie and she with him, but a war between superpowers broke out after Nico was kidnapped by her ancestor and tortured.
In the end they offered to take Lillie into the future but she was too afraid, instead bringing Klara with them. It was revealed that an aged Lillie was the one who orchestrated the events of the time travel so that she could convince herself to join the man she love rather than live a life of regret, but nothing changed as her past self was too afraid.
In the last volume during the series, the group returns to the West Coast to continue their work but survivors of Karolina’s race came to take her into custody and be held responsible for the destruction of their world since it was her parents that sold them out in the first place. Xavin knocked her out and took her place in the end. The series abruptly ended on hiatus with the Homecoming Arc, where their home was destroyed, Old Lace was seemingly killed, Klara’s powers ran out of control, they were attacked by US Agents, and Chase was hospitalized chasing after a girl who looked like Gert.
Since the series has been on Hiatus since 2009 it is safe to say it won’t start up again, and the movie deal they had seemed to have fallen through. I remain hopeful that one day we’ll see it though. However, the Runaways have not been forgotten. Besides their crossovers with the Young Avengers during the Civil War and Secret Invasion, they’ve appeared in several series since the hiatus.
The first was Daken: Dark Wolverine Issue #19. That issue takes place after the events of the Homecoming Arc that the third volume ended on with Chase having gotten better somehow but no resolution on that Gert doppelganger. Then they appeared in Avengers Academy #27-#28 trying to retrieve Old Lace.
Hank Pym and Tigra are more than willing to help, but since they’ve got a thing about children being runaways, especially Molly and Klara, it leads to the usual hero brawl. This ends quick enough when they decide to talk it out for once and Nico uses a spell to share their experiences with everyone. Hank and Tigra let them go on the condition that the children are brought in once a month for check-ups and Karolina ends up dating Julie Powers after Xavin’s been gone for so long without any contact (which I assume means he’s dead since his people were the ones who blew up their world and they needed a target to hate-on).
After that Victor was recruited into joining Avengers A.I. by his brother, Vision. His characterization seems off, but he hasn’t seen the other Runaways in some time from the sound of it. A future Molly Hayes joined the X-Men in the Battle of the Atom and her present self has been seen in Avenger’s Arena #13, looking for Chase and Nico who she can tell have been missing despite the precautions that Arcade took and Old Lace’s connection to Chase.
Chase and Nico were kidnapped by Arcade in Avengers Arena to participate in Murderworld. There are some continuity issues in Avengers Arena, which is a blatant rip off of Battle Royale (which they even reference in-story as a source of inspiration and I personally recommend the first movie for viewing), such as the issues that Chase and Nico had and the Staff of One being downgraded. It seems like the writers are ignoring Volume 3, which I have admitted to not being a fan of, and some parts at the end of Volume 2.
Anyway, in the story two major things happen so far at the time of the writing between the members of the Runaways:
The first is that Chase becomes the new Darkhawk, courtesy of finding the pendant after the previous wielder went missing from his power turning on itself. Unfortunately the armor is technological and the main villain for the first arc is a technopath. So he’s forced against his will to attack Nico while under Apex’s control and she dies bleeding out in the snow after managing a final spell.
The spell takes effect some time after she’s died, resurrecting her by the Staff of One (which should not be able to bring back the dead but since the spell was cast before she died maybe that was a loophole) using her blood and half-an-arm as a sacrifice. As a result she received the gauntlet that serves as a replacement staff allowing her to cast spells in place of her missing arm and the staff became more of a wand.
As a group they have a generally neutral stand when it comes to heroics. While on good terms with Cloak and Dagger, they dislike the Avengers since they constantly tried to split them up and send them to foster homes. If it benefits them they will work with someone like the Kingpin, although that ended poorly. They don’t particularly trust when it comes to adults but they occasionally connect with other teen heroes.
Born to Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder, Alex is the first character to be introduced to the series. He is a prodigy in Logistics and Strategy and the one to initially suggest spying on their parents’ supposed charity organization. After witnessing their parents’ (who were revealed to be a secret crime ring called “the Pride”) murder of an innocent teenage girl, Alex organizes the mass escape from their parents. He is later revealed to have known about the Pride for a year and served as a Mole, working to ensure that the six spots for paradise would go to his parents, himself, Nico, and Nico’s parents.
