The conflict of X-Men: Schism is the same long-running conflict that has been present in the pages of these comics for almost 50 years now: the prejudice of the human race against mutants. Even after so many years of fighting to prove that they want to use their powers to help society, not harm it, the X-men seem to have made no progress. The villains are fundamentally the same: biased world leaders, the irrational public, and more specifically, the robotic monsters that humans created back in 1965 to protect themselves against the mutant danger: the Sentinals.
But really who can blame humanity for being a bit confused when more times than not, the X-men are fighting other mutants in their efforts to protect the powerless. Are mutants bad? Are mutants good? They, as a whole, are both of course. They are both because in essence they are human, and humans are flawed and can allow power to go to their heads. Humans lose their minds under pressure. Humans stubbornly insist that only their way can be the right way.
The many racial, psychological, and societal concepts that the X-men comics repeat year after year are certainly interesting. But the truly amazing part is that even after almost 50 years of writing this same plotline over and over in new – yet the same – ways, it still makes for a damn good comic! Seriously. I never get tired of this stuff.
The Sentinals are back and in mass quantities as leaders around the world panic over the latest psychotic-mutant attack. As usual, the X-men are blamed for the mishap, causing world the leaders to take action. In a statement meant to give Utopia the middle finger, each country blatantly began to display their Sentinal forces directly on their own ‘front porches’.
As usual it was a member of the mutant race shot who his own people in their collective foot. During an arms control conference Cyclops was pleading with the world to dismantle, disarm, and dispose of whatever Sentinals their countries had in their arsenals. Over the years these robotic forces have killed thousands, if not millions of mutants. Now the mutant population is down to 200 – yet still people fear them enough to keep the Sentinals prepared for business.
Who was the crazy mutant to botch everything up this time? That would be Quentin Quire, Morrison’s arrogant whelp of a telepath. Making his second appearance since his shameful display in Pheonix-Endsong (the first display was in a Nation X short where he was really quite horrible to poor Martha – the brain chick in the tube), Quentin storms into the conference and abruptly announces that everyone should fear him (as usual). He then promptly telepathically makes every world leader stand up and tell his or her deepest darkest secret. At least Quentin’s plot mucking is always good for a laugh.
Through all these developments, writer Jason Aaron certainly succeeded in setting a sound base for what seems like will be a really interesting event for the X-men. I completely recommend that all X-fans not miss this one. The best part, though, was even through all the development to set the stage, this book still had a nice underlying element where readers got a glimpse of the on a more personal note – especially Wolverine. We see how worn Wolverine is by being on three teams and dealing with his own issues all at once. We see Scott’s sincere appreciation for Wolverine. We see Wolverine make an effort with one of the young Five Lights – as he always seems to have to have some young girl under his wing. Usually too much Wolverine gets an eye-roll from me. But I have to say that this was really done well. I am really interested to find out where the Schism is going to happen in what is, currently, a rather united society.
Check out X-men: Schism. It’s worth the *gulp* $4.99. (It is also longer than the average sized comic, if that helps you part with a 5-er)