Battle of the Atom Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #36 by Jason Aaron and Giuseppe Camuncoli

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Wolverine and the X-Men #36

Written by Jason Aaron

Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrew Currie, Matt Milla, and Edgar Delgado

 

The short of it:

It’s a tale of two Scott’s as Old Cyclops explains the psychic fight to his younger self, including revealing that Xorn is Jean Grey and that the face off of unmoving women is the most epic psychic battle of all time. Though, they can’t do anything about it, because the X-Men are there. Wolverine talks tough, Scott’s kids almost crap themselves, and then Scott verbally bitchslaps Logan (yet again). Thankfully, Young Scott ends the pointless arguments by blasting the crap out of Wolverine but then Storm shows up to preach, and again, Young Scott ends the arguments. This time by pointing out that Xean is telepathically at war with Emma, the Cuckoo’s, and Young Jean. Emma has a lot of issues that need to be worked out in this fight, but when it comes to pure power, she doesn’t last long working off of the Cuckoo’s powers.

The X-Men from the future make it very clear that they just want the kids to go back in time, and they have no problems beating them senseless in the process. Modern Hank blames himself, Future Hank runs in to go attack kids, and then two Scott’s blast the crap out of people. All the while we’ve got Young Jean and Xean fighting in their heads, though the book starts referring to Xean as “Old Young Jean”. Back at the Jean Grey School we’ve got Young Iceman and Beast along with Baby Shogo, and while Bobby plots how to make his first million, Hank isn’t sold that the Future X-Men are legit. Magik shows up and takes them to the future, because, you know, Yana can time travel, and off they go.

The fight at Utopia is still ongoing, and Bobby is wondering how he turned into an Ice Hulk, and Jean finally brings down Xean. Way too powerful for her own good, she takes what she wants from her future mind. Deadpool actually ends the fight, giving a big impassioned speech about how bad the future is before going to blow his own head off in a decidedly not funny moment. Jean agrees that they should go back, and everyone is in agreement, but Deadpool looks suspicious, and things aren’t over quite yet…

Especially since, in the future, Yana, Young Hank, and Young Bobby find a world very much….not what was promised.

 

What I liked:

  • Goldballs jokes!

  • Scott and Scott have made for a great duo thus far, they’re on the same page in that they still think very much alike, but with Young Scott not having gone through the river of crap that he will eventually have to go through, he has no understanding of just what life has done to create this ‘bad guy’ of a future self.

  • The telepathic battle was absolutely awesome. I don’t believe for a second that Young Jean could pull it off, but the execution was well handled, Emma and Xean had some great barbs to throw back and forth, and Emma fell with her girls which is the only way it really could go.

  • I loved Deadpool’s speech about how hopeless the future has to be for him to be an X-Man.

  • I’ve enjoyed Giuseppe’s work on Spider-Man as he has been cycling in and out of that rotation, but I think this issue may be some of his best work yet. The book looks great, and the entire art team deserves praise for it. I especially loved the psychic warfare, including the closeups of their faces to see the damage. Xean’s mask pouring out with blood was a great visual.

  • Jason Aaron brings the funny, which is something Bendis had been doing, and it is really elevating the crossover. Anyone can write doom and gloom, and Marvel has been doing it a lot lately with their events, so one where everyone is constantly wisecracking is a real breath of fresh air.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • Wolverine’s X-Men have giant sized super sticks up their butts. Storm does nothing but preach, Wolverine thinks he’s some sort of savior, and not a single one of them has any real issue with the fact that these future versions want to beat up the Uncanny X-Kids.

  • Storm really is just painful, “On my honor as a Headmistress, no harm will come to you.” Really? Really? She flies in front of a bunch of kids who don’t know her, rocking an awful mohwak and a skanky costume (though they are used to skanky costumes) and tries to use her merits as a teacher to get them to listen to her? I’d rather take my chances with Hooded Deadpool.

  • The last page shows us the X-Men of some alternate future with an Iron Man, wearing an X, taking front and center. No. No. For as awesome as Colossus’s stash is, and the amusement of Gandalf Iceman, the Sentinel colored Iron Man is doing nothing but making me think of Age of Ultron. I do not want to think about Age of Ultron.

 

Final thoughts:

Welp, I was wrong. Xean is a Jean that never went back in time and thus broke all concept of time and space. What is it with the X-Men and breaking time? Wolverine and Age of Ultron, Xavier trying to stop Galactus from eating the Skrull throneworld while time traveling, Rachel Grey, Bishop, Cable, Adult Layla Miller, Here Comes Tomorrow, Hope, and the origins of Longshot and Shatterstar.

Last time around I made fun of the Shogo stuff saying that if he didn’t appear again in this issue that it was a worthless piece of plot. He definitely appears again here, but is so quickly passed off that I have to wonder if the idea wasn’t just “Remind people that Jubilee has a baby, and that there is an intelligent Brood at the Jean Grey School”.

So, and just throwing this out there, but I think Gandalf Iceman is current Bobby grown up and IceHulk is Young Bobby grown up in the present, since Jean obviously never left. Mustache Colossus has a Soul Sword, which is kinda cool, and Quentin Quire seems to be Phoenix, to no surprise, but what about that ninja? Jubilee shades, a Psylocke Crimson Dawn tat, and energy Wolverine claws? I saw Bleeding Cool say it looks like Wild Thing from MC2, and it totally does, but I think it’s adult Jubilee. My reasoning? If these future X-Men make it to another issue of X-(Wo)Men then we could have Jubilee meet Jubilee, since she’s essentially the lead there.

Kitty and Rachel are the most passive useless mutants ever. They strongly argue and do NOTHING!

Deadpool was lying? NO! There’s no way! That’s impossible!

I think this is the first time we’ve seen a future with the X-Men that didn’t look like everyone was on the brink of death. Really, I think the ‘Future X-Men’ that have shown up to be assholes are the Future Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Overall: 8/10

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