X-Men: Battle of the Atom # 2

Issue Date: 
December 2013
Story Title: 

Jason Aaron (writer), Esad Ribic w/ Guiseppe Camuncoli (pencilers), Andrew Currie & Tom Palmer (inkers), Ive Svorcina w/ Andres Mossa & Guru eFX (colorists)
Jason Aaron, Guiseppe Camuncoli, Andrew Currie & Matt Mila (epilogue 1), Brian Wood, Kristopher Anka & Matt Milla (epilogue 2), Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Mark Irwin, Victor Olazaba & Matt Milla (epilogue 3), Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen,Wade von Grawbadger & Matt Milla (epilogue 4)
VC’s Cory Caramagna (letterer), Ed McGuinness & Gracia (cover artists), Esad Ribic (variant cover), XAnder Jarowey (assistant editor), Jordan D White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

At Cape Citadel, the X-Men battle the Brotherhood and the SHIELF weaponry obtained by Xorn, which includes a Sentinel. During the battle, future Jubilee and Colossus, as well as the Brotherhood’s Beast, are killed. Xorn blames Wolverine and Cyclops’ Schism for what goes wrong in the future. The original X-Men attack her and Marvel Girl assures her she will not give up on her friends. So confronted, Xorn uses her powers to commit suicide with an impressive explosion. Magik teleports the X-Men away in time. Back at the Jean Grey School, Wolverine and Cyclops are still at each other’s throats. Sentinel X shares a moment with Jubilee and Kymaera decides to stay in the present to hunt the Brotherhood, while the rest of her team returns to the future. Finally, Kitty drops a bombshell: She quits the X-Men at the Jean Grey School over the way they refused to trust her and their treatment of the original X-Men. She and the original X-Men join Cyclops’ school.

Full Summary: 

Cape Citadel military base:
Many years ago the X-Men were born here.
X-Men past, present and future look up in shock as missiles are released from the SHIELD helicarrier. Storm orders everybody not to panic. They have faced worse than this. They have? young Iceman asks. He’s got a lot to look forward to. Not if they are about to die, Ice-Master retorts. Present Iceman tells him to shut up.

Marvel Girl apologizes. This is all their fault. Young Cyclops asks if Magneto can stop the missiles. Not all of them, older Cyclops replies.

Young Scott tells Rachel and Emma to link their minds. Future Quentin Quire suggests they do not do that with his.

Angel wants to tell Jean something. Incoming! Wolverine shouts.

Aboard the heli-carrier, Commander Maria hill shouts, demanding to know who just pushed the button. She gave no order to fire! An agent replies they’ve lost control of the system. Everything is firing automatically. Hill orders them to shut them down and pray they haven’t just started a world war with the X-Men!

Several X-Men try to hold back the missiles, while Xorn and Xavier actually try to keep the missiles on course. Quentin attacks telepathically, announcing this is pretty shameful, even for them. Xavier groans they are just showing them the humans’ true colors. And all he is about to do is stomp a Phoenix-sized mudhole in both their asses, he retorts.

The three Icemen try to create a shield.

Old Beast stands up, shouting this is what it always comes down to. Mutants being hunted to extinction. The time to break that circle is here and now. They have clawed their way through time to do exactly that. He tells the other X-Men to stand with them and join their Brotherhood.

The other two Beasts and Angel try to stop a missile. So he turns ugly and crazy one day, young Beast mutters. That’s something to look forward to. Present Beast suggests if they live through this they all have to promise to never timetravel again.

Kitty shouts at future Colossus to start teleporting people out of here. A missile lands near her, Emma and Wolverine but doesn’t explode. However, it begins moving

On the heli-carrier, Hill demands what they just dropped. Everything, she is told, including anti-mutant ordnance. Tell her that doesn’t mean what she knows it’s going to mean.

Old Beast rants they stand at the greatest crossroad of mutant history. He is an original X-Man. He’s been here since the beginning and he is telling them, they are bound for ruin. He has seen it. They are bound for death and destruction unless they’ll…

At that moment, he is murdered by a Sentinel.

