Become a fan on Facebook and Twitter.
The X-Men go to a charity ball and a bunch of kids fight tough-guy aliens. It’s not a play-by-play telling of this issue, but then that would be a little arduous.
After Quentin Quire uses his mutant power to force the world leaders of the U.N. to tell their most embarrassing secrets, no matter how inconsequential they may be, the world decides it’s time to stop persecuting mutants and really get to killing them. Unfortunately (depending on who you talk to), only twenty five percent of the Sentinels meant to do the job even work. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of X-characters to take care of the action and points of interest that twenty five percent provides off-page. Just focus on what’s going on in the control room and everything will be just fine.
And what’s going on, you ask? Why, it’s Wolverine and Cyclops arguing! Excellent, considering the book’s title “Schism” refers to the coming division between these two and how it splits up the X-men. Unfortunately, though they argue, they’ve yet to split or really fight. A book’s title is like the thesis statement, you don’t wrap it up in the second or third paragraph. Similarly, this “schism” should have been presented by the end of the first issue or, if not that, the second. This book needs to be focused on the animosity, the anatomy of the conflict… not build up to it to be addressed in later titles.
Oddly, not only has that not happened, writer Jason Aaron has created some of the best moments between these two classically adversarial characters as we see them treat each other with respect and admiration, as it’s made clear why they’ve put up with one another all this time. Of course, building this will make the coming schism better, and perhaps Aaron feels there hasn’t been enough of this leading up to this moment and finds it necessary for the effect he seeks.
Meanwhile, there really is no clear and present danger. There are the Sentinels but, as stated, they’ve being taken care of. There’s the public animosity towards our main characters, but that would be a problem on a title like Avengers, for the X-Men it’s forty-eight years of the same old thing. There’s the new Black King of the Hellfire Club, Kade Kilgore, a name that seems to suggest his parents wanted him to become a patricidal maniac, but he’s not intimidating, even as the mastermind of all that’s going on. He and his eight-year-old buddies can dress up and carry guns and eviscerate alien thugs until Sponge Bob comes on, but I’m not going to fear them as a reader until they defeat, or preferably kill, actual name-characters. Resting the tension of this story on his those shoulders is a mistake.
Two issues in, the readers deserve to see the characters engaged in combat with a villain, not destroying Sentinels with ease. By the way, we’ve all grown up watching the X-Men dismantle all manner of Sentinels. They aren’t scary, either. They destroyed Genosha and killed Morph on television but beyond that, we all know how a fight with one, or one million, Sentinels is going to end. Predictably.
X-Men: Schism is one issue away from officially being a dud. That split needs to happen and it needs to happen fast.