Chapter 5 of Battle of the Atom is the one that finally starts to give us answers – why are the future X-Men here? What do they hope to achieve? And… can they be trusted? Better still, the action heats up! We’re at the halfway point for Battle of the Atom. How are you liking it so far? Read our reviews and then tell us what you think. Do you agree? What happens next?
So, to begin with, my thoughts?
Well, leave it to Jason Aaron to finally give us some answers, and I’m pleased to see that my speculation is paying off. Not only am I not the only one to mistrust this band of future X-Men – Magik, who clearly has an agenda, does too – but the group really are here to avert their future timeline. Here’s the catch: it actually is the same timeline that Aaron has previously explored, and looks to be a rather benign reality indeed. So why has Professor Xorn of the Jean Grey School decided she needs to rewrite her past?
Dialogue is fun, and the action finally kicks up a notch – I’d been starting to get irritated with the slow speed of this plotline, frankly, but the psychic battle in particular was tremendous. There’s one specific piece of glorious artwork where the psis battle, and we finally get a sort of confirmation that Xorn is ANXM Jean rather than the one we know and love. So, in the future Aaron’s introduced us to, at least Jean remained in the present. And wishes she hadn’t done so; “Suicide by time travel,” Kitty observes. “That’s crazy. Even for Jean.”
But if Deadpool was lying – and all of what he said was a lie – then read it: He’s not an X-Man, and this bunch from the future aren’t X-Men at all. They chose to travel back in time and change history for their own reasons. The X-Men want the future we’ve already glimpsed, but these guys – for whatever dark purpose – do not. It’s a brilliant twist on Days of Future Past, with the villains attempting to rewrite the present rather than the heroes.
And now their scheme has come undone. There’s no way they can get all of the ANXM back to the past – not with where Young Hank and Young Bobby have gone. And now, with an ending that made me sit up and grin, we’re about to learn a lot more…
Highs and lows at the mid-point of BotA. Let’s get straight to the bullets:
- It seems that I was correct in my assumption that Rachel and Kitty were psionically defeated by Kid Xavier. I’m slightly annoyed by this. Of course we don’t know how powerful he really is, and he’s got these cerebro spikes to aid him too. But talking about power imbalances:
- Low: You’re telling me Xorna can beat the Cuckoos, Emma AND young Jean? Okay so I calmed down and realized that Emma’s powers are broke. However, you’re telling me the hive mind of the Cuckoos and Jean can’t take down Xorna?
- I was wrong about Xorna being Lorna. No big.
- High: Bury me in Chimichangas.
- Bigger High: “Yes you’re a cute little Homo Sapien, aren’t you? Yes you are.”
- We finally learned which Jean Xorna was. I’m glad they didn’t spend too much time with that revelation which makes a lot of these little deceptions even more insidious.
- So Goldballs is in the future, if we can trust anything that comes out of Deadpool’s mouth. Kind of annoyed they kept Goldballs and not the far less comic Gold Ball.
- The art in this issue was a low point in the whole crossover so far. I was just not feeling it. It wasn’t horrible, but I definitely see the difference and it’s a notable difference from what’s come before.
- High: Like Tom, I’m glad the action has arrived.
- High: So excited to see the actual X-Men from the Jean Grey School of Tomorrow. We knew that it was the same one, but with everything going on, we didn’t question otherwise. Just like we didn’t question Molly Hayes as a Bruiser, a Runaway, but things are coming together. Can’t wait to see more.
- Low: The promise of having the Uncanny kids getting some action and actually showing how capable they are, only for that hope to fizzle.
- Low: the knowledge that no one’s heard of them in the future.
BotA part 5, I give you a three out of 5 atoms. This issue bought the action, humor and feels, but was let down by the art which was functional, but didn’t make me WOW.I guess I know what my favourite book is. I love Uncanny X-Men. There hasn’t been an issue I didn’t like so far, whereas there have been issues of Wolverine and the X-Men that I was like, “Really? Come on.” If it wasn’t for Broo, Genesis and Kid Omega I might actually give up this book.