Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #37

Issue Date: 
December 2013
Story Title: 
Battle of the Atom – part 9

Jason Aaron (writer), Guiseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Andrew Currie (inks), Matt Mila (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Nick Ed McGuinness & Marte Gracia (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: 

Xorn distracts Cyclops on the astral plane to cover the Brotherhood’s escape with their prisoners, the original X-Men. After the real, future X-Men have been introduced, the different X-Men teams reluctantly work together. During this interaction, Quentin Quire runs into his future self. Marvel Girl refuses to tell her teammate about the horrible event she saw in Xorn’s mind that made her change her mind about returning to their own time. The Brotherhood decide they still need to alter time, using a different approach. They attack Cape Citadel and the X-Men teams follow to confront them. When a SHIELD heli-carrier appears, Xorn telekinetically releases their entire weapon arsenal on the X-Men

Full Summary: 

Cyclops finds himself surrounded by whiteness on the astral plane. Alone with Xorn. He orders her to get out of his head. He doesn’t mean that, she replies. She isn’t his Jean, he insists. Does it really matter? she asks and reveals her face. He doesn’t want to hurt her. He replies that he wants to send her back… wherever the hell it is she belongs. Here he wants to send her back, she laughs. But not her- the younger Jean. Scott accuses her of lying. Why are they really here? What happens to her in the future. Not what he wants, she replies. Not this. She kisses him.

He draws back. She is not his Jean. No? she asks smiling. She is a better kisser, he mutters. She tells him not try and stop her. This has to be done. He doesn’t believe her. She knows. But in another five seconds it won’t matter. She tells him good-bye and disappears.

Moments later, he awakes in Beast’s lab with the imprisoned Jean Grey School X-Men but the members of the future Brotherhood are gone and have taken the young original X-Men with them. They slipped right out from under them. Just like that time on the moon in ’33, future Colossus states. Kymaera announces she has a scent.

But they were right here, Scott insists. Quentin Quire / Phoenix reveals Xorn is more powerful than he can imagine. She was in his head, wasn’t she? Emma Frost asks. The Summers boys and their redheads, Quentin mocks.  Never let that witch inside your head. He has no idea what she is capable of. Not yet, he doesn’t.

They are here somewhere near the school, Cyclops decides and starts giving orders.

No, Wolverine shouts belligerently. Hank, secure the school, he orders. Rachel, go find the bastards who took it from them. And Scott, keep his people right where he can see them. And someone turn off that damn time machine, before more weirdoes pop up.

Wiccan explains that they are the X-Men from the future. More future X-Men, Kitty scoffs. Are they as big jerks as the other future guys? Sentinel X explains those weren’t X-Men. Xorn and her group are their era’s Brotherhood. So in the future he is not just a Hulk, Iceman angsts, he’s the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants’ Hulk! Not exactly, Ice-Master tells him and Iceman realizes he is his future self too. With a homeless guy beard. The future keeps getting worse!

Quentin tells him to freak out later. The longer they stay around and gawk at each other the more damage they are doing to the timestream.

Is that Quentin Quire as the Phoenix? Kitty asks. Are they sure these are the good guy future X-Men? She brought them here herself, Magik points out. Yeah, but who trusts her, Kitty retorts. Jubilee is convinced, because one of the future X-Men is her. Beast, having just been betrayed by his own future self, is less convinced.

Cyclops asks if they can at least agree on who the bad guys are. Storm states he does not to get to call anyone—

They don’t have time for this! future Colossus announces. Iceman suggests everyone go back to their own time.

He believes them, Wolverine announces. Wiccan saved his life. Healed him after he got gutted by… by a son he’s apparently gonna have some day… with Mystique. He is never having sex again, he mutters. And they are right. They don’t have time for this. He asks Beast what happened to the original X-Men. Has the Brotherhood sent them back?

