X-Men: Schism Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Chain Reactions | Uncanny X-Men #1

Uncanny X-Men #1

Uncanny X-Men returned this past Wednesday with a new #1, just two weeks after the previous run ended. Written by Kieron Gillen with art by Carlos Pacheco, Cam Smith and Frank D’Armata, the story revolves around Cyclops and his post-Schism “Extinction Team” of Storm, Hope and a bunch of folks who couldn’t participate in a game of “raise your hand if you’ve never gone through a stage that others characterized as ‘mainly super villain.'” The book features a more serious tone and mission for the team than their back-in-Westchester friends appearing in Wolverine and the X-Men, as well as the villainy of Mr. Sinister and cameos by most of the other “Team Cyclops” mutant characters who decided to stay on the West Coast.

So what did folks think of this issue? Here’s a sampling of reviews on Uncanny X-Men #1:

Ron Richards, iFanboy: “Uncanny X-Men #1 is everything that Wolverine & The X-Men #1 was not, and I mean that in absolutely good way.  Where Aaron delivered a whimsical, comedic at times, fresh new start for Wolverine and the mutants at the new school in Westchester, Gillen’s representation in Uncanny X-Men #1 is a serious, more adult world that these mutants live in. And that’s exactly how it should be.”

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The Fifth Color | A new approach from the New Mutants

New Mutants #33 - Doug and WarlockAs the wordwide protests continue, Occupy Wall Street becomes more and more a part of our popular culture. Whether you’re holding a sign, reading about people holding signs or complaining about those signs, protests of this intensity are weighing in our thoughts. There’s a lot to ponder by questioning the establishment, finding a personal connection with hot-button social issues, and the division and unity in all of us.

See, now you just know I’m going to talk about the X-Men!

How can you not, when they are the go-to comic book metaphor to play and experiment with all sorts of social issues. Fear of the future, minority oppression, youth activism, why there’s even this MAJOR SCHISM that divides their public on how to achieve their goals. In the blue states- I mean, Wolverine’s camp, we have a return to the foundation of education and the protection of the next generation. In the red visor camp, we have a more aggressive approach, the idea that war is inevitable and the way to meet a world that hates and fears you is with heavy hitters, young and old. They even have a handy chart to know whose side you’re on (ooh, deja vu).

If you take a look at Cyclops and his Extinction Team (Really? What a terrible name), Dani Moonstar and her friends are listed as “Clean-up,” which one would think means some kind of X-Force-like hit squad (X-Force being mysteriously absent from these breakdowns). It’s a strange sort of listing, and once you read New Mutants #33 and understand what exactly these characters want to do, you’ll see how this might just be the answer for an entire out-of-place generation.

WARNING: We’ll be talking about New Mutants #33, so spoilers and nostalgia to follow. Grab a copy and read along!

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Food or Comics? | Batwoman, 20th Century Boys, Regenesis and more

Batwoman #2

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d first grab hold of my favorite of DC’s New 52, Batwoman #2 (DC, $2.99). J.H. Williams III has successfully kept up to the immense expectations he accumulated following his run with Greg Rucka, and the artwork seems to benefit even more by J.H.’s input into the story as co-writer. Next I’d dig down for two of my regular pulls, Northlanders #45 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and Uncanny X-Force #16 (Marvel, $3.99). For my final pick, I’d have to miss a bunch of other titles for the chance to get the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 #4 (Image, $4.99). I love the anthology format, and having that plus the good cause plus the a-list talent makes it a must get; seriously, can you imagine one comic book containing new work by Frank Quitely, Williams, Mark Waid, J. Michael Straczynski, Matt Wagner AND Craig Thompson? BELIEVE IT!

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What Are You Reading? with Jim Gibbons

B.P.R.D Hell On Earth: Russia #1

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Dark Horse assistant editor Jim Gibbons, who I spoke to about his new job on Friday.