Pretty effective way of making his point, Iceman quips. Young Beast wonders if he just saw himself die. Present Beast tells him not to think for one second they turn into that.

Magneto admits he doesn’t know this type of Sentinel, while Wolverine is furious that SHIELD has Sentinels now. As the Sentinel fires at them, Psylocke wonders if old Beast was right. Will they still be fighting the same fight their whole damn lives? Just one group of Sentinels after another? Does the hate never end? Kitty retorts there are still X-Men in the future. What does that tell her? Betsy wonders what the point is. Kitty tells her the point is not to die! They live to see tomorrow, maybe they’ll think of something more eloquent.

Quentin flies Xorn into a Sentinel and calls her crazy. And this time she can’t blame the Phoenix for her going all dark and nutso. This one is all on her! Xorn spits at him not to talk to her about the Phoenix. He doesn’t deserve that power! The one he’s used in ways she never imagined? he mocks as he hurts her. Xorn asks why the Phoenix always whispers her name when she is around? It’s doing so right now. It’s practically screaming! She uses his power against him.

Sentinel X asks Wiccan to keep the Sentinels off him so he can hack their programming. Wiccan urges him to hurry. SHIELD’s sorcery division has armored these things with some pretty nasty spells.

Ice-Hulk tosses Raze at Sentinel X. Future Jubilee attacks Raze with her claws, mocking he is no Wolverine. Let’s finish that once and for all! Him, her and the giant killer robot behind her? he mocks. Moments later, Jubilee is killed by the robot, causing Sentinel X to furiously attack it.

Future Colossus finds himself telepathically attacked by Xavier. Magik slashes him with her soulsword. Enraged, she turns into the Darkchilde, ready to kill everyone.

Storm asks Emma if she can help. Emma snaps she takes no orders from her. How’s the marriage, by the way?

Ice-Master exclaims, this is madness. 'This is them at their worst! How did he ever live to be so old?

Crackling with energy, Xorn strikes, shouting they have squandered everything Professor X ever built for them. They’ve completely lost their way. And do they know who’s to blame? She glares at Cyclops and Wolverine: “You two!”

Wolverine announces they need to put her down. Remember, it’s not their Jean. She was never his Jean, Cyclops hisses at him. Xorn accuses them of squabbling. They brought them all to this point with their ridiculous schism! They brought her out of her own time! She lashes out. They subverted the natural order of things! They ruined everything! She tells them to look around and behold their legacy. The mess they made of the X-Men. Look at what they made of her! Look upon their precious Jean Grey!

Raze worries about Xorn. Even he felt that psychic feedback. Xavier telepathically asks her to calm herself. Remember why she wears that helmet and suit! She knows what happens if she loses control. 

Ignoring them, Xorn keeps on ranting. They brought the young original X-Men here to change their world but the world changed them. She wants her old life back! She wants to never have existed!

Cyclops tells her there is no going back. They can only go forward. But they all want the same thing-- Headbutting her, Logan tells her they’ve all gone crazy. Scott still is. But there’s still time to change. They can change the world. They are changing it every day. Just look at his school!

He thinks the future will save them? she mocks. She’s seen the future! She is the future! Does he think she would be here, if it all worked out? She blast shim away. No one gets saved! Xorn screams. Except for the humans who hate them! Even he dies one day! She gave his eulogy!

Scott remarks the Jean he knew would never give up. That Jean is dead! she shouts. Worse, she never existed! She’s the only Jean he has to look forward to. And she will never love him like she did. She will never love anything like she did. She blasts him. She didn’t want to hurt anyone but they have to see the truth. She tried to put things back the way they were and send herself home again but something won’t let them. What did they do? She asks accusingly. Why can’t she go home? she shouts as she blasts Wolverine. Why can’t she go back to her own time?

The original X-Men attack her. Cyclops announces this is their time. Jean orders the others to kick her ass. Extra hard for her.

