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X-Men: Prelude to Schism #2

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X-Men: Prelude to Schism #2

Credits

  • Words: Paul Jenkins
  • Art: Andrea Mutti
  • Colors: Lee Loughridge
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 18, 2011

With an immense threat to Utopia headed to the shores of the mutant safehaven, Cyclops has asked for assistance in how to tackle it. With his three closest aides, Magneto, Professor X, and Wolverine, all offering their opinions, Cyclops must make a decision that will change the future of mutantkind.

We’re led to believe that, at least. A precursor to the X-Men event of the year, Schism, X-Men: Prelude to Schism is less of a building block to the event, or even a prologue like Fear Itself: Book of the Skull was, but is instead a character piece.

With the unstated threat looming (no word if if’s an onslaught of enemies, a machination from space, or even just a natural occurrence that’s threatening Utopia’s position off the west coast), the previous issue focused on a discussion between the longest relationship in the book, that of Scott and Charles. Much as how that issue showed readers how Xavier views his long-standing disciple, Magneto’s turn shows how he has viewed his once enemy. Instead of the strong son that sadly turns anger inward that Charles sees, Erik sees Cyclops much like his never sullen father. Focusing a lot on Erik’s involvement up to and including the Holocaust, it ends with a recap of how they first met back in the first issue of X-Men.

Oddly, this book seems to take place before the events of issue #1. With a flip back to the previous issue, it’s not as if Cyclops is asking to talk to Professor X again, it’s that the end of #2 runs parallel to the beginning of issue #1. This, while a perfectly acceptable variation on the norm (especially when used for dramatic effect or to signify an important plot point), has no reason for it, and honestly leads one to believe that the covers were drawn backwards (Charles on the first and Erik on the second), and editorial quickly decided to swap the storylines to avoid  a redrawing half of an inevitable poster.

Andrew Mutti does well with the character moments in the book, and Lee Loughridge appropriately colors the historical scenes in tones of the time. Paul Jenkins, likewise, features good character development and turns a new light on previous events, such as what exactly was going through Magneto’s mind when he first fought the X-Men, or how he dealt with the weeks leading up to Hitler’s rise to power.

X-Men: Prelude to Schism is proving to be more of a background-builder and viewpoint on Scott, which will likely give way to some incredible action when Schism itself kicks off in earnest. For now, it’s good to have a few quieter character moments before the fighting starts.

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