X-Men Battle of the Atom #1

Issue Date: 
November 2013
Story Title: 
Battle of the Atom

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Frank Cho with Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger (art), Marte Garcia (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Arthur Adams & Peter Stuartwald (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: 

At some unspecified time, Magik visits the future and sees a team of X-Men surrounded by Sentinels. In the present, Kitty Pryde takes the original X-Men to meet a new mutant Cerebro’s found. The young woman, Animax, is terrorizing her surroudings. The X-Men quickly take her down, only to be attacked by Sentinels. Luckily, help comes in the form of Cyclops’ team of X-Men. Together they make short work of the Sentinels. However, one of the robots blasts young Cyclops, killing him and, as a result, old Cyclops disappears. The X-Men’s healer Triage manages to heal and revive young Cyclops and his older version reappears again. Seeing the danger of the original X-Men’s presence, the X-Men at the Jean Grey School demand they return to their own time. Just as they argue about the subject, a future team of X-Men steps from Beast’s time machine and demands the same thing.

Full Summary: 

At some unspecified time, Illyana Rasputin aka Magik writes a letter to the leader of her group of X-Men, Scott Summers, explaining that she broke an important rule, but with all the chaos and the bad things happening to mutantkind, she had to see for herself. Charles Xavier is no longer with them. The original X-Men live in the present day with apparently no care how it will affect all of them in the long run. The X-Men are split right down the middle how to help all the mutants showing up. And the humans still hate and fear them. She had to see.

So she used her powers to slip into the future. To see for herself if the future was worth fighting for.

What she sees in the future is a team of X-Men beset by Sentinels.

Today, at the Jean Grey School, the cafeteria:

No! Jean Grey of the original X-Men loudly forbids her teammate Bobby Drake aka Iceman. She explains he wants to start a food fight. Bobby reminds her she isn’t supposed to read minds without permission. Jean retorts he is literally sitting there chanting food fight, food fight in his head as loud as he can. A full blown mutant food fight, don’t they want to see that? he asks. Cyclops reminds him they are guests here.

Unimpressed, Kitty Pryde, who is sitting with them, asks if they think the later X-Men never had a food fight. Is she encouraging him? Scott asks.

Uh-oh, Kitty mutters and looks at her flashing cell phone. The hologram of a dragon appears. She explains it’s Cerebro. That’s Cerebro? Scott asks, referring to the phone. Kitty leads the original X-Men to the huge Cerebro chamber. That’s Cerebro.

She explains Professor Xavier built the original version. This one was built by Hank McCoy. Jean asks what the blinking light is. Something’s wrong in Phoenix, Arizona, Kitty replies. Isn’t that the slogan of Phoenix, Arizona? Iceman asks. They have a very powerful mutant, Kitty explains.

In Phoenix, a white-haired, tattooed young woman in skimpy leather rides on a dragon and has unleashed more monsters. She shouts how she has dreamed of this, calling the people sycophantic, hypocritical bastards.

Kitty (sword in hand) and the young X-Men arrive. Kitty announces she’ll call for back-up. They are to help the civilians. Do not engage the mutant directly until they know what they are dealing with.

Looking at the hot young woman, Iceman calls dibs on her. Cyclops remarks they’ll get to her in a moment. They have to take care of the civilians first. Iceman clarifies he means asking her out. Cyclops orders him to focus as he blasts a monster. Iceman leers he is focused.

Kitty muses the monsters aren’t tech or mech and asks Beast what they are looking at here. Henry figures the mutant can either call the monsters from another place or create them from rearranged molecules.

What is this fight about? Cyclops asks. Marvel Girl gets into her mind. She calls herself Animax, but her real name is Blake Schiel. Jean reads her memories: Loveless fighting parents. Eventually, Blake copied their behavior and became a criminal, even taking part in a bank robbery. She was caught. In jail, her power to manifest creatures first showed.

Jean is amazed that she managed to show the projections to the other X-Men.

Iceman suggests they move this fight into a shopping mall because this dry desert air and his powers don’t mix.

Animax wonders if they are Avengers and decides to create new creatures. Beast realizes they have to take out her and asks Jean to make her go night-night.

That moment, they find themselves surrounded by Sentinels. Like they practiced, Kitty shouts. “To me, my X-Men!” Jean levitates all of them close to Kitty, so she can make them intangible.

Cyclops protests that they can fight this. They will, Kitty replies, but they are not ready for a troop of mutant-hunting Sentinels that were designed to kill them where they stand. Cyclops shouts there are civilians. She isn’t listening to him!

The Sentinels fire at them but can’t harm them, thanks to Kitty. Beast asks who is behind these mutant-hunting weapons. They would attack a city to get at them? Kitty promises they’ll find out.

