Posted by:
Chris Bushley

Review: X-Men: Prelude To Schism #3


Already, he has listened to the seasoned words of both Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. Already, he has felt the prying eyes on his back and the hushed murmurs of doubt from those he leads. Now, it is his turn to reflect inward, to find the resolve to either forge ahead against the unknown, or fall back and lose the foothold he has gained on the future. Cyclops must make a decision that only true leaders can make, one of sacrifice and stoic resolve. But he still wishes he could talk to her, the one woman that could always take away the fear. But she is gone and he must stand alone amongst the masses.

Paul Jenkins has made me into something that I thought I would never become - a Cyclops fan! I have read tales of the X-Men, in all their various incarnations, for over twenty years and I never, ever, thought those words would fall from my lips. Growing up, Cyclops was just that "adult" figure on the team that was ever present to reign in the "cooler" characters and ruin a good time. He was the whiny "Boy Scout" that everyone loved to hate and no one wanted to be in the X-Men arcade game! But soon after the tragedies of M-Day came to pass, Scott Summers took on a role he had been groomed for all his life - that of a true leader of not only the X-Men, but the entire mutant population. And although many writers have helped chisel this new version of Cyclops, it is Paul Jenkins that will make me follow him blindly into the abyss.

Mr. Jenkins conjures up memories that are both new to the reader, as well as classic moments of X history, in order to show us the amount of growth this character has endured over the last few years. He helps create a character that is both noble, yet self doubting, a man that has now become something he hadn't really been before - realistic. From that fateful day on the Summers' airplane, to today as he watches and waits for disaster to strike his people down, Jenkins has forged Scott Summers into the kind of character that can move a reader emotionally - and that is no easy feat.  Jenkins gently pulls us through the memories that built this man, scenes that make Cyclops such a richer character than he has ever been. And as much as Will Conrad's art moves us visually, it is Jenkins "voice" as Cyclops' outer monolog that touches us at our core, making a bond with the reader that will be hard to break. These three Prelude To Schism issues have been a treat, if not something truly special. Jenkins has tapped into the pure essence of what a hero and leader should be; crafting a story that is poignant and above all else - gratifying!

In the words of Scott Summers,"Who is the fool: The man who leads? Or the fools who follow him?" Well,  fool or not, I will be following wherever it may lead. If Schism is half as good as this, we are in store for one amazing tale!