Saturday, June 11, 2011

X-Men Schism Preview

News has been slowly trickling out regarding the upcoming "gamechanging" X-Men event, Schism, now billed as the X-Men's version of Civil War.

In it we shall see a massive philosophical divide among the mutants, with Wolverine on one side, and Cyclops on the other. Just what their ideological differences are has not been revealed, but we have been told it is simpler than Wolverine being a killer and Scott not crossing that particular line. In addition we now know one of the catalysts of the split is the return of Quentin Quire, a very powerful telepath, fond of anarchy and rebellion, created back in Grant Morrison's ever popular New X-Men run. Plus a new breed of Sentinel seemingly attacking the whole world.

It was also announced this week that the immensely long-running Uncanny X-Men title will be coming to an end, for the purposes of serving the Schism story and its aftermath. One can assume that new X-titles will begin with a #1 and follow the newly divided X-teams on their now separate paths (hopefully one will be based in New York.) Here are a few preview pages that have been posted online:

I'm not exactly sure why Logan's muttonchops look so much weirder than usual there, but they do. Apparently Idie of the Five Lights, as well as Hope, will play a big role in the event, and I'm glad to see Storm is there because despite all this talk of Wolverine being a natural leader, the writers seem to have forgotten that Storm was in fact a better leader than even Scott. Ororo doesn't get nearly enough page time these days.

But of all the images that Marvel has put out there as teasers, this is the one that has me the most interested:

Father vs. Daughter! Unresolved family issues! War of the Magnetic Powers! So intense her pupils have disappeared! Polaris is definitely coming back to Earth after Mike Carey finally deals with Havok's team in upcoming Legacy issues!

I fully expect a brother vs. brother Havok/Cyclops image to be released soon as well. Alex has been in the stars for years now (at least publishing wise) and he became leader of the Starjammers, intent on killing Vulcan and generally hardcore in a rogue, rebel, fighter, hunter kind of way. Maybe the different suns he's come across in his travels has supercharged his solar powers. In the same vein I would love to see a corporeal Rachel Grey have to take on Emma Frost and her cuckoos, and at least some hint about the Phoenix Force mystery when Rachel meets Hope.

The potential of inner conflict among the X-Men has always been ripe, and with that last teaser I'm definitely getting excited. Even when X-events are badly done or overhyped, or even boring, they always manage to be fun, which is more than I can say for the current mainline Marvel events.


  1. I'm stoked about Schism. There has never been a definitive battle between Cyclops and Wolverine. We can argue about Cyclops punching Wolverine or blasting him through a wall. Or Wolverine as Death putting the pain on Cyclops and his team of Astonishing X-Men. Still, a real battle between the two hasn't happened, not on 616. Who's going to win is mute point, my question is what's the reason behind Schism?

    There's always X-Force. Wolverine and Archangel have gone behind Cyclops' all seeing eye, continuing the black ops work for mutant kind. This shows that both Wolverine and Archangel are both willing to step out of ranks and do what they feel is necessary. The revelation of Cyclops X-Force in Second Coming caused a huge riff between Cyclops and the rest of the X-Men. For Wolverine to go and continue his missions on his own agenda, well you can see how that would affect Cyclops and his role of Mutant Leader.

    The biggest reason I can think of is that both end up with different views. Not so much an Xavier vs. Magneto debate, but something along those lines. Ever since Cyclops bonded with Apocalypse, we've seen an edge to the man. To the point where his character started to "evolve" as many fans say. He's been more aggressive, taken chances, and abandoned certain beliefs for what he deems necessary survival. Wolverine on the other hand, has always been a failed samurai, his innate killer instinct always becomes a hurdle to his righteous attempts of life. An animal, trained to be a killer, with the soul of a man. He's also gone out of his way to integrate into society. That's why he's on the Avengers (both of them), working side by side with men such as Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Wolverine may be the heaviest believer in Xavier's old dream, not because he wants to, but because he has to.

    Something big is going to happen, where Cyclops is going to put his foot down. Either your with us or against us. Maybe he finds out about Wolverines X-Force, tells him to fall in line or fall out. This might even lead to Cyclops given Wolverine another ultimatum. Fall back to Utopia under my thumb, or head back to your Avenger pals. Anything can happen, at the end of the day though, I'm pretty sure Cyclops will stay with Utopia and San Fran, while Wolverine takes his team to New York, where his ties with the Avengers will come in handy. Who knows, he might even rebuild the Xavier Institute. Either way, I'm sold on Schism.

  2. That's a very wise prediction, and I almost entirely agree with you.

    We're told its a philosophical divide with no easy answer, such as in Civil War (though not all of us found the moral conflict of Civil War to be so difficult.) Clearly X-Force and Logan's ruthlessness will come into play, but how will Quentin Quire factor in? Does Logan kill him in public, in front of the world?

    Perhaps that leads to Cyclops speaking out against ultimate violence to the press, and maybe even the Avengers get involved, or are sent to bring Logan down for murder. Perhaps it's a bit far-fetched, but while I honestly pray SOMEONE in the X-Men end up in NY again, I feel like Wolverine's team, by the end, will be going underground and off the map.

    After all, who's more familiar with taking his X-team off the grid so they can strike at their enemies with surprise and impunity, than the guy who lived in the Australian outback with Storm's team all those years ago?

    I'm also very interested to see where Ororo comes into the debate. You'd think her voice would have more weight than it seems to these days.

    Thanks for reading LA Critic!