X-Men (4th series) #5

Issue Date: 
November 2013
Story Title: 

Brian Wood (Writer), David Lopez (Penciler), Cam Smith (Inkers), Laura Martin (Colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (Letterer), Arthur Adams and Marte Gracia (Cover), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Jeanine Schaefer (Editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

At the school, the X-Men from various times wonder how they are going to catch the younger Jean and Cyclops, both of whom have fled with the Blackbird. To follow, the Beasts reveal a new X-jet called the Dove, while Xavier pops a Cerebro pill in a bid to boost his powers so he can find Jean. As the various X-Men board the planes, Storm orders Kitty, Rachel and Jubilee to stay behind. Elsewhere, Cyclops and Jean change out of their uniforms into civilian clothing, and then commandeer a motorbike. The X-Men track the Blackbird to a beach in California, where Xavier and Xorn set up a telepathic dragnet. Back at the school, Kitty and Rachel discuss if they are doing the right thing, standing by as the other force the kids to go back to their own time. Eventually, they decide to do something themselves instead of waiting around. Cyclops and Jean are driving up the coast on the bike when they realize everyone will be after them. Jean decides to contact the only person she knows who will help her. However, her older version picks up the psychic signal when her younger self drops her defenses. The two planes intercept Cyclops and Jean but they drive the motorbike off the road. Eventually, they are brought to a stop when they see they are surrounded. Rachel and Kitty suddenly arrive in the Hummingbird plane and start telling off the various X-Men for what they are doing to the kids. Rachel helps the young Jean get her psychic shields back up as Kitty argues with Storm. Xavier suddenly realizes that the two kids are gone and have taken the Hummingbird. Jean drives the plane towards the island of Utopia where she meets with the older Cyclops and his team of X-Men.

Full Summary: 

(The Jean Grey School)

As the X-Men of the past, present and future stand in the Blackbird hanger deck, future Jean Grey asks them to forgive her. She doesn’t mean to be rude but she has lived a long time and her powers have grown and she can’t keep her helmet off for more than a few minutes at a time. With that, she replaces the Xorn mask over her face. Future Kitty Pryde goes up to her and tells her she is doing great and soon they will get her past self and her friends back where they belong. Xavier, Charles Xavier’s grandson, tells her that Kitty is right and they should get to it.

From the back of the crowd, Jubilee puts her hand up and gets Xavier’s attention. Remarking on how weird it is to use his name, she tells him he is cute but how does he suppose they catch them? She points out that the Blackbird is gone, as Jean and Scott took it. Xavier says that the Blackbird is hardly one of a kind and the future Beast looks to his present day counterpart. Beast comments on how future Beast would remember that. His younger self and he had decided to test out some jet ideas. The young Beast says that it is more or less complete and it could do with a shake-out flight, so this whole situation is fortunate. He presses a button on a device he is holding and the floor beneath everyone starts to split apart. Xavier smiles and says there is something comforting about future knowledge. Wolverine says maybe they can use some of that next time he loses his keys.

Everyone looks on in amazement as a silver plane is brought up on a platform through the floor. Young Beast raises his arms and introduces everyone to the Dove. Modern Beast says she is quite lovely and future Beast says that she was his masterpiece.

Xavier says that original Jean is trying to mask herself from him but she is still so young, as is her experience at using her powers. She is leaving a psychic trail and Xavier can track her using the Cerebro spike. He takes out a pill and pops it in his mouth. The sooner they are aboard the plane, the sooner they can ensure everyone’s future. As people start to board the plane, Storm turns to Rachel, Kitty and Jubilee and tells them she needs them to stay there. Kitty is surprised by this but Storm tells her younger Iceman and Beast will stay too. She needs Kitty to stay there in case Jean and Cyclops come back.

As the future Molly Hayes carries a large package over her shoulder, Beast is pleasantly surprised at how strong she has gotten. When modern Iceman boards the plane, he sees his future counterpart. The giant beast-like Iceman simply lets out a low growl and Iceman says he likes him. He doesn’t have to worry about him pre-empting and of his killer one-liners. Wolverine scoffs at Iceman supposedly being the funny one and tells him to sit down and strap in as some of them have work to do.

(Near Big Sur, California)

In a residential area, original Cyclops and Jean are changing out of their X-Men training uniforms. They are stealing washing off someone’s line, much to Jean chagrin. As Cyclops struggles with the trousers, he says he doesn’t either but they don’t have a choice. The X-Men will be looking for them and who knows if there is a tracking device in their uniforms. If she wants, they can come back later. Before he can finish, he loses his balance and falls down, grabbing the sheet on the washing line that is separating the two half-clothed teenagers.