Checking the time cube, Hank explains they tried but were unsuccessful. He is puzzled. Quire announces the kids can’t go back home. Not just yet.  Kitty wants more information. He means, something won’t let them. Something—

He is interrupted when Kymaera announces she found a dead Deadpool outside on the grounds. No sign of the others. Beast finds a Blackbird missing in the hangar. Rachel cannot find them with Cerebra. Sentinel X muses that the Brotherhood cannot do the one thing they wanted to. They are beaten and hopelessly outnumbered. So where the hell would they be going? Quentin continues.

Where the hell are they going? Raze demands aboard the Blackbird. Time for plan B, future Beast tells him. He didn’t know they had a plan B, Raze mentions. Xavier sarcastically asks if plan B was for Deadpool to die and him to become paralyzed. Because if so, it worked like a charm.

Molly states the plan was to send the kids back. They change time and change the future. She still doesn’t understand what went wrong. They can’t send them back. They tried, Beast replies. It’s time for plan B. They can still change time, Xorn agrees. It will just take a little more tough love, is all.

Raze gets up. Does it matter which one he kills first? he asks, referring to their prisoners. They can’t kill them, Xorn warns him. God knows what sort of havoc that would wreak with the time stream. Raze isn’t averse to a little havoc. Beast promises he’s going to like plan B.

In the cargo hold, the imprisoned original X–Men wonder what’s going on. Jean summarizes what she’s overheard. With the power dampener, she can’t read much of their thoughts.

Angel wonders what went wrong with the first plan. He thought they all wanted them to go back. Jean explains it didn’t work. Hank wonders about the scientific implications. Scott asks what she saw during the fight on Utopia. What did she learn about the future that changed her mind about them staying. Evasively, she replies if they stay one of them is going to be responsible for something horrible. Could she maybe be a bit more vague? Iceman suggests. That’s all she knows, she replies.

They notice they are landing. Where are they? Scott asks. Jean mutters this all makes some sort of twisted sense… it’s all about them. They are where they first fought Magneto. Where it all started. Where the X-Men were born.

Elsewhere aboard a SHIELD heli-carrier: Commander Maria Hill is informed of more trouble. She warns the men if it’s about the X-Men she is going to scream. The agent continues satellites are detecting more time anomalies centering  around the Jean Grey School.

Does SHIELD have its own time machine? she asks When told ‘yes’, she gives order to send someone back and murder whoever invented the first time machine. Is she serious? the agent asks.

Angrily, Hill addresses Dazzler. She is her mutant liaison for such situations! At which point does she actually plan to start liaising? She has some ideas, she begins. Another agent shouts the Cape Citadel military base is under attack by the X-Men.  She is going to need more heli-carriers, Dazzler finishes her sentence.

The Jean Grey School:
All right, let’s get this over with, future Quentin Quire tells the present teenage version (wearing a ‘Magneto was left’ shirt). Quentin stares at him critically. Sooo many questions, he finally states. He has time for one future Quentin replies. When does he finally get out of this school? Heh, future Quentin snorts and walks away laughing. He hopes he dies before he gets old, Quentin pouts.

Elsewhere, Wolverine’s team sits opposite Cyclops’ team. Both groups glare. He doesn’t suppose he could convince them to head back to their secret lair and leave this to them? Cyclops’ X-Men continue to glare silently. Don’t think, this changes anything, Wolverine warns them. It doesn’t, Scott agrees. He is still an idiot! And he’s gonna see Scott behind bars, Wolverine rejoins.

They got something, Beast announces. All law enforcement agencies just received a homeland security alert, code X-51. A mutant-related assault on a military base. They have a code for that? Kitty mutters. Why is she not surprised? Cape Citadel, Magneto sighs. Oh dear… Wolverine and Cyclops call Magik and future Colossus respectively to teleport them there.

The Brotherhood are attacking Cape Citadel base. Future Beast reminds them to be ready. They didn’t come here to fight paltry human soldiers. Here they come! Xorn announces moments before the three groups of X-Men teleport in.

Who are all those X-Men? the original Angel asks surprised. Young Iceman explains those are the guys Hank and him brought from the future. See, he can grow a beard. Jean complains this fight is about them. They shouldn’t be standing on the sidelines. Hank reminds her they are wearing power dampeners.