What does she think she’s doing? Xorn telepathically asks Marvel Girl. Jean threatens she beat her once on her own. This time Xorn doesn’t stand a chance. Xorn retorts this time she isn’t holding back. Don’t make her hurt Jean. She doesn’t hate herself that much. Jean points out this wasn’t necessary. They tried to go home. Flaring with energy, Xorn replies they refuse to see the truth about the world: they are not ready for the future. Neither is Jean.

Jean retorts she doesn’t care what she says. She doesn’t care what she knows about the future. She loves these people. She isn’t giving up on them! She hits Xorn. She isn’t afraid to die! Jean shouts.

Finally something they agree on. Xorn blasts them away. She knows Jean thinks she’ll win. She knows she thinks she’s ready for what’s coming… that they all are. She wishes she could believe them. But whatever power Jean thinks she has on her side… it won’t be enough.

Jean wants to know more, then asks what is wrong with her power as Xorn seems to burn. She will figure it out herself one day, Xorn replies. Goodbye, Jean Grey, and good luck.

He wishes there were another way, Xavier mourns, watching his teammate immolate herself. He calls the remnants of the Brotherhood to his side. Jean warns the others Xorn’s powers are overloading. And Xorn literally explodes, taking the Sentinels with her.

After the conflagration is over, SHIELD agents enter the field. Maria Hill calls for the X-Men’s surrender, but of course the X-Men are long gone.

Epilogue one:
Magik has teleported the whole group to the Jean Grey School. Marvel Girl demands they go back, but Cyclops tells her it’s over. Rogue cradles future Colossus, shouting to get the wounded to the med lab. They have no wounded, Magik points out angrily. Only the dead and the damned.

Did they even win? Kitty asks. Wolverine points out that they are alive. Not enough of them, Beast replies. They got the kids back at least. And the Brotherhood? Iceman asks. Rachel cannot scan anybody. Quentin figures Xorn is dead. Kymaera is sure Xavier and the rest of the Brotherhood are still out there.

But the most important thing is, Wolverine says, turning to the original X-Men, so are they. Young Cyclops snaps at him to give them a break. They saved his butt out there. And watched themselves die, Jean adds. Logan agrees, but that doesn’t change the way it is. The whole mess started when they brought the original X-Men here. Something they never shoulda done! He knows they mean well, they are heroes. But them staying here is too dangerous for all of them. But for themselves especially.

Young Angel still agrees (and is told to shut up). Beast reminds them going back didn’t work. Wolverine insists they have to keep on trying. Adult Beast promises to get to work on that. Iceman points out the kids aren’t the only ones who need to go back where they belong.

Emma grimly announces they are not pinning this mess on them again. Magneto agrees with Wolverine. The children must return.

Cyclops reminds them they have a bigger problem. SHIELD? Logan asks. Cyclops agrees. SHIELD tried to kill them. SHIELD now has its own Sentinels. That’s going to be need to be dealt with.

But not by him, Wolverine replies. Cyclops doesn’t have the moral authority to deal with much of anything these days. And he does? Scott scoffs. Shall they compare body counts? He believes they’ll need a calculator for Wolverine’s. Logan retorts Cyclops killed the only man who mattered. And Logan is his self-appointed successor now, Scott mocks. Professor Wolverine? Does he realize how ridiculous that sounds? He realizes it again every damn morning, Wolverine retorts. But then he walks through the front door and is surrounded by young mutants who need all the help they can get. So laugh at him. But here are his X-Men and that’s their school and after that nothing else really means a damn. Including Scott.

Epilogue two:
In her office, Storm talks to Kymaera, her future daughter, who explains she isn’t here for a handout. Storm agrees. This is a school. People are expected to work hard here. She tells her to call her Ororo.

Psylocke asks why Kymaera wants to stay. Grabbing baby Shogo, whom her panther is dangling, she explains she wants to hunt what is left of the Brotherhood. It’s what she’s tasked with doing, whether in her time or theirs.