For this reason he distanced himself from the other kids, as he felt that they were going to die anyway. Because of Molly’s interference in the ritual and freeing one of the souls, the giants became aggravated and, when he took responsibility for her, they killed him. In the second volume it is shown that he has regretted the actions that he has taken to earn his parent’s approval and assisted the team from a realm beyond death, intent on earning his way out. He showed no hostility to the giants when they join him and even admits that they were probably trying to do the same thing in earning their parent’s approval.
His relationship with Nico was one of the things that hardened her to be the next leader of the Runaways and, despite the fact that he did betray them, she loved him and attempted to resurrect him shortly after his death. His online gamer friends also tried to do the same, although both efforts failed ultimately. The betrayal struck all of the others hard as well, making them more reluctant to forgive treachery and many still hate him to this day.
Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm)
Born to the Evil Magicians Robert and Tina Minoru, Nico herself is a witch whose power comes from the Staff of One, which bonded to her body when her mother attempted to use it against her and only comes out when she bleeds (cutting herself was the most common way, although she disliked it since she wasn’t into that). With it she casts spells using phrases and commands, however the staff itself will only cast the same spell once without failing and she has to summon up painful memories to fuel it in order to get the most out of it.
Later on in the series she gains more power during a trip to the past by being tortured by the her ancestor, as the more pain she can take the greater power she can wield, to the extent she doesn’t need the staff for some minor spells and the staff will eat anyone who tries to use it. After the hiatus and the continuity issues in the Avengers Arena seemed to eliminate those particular power-ups she gained a new one upon her death and resurrection.
Nico becomes the leader in the second volume, where she and the others work to stop the flux of thugs and villains trying to fill in the power vacuum left by their parents’ death. While she considers herself a den mother to them, sewing their clothing and caring for them, she serves as the lynchpin of the group after all they’ve gone through and can be ruthless in dealing with threats to her group.
Nico has been romantically involved with several members of the group due to a psychological need to be close to someone after traumatic experiences or close encounters, which resulted in her romances with Alex (First Kiss) and Victor (Deflowering), as well as her kissing Chase in Volume two.
Her relationship with Alex, who was her first kiss, left her with little tolerance for traitors and she has threatened to deal with those who betray them harshly. Yet she still loves him and attempted to resurrect him without success. Of all of the group she misses him the most at this point.
When Victor came into the picture she opted to give him a chance after losing his mother as long as he did not betray them. Gert’s death motivated her to have sex with him for solace, which they both regretted, but they attempted to start a romance. When Lillie came into the picture she stepped aside, ending their relationship.
With Chase she acts as the motherly figure to his stern approach most of the time. After the incident where she kisses him and Gert’s death, to whom she was an old friend, they’ve had trust issues and clashed several times as she has a case of Survivor’s Guilt since Gert’s death was supposed to be hers. She sees Molly and Klara as little sisters and looks over them. Karolina has a crush on her and, while she doesn’t love her in that way, she sees her as a friend who she cannot bear losing after all of the losses they’ve endured.
Born to a pair of Mad Scientists, Victor and Janet Stein, Chase Stein was the complete opposite of his parents hopes as he was an athlete rather than an intellectual like they were. Because of this his father often beat him.
Chase uses his parents inventions in combat including Fistigons, the world’s most powerful gauntlets that can create and shape flames, and X-Ray goggles, both of which are destroyed in the first volume. In the second volume he serves as the group’s driver using the Leapfrog and slowly becomes more competent in technology, culminating with a new pair of Fistigons and Footigons in Volume three. He uses a switch blade any other time and, after Gert’s death, he inherits her connection with Old Lace. He has also used the Staff of One, discovered three logic questions that can shut down Victor, and recently gained the Darkhawk amulet.
He is the oldest of the group at eighteen and considered a Wild Card. When Gert died he became darker and out of all of the group he is the most likely to resort to lethal force. Out of all the original Runaways he has the most troublesome past due to his abusive father and neglectful mother, once stating that his power was a “poor upbringing” and has the most street-smarts, but he is fiercely loyal to the group barring the single incident he sought to resurrect Gert with his own death.
