X-Men Schism Mini-Series (2011) Review

publisher: Marvel

writer: Jason Aaron

artists: Carlos Pacheco, Frank Cho, Jason Acuna, Alan Davis, Andy Kubert

genre: Superhero

issues: 5

Out in trade paperback and hardcover

Comic book events, don't usually amount to anything. Rarely, do they actually end up being satisfying stories, then acclaimed series. This can be better said, for almost all of the X-Men related events. Schism on the other hand, is one of the good exceptions. Here, the event is treated more neatly. It's first, a mini-series of 5 issues and not a interconnected event through different titles. So not only is it neat and simple to read the series, but you also dont have to reach deep into your pocket, to finish the story. Even with that said, its a powerful X-Men mini-series, that will lead the X-Men to new and interesting paths.

Schism had been hinted for the past year, throughout the X-Men universe. This was labeled, as the event that would divide Cyclops and Wolverine for good. What would lead them to this divide, was on everybody's minds. It wasn't necessarily, a event or a specific action, that made them come to odds. But their conflicting personalities and ideals that put them, at each others throat.

The X-Men now having saved San Francisco from the cyborg Bastion and commended by Steve Rogers  (Captain America) and the President of the U.S (All this happened in the X-Men event "Second Coming") go back to business as usual on their home and island of Utopia. Cyclops finds this as a opportunity, to seek the destruction of all the leftover Sentinel robots, at the international arms conference. While there with Wolverine there is a attack and the X-Men need to once again, to clean up. This leads to a new secret threat and a new Hellfire Club bent on destroying the X-Men, killing all mutants and in effect bringing the X-men high leadership of Cyclops and Wolverine at odds for good.

When talking about Schism and events of Marvel Comics in general, the whole point is not only about how good is the story, but the repercussions of the story and where will it take the related comic books afterwards. Schsim's ending, as with so many other Marvel events, leads up to many new roads of incredible comic book tales, with Wolverine having his own team against Cyclops. Now does that make the miniseries great? due to the literally roads it paves? Of course not. But that's sadly how Marvel plays there events.

Even the best of Marvel events, like "Civil War" had an open ended conclusion. Some events do it better than others (Civil War) and them some fail miserably and feel out of place (Secret Invasion). Happily, "Schism" treats its characters with respect and acknowledges what's been going on for so long in the X-universe and doesn't play around with the characters in ways, that would make this into another disappointing X-story.

Schism was the X-Men event, that we had been needing since Messiah Complex (2007-2008) was out. In action, mystery and suspense Schism was on par with "Messiah". The writing is spot on and the art of all 5 issues is stunning. Many might disagree with the outcome of the Wolverine-Cyclops friendship and the return to Gold/Blue team dynamic of the X-Men teams. Overall, it was it was not only a good miniseries, but also a good jumping off point for fans of old and new.

Personal Rating:

review by Paul Katsaros

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