Sunday, November 17, 2013

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Well, that was incredibly disappointing.  Bendis leaves pretty much all the mysteries driving this series unanswered.  Let's review, shall we?

First, we never learn who killed future Dazzler, so we never learn why the future Brotherhood felt like humans would always try to kill mutants (essentially invalidating Xavier's dream).  After all, future Dazzler was killed by dragons, not Sentinels.  If she had been killed by Sentinels, it would've made sense, given the revelation at the end of this issue that S.H.I.E.L.D. has its own Sentinels.  But, she wasn't.  She was killed by dragons.  If we're supposed to believe that S.H.I.E.L.D. gets into the sorcery business and uses that knowledge to assassinate a President-elect, we really need to see something that remotely confirms that (other than an off-hand reference by future Wiccan to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s sorcery division).

Second, I'm still not sure why the future Brotherhood wanted to send back the original X-Men in the first place.  I originally thought the future Brotherhood was trying to prevent the original X-Men from unifying the splintered present Brotherhood and X-Men, since it would bring mutant harmony and set the stage for future Dazzler's election.  But, not only does future-original Jean specifically pin the future's problems on the Logan/Scott schism, but Aaron completely discredited that theory in "Wolverine and the X-Men" #37.  In that issue, original Jean says that the Brotherhood is trying to prevent one of them from doing something "horrible," but we don't learn what it is in this issue.  However, how horrible could it be?  I mean, future Dazzler still got elected President.  It's not like the story that Remender is telling in "Uncanny Avengers," where the camps are literally going to open in a week.  Does s/he not do something terrible, but something good?  Does s/he unify humankind and mutantkind?  Is that the horrible thing?  The Brotherhood would have to see that as horrible, I guess.  Otherwise, it makes no sense that one of them does something so horrible that it turns humans against mutants, but the United States still elects Dazzler as President.  (Also, original Jean not knowing the horrible thing that one of them does is total bogus.  When she read future Jean's mind, it was totally clear that she was sufficiently panicked to change her mind about them returning.  It couldn't have just been on the possibility that one of them does something "horrible.")

Moreover, the Brotherhood's need to send back the original X-Men seemed urgent at the start of this event.  If it was, it implies that the "horrible" thing that the original X-Man is going to do is going to happen in days.  But, in the end, it didn't really seem all that urgent, unless we're going to see something huge happen in the next issue of "All-New X-Men."  Is it Kitty taking the original X-Men to the present Brotherhood?  It seems unlikely, since, after all, the present Brotherhood sees things more in line with the future Brotherhood?

Along those lines, I absolutely don't get Kitty bailing on the X-Men.  I get that she was upset at them for not protecting the original X-Men, but, as present Iceman said, she really didn't understand their point that they were protecting the space/time continuum?  I'm not saying that they were right, but she decides that saving the space/time continuum was such a totally inconsequential reason to justify their behavior that she leaves the X-Men?  Unbelievable.

Finally, we don't learn why the original X-Men can't be returned to the past.  Not even a hint.

Essentially, we're left in exactly the same place we were, except for Kitty and the original X-Men joining the Brotherhood.  I'd be OK with that, except for the fact that we didn't even get answers to the story that Bendis et. al told along the way.  (I'm not even going to touch the four epilogues and varying artists.)  I can't believe an event that started with such promise ended with such a whimper.

* (one of five stars)

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