To see what Jim and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …

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The Fifth Color | X-Men history doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes

Wolverine Punching Gif

X-Men: Schism - it's kind of like this

The sad truth is that comics aren’t real. While mankind may have actual mutations (and some of them are super cool), none of them really warrants a special school or a uniform. Fighting for acceptance and tolerance thankfully doesn’t come by fighting giant robots designed to kill you. And, I hate to say it, but declaring yourself a sovereign nation off the coast of San Fransisco takes more than just an OK from the mayor’s office. So there is no way for the X-Men to be real, and therefore we can’t hold them to a truly “realistic” point of view.

At the same time, however, we do need to be able to relate to these guys, and that’s something the X-Men do nicely with a theme of social justice, teenage angst and the ever-vigilant battle of acceptance. Recently, these basic concepts have been taken in much more broad of a sense than, say, when they first started. Characters have grown up, loved and lost, tried to sustain families, and had their numbers physically shrink and dwindle. And then Apocalypse drove a giant floating sphinx over their house. In ever-escalating stories, the base concept of the X-Men was devoured for bigger and more dramatic concepts. In today’s comic market, it’s hard to keep our interests, and some days you have to try something new on top of something else new to keep things fresh and exciting.

Then again, going back to basics doesn’t hurt either, and X-Men: Schism seems to be on its way into familiar territory. A clear example of how the world hates and fears mutants, Sentinel proliferation as a nice metaphor for our own nuclear-weapons issues, old villains returning with new faces and a clear motivation that is nothing but evil — this is starting to feel like the comics I used to read, just revved up with a new engine and a new coat of paint. Hope and her crew are a great way to keep close to heart the “youth against the world” sentiment of the X-Men as they fight for the future.

Everything seems to be right on track … so why is Wolverine out of his canucklehead mind?!

(WARNING: Spoilers ahead for X-Men: Schism #4, so grab your copy and read along!)
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Food or Comics? | D is for Daredevil, DeConnick, Deadlands and ducks


Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Graeme McMillan

As we’re heading towards the middle of August, it’s no surprise that curiosity is getting me to pick up more than a few DC books just see how particular series “end;” I’d be getting Justice League of America #60 and Legion of Super-Heroes #16 (both DC, $2.99) anyway, because I’ve been following those series for awhile, but I’m likely to add Batman #713 (DC, $2.99) to the pile as well, if only to see the explanation as to why Dick quits being Batman before the big relaunch. But it’s not all endings for me with my $15 this week; I’d also make a point of grabbing Daredevil #2 (Marvel, $2.99), because the first issue was just breathtakingly good, and the series became a must-read before I’d even reached the last page.

If I had $30 this week, I’d add to my list of DC final issues with Supergirl #67 (DC, $2.99), which Kelly Sue DeConnick has talked up in interviews as being the highpoint of her short run to date and a great capper to the series as a whole. I’d also check in with the third issue of David Hahn’s All Nighter (Image, $2.99), as well as see if Nick Spencer’s Iron Man 2.0 is worth a look with the mini-collection of the first three issues, Iron Man 2.0: Modern Warfare (Marvel, $4.99).

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What Are You Reading? with Chris Butcher

Casanova: Avarita #1

Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Chris Butcher.

Butcher is the manager of The Beguiling in Toronto and founder of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. He’ll be at the UDON Booth #5037 and The Beguiling Original Art Sales Booth #1629 at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.

To see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …

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Food or Comics? | Steak or Schism? Red Wing or Red Wine?

X-Men: Schism

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item. We’re coming a little late today due to a power outage in my neck of the woods — due to a blackout, not because I spent the money for the electric bill on Flashpoint or Fear Itself tie-ins.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d make a mad grab for American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99); I love what Snyder and Murphy are doing here, and anyone who knows me knows how big a fan I am of Murphy’s work. Next up would be the debut of Jonathan Hickman’s Redwing #1 (Image, $3.50); after seeing Hickman blossom at Marvel, it’s great to see him re-invest in creator-owned comics. Third would be Jason Aaron and Carlos Pacheco’s X-Men Schism #1 (Marvel, $4.99); I have a sense Aaron’s the kind of writer to bring his “A” game when it comes to special stories (he did it recently in Scalped #50), so I’m interested to see what he does here. Last up would be Northlanders #42 (DC, $2.99).

