Marvel Promises More Excitement From Month Two of X-Men: Battle of the Atom

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2 Variant Cover

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2 Variant Cover

X-Men #5 Second Printing Cover

X-Men #5 Second Printing Cover

by Aaron Einhorn
If you’ve been reading my Weekly Comic Round-Ups, you know that I’m an absolute convert to the X-Men with “Battle of the Atom.” I was one of those fans who had burned by too many “event” crossovers, too many time-traveling Messiah figures, and far too many pouches and trench coats. Despite being an avid reader of the X-Men through the eighties and the first part of the nineties, by the time I graduated High School in 1995, I was done with the X-Men.

I occasionally dipped my toe back in, of course. X-characters would show up in other titles I read. I purchased the issue where Scott and Jean finally got married, and when Joss Whedon took over Astonishing, I stuck with that title as long as Joss did – even while being confused at the relationship between Scott and Emma. And of course, then there were the Ultimate titles.

But I still stayed away from the X-Men as much as I could. Because each time I had dipped my toe in, I felt like the battered half of an abusive relationship. “Come back, baby, it’ll be better this time.” And it would be for a few months. Then the pain would start again.

Wolverine and the X-Men #37

Wolverine and the X-Men #37

Wolverine and the X-Men #37 Variant Cover

Wolverine and the X-Men #37 Variant Cover

(And my sincerest apologies to anyone who has actually endured an abusive relationship for this metaphor.)

Still, after reading A vs. X, I was kind of hooked again. And the aftermath made me determined to pick up at least the all new Uncanny X-Men title, just to see what happened with Scott and Emma and Magneto. Then it was an easy sell to buy All-New X-Men with the original team back. And being a strong advocate for seeing more titles with women and minority leads, how could I refuse Brian Wood’s X-Men?

(But I’m still not buying X-Force, X-Men Legacy or Wolverine and the X-Men. Not yet, anyhow.)

And “Battle of the Atom” has exceeded all of my expectations. I’ve loved it.

So, when Marvel sent me the following press release, I was overjoyed. More twists and turns with the X-Men of the future? A possible return of the Phoenix Force? (Personally, I’m betting on seeing some version of Jean get taken once more, complete with her fresh-from-the-Marvel-Avengers-Alliance-Facebook-game Phoenix Five armor.)

All-New X-Men #17 Variant Cover

All-New X-Men #17 Variant Cover

All New X-Men #16 2nd Printing Variant

All New X-Men #16 2nd Printing Variant

Sign. Me. Up.

The press release follows.

EXCITING TWISTS AND TURNS AS MONTH TWO OF X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM BEGINS!

If you thought the first month was exciting – you ain’t seen nothing yet! They’ve come from the past. They’ve come from the future. They’ve come from….the future again? Who are the REAL Future X-Men?! Find out this October as X-Men: Battle of the Atom heads into its second exciting month full of even more twists and turns!

“We have been waiting to reveal these images since the day we planned this event,” says Senior Editor Nick Lowe. “Who are these characters who claim to the be the X-Men of the future? And if they’re not lying, WHO ARE THE OTHER GUYS?!?!?!”

Chaos at the Jean Grey School! The return of the Phoenix Force! And more! Plus a game-changing conclusion that will shake the X-Men to their very core! Don’t miss out on the exciting second half of the blockbuster X-Men event of the year, X-Men: Battle of the Atom!

Marvel is also proud to announce that due to overwhelming demand, All-New X-Men #16 and X-Men #5 will be returning for second printings! That’s right, chapters 2 and 3 of X-Men: Battle of the Atom have sold out at the distributor level, and will be going back to press immediately. Retailers are strongly encouraged to increase orders of the final chapters, Wolverine & The X-Men #37 and X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2 in anticipation of future demand.

All-New X-Men #16 2nd Printing Variant
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen
Cover by David Lopez
On-Sale October 23, 2013

X-Men #5 2nd Printing Variant
Written by Brian Wood
Art by David Lopez
Cover by Phil Noto
On-Sale October 23, 2013

Wolverine and the X-Men #37
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover by Ed McGuinness
Variant Cover by Kris Anka
On-Sale October 23, 2013

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Esad Ribic
Cover by Ed McGuinness
Variant Cover by Esad Ribic
On-Sale October 30, 2013

Weekly Comic Round-Up, September 4, 2013 Edition

by Aaron Einhorn
Welcome back! If you’ve followed me here from Comic Hero News, or going even farther back to Underneath My Mask, than you probably remember that one of the regular features I had was a review of the comics I’m reading that week. Full disclosure: This is not everything I read, and it’s not everything that hit the stands this week. It is, however, the books I feel merit being talked about, either because they were awesome or because there was something really, really wrong with them.