Chase’s relationship with the group varies depending on the circumstances, but in general he acts as an surrogate big brother to Klara and Molly, an equal to Nico, and a loyal friend to the others including Victor Mancha later on. With Victor, before their roles switched, he disliked him as his future counterpart killed Gert’s and he has implied that he sees Victor as the son his father, who bore the same name, always wanted. He and Gert were in a relationship, with implied sexual relations, until Nico kissed him and it strained the relationship with her dying in his arms shortly after while saying she loved him and giving him ownership of Old Lace.
Born to the criminal time travelers Stacey and Dale Yorkes, Gertrude was ignorant of their activities until the party but always suspected they were evil. She has a cynical view of the world and boasted the second highest intelligence of the original group. Gert did not think highly of her future self and even though her relationship with Chase softened her, she remained cynical.
Her sole power is her telepathic and empathic link to Old Lace, a genetically engineered dinosaur from the 87th century. They can feel one another and share their pain and experience, meaning that if she dies Old Lace dies unless she transferred the link.
Her relationship with the team consisted of interactions with Nico, Victor, and Chase primarily before her death. Nico was her oldest friend and, as such, she was hit the hardest when she kissed Chase, although they made up before she did with Chase. While Victor’s future self killed hers, she bears little hostility against him and ended up defending him against Chase. It was implied her future self and his were in a closer relationship of sorts.
Her relationship with Chase began near the end of the first volume after she gave him CPR once his heart stopped. Since then they bickered but were in love, with the implication that they slept together. However she was had doubts about her appearance and her relationship (he was a jock and she was a nerd, in her words) so the kiss between Chase and Nico ended things. That being said, she did confront the time-displaced Geoffry Wilder to save Chase at the cost of her own life, telling him she loved him as she died.
While she watched Molly and kept an eye on Karolina, their relationships were distant to an extent. Yet her death impacted them all greatly. Had she lived she would have potentially become the leader of the Avengers under the name Heroine.
Molly Hayes (Bruiser, Princess Powerful):
Born to telepathic mutants Gene and Alice Hayes, Molly is the sole mutant of the group and physically the strongest. She is the youngest until Klara joined the team and the most innocent in terms of her perspective, refusing to believe her parents were evil since she did not witness them sacrificing an innocent girl.
Her parents tested her when she was born for the mutant gene but there were no signs of it until her mutation kicked in when the group formed. Her abilities are opposite of her parents in that she has super strength and invulnerability with the only weakness being that she needed rest after each use until later in the series. She is also one of the most insightful characters and intelligent, although she acts younger than she is to hide it, and was the most keen on being a superhero until later on.
Molly is proud of her heritage as a mutant and once had a crush on Wolverine. Even in the Marvel extended universe she is considered one of the strongest despite her young age and when the Decimation of the Mutant Race happened she remained one of the 198 mutants with their abilities.
Molly’s relationships are based on who she spends time with and she had arguably the best relationship with her parents being the youngest. She often misses them and one of the easiest ways to anger or sadden her is to point out how cruel they were to their enemies. Most of the others treat her as a surrogate sibling and she does the same.
In Battle of the Atom she has resurfaced from an alternate future as one of the X-Men, who as a child she admired but did not join because she saw the other Runaways as family and doesn’t like to be separated from them.
Born to exiled Majesdanian aliens Frank and Leslie Dean, Karolina is a vegan and protestor. Early in the series her heritage as an alien and circumstances left her suicidal, but she overcame it later in the series and regained her free-spirited nature. At times, however, she feels as an outcast being the group’s only alien and lesbian.
As a Majesdanian she absorbs solar energy and radiates it as a rainbow colors, with her main weakness being a special metal that inhibits her abilities and that when night falls she has a limited amount of energy stored to use. After visiting her home world before its destruction she became adept at using her abilities, allowing her to fly, use lasers, force-fields, and concussive blasts. Her blood is toxic to vampires as well.
Karolina has generally good relationships with all of the Runaways and is an open lesbian with a crush on Nico that has persisted even upon her marriage with Xavin, although she loves her just the same. There have been moments of where their relationships have been strained, such as Xavin’s identity.
When the Majesdanian survivors came looking for her, she was willing to go in order to appease them and prevent a fight between her friends and her people, but Xavin took her place and left her grieving. Later on she has begun dating bi-sexual Julie Powers.
