Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #36

Issue Date: 
November 2013
Story Title: 
Battle of the Atom – part 5

Jason Aaron (writer), Guiseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Andrew Currie (inks), Matt Mila with Edgar Delgado (colorists), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Nick Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald (cover artists), Jordan D. White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Marvel Girl, Emma Frost and the Stepford Cuckoos are psychically battling the future Jean Xorn, who beats all of them until only the two Jeans are left standing. In the meantime, Wolverine’s X-Men have arrived as well. While Wolverine and Cyclops argue over the fate of the young X-Men, Kitty cannot believe she’d ever grow up to be the person her future self is. The future X-Men decide to take matters into their own hands and attack, leading to a fight. Young Jean, in the meantime, impossibly beats Xorn, who then telepathically shows her the horrible things that will happen if the original X-Men stay. Future Deadpool shows the others he is willing to kill himself rather than go back to that future. Marvel Girl stops him, announcing to her teammates they have to go home. Xorn convinced her. They are all unaware that Deadpool lied. In the meantime, Magik teleports to the Jean Grey school and takes young Iceman and Beast with her to the future she’s been to before, the time the future X-Men hail from. Far from being a wasteland, they find a futuristic peaceful Jean Grey School instead and the real X-Men of the future…

Full Summary: 

San Francisco, what’s left of Utopia. Young Cyclops holds his head, asking what just happened. Feels like there are fire ants inside his skull. His adult self tells him they were telepathically assaulted. He’s got a psychic hangover. Don’t think anything too suddenly. He’s no good to her if he suddenly passes out. He realizes adult Cyclops means Jean Grey, who is standing there trance-like. This fight is beyond them, the older Cyclops warns him.  

Young Scott doesn’t understand. They (Jean, Emma Frost, the Stepford Cuckoos and their foe Xorn (the future Jean)) are just standing there. Standing there and punching each other very hard in the brain, older Scott explains. This is a psychic battle, one of the fiercest he’s ever seen.

Young Scott asks who that Xorn woman is. She seems familiar. Older Scott tells him to try looking with his mind. He doesn’t know how to do this. He does, older Scott replies, and she  taught him. The woman with the mask is Jean Grey. He’d bet his life on it. Older Scott’s Jean? young Scott asks. The dead Jean? No, that’s no Jean of his. He’d say that’s younger Jean, all grown up. That doesn’t make any sense, young Scott protests. Older Scott believes young Jean never went back to her own time. She grew up in the future. Now she’s old young Jean. He can’t believe he said that.

Jean groans and young Scott gets agitated. Make the other Jean stop! She is killing herself! Why would she do that? Wouldn’t be the first time, Cyclops tells him. Young Scott wants to stop this.

Damn right they are stopping! comes a gruff voice, as Wolverine, his X-Men and the rest of the future X-Men have arrived. Slim and Slimmer, Wolverine acknowledges them. This is the part where he tells both of them to stand down and be reasonable about all this. And they, of course, ignore him and act like a couple of jackasses. That about the way of it?

Flanked by his own X-Men and students, Cyclops reminds him that Wolverine’s people attacked them, not the other way around. Benjamin Deeds mutters this is the weirdest group of X-Men he’s ever seen. They are weirder, Triage refers to themselves. He has seen Goldballs, right? They are definitely scarier, Goldballs mutters, referring to the other X-Men.

Young Cyclops states that Xorn woman attacked them!  Tell her to stand down!

Look at those kids of his, Wolverine tells Cyclops. If they were any more green, they’d glow in the dark. And he brings them into the field? Just when he was starting to forget why they are not friends anymore.

It’s not his kids they are here about, Cyclops replies. It’s Logan’s mess. His and McCoy’s. This has nothing to do with him, Wolverine points out. The two keep arguing. Cyclops muses if he should go back in time to bring back Logan’s younger self to the present, so he can tell himself what a hypocrite he has become. Wolverine tells him not to do this. They are kids.<p>

Stop talking about them like they are children! young Scott shouts and blasts Wolverine. They are X-Men! The original X-Men! And they’ll leave when they are damn good and ready!

He’s starting to wonder which of these Scotts he hates more, Logan announces. Storm flies down and tells them to stop. There’ll be no more X-Men fighting X-Men today. Especially not on the ground where Charles Xavier died. Her people started this, Cyclops retorts. Don’t try and make him the villain. He does that fine on his own, she snaps.

Cyclops orders Magneto to get the students out. He’ll hold them off himself. Both his selves, young Scott adds. Is that a Deadpool? Tempus asks. She has always wanted to hit a Deadpool. Angel doesn’t want to leave either.

