Battle of the Atom Review: X-Men #5 by Brian Wood and David Lopez


X-Men #5

Written by Brian Wood

Art by David Lopez, Cam Smith, and Laura Martin


The short of it:

Picking up where we left off, Future Jean has to go put her Xorn mask on because she’s TOO POWERFUL, but they have to hurry up and find Kid Scott and Kid Jean before anything too bad happens, but the problem there is that they stole the Blackbird. No biggie, Future Hank reminds Past and Present that they built a new one! They introduce the new plane, The Dove, while Xavier does Cerebro Pills and the X-Men prepare to go hunt the kids down. Kitty, Rachel, and Jubilee are in charge of Kid Bobby and Kid Hank, and they aren’t happy.

Scott and Jean have already made their way from coast to coast, now over in California, they are stealing clothes from someones back yard and having a moment. A teenagers being distracted by each others bare flesh moment before finding their next mode of transportation…because the X-Men have already found the Blackbird, and Xavier’s Cerebro Pills are letting him and Xean telepathically hunt down Jean. Back at the school Kid Bobby and Hank are watching TV while Kitty and Rachel do girl time. Leftovers, Rachel’s stress at there being two Jean Grey’s, Rachel’s thoughts on time travel (from the role of an expert), and the next thing you know the girls have an idea. Also, next thing you know, more Scott and Jean! Roadtripping through California on a stolen motor cycle trying to figure out their next move, and Jean has an idea, but the momentary removal of her telepathic shields alerts the X-Men of where to find them!

They have a moment together, and Scott all but confesses his love for his future wife when they realize that they’ve been made. X-Men parked on the road waiting for them, X-Men coming at them through the air from behind, so of course Scott takes aim, fires, and gets out of there. Doesn’t last, and they are surrounded quickly by X-Men present and future telling them what they have to do when Kitty and Rachel show up to bail them out. The BFFs talk down every single person present, all of them deserved, especially Storm, but then Xavier realizes something….Scott and Jean are gone again!

But where to? Well, let’s just say that this leg of their journey is a lot clearer than last issues, and you find out exactly where they’ll be picking up.


What I liked:

  • Kitty and Rachel, one on one. How long has it been since the most prominent BFFs in the X-Men have had some time together?

  • Not even getting into the art yet, but Scott has one of the old school visors and I love it. I’ve grown so accustomed to the ones that just sit on his eyes and never budge that I had completely spaced on the full wrap around being a thing.

  • Scott and Jean, finally doing things as a duo, create a firm reminder of why the couple always worked. They’re the end result of best friends who become something more, and the conversation they have while on the run is proof of that. They’ve seen their futures and what will become of them, and they still find levity in it, well, not so much levity as Scott using it as an excuse to point out his feelings.

  • Plus, their clothes stealing was hilarious. Totally choreographed, but hilarious. As soon as the sheet was on screen I knew it would go down, and that Scott wouldn’t actually see anything, but Jean would wind up staring when he took his shirt off. Expected, but still appreciated. It was a nice couple of pages that did a lot for getting these two teens into character.

  • There are a few things that looked weird, but for the most part David Lopez  does a bang up job with this issue, and it looks really good. It’s nothing like the style Olivier Coipel brought to the table for the first few issues of the book, but it is much more in line with the styles we’ve seen thus far in Battle of the Atom. I’m a total mark for crossovers with similar art styles across the book.

  • For as weird as it was to see the Xavier take a Cerebro pill, the end result was kinda cool. I liked the effect of a big virtual psychic globe that they could use for scouting.


What I didn’t like:

  • Kitty was in charge of the school while Storm was running around with Scott’s team of supervillain X-Men. I still can’t understand why she stepped aside for Professor Mohawk, or why she lets Punk Rock Principle dictate anything.

  • Not that Jubilee being a vampire should be a defining trait that is repeated to the degree of Claremont’s Rogue expositions in the 80’s, but something, anything, that’s all I ask for. Just one moment an issue where I remember “She’s a vampire, not a mutant”, because in the five issues I’ve read of this book, she’s been front and center for all but this one, and only one issue even mentioned her status quo.

  • Dumping Shogo off on Kid Bobby and Kid Hank was kinda…I’m not going to say irresponsible as a parent, but just utterly pointless unless they’re still watching him in part four of the story. Plus, Bobby and Hank have absolutely no reason to need to adapt or figure it out, Shogo isn’t either of their kid.


Final thoughts:

Even in crossover mode this book should be called X-Women.

While I do like Rachel’s current look, I also really want them to come up with a new costume for her. She doesn’t need the ridiculous amount of leather and spikes to pull off her Hound tattoos, those grant enough badass cred on their own.

I do not care about Shogo.

How did Hank’s Kid and Present forget they built a jet? When did they build the jet? How long have the X-Kids been in the present?

So Jean’s full power potential isn’t new or anything, we’ve all been quite familiar with her for years and years and years…so why is this future Jean so much more powerful? Why does she need a Xorn containment suit? Why does she make mentions about how powerful her teenage self was at that age? Her teenage self who isn’t supposed to have telepathy yet, let alone be Uberly Alpha with her power levels. And hell, Jean was PHOENIX! How is she so powerful without the Force that he needs containment suits?

Other future X-Men notes of “huh?” would go to Kitty being Days of Future Past Kitty, well, at least if the big M on her chest is to be believed. It’s like they cobbled together random future esque characters and made it a team. Jean looks younger than Kitty. That isn’t right.

But the whole group comes across sketchy anyway, Xavier and Jean are the definitions of secretly evil. Especially with their constant mental assault on Jean.

Storm is terrible at her job.


Overall: 7.5/10

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