The child of famed Skrull Prince De’zean, Xavier is a Super Skrull who hoped to end the war between his outpost and the Majesdanians by claiming Karolina’s hand in marriage. It was clear that Karolina’s parents intended for him to die in the war before this could come to pass but she survived. Xavier at first defaulted to a male form however switched to a female form in order to please Karolina, but in general he/she has a bit of a gender identity crisis.
He has the powers of the Fantastic Four but his limited training with them has at times left him unable to use them to their full potential. He can use more than one at a time, but it rarely occurs due to his lack of training once more.
His attitude is somewhat warlike but he detests the notion of war, having lived his entire life in one. He clashes often with the others due to his different upbringing, questioning Nico’s authority and demeaning Victor as his race sees robots as less than equals, but later on it improves as he /she works to understand what it means to be human.
Xavin has left the Earth in Karolina’s place and hasn’t been seen since, potentially being killed as it has been made apparent that Majesdanians have a hatred of Skrulls.
Victor Manchas (Victorious):
A Cyborg created by Ultron using the genetic material of Marianella Mancha, who could not have children due to being used as a Drug Mule. Like the original Runaways his father is a villain, but he had a decent relationship with his mother, who Ultron killed in front of him. He is the brother of Vision and Hank Pym is his grandfather.
Victor’s body is filled with nanites that will eventually convert his body into that of a human’s, rendering him undetectable by metal detectors while retaining his abilities. He primarily uses electromagnetism in combat but also possesses some level of superhuman strength, incredible speed, a powerful jumping ability, and an automated self-repair function. He is also the only one outside of Chase who can pilot the Leapfrog. Because his future counterpart was designed to infiltrate the Avengers in adulthood and kill every hero, he is knowledgeable about heroes in general and has a fanboyish attitude towards them.
While he was originally under watch by the others he proved himself a loyal member of the team and begun a relationship with Nico after Gert’s death. Once the team was sent to 1907 during the last arc of the second volume he then fell in love with Lillie and she with him. However, she refused to join them in the future, leaving them both heartbroken and with regrets.
Klara Prast (Red Rose):
Klara Prast is a time-displaced mutant from 1907 the team encounters during their stay in that time period. She was sold off to be married to a traveler heading to America after her mother discovered her ability and called her unholy. He often abused her, which Karolina witnessed and later confronted her on her being the one who helped them with some trouble earlier in the arc.
When she witnessed Karolina and Xavin in female form kissing she left feeling it was something she couldn’t tolerate due to her Christian upbringing. This led Molly chastising her and leaving her behind. As the group was preparing to leave the past she appeared before them, beaten even worse, and was taken with them into the future.
Klara can manipulate plants in general by simply asking them to do what she wants but likes roses as she can hear them speak. Her powers are somewhat uncontrollable when she is distressed or panicked, such as when she saw Old Lace killed and entombed the team in their house within out of control vines and nearly killing Nico.
Klara is closest to Molly, as they are around the same age and she helps her adapt to the time period. However, because of the time period she comes from and her religion, she sees Karolina and Xavin’s relationship as something abominable due to race and gender. She has tried to get better about it and the change in the time period has made her much happier than living in her own time period.
What I like about this series:
Cover Art: Let’s be clear, in the first and second volumes especially, the covers are goddamn beautiful.
Plot: The plot goes from clearing their names and turning over their parents for murder to saving the world and then keeping their city safe, all while remaining on the run from the authorities and most other heroes.
Character Development: The characters grow as the story continues, maturing slowly as they struggle to not be like their parents. Even though there are moments when they seem just like them.
Relationships: The relationships are flawed, much like real life relationships, but they struggle and love. These relationships evolve over time and are realistic.
Concept: The idea of villains’ children becoming heroes (sort of) is one that isn’t commonly explored, but while they admit their parents were bad people they still hold some affection to them and their memories. Most of them anyway. The kids distrust authority like most teens but take things into their own hands and have slowly come into positions they are comfortable with.
What I dislike about this series:
Volume Three: In general Volume three has been my least favorite due to the weak plot with the exception of the Xavin/Karolina story and the fluctuating artwork. The Rock Zombie arc was just ridiculous and the Homecoming arc was flat out confusing and ended at the worst point, only to be skipped over as the characters were transferred to guest roles in other series.
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.