Go! Cyclops orders. They don’t want a fight? young Scott asks. Then tell that to the witch who’s trying to murder his girlfriend! He points at Xorn.

The psychics continue to battle. Xorn attacks again and Irma of the Cuckoos goes down. She will gouge out her eyeballs with diamond fingers, you fiendishly overrated ginger! Emma curses. Why won’t she ever stay dead?! She lashes out with all her mental strength.

Xorn beats her, mocking she doesn’t know what’s more disappointing: Emma’s power level or her attitude. She knows Xorn is right. Those X-kids don’t belong here. Jean Grey doesn’t belong here. She is only trying to help Emma. Scott will never be hers so long as there is a Jean around. And she certainly won’t like what becomes of her. White Queens do not age gracefully, so it would seem, she adds viciously. Then again, neither do Jean Greys. She psychically smashes Emma and the Cuckoos.

Only Marvel Girl is left standing. Xorn warns her one does not need to be from the future to see how this will end. Stand down! It’s time to go home. What happens in the future to turn her into such a bitch? Marvel Girl snaps. The good news is, she’ll never have to know, Xorn replies. On the astral plane, they both lash out against each other. In reality, young Jean groans and her nose begins to bleed.

Some distance away are Rachel Grey, Kitty Pryde and the older future Kitty. Even with creepy Xavier dampening her powers, Rachel can feel the psychic energies that are being thrown around here. What the hell kind of Jean Grey have they brought with them? One who is so horrified by what the world becomes that she’s willing to undo her own history to undo herself, future Kitty replies.

Suicide by time travel. That’s scary, even for Jean, Kitty muses. Though seeing what she grows up to be, maybe it’s not such a bad idea, she tells her future self pointedly. Rachel agrees she isn’t the Kate Pryde she knew in the future, that’s for certain. That woman was a valiant leader, a defender of mutants. She would never treat her fellow X-Men like that.

Future Kitty points out they haven’t seen the future she has. And they don’t want to. Jean is merely slapping some sense into her younger self. Who hasn’t dreamed of doing that at one point or another? She’d like to see her try, Kitty snaps.

These young X-Men, though, they are going to need a good bit of slapping, future Kitty continues as she sees young Cyclops blasting Xorn.  The Ice-hulk hits him. Wolverine orders the future X-Men to control him. He doesn’t want a brawl with children present.

Children from the past who shouldn’t be in the present, future Beast points out. Isn’t it worth a few bruised children to save the entire future? young Xavier agrees.

Angel shouts at them to control their crazy old Jean. Storm tells Cyclops’ students to stand aside. No harm will come to them. Future Deadpool asks who they are. The must not grow up to be X-Men because he has never heard of any… Wait a second, is that Goldballs? He’s a legend! Can he have his autograph?

While the others are arguing present, Beast blames himself for this mess. He did this, trying to play God. Thinking he could recapture something they lost along the way. But there is no recapturing the past. This is who they are now. In all of their dysfunctional glory. He never should have brought those kids here. How in the world do they fix this? He can’t, future Beast ells him. “I can. Take the children! he orders his teammates.

Cyclops and Cyclops are surrounded by the future X-Men. This doesn’t change anything, young Scott warns his future version. If he gets to stay in this time, he will still try to stop him. To stop what he’s become. If he stays, he is welcome to try, his older version retorts. He might just learn a thing or two. Ready? God, yes, he replies and both fire their optic blasts.

Xorn tells Marvel Girl there is no shame in losing to oneself. Just keep telling herself that, young Jean retorts and gives he a psychic right hook. Xorn begins to bleed from her eyes from the strain.

At the Jean Grey School, the final two original X-Men, Iceman and Beast, have been left behind and, to add insult to injury, Jubilee made them babysit her adoptive son Shogo. Iceman suggests they watch the food channel again, which Shogo seemed to like. When they get back to their time, he’s absolutely gonna steal that idea.

He notices Beast isn’t listening and is instead busy with the computer. Over the years, the X-Men have been on a number of adventures through time. He’s trying to determine if their visitors from the future are who they say they are. So he thinks they aren’t? Bobby asks. He has a nagging suspicion, Hank replies. Bobby agrees they are a pretty scary looking bunch, but he thought Hank was in favor of them going back. Not if it means they are being lied to, Hank replies. They have to make sure they are not leaving this timeline worse off than when they came.

Suddenly, Magik teleports in and announces Hank must come with her to the future. So she has the same suspicion? he asks her. Not suspicion, Ilyana explains. She’s been there herself. She’s seen the  future and those X-Men in action. But there is something they are not telling them. Some darkness they are hiding. She can feel it.

