X-Men SCHISM: The Wrap Up
By Andy Frisk
October 5, 2011 - 15:41
Publisher(s): Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Jason Aaron
Penciller(s): Adam Kubert
Inker(s): Mark Roslan
Colourist(s): Jason Keith
Letterer(s): Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Artist(s): Adam Kubert and Jason Keith
Logan/Wolverine and Scott Summers/Cyclops continue to battle one another in a violent and near deadly skirmish instigated by Cyclops' juvenile comment last issue as regards Scott’s opinion of Jean Grey’s feelings towards Logan when she was alive…or not the Phoenix…or not traveling the cosmos…or whatever it is she is now. Ironically, it is the X-Kids left on Utopia, currently under assault from the deadly Sentinel 2.0, that end up saving both Scott and Logan’s lives, and bringing an end their personal battle. Hope and her troops, along with some of the other X-Men students on the island, save the day. This proves Scott right, in his mind. The kids are part of the deadly struggle the X-Men face for survival and need to realize it. Childhood, school, and an education earned in a school setting are luxuries that they don’t have the time for. Logan continues to disagree though, and the last page of SCHISM reveals a future that many a long term X-Fan has been clamoring for…the return of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters!
The SCHISM is complete, literally and metaphorically, and the two most ideologically important second generation/first generation mutants after Xavier and Magneto have embarked upon different missions designed to accomplish the same goal. What we end up with, as readers, is another intelligent commentary on the type of realism vs. idealism or progressive vs. traditionalist divide that we witness everyday in the news in America. Various political and ideological groups which are pretty divided and hostile towards one another (mostly in order to garner the attention of the aforementioned sensationalist and revenue driven news media in America) seem to be holding back society and progress in America. Aaron shows us, with his signature political (and at times darkly humorous) style of writing, that while men who share a common goal fight with each other instead of allowing for the peaceful coexistence, if not compromise, of each others' views too often leads to a losing sight of the dangers that lurk just on the outside of the debate. While Cyke and Logan are shredding each other, the new Hellfire Club ends up using the battle on Utopia as the greatest advertising scheme ever. This whole event was staged by the new 12 year old Black King of the Hellfire Club in order to showcase his new Sentinel and, just as any evil military industrialist/corporate raider wants to, make money off of war and the promise of war. Aaron deftly shows us that while good men argue, evil men take advantage. These are the types of stories are the most important and worth reading, and Aaron does a great job of teaching us a lesson while entertaining us at the same time. This is why Aaron is one of the best, and most important, storytellers in comics right now.
Adam Kubert, one of the most revered artists in comics brings this mini saga to an end just as deftly as Aaron’s writing ties it up. There’s little more praise that can be heaped upon Kubert’s work except that Kubert continues to remain at the top of his game in the sequential art business. He brilliantly captures the petulant attitude of the Hellfire kids as they chomp popcorn while watching the battle on Utopia. Just like the petulant Wall Street robber barons that profit off of death and destruction, these kids are heartless. The scene is hilarious and horrifying at the same time.
Stories like SCHISM are what we are gifted with when a talented and intelligent writer takes the helm of a gifted and intelligent concept like The X-Men. If this series (overall—it did have some slow moments) is what we are in store for from Aaron’s tenure with the X-franchise, then we are definitely in for some great stories and reads.
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