In ‘Wolverine And The X-Men’ #37 the book was full of strong writing, great artwork, and action with a great cliffhanger. My concern is that with only one issue left in this crossover event, there just wouldn’t be enough time to properly wrap up all of the loose ends that were laying around.
That would be an understatement for what happened in this issue. In fact it would be a massive lie to tell you that anything of real consequence was resolved from what had the potential to be the best crossover event from Marvel in years. It started off so strong and just fell completely flat at the end.
We ended the issue with Xorn Grey calling down a strike from SHIELD to try to show the mutants gathered exactly what they are in for. The entire thing seems contrived as it’s not humanity reigning down anti-mutant sentinel missiles but they are coming from the hands of Grey? It’s a bit anti-climactic. So we find out that SHIELD has a new type of sentinel. Not surprising, but the majority of the X-Men emerge from this attack unscathed aside from a couple of deaths of future X-Men (who let’s face it, probably exist from an alternate timeline anyway.) There are some great X-Men vs Brotherhood moments in here as well as a quick piece of art in a panel that was a tribute to the cover of the first X-Men. Jean makes fun of both Wolverine and Cyclops while calling them lovers and saying everything is their fault. She also tells the new Phoenix that the actual Phoenix itself may have chosen him but it always whispers her name when she’s near. At the end of the battle, Xorn Grey ends up unleashing her power to allow the future Brotherhood to escape and loses her life in the process. So now they are in this time period.
From there we have a multitude of epilogues that show some of the X-Men from the future going home with Storm’s daughter remaining in the current time period in order to hunt down the Brotherhood who are still here. Past that we see Jubilee and a grown Shogo having a touching moment. It gets interesting near the end though as the X-Men from the past are still trapped in the present. This is one issue I was really hoping would be resolved as dragging it out seems a bit tedious right now. One of the side moments from earlier issues was brought up as Kitty had been constantly trying to (for some misguided reason) allow the X-Men from the past to stay in the present and she throws a tantrum at the end of this issue because she was ignored. This causes her to leave Wolverine’s (her big brother for all intents and purposes) X-Men and join the X-Men run by Cyclops (who up until this issue she was practically willing to string up from what he did to Xavier.)
If I recall, Cyclops was also intent on sending the students back in time so I’m not sure why she decided to go there but apparently the original X-Men are planning to go with her. Part of me is tempted to say young Jean is pulling some strings here to get this to happen (or perhaps old Jean sacrificed her body and is now living within Kitty?) Either way, it felt very out of character.
X-Men switching camps, knowing the Phoenix will be back, another time traveler from the future stuck in the present, the old X-Men still stuck in the present, and a new Brotherhood also consisting of future X-Men. We ended up with a lot more than we started out with but I didn’t like this being the way to lay out future plot lines without closing any of the past ones. Most importantly without shutting the door of the young X-Men still being in the present. I guess we’ll see how things play out but I for one was not overly thrilled with the conclusion of what could have been one of the greatest crossovers by Marvel in years.
X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #2
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Esad Ribic