Jason Aaron's opus to divide the X-Men has come to an end. The line in the sand has been drawn, and when all the dust has settled, we will have ourselves yet another X book to purchase on the racks of the local comic shop. But has all the hype regarding this seemingly grand tale of friends and family being forever divided really paid off?
I have to say - NO!
I have been reading Uncanny X-Men since issue #282, through good tales and bad, and I was really looking forward to this mini series. Prelude to Schism was filled with so much heart and an overwhelming feeling of dread that you couldn't help but feel sorry for the characters, and yet, somehow, joyful for what was to become of them afterward. But Schism seems to have become a tale where the means didn't justify the ends. We all knew that there would be a division between Wolverine and Cyclops, one with supposed irreconcilable differences, and that all the X-Men would have to choose sides. But the most exciting part, at least for me, was how Aaron was going to get us there. The part that was going to change the X world forever, unfortunately fell flat.
Don't get me wrong, Aaron wrote a good story, and the formation of the new Hellfire Club was insidiously clever, but you are breaking up the X-Men here, this should have been epic! I mean, the straw that broke a family in two was a comment from Cyclops to Wolverine about how Jean never loved him? C'mon! And yes, there were other factors involved that were more grandiose, but let's face it folks, that one little comment was the catalyst.
Issue five sees the final conclusion of Cyclops and "terminator" Wolverine's battle with each other and the hybrid Sentinel. Claws are popped, lasers shot and the children help to save the day. The Hellfire Club has finally proven to be a worthy opponent for the first time in years, and hallowed ground will be tread upon yet again.
Get this book to see Idie's development into one of the most intriguing new characters in the Marvel Universe. But will this book be talked about for years as the one that revamped the X family for the future? No. It was good, but sorely missing the mark of something momentous when it had every right to be.