Bobby announces he’s ready. What did he do with the baby? Hank asks. He’s perfectly safe, Bobby assures him.

Next door, Broo tries to calm the crying Shogo, telling him he is a cute little Homo sapien.

Magik teleports the three of them away.

Wolverine and Iceman try to stop the future Ice-Hulk, and Bobby wonders what will happen to turn him into such a monster.

The two Jeans still battle. Xorn tells her she can’t win and Jean won’t want to live her life. Finally, something they can agree on, Marvel Girl retorts. She wants her own life! And she won’t be bullied! Not even by herself! Impossibly, young Jean overpowers her older self.

Xorn bleeds more profusely. Jean tells her she is old and losing and she is going home. She forgot how strong she used to be, Xorn moans. Jean has no idea what she is doing by staying. All the people she is damning. She takes off her mask, crying. Most of all herself. She begs her not to do this.

Marvel Girl demands to know what happens in the future. Xorn doesn’t want to tell. It’s too dangerous. She came back in time to beat up her teenage self, Jean snaps. Don’t lecture her on the dangers of knowing her future! Show her what happens that’s so terrible about the future! She goes into Xorn’s mind and then cries out in sheer horror.

Future Deadpool calls for the others to stop fighting. All this fighting is too much, even for him. They wanna know how screwed up things are in the future? Open their eyes! They are so screwed up they made him an X-Man! So screwed up they had no choice but to travel back through time and try to change history. They don’t want their future, believe him! Some of them… really don’t want their future. It’s not like the old days when they were always laughing, remember? Or at least he was always laughing. Nobody laughs in the future. Must be all the funerals. The future sucks and if they are just gonna make them go back there, then, well… then he guesses he quits. He presses his gun against his temple. His healing factor ain’t what it used to be. So he thinks this might actually kill him. God, he hopes so. Bury him in Chimichangas.

Wait! Marvel Girl calls out and telekinetically pulls the gun away. That was gonna be an awesome death scene, Deadpool pouts. They are all going back to where they belong, Jean announces. She tells Scott she is sorry but the future X-Men are right. They don’t belong here. Scott suspects they are controlling Jean. She doesn’t mean this! She does, she assures him. Why? What did she see? She asks him to trust her. When he agrees, she tells him to trust her it’s time to go home. They hug. The three original X-Men, the Jean Grey School X-Men and the future X-Men slowly walk away.

They are not letting this go, are they? Magneto asks Cyclops. What does he think? Cyclops asks. Magneto thinks they are absolutely right. Those kids have no business here. They remind him of what a bastard he used to be, is that it? Maybe he just thinks Cyclops’ judgment should always be called into question whenever there’s a pretty girl with red hair involved, Magneto retorts. Maybe so, Scott agrees. At least this time he got to say goodbye.

Wolverine reluctantly thanks future Deadpool for speaking up there. That was… some speech. Sure, no sweat, he shrugs. He just hopes they can set things right for them, Logan continues. As Logan walks out of earshot, Deadpool mutters it was a nice speech. It’s almost a shame it was all a lie…<p>

Elsewhere and when:
Magik has teleported herself, young Beast and Iceman into the future, the timeline from which the mysterious future X-Men originate. They see a futuristic version of the Jean Grey School, a peaceful image at odds with the horrors the future X-Men hinted at. This looks nice. Two Sentinels order them to stop and identify them as temporal anomalies. All guests must report to the office for check-in. Would they like them to escort them?

What the heck kind of Sentinels are these? Iceman asks surprised. They are given the order to stand down. The real X-Men will handle this! And the three time travelers face a group of both familiar and unfamiliar faces…

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, Storm, Wolverine (X-Men based at the Jean Grey school)
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all original X-Men)
Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Magneto (all X-Men based at the New Xavier School)
Benjamin Deeds, Goldballs, Hijack, Stepford Cuckoos, Tempus, Triage (their students)

Broo (student at the Jean Grey school)
Shogo (Jubilee’s adoptive son)

Beast, Deadpool, Ice-Hulk, “Kate Pryde,” Molly Hayes, Xavier, Xorn (future “X-Men” / Brotherhood)

Colossus, Ice-Master, Jubilee, Kymaera, Phoenix V, Sentinel X, Wiccan (real future X-Men)

Story Notes: 

This is chapter 5 of “Battle of the Atom. The previous chapter was Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #12. The next chapter is All-New X-Men #17.

Magik visited that future in X-Men - Battle of the Atom #1.

Written By: