Wolverine and the X-Men #37
Review by Paul Bowler
A team of X-Men from the future arrive in the present day, demanding the original X-Men be sent back to he past. Wolverine and most of the X-Men agreed, but the young Jean and Scott went on the run, but eventually gave themselves up. The present day X-Men discover their visitors are really the future Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. With the school in lockdown the Brotherhood must face the combined might of the Uncanny X-Men and the real future X-Men. However, as the battle rages they prepare to forcibly send the young X-Men home, only to find that strange universal forces now prevent the teen mutants from going back.
Jean “Xorn” Grey and Cyclops get up close and personal on the psychic plane, giving the Brotherhood the chance to escape in the Blackbird with the original X-Men. Wolverine is healed by Wiccan after being gutted by Raze, the son he will apparently have with Mystique, and meets up with the Uncanny X-Men and future X-Men in the lab.
Meanwhile, the Brotherhood decide to switch to plan B after the Time Cube was unable to send the original X-Men back. Now that Deadpool is dead, and Xavier crippled and confined to a floating wheelchair, it seems that desperate measures are called for to complete their mission. Power dampeners prevent the captive teen X-Men from using their powers. Scott asks Jean what she learned during her battle with Xorn, she reveals they must return home to save the future, and she is able to pick up enough of the Brotherhood’s thoughts to know they are being taken to Cape Citadel – the place where the original X-Men first fought against Magneto.
After news of a homeland security alert at Cape Citadel reaches the Jean Grey school, Wolverine and Cyclops set aside their differences and agree to work together to rescue the original X-Men. Colossus and Magik teleport everyone to Cape Citadel, where the present day X-Men and future X-Men attack the Brotherhood. Phoenix Quentin Quire frees the young X-Men from their power dampeners, and they team up with Cyclops to attack Xorn. With the Brotherhood almost defeated a fleet of SHIELD helicarriers commanded by Mira Hill arrives, demanding that everyone surrender, but Xorn is not prepared to give up just yet…
Jason Arron makes this penultimate chapter of Battle of the Atom the most action packed yet, as Wolverine and the X-Men #37 brings all of the X-Teams, past, present, and future, together for a titanic showdown with the Brotherhood. I really like how the characters interact this issue, Jason Aaron includes some great character moments: with Cyclops and Wolverine begrudgingly setting aside their differences, we learn more about the Brotherhood’s plans, discover the truth about the Ice-Hulk, and Phoenix Quentin Quire meets his younger self. This issue is a lot of fun too, with Wolverine getting all the best lines, and we learn a lot more about the future X-Men as well.
Although we are no closer to really understanding the bizarre paradox that seems to prevent the original X-Men from returning to the past, right now it is what young Jean’s battle with Xorn revealed that is perhaps more intriguing, especially when she reveals that if they stay one of them could be responsible for something terrible. However, this issues cliff-hanger could offer some clue, as Xorn resolves to show everyone what the future holds for the X-Men.
Wolverine and the X-Men #37 features some great artwork by Giuseppe Camuncoli and finisher Andrew Currie, and vivid colors by Matt Milla. I really like the early scenes, where the X-Men are planning their next course of action, the detail given to the characters and their conversations is exceptional, which is also reflected in the later scenes in the Blackbird as the Brotherhood discuss Plan B and the original X-Men try to figure a way out of their predicament. In fact, by the time the X-Men and Brotherhood face each other at Cape Citadel, nearly every character in this issue has had a share of the limelight. There’s also a spectacular double page spread near the end of the issue, where all the X-Men are fighting the Brotherhood, its absolutely brilliant, and that nail-biting final page will leave everyone diving for cover!
Battle of the Atom is now hurtling towards a thrilling finale. Wolverine and the X-Men #37 continues the high standard set by previous instalments, Jason Arron delivers some excellent characterization, and Giuseppe and Camuncoli’s work really draws you into the action as the story races towards the final moments.