Sunday, April 15, 2012
X-Men: Schism HC
Man, I don't understand why Marvel is losing the market share battle when they are putting out solid, entertaining titles like this. Jason Aaron does a fantastic job revitalizing the X-Men franchise here, bringing the last few years of X-stories to their logical conclusion. (Heck, not really conclusion, there is no way this will be permanent.)
Cyclops has become a real hard a$$. He used to be my favorite X-Man back in the day, but since he started hanging out with super-villains and running the X-Men like an army, he has been tougher to like. Wolverine is always cool, but there is definitely the opportunity to overdose on his awesomeness (much like Snake Eyes from GI Joe).
The Schism story doesn't feel that different from a normal X-Men storyline. Quentin Quire makes a great return and stirs things up, then some tough-talking kids form a new Hellfire club and attack Utopia. Through all these stories, Cyclops is seething about the continued use of Sentinels across the globe, and he wants to put a stop to their use. Wolverine is more concerned that the younger X-Men aren't getting a chance to grow up; instead they're just fresh meat in Cyclops' mutant army.
It's a tough debate. I see where Cyclops is coming from. If the X-Men can't defend themselves, what good is it to let kids have childhoods? But now that I have kids, I think Wolverine's side makes a bit more sense to me. Basically, let the adult X-Men handle the dirty work, give the students a chance to try for a normal life for as long as they can.
The closing chapter breaks down who goes where. Like the rest of the collection, it is filled with great character moments. Wolverine goes to Iceman first, because he considers Iceman his opposite. White Queen doesn't automatically fall in behind Cyclops. I'm confused on a couple of folks; why does Gambit head to the school? Would the New Mutants really head off and leave Cyclops? And most important, could someone remind me where Professor X is?
The art throughout is stunning. This is a most-wanted list of pencillers, so it's not surprising that every issue looks wonderful. Alan Davis may be my favorite artist, and he gets the juiciest chapter, the actual fight between Cyclops and Wolverine. Adam Kubert, Carlos Pacheco, and Daniel Acuna all knock it out of the park.
Frank Cho needs to do more interior work! Look at this alternate cover!
X-Fans, get caught up here.