Somebody screams. Cyclops sees a young woman, her legs caught under a trash container, her child sitting beside her. He’s got it, Scott shouts and runs to her despite Kitty and Jean’s protests. A Sentinel fires and Scott is thrown against a wall. Horrified, Jean shouts his name. Scott announces he’ll distract them. He is at a loss for words when two Sentinels turn their attention on him. Luckily, both of them are torn apart by an optic blast.

One Sentinel head almost hits Kitty’s group. What was that? Iceman asks confused. That was a guy who knows how to make an entrance, Kitty replies, pointing towards adult Cyclops who has teleported in with his team of X-Men.

Cyclops greets Kitty. Emma Frost pointedly tells them they are welcome. Now they have a fighting chance, Kitty decides and orders the X-Men to beat some robot tuchas.

Well, if it isn’t their old teammate Warren Worthington III, Beast greets Angel, who offers him a lift to the top of one Sentinel so he can dismantle it.

Cyclops helps up Kitty, who asks since when he can open his optic blasts so wide. Since when does she take time-displaced students into the field when they are barely trained for combat missions? he retorts. They were out for a mutant reconnaissance mission, she corrects him. They both agree on shutting this down fast. And they do. Together the two groups quickly make short work of the Sentinels, and the girl Animax surrenders, explaining she just got these powers and has family issues and stuff.

Young Cyclops is still sitting on the ground and remarks this didn’t go terribly. Maybe it’s not a bad thing having two of himself around. The ruined Sentinel head identifies him and fires a lethal blast at young Scott before Magneto can destroy it. Jean shouts Scott’s name and Emma calls their young healer Christopher Muse over.

Everybody panics, as reality becomes shaky and the grown Scott simply disappears.

Triage uses his healing power and young Scott recovers. Jean hugs him in relief while Triage stares at his hands in amazement.

Grown Cyclops is back, asking what just happened. Magneto and Emma tell him his younger self died and he ceased to exist.

Triage is freaked out by his ability. Emma tells him he caught Scott at the last minute.

The two Scotts silently stare at each other.

Who are you guys? Animax finally asks.

Later, back at the Jean Grey School, the teachers decide that the original X-Men have to return to their own time, after they’ve found Angel. Young Cyclops angrily accuses them of deciding for them. Jean sits withdrawn. Young Beast muses this was a one-in-a-lifetime chance but logically it’s time to go home. Cyclops points out Xavier will wipe their memories.

She’s not going, Jean announces. The others accuse her of putting her needs before everything in existence. Young Beast agrees there is no other way. They have to live their lives. If they do something else, they risk changing the fate of the world. Young Scott points out this is what they are trying to do – change the world.

Jean hopefully turns to Kitty. Tight-lipped, Kitty tells her she is sorry. Cyclops angrily accuses them of condemning them to their predetermined fates. That’s kinda what fate is, Wolverine points out. Scott almost died today. And he’s saying it’s worth it, Scott shoots back. If Wolverine were him right here, what would he do? Wolverine looks away.

Suddenly, there is a pinging noise and Beast’s time cube begins to glow. He did not do that, he defends himself. Is it on a timer? his younger self asks to be told it just turned on. Kitty tells everyone to back away and seven figures step though: older versions of Kitty Pryde, Deadpool, Beast, Iceman and Runaway Molly Hayes. A young bald hooded man with sharp familiar features and a woman in a Xorn costume and mask.

The further mutated old Beast tells them they are here to stop them from making a terrible mistake. A disastrous one that will end their species, Molly adds.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Iceman, Kitty Pryde. Storm, Wolverine (X-Men based at the Jean Grey school)


Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Magneto (X-Men based at the New Xavier school)

Angel, Hijack, Tempus, Triage (students based at the New Xavier School)

Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (time-displaced original X-Men)

Anole, Blindfold, Kid Omega, Oya (students at the Jean Grey School)

Beast, Deadpool, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Molly Hayes, Xavier, Xorn III (future X-Men)

Story Notes: 

This issue includes the following pin-ups:

Original five X-Men by Davis Lopez

Uncanny X-Men by Frazer Irving

Wolverine & the X-Men by Simone Bianchi & Frank Martin

X-Men by Phil Noto

Future X-Men by Stefano Caselli & Andres Mossa

The issue is the beginning of the Battle of the Atom crossover celebrating 50 years of the X-Men and the year of the original Days of Future Past storyline.

The next chapter is All-New X-Men #16.

Blake reads “Liberty Meadows,” a comic by Frank Cho.

The scene with young Cyclops dying and Jean screaming his name is a homage to the original death of Phoenix in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #137.

Angel defected because Marvel Girl telepathically manipulated him.

Issue Information: 
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