Jean quickly closes her shirt and smiles, asking Cyclops if that’s his idea of making a move. He quickly stands up and pulls up his trousers, apologizing as he does so. Jean telepathically says he isn’t sorry and then tells him to shake a leg, as they have to go. As Cyclops takes off his top, he asks where they should go. Jean isn’t listening though, as she is momentarily distracted by Cyclops’s naked torso. She apologizes and says that she has too much on her mind. Just let her focus on keeping them hidden. They ditch their uniforms in a bin and Jean gets Cyclops to find them some wheels. He says he has that covered as he spots a gorgeous motorbike at a nearby house.

Elsewhere, the X-Men are flying the Dove. They find the Blackbird parked out on an open beach. Psylocke, who is flying the plane, sarcastically says that that’s not obvious or anything. She thought Jean and Scott were trying to stay hidden. Storm says they need to retrieve the plane and secure it. Xavier says they should do it quickly as he is amazed it’s not attracted law enforcement by now. The older Kitty Pryde says Jean and Scott are scared and they bugged out in a hurry. It’s the only explanation for them leaving the jet like that. Xavier says that they will be easier to track if they are frightened. Wolverine sniffs the air and air they left the beach and went into the rundown neighborhood a little way off. The elder Jean says there is no sign of them telepathically but Xavier begs to differ.

He says the Cerebro spike is kicking in and he has intermittent signals. Shadows of a trail gone cold. He opens up a holographic globe in a device. He and Jean look at it and wonder where the younger Jean is. They focus in on the California region and Jean asks if a fifty-mile radius is big enough. There are major roads and no public transport. She tells Xavier to drop markers and make Cerebro work for him. As Jean starts making points on the holographic globe, Xavier realizes she is setting up a psychic dragnet and commends her.

(the Jean Grey School)

The younger Iceman and Beast are sat watching TV. Rachel and Kitty are in the kitchen, trying to figure out what to eat. Rachel opens the fridge and spots leftover Chinese, of which Kitty enthusiastically approves. As they unpack the many cartons, Kitty brings up the concept of a Jean Grey School of the future. Rachel points out it is just about as weird as a Jean Grey from the past. She tells Kitty to watch how hard she stress eats the noodles.

As Kitty digs into some noodles herself, she asks Rachel if they are right about Jean and the other kids. Rachel says that she isn’t one to talk, given how she is from the future and also crashed the party permanently. But she isn’t into the idea of sending someone somewhere they don’t want to go. Kitty says she knows she is being irrational but she was there when young Scott was dying and the older Scott was seemingly wiped out of existence. It’s really dangerous having them there, she knows that, but she doesn’t want them to go. Ever since they got there, she feels things have been better. She feels everyone is closer than they used to be.

Kitty asks Rachel if she knows what sending them back means. Rachel says she knows. She says they should probably go back but it should be there call. She is worried about taking them by force and she doesn’t trust the future Xavier a whole lot either. Plus Storm and she haven’t been seeing eye to eye recently. She smiles at Kitty and asks if she has any interest in being irrational. They can bring the take outs with them.

(Pacific Coast Highway)

An irritated Jean snaps at Cyclops for asking her a question. It is all she can do to keep the telepaths out. They are so damn powerful and she can feel them pushing in the edges and always waiting for her to let her guard down. As they speed along the highway on the motorbike, Cyclops apologizes to her. He is afraid they are going to catch up with them soon and, when that happens, that are going to be sent home. Jean asks if anyone like the Avengers can help them. She wonders if they will agree with the others. Cyclops tells her that everyone will agree with the others. He doesn’t want to go home any more than she does but he feels it is wrong. They are putting reality in danger. Jean agrees that it’s dangerous but says that life is dangerous. There has to be someone who understands that and can help them. Cyclops asks who and Jean tells him she can think of someone to contact but he won’t like it. She says she will have to drop her psychic shields for a moment.

A big red marker suddenly appears on the holographic globe on the Dove. The future Jean points to it and says her younger self is there. The two planes head north up the coast after the two teenagers. Jean says she is losing the signal again but she can augment. She takes of the Xorn mask and links with Cerebro. She finds her younger self three miles ahead and Xavier tells her they will have them in ten minutes.

Back at the school, the young Iceman and Beast are still watching TV. Iceman looks at Beast and asks what the matter is. Beast seems curious and says that it’s really quiet around there and then wonders where Kitty and Rachel are. Iceman says maybe they died of boredom like he is about to do. Jubilee appears behind them carrying Shogo, who is fidgeting like crazy. Hearing that they are bored, Jubilee hands the baby over to the two boys and tells them she is going to nap. Holding Shogo, Iceman says he doesn’t want to look after a baby. Jubilee points out that he is Homo superior, so he can figure it out and adapt like she did.

On the bike, Jean says she figures she should say thank you. Cyclops asks what for and she replies for trusting her. He didn’t have to and she hasn’t exactly been great to him since they got there. He tells her he doesn’t blame her and asks what the right way of reacting is after learning you will marry a guy who has clearly gone insane. Not to mention she is going to die twice. She tells him he has been great. There has been so much going on and so much to take in; she just wants to say she appreciates it. He tells her he would do anything for her. And then makes sure she knows what he is saying to her. Jean is a little speechless for a second but Cyclops cuts her off and points out there is no more traffic.

