X-Men: Schism #5: OK, as I've mentioned before, my problem with this series is that I don't buy Logan's sudden conversion to pacifism. Aaron is a talented enough writer that he almost sells it to me here. I could see where Logan hearing Idie explaining that she's OK with being a killer because she already feels like a monster as a mutant would inspire him to feel like they were failing the next generation. I get that. Although the conversation happens after the main events of this issue, I'm willing to see it as the most clear expression of what Wolverine's main argument has been throughout the series, that the adults were not preparing the children for the real world at all. Again, I buy that.
At the end of the day, though, the question is whether or not I buy it enough to believe that Scott and Logan would be wrestling on Utopia's beach trying to kill one another while a Sentinel loomed over them trying to kill them. Ultimately, no, I don't. It would all make more sense if it were just a personality dispute between Cyclops and Wolverine, something that wouldn't have even raised an eyebrow for almost all of the X-Men's history, with the exception of the last few years. But, Aaron's attempt to make it philosophical, not personal, just doesn't work for me. I just can't believe that it's Cyclops advocating a line like, "Everyone is a soldier." and Wolverine is left yelling, "Would someone think of the children?" It all feels like the '90s again, when I stopped reading comics, because new super-star authors took over books and changed everyone's personalities. Logan might believe they could do better training the younger generation and shouldn't be hurling them into the world so unprepared. But, would he really believe they should sit out fighting for Utopia when they were the only weapons available? No, he wouldn't. Storm? Yes. Logan? No.
As such, I'm left only looking forward, since this series is more about the coming days than it is about the events that got us there. Based on the images I've seen, I'm confused by who chooses which side and why. For example, it looks like Storm picked Scott's team. Really? At the end of "Messiah Complex," wasn't she the one who told Logan they were sharing their last beer because she disapproved of his advocacy of pre-emptive lethal strikes against enemies? Wouldn't she fully embrace Logan's position? I mean, Beast and Shadowcat make sense. But, why would Storm chose the more aggressive side? Also, some people, like Hope, Kenji, and Psylocke appear to be on both sides. How does that work? Are they double agents? I'm hoping that the four issues previewed at the back of this issue -- "X-Men: Regenesis," "Uncanny X-Men #544," "Wolverine and the X-Men" #1, and "Uncanny X-Men" #1 -- actually give us some insights into the thought processes of the B- and C-list characters. I'd like to see an X-Man like Iceman, whose allegiance wasn't as predictable to me, explain why he chose Wolverine over Cyclops. If we see that in these issues, then I might feel better about "X-Men: Schism" and what Aaron did here, even if I thought the road that got us there paved over some uncomfortable truths. But, if we don't, it'll all feel exactly like what it is, a way for Marvel to get me to buy more comics.
(P.S. I have to say that, although I still think the kid angle is a tired trick, I thought the reveal that the Hellfire Club manufactured this event to sell new Sentinels was genius. Full applause, Jason Aaron.)
(P.P.S. When exactly did "X-Men: Prelude to Schism" happen, given that none of the people, except Wolverine, who were shown in the room waiting for Cyclops' decision were on Utopia and conscious when the Sentinel struck? Am I missing something?)