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What Are You Reading?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Ross Campbell, creator of Shadoweyes and its recent sequel, Shadoweyes in Love, as well as Wet Moon, Water Baby, The Abandoned and “Refuse,” a short story in the recent Strange Adventures anthology from Vertigo.

To see what Ross and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.

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The Fifth Color | Forward into the Past with Marvel in September

Fear Itself #6

They're breaking up Superman and Lois Lane?!?

What’s the point?

This is like hosting the best block party for three months straight, and then suddenly the guy next door rents an outdoor projector and starts playing “Best of the Web” YouTube videos on the side of his house. People just can’t help but turn their heads. Is it a wise idea? Aren’t these just constant clips of low-rent YouTube versions of Jackass? Why can’t I look away?

So here we are, minding our own business, when the Distinguished Competition comes out with a hefty announcement for their September line-up. It’s bright and shiny and controversial and loud, and maybe this is what the other half feels like every time Marvel announces that they are going to create a studio to make their own movies, make a push for trade paperbacks, support digital comics or kick off a whole new universe where characters are younger and more movie-savvy for the modern comic reader.

Yeah! So let’s look at September, people! Let’s face front to the future and remind ourselves that no matter the number on the cover, it’s the content that counts. What’s Marvel bringing to the fore in September?
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Bachalo, Land, Pacheco to draw dueling X-Men titles

Who will you follow?

The Associated Press announced this morning that following this summer’s X-Men: Schism event, two series will take the place of the ongoing Uncanny X-Men series. October’s Wolverine & the X-Men by writer Jason Aaron will feature, obviously, a Wolverine-led team, while Uncanny X-Men #1, due in November, will feature a Cyclops-led team written by Kieron Gillen.

But who is drawing them? Marvel.com revealed the art teams for both books this morning. Wolverine & the X-Men will be drawn by Chris Bachalo, who has a long history with the characters. Uncanny X-Men will have two rotating artists — Greg Land and Carlos Pacheco. Land has been drawing arcs in Uncanny X-Men for awhile now, while Pacheco recently returned to the characters to draw the Point One issue.

“The best thing about this split is that the two books hit two very different chords. One is hardcore super hero action and the other is something else entirely that I can’t go too deep into without spoiling `Schism,'” Editor Nick Lowe told the AP. “The best way I can describe it is a return to a structure that made the X-Men what it was.”

The current Uncanny X-Men series ends with issue #544.

Update: Aaron has a post on his blog about the news, where he says not to read too much into the accompanying promo image: “I can’t say who’s going to be on my team, other than Wolverine of course. I can’t say where they’ll be or what they’ll be doing. I will say, don’t assume you know the full roster for either team based off this one promo image. Both sides will feature their share of surprises.” Gillen says something similar on his blog.

Quote of the day | Kieron Gillen on the end of Uncanny X-Men

Uncanny X-Men #544

“When I joined Uncanny after S.W.O.R.D. I thought ‘There’s no way I can get THIS cancelled.’ But there are no limits to my power.”

– writer Kieron Gillen, reacting to this morning’s news that Marvel’s
long-running Uncanny X-Men series will end in October with Issue 544
as a result of X-Men: Schism

The Fifth Color | Forward into the Past with Marvel in July 2011

Captain America #600July is daunting. I almost fear the month itself, because it could possibly be the month of overload. I may have to take a vacation, and not to the San Diego Comic-Con! Just think of what the world is going to look like just a few months from now: two Marvel blockbusters (maybe three) will have hit the big screen. The ever-present and ever-daunting Comic Con, where even more movie, TV and comic print news will be announced. We’ll be in the middle of a major event, ending an Ultimate event and the starting two new ones. Normally, we get this kind of action (sans the movies) around December or January, when the full road to Marvel Universe Destruction has made the final leg of its journey and the Aftermath/Dark Reign/Initiative months kick in. This is a lot of action, and it’s all happening in July. Readers will certainly need a road map, if not a Sherpa and a well-stocked base camp.

So let’s prepare for the journey ahead and read on!

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