Thursday, July 14, 2011

X-Men: Schism #1 (of 5)

I'll give this book credit - it's completely different from my expectations.

The advertisements I'd seen for X-Men: Schism seemed to indicate a violent rift between the mutants who make up the X-Men. The ads pictured Cyclops and Wolverine battling each other directly, and one pictured Cyclops' visor split into four sections by (presumably) Wolverine's claws.

In other words, I was expecting another Civil War (Marvel's version, not the "War Between the States").

Since I wasn't a fan of that series, the good news is, this issue tells a completely different story.

It focuses on the two heroes on the cover working together to confront the United Nations about the existence of Sentinels in every country - obviously created to hunt and destroy mutants.

The story by Jason Aaron seems to be trying to make a political statement, but it's all very muddy. Is he decrying the hypocrisy of the U.N., which is (according to this story) apparently filled with criminals? Is he equating mutants with terrorists, are are they weapons of mass destruction? Should countries be able to build defense mechanisms against super-powered beings, or should all those devices be destroyed? And do mutants have the right to demand the human race disarm?

Lots of interesting questions, but it all gets tossed into the same basket and ends up a jumble.

Kudos to Carlos Pacheco and Cam Smith for some outstanding artwork here. The characters are spot on and the action scenes are short but mighty impressive.

The mini-series is off to an interesting start, but it'll have to be careful to avoid just being another "Attack of the Sentinels" story.

It's encouraging that this is all happening on a global scale - that certainly helps kick it up a notch. It's too early to tell if the story's going to work or not - but it's a decent start.

Grade: B+


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