X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM - Who Lived, Who Died, Who Changed Sides, Who Was Left Behind
CREDIT: Marvel Comics
Three eras, six teams and dozens of agendas - the latest X-Men battle royale is finally over this week with Battle of the Atom #2. But if you forgot your scorecards, fear not, because the nifty Newsarama brain trust has been keeping a close tally on the proceedings! Ahem, Spoilers, obviously.
Now that the smoke has been cleared and the bodies have fallen, we can tell you the big shake-outs of Battle of the Atom. Not everyone walked away from this battle unscathed - the future version of Colossus was killed by Charles Xavier II, while both the future versions of Beast and Jubilee were killed by Sentinels (more on those robots later). The future Jean Grey apparently exploded as her powers overloaded, buying time for the future Brotherhood to escape – and stick around in the "present" timeline.
Yet perhaps most important than the body count are the changes to the X-Men's status quo. After this time travel extravaganza, Wolverine and the X-Men vow to send the original five X-Men home, in order to minimize any future damage to the timestream. The only problem? The Brotherhood already tried that plan, and it was discovered that something or someone in the space-time continuum was preventing these teenagers from coming home.
This has led to some decent lineup changes for Marvel's merry mutants. Enraged by the willingness of Wolverine and the X-Men to sell out their founding members, Professor Kitty Pryde takes the Original Five X-Men and defects to the modern-day Cyclops's renegade Uncanny X-Men. This adds to the already established ranks of Cyclops, Magneto, Emma Frost, the Stepford Cuckoos, Tempus, Triage, Hijack, and Goldballs. Ultimately, that probably won't mean too much for the series All-New X-Men, however, aside from the fact that it has consolidated Brian Bendis's influence to two "Team Cyclops" series, while Jason Aaron, with the soon-to-launch Amazing X-Men, has the two "Team Wolverine" series. For a couple of months, the scenery and background characters change, but in January the series begins its crossover with Guardians of the Galaxy, taking the young original team into space.
While most of the future X-Men returned to their home era, Kymera - the future daughter of Storm and presumably the Black Panther (but only Ororo is confirmed as a parent for now) - requested to stay at the Jean Grey School featured in Wolverine and the X-Men, offering to hunt down the last of the future Brotherhood still in the present. The team otherwise largely maintains its current roster, taught by Wolverine, Storm, Rachel Grey, Psylocke, as well as the modern-day versions of Beast and Iceman, as well as students Quentin Quire, Idie Okonkwo, Broo, Pixie, Krakoa, and more.
This all leaves Brian Wood's X-Men series in a slight state of limbo, however. Kitty Pryde was part of that lineup, but with her leaving the school - and thus the rest of that team behind, we won't see her around in those pages, hence facilitating the staffing-up we heard about previously. In fact, when we last chatted with Wood about the series post-Battle, he gave the cast as follows: "Storm, Monet, Karima, Jubilee, Psylocke (and Shogo!)."
Currently, the X-Men's immediate future may be bleak. Not only do they have to deal with the renegade Brotherhood - currently featuring at least Charles Xavier II, Raze Logan and Ice Thing - but they also have to deal with the intervention of S.H.I.E.L.D., who revealed they had been building Sentinels in secret for some time. There is no word yet as to what that might mean for Alison Blaire, former Dazzler, current S.H.I.E.L.D. mutant liasion and, if the future Beast's account comes to pass, the first mutant president (and martyr) of the United States (who was conspicuously absent from the final issue of the crossover).
Yet there is also some hope on the horizon - the future Iceman, before leaving the Jean Grey School, instructed his modern-day counterpart to keep an eye on the interdimensional imps known as Bamfs. Given that the return of Nightcrawler is not too far away in Amazing X-Men, it's a clear hint that there is more to these teleporting critters than meets the eye - at New York Comic Con, we heard that we will find out where they (and their red counterparts) come from, and what connection they have to Nightcrawler.
In the end, Battle of the Atom was notable more for who it left behind than for who it didn't. While there were some deaths, none of the present-day (or even past) X-Men died. More importantly, we have an X-Man from the future with a complicated history now hanging around her mother, and some ultra-powerful villains who have complicated ties to multiple characters around the Marvel Universe plaguing humanity, as well. Oh, and those original X-Men? They're here to stay, and in fact the very possibility of returning them to their own past has been removed… at least until the next big X-Over.
Lucas Siegel contributed to this article.