X-Men: Regenesis: Schism and Uncanny X-Men (Review)

What an excellently crafted and yet convoluted mess is the current state of the X-Men comic book.  One wish granted in that over all, like most species do, this series has definitely evolved over the last two year.  I’m going to try and stay current and catch you all up to speed and try my best to review what’s been happening and give you the positives and negatives.

Regenesis is the tag they are giving every X-Book as they try and repackage to entire X-Universe, some for the good and some for the bad.

X-Men Schism Mini-Series kicked all of this into gear and the gist of the series is A new Hellfire Club was created by a group of rich obnoxious little shits, who I guess are from what I gather are super-intelligent arms dealers lead by king little shit Kade Killgore.  They kill the remaining members of the old guard and take over, creating a new more powerful Sentinel in the process: made to make money and in the process destroy mutant kind.  This advanced Sentinel bears down on Utopia (the current home of the X-Men; an Island off the coast of San Fransisco) As the Sentinel bares down Wolverine and Cyclops are faced with a conflict.  Cyclops wants the mutant children of Utopia to fight and Wolverine think it’s suicide for the young ones and Cyclops can’t be trusted as a leader.  This leads to a brawl between the two, broken up by the impending Sentinel and the kids decide to take action and everyone fights off the Sentinel.  This still leaves the conflict with Wolverine and Cyclops.  I want to take this time to recognize that Scott Summer’s (Cyclops) has had a huge arc over the last few years and become one of the BEST characters in the Marvel universe.  He’s basically become a kick-ass version of the Professor X.   Yet, instead of commanding the X-Men from afar like The Professor, Cyclops is a fighting general, always on the front line and making tough decisions.  Even as a kid I recognized Cyclops as a strong moral characters having to make tough choices when everyone loved Wolverine who was essentially a dick.

Schism was writen by Jason Arron and the Art was passed around from issue to issue, #5 brigning back an all time favorite in Adam Kubert.  Schism was the equivalent of a Season finale of a big time TV show.  The relashionship between Wolverine and Cyclops has always been red hot and does boil over now and then but here the difference is there’s no Proffessor X to yell at them and tell them to shape up.  The X-Men young and old all look up to Wolverine and Cyclops as leaders and that wasn’t always how it was.  Wolverine was always seen as a soilder but the Marvel has him in the Avengers, leading X-Force, and with the evolution of the X-Men he’s on a similar plane as Cyclops.  This wasn’t just a fist fight between these two, it’s a total clash of ideas and moral, which is funny coming from Wolverine.

The Good: I love the dichotomy created by these two men: One is a life long killing machine who thinks these kids shouldn’t be put on the front lines, and the other is someone known for doing the right thing who thinks all mutant should be held accountable for defending mutant kind.  This splits the team, and with good reason; It’s not the 2011 version of the blue and gold team of the 90’s….these are two ideals being put to the test.  These two men have drawn a line in the sand and the giant roster of the the current x-men have to split in two.  Also another cool note of contention is Wolverine wants to move back to New York, build the mansion in Westchester and teach the kids.  Cyclops wants to stay in San Fransico and stay the course as almost a strike team.

The Bad:  Looks like if you wanna follow the X-Men it’s gonna cost you more hard earned dollars.  The continuity is already so muddled, adding more books might not be the answer.  I’m ok with them adding a Wolverine lead team, but maybe cut some of the other books out, thin the line up and spread the wealth. Also I was expecting more of a showdown to conclude Schism:  The New Hellfire Club as a bunch of snobby kids is a new twist, but they should have been more involved overall.

Uncanny X-Men parrelling Schism was muddled up in the “Fear Itself” story line which saw The Juggernault transform into a Herold of the Serpant known as Kuurth The Breaker of Stone.  So a super powerful Juggernaut possesed by an Asguardian Herold of Fear is tearing his way through San Fransisco.  In order to counter to this was Colossus who makes a bargain with Cyttorak the other-dimensional being who originally empowered the Juggernaut. He gains the power to stand against Kuurth and Colossus becomes the new avatar of the Juggarnaut and is able to push Cain Marko back until Cain is summoned by The Serpent. This decision causes Kitty to break up with Colossus, an event that would tie into the two teams spliting up.

When I heard Uncanny X-Men was ending and this was the story line that was closing it out I was pretty dissapointed.  It was a decent story but some of the issues were just pointless filling.  The only thing it accomplished was causing even more of a divide withith the team via Collosus and Kitty Pryde.

This leads into the end of the an era: with the countless branch out series year after year the constant rock of the X-Men series the Uncanny series was the longest running and really the flagship of the entire Universe.  I think it’s a mistake to end Uncanny but it’s the new tread in comics.  Company’s have a hard-on for issue #1’s as we saw with DC’s new 52 restarting every series.  Marvel is following suit with a bit of a change up giving Wolverine a team and Cyclops a team.  Before diving into these two book let’s wrap up Uncanny with one final issue.

The Final Issue of Uncanny X-Men ending at issue 544 was Written by Kieron Gillen and penciled by Greg Land, this issue marks the fallout of Schism and marks the final division of the X-Men into two seperate enties. This issue acts more as an epilog to Schism.  The first page of this issue is a reprisal of the first issue of Uncanny X-men #1 from 1963.  Gillen rewrites the dialog from the original, but we see that’s because their history is being narrated by non other than believed to be dead Super Villian Nathanial Essex. (Mr. Sinister) Sinister narrates the whole issue giving it a cold chilling feel or a finale but also setting up the first big Villian of Gillen’ X-Men relaunch.  This issue revolves around Cyclops and Bobby Drake “Iceman” as Iceman who is joining Wolverine’s New York team.  As Drake pokes and prodes Cyclops with jokes and nostalgia you get a sense that he is riddled with guilt for turning his back on his long time team-mate and leader Cyclops.  Cyclops doesn’t engage Drake in nostalgia and looking back, he just wishes him well, being the hardened General he is.  We get a beautiful splash page of most of the key events in the X-Universe over the last 40 plus years drawn by Greg Land.

In the final few pages Emma and Cyclops have a conversation, Emma acting on behalf of the reader asking Cyclops how he feels, trying to break his shell.  He tells her he’s not a machine and he reveals that he feels anger, grief, sadness, doubt, but mostly closure. He holds a picture of the original team and says that they’ve finally graduated.

This was a good final issue but a quick read and really just an exended epilog for Schism and set up for Gillan’s new X-Men book. I know they are rebooting Uncanny as an issue 1, but this was one of the only on-goings never to do this and it was kind of a bummer. I’ve been buying Uncanny X-Men since 1991, this has been a part of my life for 20 years and to see it all wrap up was bitter sweet.  I really wish they dug deeper into the rich history of the X-Men with it’s final issue, but Gillen just gives us story progression which isn’t a bad thing, but I think this issue would have benafited from feeling a bit more important to the mythos of the X-Men itself.  I’m not against the change don’t misunderstand that, I fully understand you have to move forward and evolve, but you should also recognize what you’re leaving behind.  Reguardless this is the end of an era and the dawn of a new day for the X-Men.  I was going to condence all of Regenesis into one long review, but Schism and the wrap up for Uncanny was a bit too long so I shall split this into two review, which I guess is a bit more fitting.


~ by ATOM on November 3, 2011.

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