Future Quentin flies past them and telekinetically removes the shackles. Jean marvels at the Phoenix’s beauty. Which side are they even fighting on now? Angel asks. Their own, Cyclops decides, and this time don’t hold back! Attack! he orders and they join the battle.

Young Iceman, present Iceman and future Ice-master team up against the Brotherhood’s Ice-Hulk. One more Iceman and they can start their own basketball team, young Iceman quips. Iceman asks Ice-Master who the Ice-Hulk is. One of his ice creations who gained a crude sentience and came under the sway of Xorn, he is told. He has as yet been unable to reabsorb him. Be wary of creating free-roaming doubles of himself, he warns his confused young self.

Is it crazy to want to murder one’s own future self? present Beast muses aloud as he and his younger counterpart are facing future Beast. Maybe, but they are still not as crazy as he is, young Beast points out.

Raze uses his shapeshifting to create a tentacle that tries to strangle Wolverine. He thought he was supposed to be tougher, he mocks his father, but he guesses he always was just a schoolmarm at heart.

Calling a surprised Storm ‘Mother’, Kymaera warns her that Raze’s shapeshifting powers are stronger than Mystique’s.

Xavier attacks future Colossus, wanting vengeance for the paralyzing injuries Colossus dealt him. Colossus and Magik fight back. Magik tells him he grows up to be awesome.

Cyclops, young Jean, Scott and Angel as well as Quentin and Sentinel X try to fight Xorn, who has erected a shield. Cyclops tells her this is madness. She cannot win. What do they hope to accomplish? Marvel Girl orders him not to call Xorn “Jean.” She has lost the right to that name.

Angel muses that this feels wrong, like they are fighting Jean’s mom or something… Young Cyclops tells him she is a madwoman. Just put her down. She’s the mad one? Xorn scoffs. They are the ones who refuse to see the truth. But they will before they are through here.

Sentinel X blasts her and tells her that the Brotherhood is outnumbered. As he is speaking, Rogue hits Molly and the younger Iceman and Beast are overpowering their Brotherhood counterparts. They’ve lost, he announces. The fun is over. Time to go  home.

Xorn retorts the fun isn’t over yet. She’s got to be kidding him, Quentin mutters, as he looks up to find several heli-carriers. Director Hill orders them to surrender or they will be forced to intervene. Does he think they will back down? an agent asks her. Yeah, she’s sure in a few minutes they’ll all be laughing about this over milk and cookies. Prepare to launch tear gas!

“Dazzler” tells her to launch it now. She doesn’t even know who half of these X-Men are. Hill replies it’s the ones she knows she is worried about. Is there any way to hail Wolverine? Maybe he’ll listen to reason… God, when did Wolverine become the reasonable one? These X-Men grow crazier every year!

He never liked these guys! Quentin announces. Sentinel X replies he forgot there used to be a SHIELD. Cyclops asks what Xorn was trying to prove by getting SHIELD here. Only the truth, she replies and telekinetically launches the heli-carriers’ missiles. They want to know why they are here? Then look at what the humans think of them, Xorn announces. “Welcome to your future, X-Men. Hope you survive the experience!”

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Iceman, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rachel Grey, Rogue, 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)
Colossus, Ice-Master, Jubilee, Kymaera, Phoenix V, Sentinel X, Wiccan (real future X-Men)

Kid Omega (student at the Jean Grey school)

Maria Hill (director of SHIELD)
SHIELD agents
Mystique (posing as Dazzler)

Beast, Ice-Hulk, Molly Hayes, Raze, Xavier, Xorn (future Brotherhood of Mutants)

Story Notes: 

This is chapter 9 of the “Battle of the Atom” crossover. The previous chapter was Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #13. The next chapter is X-Men – Battle of the Atom #2.

Quentin Quire’s connection with the Phoenix will be further explored in Wolverine and the X-Men (2nd series).

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