So, here we go. What came home with me from The Laughing Ogre? Read on.

battleofatom1_c01X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1
All-New X-Men #16
We’re going to handle these as a Two-For-One deal here, especially since both were written (at least in part) by Brian Michael Bendis. Even while the majority of the Marvel Universe (including several members of the X-Men) are dealing with the effect of Infinity, the X-Men find themselves in the middle of yet-another time-travelling story crossover. Time-travel has been a staple of the X-Men’s comics ever since “Days of Future Past”, so the idea of a time-travel story on its own merits doesn’t bother me. After all, one of the X-Men books I regularly read is all about the original X-Men brought into modern times.

What we have here is a team of X-Men from the future, including the Beast, Charles Xavier’s grandson, Deadpool and Iceman, arriving in the present and demanding that the original X-Men return to their proper time, have their memories of their jaunt into the modern day erased from their heads, and live out their fates. Considering that this demand comes on the heels of young Cyclops almost dying, and the teams then seeing present-day-Cyclops almost get erased from reality, it’s not an unreasonable demand.

All-New_X-Men_Vol_1_16Except of course for the fact that Jean knows that this is a death sentence to her, so when the future X-Men are found to be blocking her telepathy, she creates a stunt and flees, getting Scott to join her. And so a manhunt for Jean and Cyclops begins.
It’s a crazy little jaunt of time travel, and I’m sure it will only get crazier over the upcoming parts, and sure, it’s a blatant money grab since it’s going to cause me to buy two issues of Wolverine and the X-Men, a title I don’t normally buy, but it’s a pretty fun story so far.

fevil_cv1_var_aForever Evil #1
If you’re reading the other articles on this site, you know exactly how disenchanted I have become with DC’s New 52 universe. Still, for all that, I went ahead and picked up this issue and I’m glad I did. I don’t know that I’ll read anything else from “Villains Month,” but this issue from Geoff Johns reminded me why this man revitalized Green Lantern and Flash. I don’t know a lot of the various backstories for the villains we’re seeing here – I have no idea how the Rogues got outright super-abilities of their own, how Lex Luthor was “framed” and then had his name cleared, why Ted Kord is a schlub and not the Blue Beetle, or who half the villains in the center spread are.
I also don’t care. Because this is still a tightly enough told story that I was able to follow along. The characters were close enough to being the versions of themselves I recognized. And most importantly? It featured the Crime Syndicate.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman, along with whichever alternate versions they have with them this time around (in this case, it’s Johnny Quick, Power Ring, Deathstorm and Atomica). So, seeing them back in the New 52? Well, it makes me happy. Almost happy enough to be considering adding Ultraman to my costuming line-up.
Like I said, will I add more of this story to my collection? I dunno. But this issue was worth grabbing, for me at least.

superiorspiderman17_c01Superior Spider-Man #17
Sadly, after what has generally been an excellent run of issues, in this issue Dan Slott and company have stumbled. It’s not that there’s anything bad in here, exactly. The main story focusing on Otto Parker, I mean Peter Octavius, I mean Otto-Octavius-in-Peter-Parker’s-body and his ongoing issues with Tiberius Stone and what’s happening at Horizon is fine, the continuation of the Goblin subplot with Phil Urich in his role as the Green Goblin’s Goblin Knight remains intriguing, and the story of how Miguel O’Hare/Spider-Man 2099 end up being sent to the present works just fine.

But that’s just it. It’s all just “fine.” The entire issue feels like the opening moves of a chess game. It’s putting pieces into place, but they aren’t actually doing much of anything. It’s a very unexciting issue, for all that there is plenty of costumed character sightings (although there aren’t any super battles to speak of).

I’m interested to see next issue, and to see what the fall-out between Spider-Ock and Spider-Man 2099 ends up being, but this issue on its own? Very “meh.”

Meanwhile, Earth-2: Desaad #15.1 gives us a bit about how Darkseid’s chief torturer ended up on Earth, Green Lantern: Relic #23.1 explains that the enemy of all of the ring-slingers originates from another reality which also harnessed the emotional spectrum, only to ultimately drain it completely, and in Infinity #2, Thanos sends his forces to do battle with the Earth as he hunts for the Infinity Gems, and reveals a special gambit designed to force the Inhumans to give up the most important prize…

Thoughts? Disagreements? Want to offer up ideas on what books you’re reading this week? Let us know in the comments!