Schism represents a shift in the world of the X-Men, but it is one in a series of shifts over the past few years, and those shifts are exactly why the X-Men have seen a renaissance of sorts. Years ago the X-Books found themselves in quite a bit of a rut, with “real change” signaling nothing more than a new roster. Since those days, events such as Deadly Genesis, Messiah Complex, Second Coming, and now Schism have welcomed real character growth back into the fold, and the team before you now is much better for it. That’s not to say every event since then has been that way. While events like Necrosha & Messiah War were action packed and decent stories overall, they didn’t have the depth like the others had. While there are other things at work in Schism, the core Is about a difference of opinion between two teammates, and really, two brothers in arms, who just don’t see eye to eye anymore.
As a conclusion, honestly, I was truly satisfied (that’s what she said! Ha! You’ve been 8miled!). While the first half of the book centers around conflict of a physical nature (between Wolvie & and Cyclops, & then between the X-Men & a Sentinel), the second half centers on conflict of a personal and emotional nature. The throw down that started in Schism 4 does not disappoint, and while there was no clear winner, I didn’t feel either person got short changed. More often than not in these types of fights, one character gets nerfed so that the other one has a chance, and here I thought they did a reasonably good job of balancing the two.
There’s not much dialog in the first 6 pages, but for me that was okay. All the talking had already been done in schism 4, and at this point, there wasn’t much else to say. As for the Sentinel, I thought it was funny that he was merely an annoyance in this fight between them. It didn’t bother me, and in actuality, made me laugh. Once the kids enter the fight, I’m not going to lie, I loved seeing everyone, even for just that moment of time, working together towards the same goal. That’s what the scene is supposed to do, and for me, it worked. Side note, I also loved watching the Hellfire Kids (as I’m calling them) eating popcorn and watching from afar.
After the fight, the meat of the story takes place. We all knew it was coming, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise that Wolverine decided to leave. However, I was impressed at the dialog between the captains of the ship so to speak. It wasn’t filled with overly dramatic yelling or soap opera moments, it was a real argument, like people have in the real world.
I’m glad that they kept logan in that wheelhouse. As a character, he’s changed a lot over the years, and isn’t the same “I’m going to pop my claws everytime I’m angry” guy he used to be. He had a thought out point of view, and they illustrated that well here. I also thought that both sides had valid points, and I could point to pros and cons for both, and that’s the wonderful part of all of this. One guy is not the villain here, they’re both right. I did find it interesting that most of the kids who helped in the final fight went with Logan, including Idie, who much of the story centered around. All that is except for Hope. I think that says a lot about her as well as her upbringing. Logan had a point in his argument that they’re not just soldiers, and that they should go out of their way to protect them. That’s all true, but sometimes you can’t protect them.
Life doesn’t go along with the best laid plans, and that’s something that no character knows better than Hope. She grew up on the run from someone who wanted nothing else but for her to die. She was protected by Cable, but not just protected, taught. She was taught to fight and more importantly how to survive, and that’s something that these other kids don’t have. I thought it was telling when Scott said last issue that Wolverine blew off every class he gave him to teach, and in this issue where he said “You may think you know what you’re doing, Logan, but trust me, you don’t. Maybe you figure its easy being the one who makes all the decisions. If so, you’re in for a rude awakening”. That line has a lot of truth to it, and I’m very interested to see how Logan adapts. He’s always excelled at taking one person under his wing, and even a team, but Xforce was a team of veterans and people who had done this before. Now he’s got a team of mostly new recruits, who have just days ago had their first real test. It will be intriguing to see how he deals with that, and maybe several months down the line, how he feels about the job that Scott has done since M-Day. We’ll see. For now, Schism has set the table. Now we’ll see where it goes from here.