X-Men: Schism, the 5-issue mini-series designed to break the X-Men in two, has just wrapped up and what a ride it’s been. It’s one of the best X-Men stories I’ve ever read for a lot of reasons. It’s a story with Sentinels, psychotic kids and a brutal fight between Cyclops and Wolverine. Writer Jason Aaron has crafted a story that new readers can appreciate and long time X-Men fans will totally eat up. Unlike some of the “events” forced upon us, this actually feels like an event with relevant repercussions.
I’ve compiled 10 moments from X-Men: Schism that make this mini-series so unforgettable. Major spoilers ahead, bros.
1. Wolverine and the Girls
Wolverine has always had an affinity with young girls. Even though he’s a loose cannon and considered the most dangerous X-Man in history, he always finds himself mentoring some of the X-Men’s youngest members, particularly the girls. This short exchange between Wolverine and Kitty Pryde gives us a peek at the heartwarming relationship Wolverine has with X-Girls that include Kitty, Jubilee, Armor and now, the new lucky girl, Idie a.k.a. Oya.
2. Kade Kilgore Kills His Father
New character Kade Kilgore is just a kid. At this point in the story, we still have no idea how he fits into the whole X-Men: Schism business. But we do get the idea that he’s one sick mofo as he kills his father minutes taking over his company.
3. Cyclops Defends Wolverine
One of the highlights of this mini-series is the big fight between Cyclops and Wolverine. But it wouldn’t be as emotionally jarring as it is visually stunning without the constant reminders that these two men are total bros. They’ve been through a lot over the years and they have grown from straight up rivals to two men who respect each other. Cyclops shows how much he respects his bro by tearing Quentin Quire a new one after the upstart belittled Wolverine.
4. The Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle vs. The Badoon
The last place I would expect to see the Badoon is in an X-Men comic, but here they are. At this point, we still have no idea who these kids are and what the hell they are planning to do. All we know is that they are highly capable of taking down a few members of a generally feared alien race in a very brutal way. The cute little is particularly scary because she’s absolutely nuts.
5. The Hellfire Club Takes Down Some of the Most Powerful X-Men
Like most of the Internet, I wasn’t thrilled to see kids being the main antagonists of X-Men: Schism. At first. But after the Inner Circle kids and their Hellfire Club minions have taken down some of the most powerful members of the X-Men — including Namor and frickin’ Magneto — they have found a place in my heart.
6. Oya Saves the Day
With innocents being threatened and the nearest available X-Men several minutes away, it’s up to Oya to save the day. All she has to do is murder Hellfire Club henchmen. Wolverine says no while Cyclops says DO IT! This is where the actual schism starts to develop and this is where you start taking sides. Do you agree with Wolverine who believes kids should not be put in a position that requires them to kill or Cyclops who believes that all mutants should protect innocents and defend themselves by any means necessary?
7. Cyclops Brings Her Up
Easily my favorite Schism moment. A freaky Sentinel is on it’s way to destroy all mutants in Utopia. The X-Men are either busy fighting Sentinels in different parts of the world, scrambling back to Utopia but are several minutes away or out of commission because of Badoon brain slugs. The only X-Men left standing are the New X-Men kids, Hope and the Lights, Cyclops and Wolverine. The debate between Logan and Scott about whether they should run and leave Utopia behind or stay and fight with an army of kids rages on as the Sentinel gets closer. Wolverine is threatening to blow up Utopia to force the mutants to leave the island. Cyclops is asking all of them to make their stand. It’s a standstill that will seemingly end in death by Sentinel. But eventually, Cyclops found a way to end the debate — and escalate it into a full blown fight. He brings up Jean Grey and IT. IS. ON.
8. Cyclops vs. Wolverine
We’ve seen Cyclops and Wolverine fight before, but we’ve never seen a fight like this. It’s brutal and you know there’s plenty of emotion involved because Jean Grey was brought up. It’s pages and pages of Wolverine and Cyclops tearing each other apart while they’re avoiding being crushed or incinerated by a Sentinel. We’ve seen endless teasers for this fight weeks prior to the release of issues #4 and #5, but actually reading it still evokes a feeling of awe and HOLY CRAP.
9. X-Men United
The New X-Men kids and Hope’s Lights break Wolverine and Cyclops’ fight and together, as an X-Men army, they laid the smack down on the Sentinel. No Magneto. No Storm. No Namor. No Colossus. Just Cyclops, Wolverine and a bunch of inexperienced kids.
10. The Return to Westchester
The Sentinel is down and the smoke has cleared. Wolverine decides to leave Utopia and take whoever’s willing to go with him back to their home. Together with Iceman, the New X-Men kids, Oya and others, Wolverine took a Blackbird all the way across the U.S. to where it all began. The X-Men are back in Westchester, New York. It brings both nostalgia and a hopeful look into the future, something that has been missing in the X-Men books for a while now. As an X-Men fan, this just brings a profound sense of hope and excitement for what comes next.
Recently, we have learned that from the ruins of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters will rise the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Like a phoenix from the ashes. The X-Men has come full circle in a beautiful way and I can’t wait to see a new era take shape in X-Men: Regenesis.