The last issue of ‘Battle of the Atom with Scott and his team of X-Men squaring off against Jean and Beast. No matter how confident in himself Scott is what he needs to remember is that this isn’t his Jean, and this one doesn’t play fair.

We open the book and continue once again right where we left off. Scott versus Jean. Only it’s quickly taken into her mind where she basically tells him he can’t win before she’s gone. Not only is she gone from his mind but her and her future equivalent of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are all gone as well. Go escape plan! (There’s only one issue left of this story arc to complete the tale and I’m starting to get worried. I don’t know how this can be even remotely wrap up before it ends.)

So the Brotherhood have escaped and we see all of the ‘good’ X-Men try to take charge. Bickering ensues until Wolverine lays down the law. Interestingly enough everyone, including Cyclops, kind of lets him take the lead. On the Brotherhood side they have a plan B which brings them to the military base where the X-Men first fought against Magneto.

Whatever are they doing there? How about using a classic X-Men scene to send a message and attract the attention of the ‘good’ X-Men to lure them into a fight? As the titans are going at it, one has to wonder how with Jean Grey and Xavier on one side against a Phoenix on the other is this fight lasting at all. It’s one of the few times I had to pause during the issue because it really didn’t feel right, like we’re still missing too many pieces to the puzzle.

It’s not really the X-Men themselves that is part of the established Plan B. The true attention they were trying to attract was that of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as a few Helicarriers shows up, Jean uses her powers to control them and reign down a bombardment upon herself and the rest of the X-Men. She’s trying to show exactly how much humanity and mutant-kind can’t get along and is willing to cause a slew of deaths to prove her point. The issue closes here and we still don’t know what the big event that happens in the future which divides the X-Men is. It’s clearly related to what happens to Dazzler but that doesn’t seem to have enough of an impact alone to cause this kind of a fracture among the mutants. With one more issue left we should at the very least get a hint at what that is.

The very best part of the issue? When Quentin Quire present and future have a moment to talk to himself. His older Phoenix powered self says he will answer a single question and when asked when he leaves the school just laughs and walks away. It’s such a non-answer and also such a fitting answer from the character.


Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli