Thursday, 12 May 2011

New Beginnings - X-Men: Prelude To Schism

2011 has been advertised so far as “The Year of the X-Men”. We have already had the opening for The Age of X and there are big events set to occur in X-Men Legacy and Uncanny X-Men. For the more mainstream roster we have Schism.

Written by Paul Jenkins, this is very much a scene setting and personal piece as it revolves around Cyclops and the position he has now been put in. Utopia is under threat and now Scott is forced into making tough decisions about the future and direction, essentially, for all mutant kind.

Without diving into the current situation, Jenkins has written quite a moody but sombre story which emphasises the moral dilemma and internal struggle that Scott is facing. Throughout the history of the X-Men readers have seen him grow and develop from the young leader of the X-Men to now, where all carriers of the X gene turn to him as a figurehead. Now, forced into making the decisions he followed and enforced, we are given how he chooses his path.

The issue spends as much time reminiscing on what made Cyclops the man he is, as it does on the actual story. I don’t find that there is a huge amount of development made, essentially starting and finishing with the same frame albeit from a different angle. Compared to some other comics it’s also incredibly speech light so the any involvement is from a narrative or internal monologue point of view. It’s easy to follow but it didn’t strike me as wholly engaging.

The artwork is by Roberto De La Torre and has a lot of work in it. There is a lot of detail work done in the actual line work, which is then added to and supported by the colouring of Lee Loughridge. I was slightly disappointed when I can see a frame that simply looks like a recoloured enlargement. The style is also completely different to the cover art as well, both have a strong dependency on the pencilling but there are finer cleaner lines on the cover than in the issue. Had this style been in the pages as well then I would have liked it more.

Although I don’t favour the artwork, the colouring by Loughridge supports it fantastically and feeds into the mood very well. The palette that he has used is emotionally driven and each frame is fed by the colour around it. A nice touch and well worked.

Overall the comic as a whole didn’t impress me, as I didn’t feel I got a huge amount out of it. The look of it isn’t my particular favourite and I didn’t get any feeling of development or urgency really. The frustrating thing is that I know that it is going to be part of something bigger, but based on what I have read in this issue I have no solid idea of what that looks like.

Matt Puddy is waiting for Hope to oust Scott

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