Outside sits older Shogo aka Sentinel X, mourning for his mother, future Jubilee. Present Jubilee, covered by a cloak, respectfully asks if she should leave him alone. He asks her to come over and sit with him. He could use the company. She complies but the sun bothers her. Her lightbenders have their limitations. His mom doesn’t need to do that, he explains. He means she got over it? she asks. She learned how to cope. To endure it, he clarifies. He can’t really see her face. He takes off her hood and shields her face with his hands. He was taller than her by the time he was twelve. He remembers doing that for her. Jubilee hugs him. She is sorry about his mom but happy because this means she made it work. The adoption, raising him with the X-Men. He is really hers! He doesn’t remember anything but her.

Is he going to be ok? she worries. He explains his mother prepped him well for this day. She was so practical, had a plan for everything. Jubilee laughs. Does she really change that much? She is so exactly like his mother, his heart keeps breaking over again, he replies. He knows they are going back but they’ve got a few minutes. And he’s not ready to say goodbye yet.

Epilogue 3:
The time cube at the Jean Grey School:
Not even a hint? present Iceman pouts. Ice-Master apologizes but they cannot tell them what the future holds for the X-Men. Their trip here has been dangerous enough. Anything more could have catastrophic consequences.

Iceman interrupts. He knows the drill. They actually teach a class here on the ethics of time travel. And who teaches the class again? his older self asks. Rachel, Bobby realizes. The lady who came here from the future and never left. He guesses they never learn, do they? It would be a far less interesting world if they did, Ice-Master tells him.

Sentinel X announces the time cube is programmed to send them home. At last, future Quentin sighs. Have they seen how slow the internet is here? How did they ever live like this? Wiccan admonishes him to show some respect.

Magik asks the future X-Men to lay Colossus to rest in his homeland. The brother she knew would have wanted it that way. She tells him goodbye and prays he finds peace beyond the darkness.

Iceman asks one thing of his future self. Just tell him the future isn’t even worse than what they’re already going through. Kurt dead. Chuck dead. The X-Men at each other’s throats. He knows the road’s always gonna be tough. He needs to know that they’ll still have some laughs along the way. Please tell him their best days aren’t all behind them. Ice-Master tells him, even when he thinks he’s seen it all, there will always be moments to amaze him. He advises him to keep an eye on the Bamfs. And grow a beard as soon as possible. The ladies will love it. With a good-bye, the future X-Men leave.

Epilogue 4:
Evening at the Jean Grey School. She can’t do this anymore, Kitty Pryde angrily tells her teammates. She has given everything to this school. To them, to the students. And yet, when she needs them the most, when she needed them to trust her, she gets nothing. When the original X-Men needed them the most - nothing. She quits!

Wolverine tells her he understands if she needs a break, but don’t go say anything she’ll regret. Trust him on this. Trust him? Kitty shouts. How could she ever trust any of them again?

She turns to Bobby. All those little things he said to her in private… All the promises he made. He had at least ten chances today to be the man she hoped he was and he promised he was. Isn’t that a nice bunch of hypocrisies coming from someone willing to risk all of time and space? But who’s counting? he shoots back.

Ororo asks where she wants to go. Kitty turns to the original X-Men. She promised to guide and teach them but she has to go. So do they, Cyclops announces. Jean explains they already discussed this. They can’t just stay where they are not wanted. As long as they are stuck here, they can still do their best to do their best. Then tell them they are ready Kitty asks Jean. They already know, Jean replies.

Magik and adult Cyclops teleport in. The other X-Men are horrified. Kitty hugs Illyana and thanks her. Logan glares and Scott smirks. Goodbye! Kitty tells her teammates, tears in her eyes.

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)

Maria Hill (director of SHIELD)
SHIELD agents

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

Story Notes: 

This is the finale of the “Battle of the Atom” crossover. It follows Wolverine and the X-Men #37.

The 1st official X-Men battle took place at Cape Citadel. [X-Men (1st series) #1]

The image of the original five battling Xorn is a homage to the cover of X-Men (1st series) #1.

Kymaera shows up in X-Men (4th series).

The Brotherhood next appears in All-New X-Men #27.


Written By: