I thought that Brian Wood’s first chapter of ‘Battle Of The Atom’ was the weakest part of the crossover so far, but thankfully, this second issue was a big improvement, and that’s probably because we’re out of the ‘set-up’ phase of the story, and now shit is blowing up big-time as the Future X-Men are exposed as the villains that they are, and start really throwing their weight around.
This issue began with Jubilee waking up to discover baby Shogo playing with Broo, and we then see that Bling and Armour have worked together to create a special force-field bubble to protect him. I am liking how this crossover is still allowing for each book to maintain it’s own identity. Even though this issue does continue the main storyline in a big way, it still places it’s focus on regular characters like Jubilee, Rachel Grey and Psylocke.
In terms of Rachel, Wood has Wolverine confide in her that he doesn’t think something’s right with these Future X-Men, and she starts to do some psychic digging. Of course, she doesn’t really need to do any, because when Future Xavier finds out that OG Iceman and Beast are not at the mansion, he flips out and starts mentally attacking Bling. It turns out that Wolverine was right (no shit) and just as he’s about to pop his claws, Future-Kitty reveals herself to be… the child of Wolverine and Mystique! Blueverine guts his dad, and because Wolverine currently has no healing factor, he’s down and out. Jean-Xorn then blasts all the rest of the X-Men with some psychicness, and the fight is on. Jubilee demonstrates her vampire powers, Rogue tries to touch Ice-Giant and discovers there’s no mind in there (the mystery about Iceman’s future is fascinating) and best of all, Psylocke smashes Ice-Giant with a psychic wrecking ball, all with baby Shogo in her arms.
This fight scene was a lot of fun, I particularly liked Deadpool talking about how much he loves Psylocke, and also seeing Shogo’s force-field in action, which was all kinds of cute. In the end, the Evil X-Men win out, with Future Beast locking down the school in advance of an attack from the Good Future X-Men and Cyclops’ crew, who are waiting just outside the Mansion to attack. They send the mysterious Iron Man-esque guy (who is named Sentinel-X) to scout ahead, and he pulls Jubilee, Baby Shogo and Bling out from the rubble, and reveals himself to be… Shogo! I like this reveal, it shows that this new baby character has some importance, and it was actually cleverly foreshadowed by the force-field bubble, as the Sentinel-X suit is basically just an enhanced version of that. Plus, the good Future X-Men have a human on their team, a sure sign that maybe the future isn’t all bad.
This issue was a great chapter in an excellent event, as it really racheted things up for the final few issues, the Future X-Men completed their heel turn, we got some strong action and found out more about the good future dudes. Plus, Wood and Lopez kept the tone and characters of this series going in amongst all that, great stuff.