Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Comics!: The X-Edition

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?)


  1. First off, this: "Everyone is a soldier." and Wolverine is left yelling, "Would someone think of the children?" line made me literally laugh out loud. I'll agree about how odd it is that it's WOLVERINE who's all for kids being kids since he's killed more people then(add a random deadly disease), but there are two ways I looked at Wolvie's actions that kind of/sort of helped me understand his stance. The first is that he's always had a soft spot for teenage girls and seeing Idie “corrupted” REALLY upset him. The second thing is that maybe Wolvie didn't want the kids to turn out like he is, a murder machine. Granted, neither is the best explanation, but I guess it's better then nothing. Oh, and the Storm thing DOES get explained in the Regensis one-shot just so you know.

    I was wondering the SAME thing concerning Prelude to Schism! If the super-major threat the X-Men were talking about during Prelude was the Super-Sentinel(which turned out to not be all the super in the end), all of those characters shouldn't have been there! That was REALLY sloppy on Marvel's part...

  2. I almost bought the teenage girl angle because, like you said, it was clear the Idie thing REALLY bothered Wolverine. But, I just felt like the way it manifested itself, in the middle of some super-Sentinel possibly eliminating Utopia, felt wrong. I feel like Wolverine would've understood the need for them to face the present danger and then argue over tactics. I mean, I think Aaron got his point across that, if WOLVERINE thinks you're OTT in terms of being too callous, then you've got serious problems, which Cyclops has. But, at the end of the day, I just don't feel like it would've been the thing to permanently rupture their relationship, particularly in the middle o a battle. Moreover, it still leaves Wolvie leading a team that, in theory, embraces a more pacificistic approach, and that just seems hard to believe.

    I'm really glad the Storm angle is explained because, man, it's been bothering me ever since I saw it. Also, I'm glad you're also confused by "Prelude." I mean, WTF?

  3. I think Cyclops throwing the Jean card in Wolvie's face went a long way in damaging their relationship... I mean sure, Wolvie was upset about what Cyclops had done with Idie, but who's to say he wouldn't have backed down if Scott went about things with more tact. But once he smacked Wolvie in the face with the Jean comment, there was no turning back, because you have to think, even if it wasn't mentioned all that often lately, that's something that's been bubbling under the surface from the moment Scott started cheating on Jean. You've got to think that Wolvie never forgot or fully forgave Scott's actions there.

    Prelude made NO sense, and to be honest, annoyed me. I mean why did I spend money on that mini when it led to absolutely nothing? If you skipped Preulde, you wouldn't have missed ANYTHING in regards to Schism.