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Marvel’s Next Big Thing: X-Men Schism

by  in Comic News Comment

This fall, the X-Men will be looking a little less “Uncanny” when the Marvel Comics mutant team is split in two by the events of “X-Men: Schism” - a five-part event series by writer Jason Aaron and a host of artists starting with Carlos Pacheco in issue #1. During the storyline, the long running “Uncanny X-Men” title will come to a (most likely temporary) end, and in order to suss out all the facts, Marvel has called one of their regular “Next Big Thing” conference calls with Aaron, Senior Editor Nick Lowe and Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.

The call started revealing that Quentin Quire will return to be the catalyst that sets off the action of the story. “He’s not the sole problem. He is a cog in a bigger machine,” said Aaron of the Grant Morrison-created character. Aaron called Morrison’s “New X-Men” his favorite X-Men run ever and was very excited to continue to play with elements from it.

Lowe explained that the conflict between Cyclops and Wolverine that explodes at the heart of the series has been brewing since “Chris Claremont wrote Wolverine in the X-Men back in the day” however the current editorial team has been thinking about the conflict for at least five years. “We hit the point of no return with the launch of ‘X-Force’ where we put Wolverine on a black ops team,” he explained. Alsonso added “At the end of the day, these are two alpha males…their rivalry, their mutual love interests and everything will come to a head.”

“Their relationship is not hanging by a thread when we start off…they’re pretty rock solid,” Aaron said. “Over the course of ‘Schism,’ something happens that makes Logan say ‘We’re not on the same page anymore.”

Alonso said that an event will take the X-Men to an edge that their leaders will be split on whether they will cross, but it’s not as clear cut as “One will kill and one won’t” but a much more subtle thing. He likened it to “Civil War” in that regard. “These are two guys caught up in a moral quagmire, so readers will be able to pick sides,” said Aaron.

As for the other mutants in the book, Aaron said, “‘Schism’ definitely has a big cast…but at the end of the day it boils down to a story about two guys.” He mentioned Hope playing a large role while all the events will ripple out into the Marvel Universe. “There’s also a lot of insane fighting,” said Lowe, noting that Sentinels and a new version of the Hellfire Club involving a new villain. Alonso said, “Jason has created a Sentinel for the ages…I’ll admit that Sentinels usually bore me to tears, but this is a lot of fun.”