Thursday, July 28, 2011

Schism #2 Review, Or, How Kitty Pryde Bitch-Slapped Ahmadinejad

A recap and review of Schism #2, in which several completely incredible things happen, which would appeal to fanboys and distinguished newsreaders alike, including but not limiting to the event hinted at my this blogpost title.

You're gonna want to hit that jump.

First off, as promised yesterday in my Lunch Break Comics list, I am eating my words. Schism #2 by Jason Aaron, art by Frank Cho, did indeed come out yesterday. I apologize to ComicList for my gross distrust. But really, can you blame me? Two issues of a five-part, major event, released in one month? And they're not tie-ins or prologues? It just doesn't really happen. So God Bless the X-Office, not only for giving us something fun and interesting, but giving it to us quickly, and regularly, enough that I distinctly recall what happened last issue.

Secondly, aside from a solid issue, there's just one scene in particular that stands out. Way back two weeks ago (have I said "Thank You Nick Lowe" enough yet?) when Schism #1 came out, featuring a scene where Cyclops address a UN delegation, many people noticed and remarked on the similarity of one vocal bigot to the real life racist, sexist, homophobic murderer and tyrant, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. ComicsAlliance actually did a rather funny, professional in depth comparison, as well as suggesting even worse ambassadors in comics history, which you should definitely check out here.

At the time that I read the issue I hadn't really thought of it, merely enjoying the taste of real life in the story, and not expecting much relevant, modern political commentary in a comic. Then Newsarama, by way of ComicsAlliance, pointed out the obvious and I got rather excited, but didn't expect to see him again. Then Schism #2 kicks off with a follicly-challenged Ahmadinejad back on center stage, rousing the masses with some verbal bile. He even utters a particularly noteworthy line where he claims Mutants are an American problem and "We never had them here..." which is basically what he said about gays, verbatim, when he visited Columbia University to present his apparently valid viewpoints. (Naturally Columbia representatives were shocked to hear him repeat his views in public again, yet hastened to invite him back.) The Marvel version of the Iranian pres goes on vituperating Mutants, drumming up some basic nationalistic fervor, and throwing in some religious justification for murder of an entire race, before unveiling that Iran possesses a Sentinel of its own.

Naturally, and gloriously, the Iranian scientists do not manage to control it, either through the machine's defective nature or age or their own massive incompetence, and as such it malfunctions and starts running wild through the streets, ostensibly killing at random. Instead of mourning his populace, good ol' Mahmoud focuses on the indignity of who the X-Men have sent to rescue. Now it should be mentioned that Bleeding Cool put this up yesterday. And while I absolutely read, bought, and enjoyed this comic, I'm just not equal to their scanning capabilities. Still, I don't think this can ever be reproduced on the internet enough times.

That's just...oh man. It really couldn't get better. Except if maybe Sabra was helping out the ladies. And Northstar too, obviously.

The rest of the issue is stellar, but c'mon, that's obviously hard to top. Quentin Quire gives himself up to the X-Men for some reason, and lays more groundwork for the split between Wolverine and Cyclops. I mean, Cyke lied to Steve Rogers' face. Via satellite maybe, but still...that's a hard thing to come back from. Not for the first time I suspect that, no matter how much Aaron intends for readers to pick their own side in this conflict, he's favored Logan's viewpoint from the start. Not that I mind. In fact, after this issue, Aaron has climbed the ranks into one of my favorite writers. I may have to go back and explore his solo work on Wolverine.

Other stuff happens as well. X-Men around the world take on Sentinels, Emma and Scott have some pretty tense conversations which leads me to believe they may not end this event on the same side (which is definitely an exciting possibility,) Idie displays more of her religious self-effacement and new bond with Wolvie, and the muscle of the Hellfire Club, which is now exclusively human and very anti-mutant, is revealed to be four prepubescent kids, including new Black King Kade Kilgare, who are psychotic killers. When the little blonde girl with pigtails slaughters the aliens to get her "kitty", what really makes me happy is that said "kitty" is actually a Badoon brain slug.Why in God's name does the Hellfire Club want a Badoon? I have only ever heard the Badoon mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy, both the original and modern versions, and occasionally in Nova or other cosmic tales (which is high company to keep as those are some of Marvel's best books ever.) They're Vance Astro's biggest enemy! Aaron even throws in a Dire Wraiths mention, just to make sure I'm completely in love with him.

So...underused aliens from cherished continuity? Check. Cute, young, murderous psychopaths with a plan? Check. Super powered mutants deployed globally to fight giant killer robots? Check. Mounting tensions among best friends and allies? Check. Beloved Jewish, female superhero saving and shaming anti-Semitic, anti-female, morally bankrupt real-life villain? Mega check.

Best. Comic. Ever.


  1. Rogue looks awesome on this cover!

  2. i didn't read the whole posting before i left my first comment! you were so right on with what you said about iran and it's so called "president". i love it when comic book writers mix contemporary politics with thier story. what Kitty said in those panels was awesome and so on for her. and yeah like you said that would have been awesome had Sabra shown up too. the only thing that would have been better would have been for Magneto to show up and trash that sentinel while telling imanutjob "don't fuck with the Jews". i discovered this blog site recently you should check out it's right up your ally don't led the title mislead you:

  3. ok this is the last comment here. with me being a ROM fan and all i'm curious what the context was for the Dire Wraith having been mentioned by this Aaron fellow who i don't know.

  4. The aliens they were buying the Badoon Brain Slug from was disdainful of negotiating with children, and said something about preferring to deal with Dire Wraiths. Or something like that, I don't recall exactly. But I like the little continuity references. I wasn't familiar with Aaron either, except knowing he's been on Wolverine's solo title for awhile, but Schism is pretty great so far, and I think he'll be head writer on Wolverine and the X-Men post-schism. He's definitely a new favorite for me.

  5. here's something else i think may end up being a favorite of yours. were you aware that S.F. tried to have circumcision banned in it's city limits? Captain Israel vs. foreskin man:

  6. Ha very cool! Yes I had heard about that proposed bill. You know how liberals don't like cutting anything at all. Its funny I also saw this news about Captain Israel being censored and Schumer looking for a new publisher on bleeding cool yesterday:
    Thanks for the link!