By Chris Arrant
Change. It’s the foundation of the X-Men as we know them. The mutant race itself came about through the change in the DNA of human beings. But in the five-issue limited series X-MEN: SCHISM, coming this summer, the mutant heroes could experience their final change—and be no more.
X-MEN: SCHISM puts writer Jason Aaron at ground zero as the simmering tensions between Wolverine and Cyclops come to a boil.
“In some ways this culminates everything that’s been going on in the X-Men universe going back to House of M,” explains Aaron. “Things have been building towards this for awhile.”
|X-MEN: SCHISM art by Frank Cho|
Series editor Nick Lowe agrees, stating that what happens in X-MEN: SCHISM has been “in the works” for several years.
“This will have definite ramifications with the whole Marvel Universe,” Lowe reveals. “It’s lock-step with our plan of greater integration of the X-Men into the rest of the Marvel Universe.”
Although Aaron can’t reveal what actual events cause the rift stated in the series’ title, he describes it in one word: explosive.
“Things come to a head between Scott and Logan after all we’ve seen the X-Men go through these past years,” lays out the writer. “Through that Logan has been right by Scott’s side, and he thought Scott came into his own as a general and leader for mutants. But X-MEN: SCHISM starts with a moment where they start to derail a little bit. You’ll start to see them ripped apart.”
But the story won’t simply chronicle a falling out between two men, as the central disagreement forces all the X-Men to question their own stances.
“We’ll see pretty much everybody in X-MEN SCHISM,” Aaron promises. “It’s a huge cast; all of the X-Men play a part of this. Certainly it’s very much about these two men, Scott and Logan, but also some other important characters as well. Some of the kids play a role in this, like the Five Lights from GENERATION HOPE. We’re also having the return of a character from Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN run that’s coming back in a big way. We’re also going to have a brand new Hellfire Club that plays a major role in this.”
A thorn in the X-Men’s side for years, the Hellfire Club has always been steeped in tradition and featured tenured villain such as Sebastian Shaw and even Emma Frost. However, expect the latest iteration of the group to buck all previous trends.
|X-MEN: SCHISM black and white art by Frank Cho|
“It’s a brand new take on the Hellfire Club concept,” Aaron says emphatically.
In addition to different characters at play, the series will also feature a line-up of A-list artists set to bring the proper gravitas to such a pivotal moment.
“We’ve got an amazing artist lineup,” the editor exclaims. “Carlos Pacheco, Frank Cho, Alan Davis, Adam Kubert, Daniel Acuna! This book is fully loaded, and not in a Herbie way.”
Aaron has a particularly storied past with one of the lead players in SCHISM, having made his debut as a professional comic book writer on a 2002 issue of WOLVERINE after winning a talent search competition; he has been regularly chronicling Logan’s solo efforts since 2008. The writer stands excited to place his charge among the centerpieces in a major story like SCHISM.
“It’s great,” he affirms. “In a lot of ways it’s also a culmination of everything I’ve been doing in the pages of WOLVERINE; all of that plays into X-MEN: SCHISM. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read that stuff however, this is self-contained. If you know what’s going on in UNCANNY X-MEN and WOLVERINE then I think it all gels nicely into this.”
SCHISM will bring about a new challenge for Aaron as it will be the first true team project he has taken on after years on solo character-driven books such as WOLVERINE and Scalped.
|X-MEN: SCHISM art by Frank Cho|
“It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever written in terms of scope, cast and impact,” admits the writer. “Scalped prepared me for this somewhat. Much like in Scalped, I love being able to spread the spotlight around. There’s really not one single main character but they all have important roles. I love showing different perspectives. I’m allowing the reader to choose for themselves who the heroes and the villains are.”
As readers will see once the first issue hits in July, SCHISM will set the table for drastic fallout that affects each and every member of the X-Men.
“You’ll see the effects of X-MEN: SCHISM across the board for the X-men Universe,” stresses Aaron. “It’s going to be something that resets the landscape for mutants as we know it.”Keep following Marvel.com all weekend long for the latest news, videos, photos, liveblogs and more from WonderCon 2011!