Posted by : Wendy B Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Just finished X-Men: Schism and. Deciding. I'm not happy with the writing. There are feelings similar to that which I had reading Marvel Civil War, where I get the impression that the writers were rolling the dice on who goes with whom in the end. No. That's not fair. X-Men Regenesis does a reasonable job of addressing this. Everyone's reasons are valid.

I guess. Hm. The writing. The writing was poor. The concept was there, and this review covers the ins and outs of the plot better than I'm in the mood to (though the review is far more positive than I feel about it). Basically, Schism is meant to take Scott and Logan back to their roots. Logan is the berserker who's really a teddy bear that young girls like Kitty and Jubilee flock to. Scott is the reluctant leader, trained to lead, who does so because he doesn't know anything else and can't fit in outside of the world Xavier created for him.

We've seen Beast's issues with Scott for some time now in Astonishing X-Men, which caused Beast to leave the team, fearful of Scott and his motivations and intentions, so, at least, "issues with Scott's leadership" isn't a sudden invention thrown together for this story. Though Logan's issues with Scott's leadership over the specific points presented were, perhaps, too contrived.

So the climax of the conflict between them takes place on Utopia with all but Generation Hope unavailable and a giant sentinel heading straight for them. Scott wants the kids to fight. Logan decides they should be kids, with much of his motivation stemming from Idie, a 14 year old girl who learned to accept that she was a monster, and learns to kill taking orders from Scott.

That's reasonable motivation for Logan's decision, and the relationship between Idie and Logan is built up enough to justify it. (Note: Idie's character and depth is a bright spot in this story. Definitely want to keep in touch with her, in hopes that she gets a better costume that doesn't look like she's having desperate puberty hair issues.)

But what played poorly was the entire fight between them on the island, with the pending doom walking up to them (good thing that sentinel walked reeeeeeeally slowly and apparently had no ranged weapons). Worse, much of the battle came off as, well, as Scott being an immature asshole. He even brought up Jean, out of the blue, which Logan countered admirably. And so, on the beach, the boys tried to rip each other apart until the kids came out and proved Scott right in regard to the immediate threat and proved Logan right in regard to stolen childhoods.

Thus Logan departs for Westchester, recruiting old teammates, making plans to teach the kids again. To let kids be kids. Initially, I was feeling that Logan's decision was not wholly in character, but that's not entirely true. He's always cared for the young ones. And Regenesis covers what Schism didn't, by showing that both he and others are aware that he's no teacher and needs help.

Scott shores up Utopia's defense and continues to be an asshole with the weight of leadership on his shoulders. Alas, Scott, I sympathize, somewhat, but I am disappointed. I had come to like you, but now, you're just an asshole again playing the burden of leadership card. Only this time, you aren't under the shadow of Xavier. You already kicked him out. Now your assholery is all your own.

And at the heart of it all is the image of Xavier with the original X-Men. All kids themselves. And the new 'Hellfire Club,' a bunch of psychotic children.

Oh X-Men. The future is never friendly, is it.

2 Responses so far.

  1. I enjoyed the story. The pacing was excellent, and the last issue with Scott and Logan fighting was awesome.

    I don't dislike Scott. Scott is tortured and weary. That came across well.

    What didn't work for me was the new Hellfire Club. So, these kids take out Emma Frost and Magneto and Namor without breaking a sweat? Give me a break.

    And they are evil and psychotic just for the love of it? Boring!

    A good superhero story needs a great villain. The new Hellfire Club just doesn't cut it.

  2. https://plus.google.com/u/0/102543948831967474502/posts/6g5jGdawg72

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I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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