(Free) Comic Day hangover

Hopefully all of you had an excellent Free Comic Book Day!  I spent some time in my local comic shop in the company of Ramona Flowers, Black Widow and Zatanna, who all looked fantastic in their costumes.  Nothing really caught my eye amongst the free books this year, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t leave with a bag full.  I just haven’t gotten to them yet.  But I also picked up last week’s books.  So we’re looking at:

  • Uncanny X-Force #9 in which we get Magneto involved.
  • X-Men Prelude to Schism #1 in which we get some Xavier/Cyclops bonding.

Spoilers beyond the jump…but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Uncanny X-Force
This was an odd issue.  The general point to the book is that Magneto has figured out that Wolverine is leading a secret X-Men death squad.  If anyone lives by the “needs justify the means” it’s Mags, and thus rather than blowing the whistle on X-Force, he requests that Wolverine go kill someone for him.  The target is a former Nazi officer from World War II who fled after the end of the war and put his past behind him to live a peaceful life with a family all his own.  And Wolverine shows up and takes his samurai sword to him and that’s that.

The premise here is good – that the sins committed, no matter how they are justified – will inevitably catch up to the sinner.  This has been the main theme of X-Force, especially for Psylocke, that they have to convince themselves that what they are doing is for the best.  It’s a stark contrast for someone like the Punisher, whose long since made peace with his killings, or even Deadpool who simply lacks a conscience.  But for the likes of Angel and Psylocke, like Warpath before them, it’s a constant struggle.  But even for the best of reasons, these characters are haunted by their actions and fear that they will one day come back to them – as demonstrated here.

But the story weakens in the details.  The target is a former Nazi, who has to be at least in his mid-80’s by this point, and Wolverine goes off and murders him.  I suppose Wolverine does this as a favor for Magneto, but it’s not something that someone like Wolverine would be doing.  Magneto is hardly a friend to him and blackmail is far beneath Mags anyway, if that’s the case.  I guess Magneto’s recent storyline of cleaning up his image (see the .1 issue of Uncanny) prevents him from doing it himself, but really who believes that in Magneto’s Silver Age craziness and villany he would let someone like this live?

Okay story if you don’t sweat the details.

Prelude to Schism
Schism is the upcoming MAJOR EVENT for the X-Men since it’s been far too long since someone was killed for dramatic effect we had a big event (ignoring that X-Men is tying into Fear Itself).  The only thing I know about the event is that it involves the various mutants assembled on Utopia branching off behind Cyclops, Professor X and Magneto (and Wolverine I thought, but my local comic shop owner disputed it).  Judging by this book’s cover, I’m assuming this is supposed to give us the side of Professor X, but instead it gives us a touching scene of a young Cyclops and Professor X dealing with what normal is and how to deal with all the crap life tosses at you.  It’s a nice little story, but I don’t really get what the point is.  Schism is supposed to be the breaking up of these leaders, yet this issue seems to be rebuilding the relationship between Cyclops and Xavier, which has been broken for quite a while now.  If it was aiming for a mark, it missed it.

Some of the less-important details left me scratching my head as well.  There’s apparently some Real Big Threat headed towards Utopia which will only be able to be beaten if everyone bands together to fight.  The story remains purposefully vague about what that threat might be, as no one gives names or hints or anything.  And being that the X-Men just beat zombie mutants, Bastion’s army of Nimrods and an army of vampires, what could possibly be THAT big of a deal?  Oh, and it also seems like this issue has a bit of a spoiler for Uncanny as Kitty Pryde is seen without her spacesuit thing, talking as she normally would.  But I’m not complaining.  They can’t keep her phased forever, can they?

Next (This) Week
Good week for me, most certainly.

  • Astonishing X-Men #37 actually comes out.
  • New Mutants #25 begins Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s run on the book and I am EXCITED!
  • X-Men #11 looks to spotlight the relationship between Jubilee and Professor X, which I adore.
  • X-Men Legacy #248 begins the book’s new direction.

See you then!

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