Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: X-Men - Schism #5

This is it: the final issue of X-Men: Schism.  I have to say I when I first heard about this comic I was really excited about the prospect of the X-Men being put at odds with each other mainly because I thought it be neat to see the an X-Man versus X-Man scenario.  However this miniseries disappoints on every level.  Mostly.   But I’m getting a head of myself.  So far I have been underwhelmed for three issues and then in the last one I actively became kind of angry over the writing.  If you haven’t done so yet check out those reviews: Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, and Issue #4.

X-Men: Schism #5 was written by Jason Aaron with art by Adam Kubert on pencils, Mark Roslan on [Digital] Inks, and Jason Kith on Colors.  X-Men: Regenesis #1 has already come out by this point and I have indeed read it.  Soon the “new” X-Men books will be coming out and the new status quo for the team will begin.  Of course, as with this comic, this new direction seems considerably less interesting now that it’s here than it did when it was announced.

Full review after the jump.

[Warning: Tons of spoilers ahead]

Um guys. Giant robot about destroy Utopia. Do you care? No? Ok then
Following their *Ahem* disagreement about whether the X-Men students should be allowed to help defend Utopia Cyclops and Wolverine continue their rather vicious and bloody fight, all the while the invading Sentinel continuingly tries to kill them both.  With the fate of the mutant safe haven hanging in the balance and the two men charged with its safety being insanely stupid it falls to others to rise to the call.

I really like the cover of this comic.  The image of Wolverine and Cyclops fighting each other while totally ignoring the huge robot hand about to murder them is eye-catching and extremely true to what happens inside the comic.  The last four issues’ covers have been either dull or misleading so this is a fantastic change of pace.  Also, like in the last issue, I was really happy to see the younger characters stepping up to defeat the invading robot.  Again no asked them to and in a very serious way they were not only risking their live against a terrifying killer giant robot but they also were also in danger of being blown up by Wolverine who made it clear he was going to destroy Utopia rather than see them fight this battle.  And they did it anyway because it was the right freaking thing to do, Wolverine be damned!   The fact that they were victorious, with no causalities, completely invalidates Logan’s argument from the previous issue as well as makes him the bad guy in a way: he wastes precious times with his ultimately stupid rant (Arguing that a team mostly known for training teenagers shouldn’t train teenagers is weird) and nearly destroys the last remaining mutant safe haven which could have potentially destroyed everything the X-Men and mutantkind have worked for the last few years.

Of course that’s all thrown out of the window when Cyclops, after the battle is over, gives the biggest asshole argument in history to Wolverine after the latter confronts him when the dust settles. The issue treats Wolverine as if he has the moral high ground and Scott’s dialogue, which makes him sound like a monster, supports this. It really bugs the hell out of me that the book seems to go back and forth on who’s supposed to be right and who’s supposed to be wrong but Cyclops is certainly portrayed as such an unlikable douchebag that it’s hard to pay attention any of his good points (Including offering to put his leadership role up for election when Wolverine questions his position).

Teenagers?  Fighting as X-Men?  What a bizarre and totally improper concept 
 Where’s Kade Kilgore during all this?   Well apparently after murdering all remaining Hellfire Club members (Huh?) he and his pint-sized posse are celebrating off somewhere because apparently all the countries around the world are now buying his brand new Briefcase Sentinels after witnessing it’s power (Although it was defeated by teenagers if I recall) and realizing that their own Sentiniel were outdated and useless.

Wait.  Wait a goddamn minute.  Wasn’t Kilgore the one sold a lot of these countries their robots? And didn’t he tell the Hellfire Club that he had purposely provided faulty machines?  Which would mean that these dumbass countries are buying Sentinels from the dude who sold them the same ones that went haywire and tried to kill their citizens just a few days earlier. That’s like you buying a used car from a dealer that caught on fire on the car ride home and then bought a brand new version of that same car from the same dealership after you saw them driving it around town later that day.  Kade’s plan doesn’t make any sense but it is successful because EVERYTHING HE DOES IS SUCCESSFUL NO MATTER WHAT!!!  F**k this character?  It’s insane to me how completely unstoppable this little kid villain is and it all just makes the X-Men look like a bunch of morons.   Also is it just me or does Wolverine kidnap Kid Omega rather than taking him straight to Captain America like he suggested they do in several issues ago?  Goddamn this comic; I think I hurt my brain!

Pictured: Magneto's replacement as arch enemy of the X-Men
The more I think about it the more the things I come up with that bother me about this comic.  Some of them are plot holes, some of them are characters acting out of character but regardless this comic just pisses me off. It uses the flimsiest pretense to make an excuse to have Wolverine rebuild Xavier’s mansion and split the team.  Beforehand I was hoping for a miniseries about Cyclops isolating his friends and teammates to the point that they (Not just Wolverine) have to confront him about the direction of the team and mutantkind. While I was reading it I was hoping for the comic to feature the new generation of mutants, the only non-Cyclops and non-Wolverine characters we focus on, to come to the conclusion the older generation are all jackasses and determine that they need to helm the future of their people themselves (Because both older men proved to be Marvel’s biggest jackasses during this comic). What I got was Cyclops and Wolverine arguing then fighting over NOTHING OF ANY MERIT WHATSOEVER for five issues and possibly the worst villain I’ve seen in years prove that he’s a thousand times smartest than all the X-Men put together. X-Men: Schism isn’t the worst comic book in the world and in fact it may not be that bad at all. You might like it. But I was bored for the most part and when I wasn’t it just made me mad with weak writing and characterization. There could have been a lot going on in this comic but instead we mediocrity. The only bright side is that I can finally start buying X-Men comics without fear of having to deal with Wolverine.

I give X-Men: Schism #5 2 out of 5 Adorable Pandas.


-Good cover art

-The teenage X-Men are the most heroic people in this book


-The characters are kind of poorly written, especially Cyclops

-Kade Kilgore‘s master plan is impossible

-The premise of the comic ultimately is a huge letdown

As for the series s a whole I’m not going to give an average.  This is a pointless comic that wasn’t worth the money I poured into it at all and the only relevant information from it is that ultimately Wolverine and Cyclops hate each other and thus split the X-Men.  So I give the entire miniseries 2 out of 5 Adorable Pandas.

Soon Jubilee will star in an X-Book without Wolverine anywhere in sight
So on second thought X-Men: Schism is the greatest thing ever in history
Also where the hell was Professor Xavier during all of this?   Doesn’t he have something to say about this whole mess?  I know he’s not the leader anymore but surly he would have an opinion over all this.  And no, he doesn’t show up in X-Men: Regenesis #1.  That would have made sense.

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