There are only about 200 mutants left. The X-Men are more united than ever as mutant-kind has united under the leadership of Cyclops on the artificial island Utopia. Utopia is a community where mutants are able to live and master their powers in peace; a place to call home. In ‘Schism #1′, Cyclops and his most trusted lieutenant, Wolverine, are headed to the United Nations to speak about mutant’s rights on behalf of all mutants.
You would think after fighting to protect Homosuperior since he was 16 years old, Cyclops would learn to expect at least some resistance to the idea of humans and mutants living together. It’s not just humans with problems with the mutants; mutants are not all heroes – I’m sure some are just fine with wiping out the human race and living 200 strong.
Writer Jason Aaron touched on a lot of typical X-Men themes in this issue. Cyclops and Wolverine are playing the role of diplomat, trying to get the world on their side. There is a hand at work behind the scenes working to undermine the goodwill mutants are trying to and have built. Oh, and a Sentinel attack (you can’t have a new X-Men story without the Sentinels).
A lot of this book takes place on the floor of the United Nations as Cyclops and and the President of Iran are going back and forth about the the plight of the mutant and even the existence of Sentinels. In what is a heated, yet strangely constructive back and forth debate, is interrupted by the villainous mutant Kid Omega.
Kid Omega’s powers bring out the worst in people and apparently compel people to tell the truth. I have to say one of the highlights of this issue was when members of the UN were compelled to tell the truth, and these truths ranged from beating kids to a detailed list of all the deaths one member was responsible for. This truth pow-wow then broke down into a mini-riot within the chamber.
Of, course at that point… enter the Sentinel. Kid Omega’s action was just the excuse needed to unleash the mutant hunting killing machines on the leaders of the X-Men. At this point does anyone think the Sentinels stand any sort of a chance against any long-time X-Man? In one epic splash page Cyclops and Wolverine take out a handful of Sentinels. I do kind of like Cyclops’ cynicism at the end of this attack. Just as Wolverine is ready to follow the scent and dole out some sharp clawed justice, he is ordered back to Utopia. Why? Well, because Cyclops understands the damage is already done and it is his best play to sit back to see what happens.
Ok, the next pat of this book is pretty cool and deals with that unseen hand guiding events against the mutants, and I don’t want to spoil too much for you good readers, but there is some good drama. There are also some nice Wolverine character development as he is looking out of the younger mutants.
This is a solid opening chapter to a story that could spell the end of the X-Men, it would be nice to thin the herd a bit and get back to an X-Men Universe without quite so many mutants. Aaron’s writing is solid and builds tension and the action depicted by Carlos Pacheco, Cam Smith and Frank D’Armatta artwork is both dramatic and exciting. Make sure to check back next month for ‘Schism #2’ and the ‘Hellfire Club’!