Hello, Nerd Vicers and fellow X-Heads; and welcome to my review of X-Men: Schism #5, the final issue of the five part mini-series! This series, and this issue specifically, will set the table for much of what’s to come for the X-Men in the aftermath of Schism and beyond! So, without further ado, let’s get into the review!
X-Men: Schism #5 is a $3.99 Marvel Comic, originally released on October 5, 2011. This issue was written by Jason Aaron, and features pencils by Adam Kubert, colors by Jason Keith, letters by Jared Fletcher, and digital inks by Mark Roslan. The cover art was supplied by Adam Kubert and Jason Keith, with variant cover art by Frank Cho and Morry Hollowell.
The issue opens by dropping us right smack into the middle of the knockdown, drag-out fight between Cyclops and Wolverine that began roughly halfway through X-Men: Schism #4. Now these two have danced before, but NEVER like this! Bones are broken and healing factors are tested! This is the Cyclops versus Wolverine fight that’s been brewing for over thirty years, and it does not disappoint… AND they have this brutal fight all while also fighting and being attacked by the biggest frickin’ Sentinel you’ve ever seen!
Logan is holding a bomb detonator and is threatening to blow the entire island of Utopia sky high in order to stop the super Sentinel and is telling Scott to evacuate the students. Logan does not think the students are ready for this fight and he does not want to risk their lives. Scott wants to stay and defend Utopia; and considers the students to be X-Men – not merely a bunch of mutant kids.
This is the main point of disagreement that erupted into the mega fight between Scott and Logan, and this eruption happens at the absolute worst possible time. The two alpha males of the X-Men fight like the most bitter of enemies and, all the while, Cyclops is trying to wrestle the detonator away from Wolverine while they both continue to attack the Sentinel, between their blows to each other.
As Scott and Logan continue to battle one another, over whether or not the kids are ready to fight for their lives, the students have made up their own minds. They come charging in like a cavalry and begin their own furious assault on the super Sentinel. Seeing this, Scott and Logan realize the choice has been made for them and rush to aid the students against the metal monstrosity.
With Cyclops and Wolverine leading the charge, they and the students manage to destroy the Sentinel that was threatening to level all of Utopia and kill off the next, and perhaps last, generation of mutants. The mutants are elated and celebration breaks out, followed by cleanup and recuperation – but this is where things get really interesting, and we see the scars left from Scott and Logan’s infighting are really deep and really ugly.
Logan has a very poignant talk with Idie and everything she says just further proves how damaged she is. Then Logan and Scott have the conversation that broke up the X-Men. It’s too juicy and too well written for me to do anything but tell you to click on the image to the left and read it for yourself… well, don’t just sit there, click the image, people! The book wraps up with some more of Scott and Logan’s conversation, played out over panels showing Logan and the X-Men who sided with him prepping to leave Utopia, in search of a new beginning.
This was a very well written book. Jason Aaron is fast becoming a favorite of mine, and he writes one hell of a Wolverine, as evidenced by his work on Wolvie’s solo books and by how well he writes him here. Other than the X-Men stopping the super Sentinel, the most important thing to happen in the final issue of Schism is the conversation between Scott and Logan in the aftermath of the X-Men’s victory over the killer robot. Considering how major the events of this issue are, it needed to be a home run and, in my opinion, it was.
Now, on to the art department! Adam Kubert’s pencils are brilliant throughout, as always! I’m a huge fan of his, from his days on Uncanny X-Men, X-Men and Wolverine, in particular. Hell, the whole Kubert family is basically a comic book art institution, between Adam, his brother Andy, and their father – Joe. Adam Kubert’s art is fluid and wonderful to look at. He nailed the down and dirty nature of the big throwdown between Cyclops and Wolverine and the action with the more giant-than-ever brand of Sentinel. There are a couple beautiful splash pages in the issue, as well. Kubert’s faces and expressions with his characters are rock solid and the looks in the eyes and on the faces of the characters involved all fit; as well as help to hammer home the weight of what’s going on in the story. Jason Kieth’s color work is great, and it complements the fantastic pencil work by Kubert extremely well. Mark Roslan’s inks are sharp and smooth.
All in all, X-Men: Schism #5 – and the series as a whole – was a great read and a damn fun ride, even if it was slow getting out of the gate. The events of Schism set up things in the X-Men’s branch of the Marvel Universe in a brand new and fresh way that still manages to take the series closer to its roots, at the same time. The rift between Cyclops and Wolverine has a very similar feel to the relationship that Professor Xavier and Magneto have had for so many years. They have two different ways of looking at the same situation and taking nearly opposite stances that are both RIGHT depending on your perspective. Logan taking his faction of X-Men back to West Chester gives a sense of coming full-circle. So, if any of you X-Heads out there haven’t been reading Schism, it’s time to get caught up, and prepare yourselves for X-Men: Regenesis!
All images are property of Marvel Entertainment.