The Blackbird has landed on the road ahead of them and the X-Men have gotten out. Cyclops hits the brakes and skids the bike sideways. Jean says he can’t let this happen and so he goes back the way he came. Storm flies after him, yelling that she just wants to help. Cyclops tells Jean to hang on but she says it doesn’t matter, as they are surrounded. The Dove is flying ahead of them and so Cyclops stops the bike. Getting angry, he goes to use his powers and blast them but Jean stops him. He ignores her and points out that she tossed Wolverine at them yesterday. With that, he shoots at the Dove and drives the bike off the road onto the grassy cliffs. He tells her he is going to get them out of there and finish their conversation even if it kills him. Which isn’t a literal statement, he adds afterwards.

On the Dove, Jean is surprised and Kitty is angry. This isn’t how it was supposed to go down and so she yells for Beast to open the doors. She tells Deadpool to stop the motorcycle and so he shoots the back tire out. The two teenagers lose control but present day Beast is on the ground to grab them before they hurt themselves. He apologizes for things being this way but he promises no-one is trying to hurt them. Cyclops blasts him and says that he shouldn’t have brought them there in the first place. With Beast down, Cyclops and Jean start running, but they stop when they see they are surrounded by X-Men. Xavier tells them to calm down and Molly says to take it from her they have to stop running. Xavier adds there is no need for violence amongst friends. Storm adds it really is for the best.

A voice suddenly comes from behind and says it looks like the worst to them. With that, the future Iceman is struck on the back of the head by something moving incredibly fast. Everyone looks up to see Rachel and Kitty in the Hummingbird, a flying car. They land next to Cyclops and Jean and get out. Kitty asks what is going on and Rachel checks that Jean is okay. Addressing Storm, Kitty angrily points out that ten X-Men are taking on two kids. Storm tells her it’s not as it seems and says she was ordered to stay at home. Jean is sat on the floor, clutching her head. She tells Rachel that they crash through every wall she builds.

She speaks to Jean telepathically and tells her she has a few tricks she keeps in reserve. Kitty is still arguing with Storm but Rogue points out Cyclops fired first. Kitty says it was because two X-jets were pinning him down. Rachel walks towards the older Jean Grey and tells her off for using a full telepathic attack. Jean says it wasn’t an attack and Rachel doesn’t realize how dangerous she was at that age. Psylocke tells Rachel not to get all superior as she drove the Hummingbird into Iceman. Rachel says he can take it, while nearby Kitty starts to yell at Wolverine. Xavier, looking at his holographic globe, suddenly yells for Cerebro to reacquire. He then realizes they are gone and everyone looks see that Jean and Cyclops have taken the Hummingbird.


As the Hummingbird speeds along the water towards the damaged island of Utopia, Cyclops asks where they are going. Seeing the island up ahead, Jean tells him that it was an asteroid that Magneto fought on and apparently the X-Men lived on it for a while. Cyclops is surprised and asks whose idea it was. Jean remains silent until they get to the beach. They park the car and Cyclops asks who they are meeting there. Jean tells him to see for himself and he looks up at the cliffs in shock. Above him are Cyclops, Magneto, Magik, Emma Frost and their students. Emma tells him not to be so dramatic, as they called her.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Iceman, Jubilee, Psylocke, Rachel Grey, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey (original X-Men at Jean Grey School)

Beast, Deadpool, Iceman, Molly Hayes, “Shadowcat,” Xavier, Xorn/Jean Grey (future “X-Men”)

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Magneto (Cyclops’ X-Men)

Angel (original), Goldballs, Stepford Cuckoos, Tempus (all students)

Shogo Lee

Story Notes: 

This is part three of the ten part Battle of the Atom crossover.

The read order is…

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1

All New X-Men #16

X-Men (4th series) #5

Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #12

Wolverine and the X-Men #36

All New X-Men #17

X-Men (4th series) #6

Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #13

Wolverine and the X-Men #37

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2

So far, a group claiming to be X-Men from the future, have come back in time in a bid to make the present day X-Men send the time-displaced original X-Men back to their time. Jean and Cyclops from the original X-Men didn’t want to go back and fled from everyone else and took the Blackbird jet.

Last issue Xorn, one of the future X-Men, revealed herself to be Jean Grey.

This is the first appearance of the Dove plane. The Blackbird/X-jet is the most commonly used transport for the X-Men.

Rachel comes from an alternate future depicted in the Days of Future Past story.

Tension has been building between Rachel and Storm ever since Storm assumed control over their team during the Arkea threat. Plus, Rachel didn’t like Storm’s stance on destroying Karima Shapandar to kill Arkea instead of finding another way to save her. [X-Men (4th series) #1-3]

Utopia was abandoned at the end of the Avengers vs. X-Men event, when it was damaged.

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