X-Men: Schism, WatX

Following the events of House of M and the Messiah trilogy (all but a handful of mutants are depowered, and then the first mutant baby is born and there's a huge race to secure her by various 'interested parties') Scott Summers (Cyclops) goes to give a speech at the UN asking for the world's governments to shut down their various Sentinel programs. He takes Logan (Wolverine) with him as a "one man security team" which turns out to be a great idea...

...since moments after everyone gets mad at the suggestion that Sentinels even exist the building is attacked by the pink-haired telepath Quentin Quire and then by a group of Sentinels. Both attacks are engineered by 12 year old prodigy and the future new Black King of the Hellfire Club (secret club for wealthy and influential), Kade Kilgore (killed his father and tricked the Club into accepting his membership before killing them all and installing a tiny brigade of child psychopaths because if there's one thing Marvel likes it's child psychopaths).

So unsurprisingly everything goes to shit immediately and governments all over the world reactivate aging Sentinels in a wave of fear and paranoia and anti-mutant sentiment (at this point I don't think you can even call it anti-mutant sentiment, since there's never really been any pro-mutant sentiment) and the X-Men are dispatched to deal with the fallout. Here's Kitty Pryde being awesome.

Scott apprehends Quentin and then refuses to hand him over to the Avengers, saying there are so few mutants they can't afford to let him face justice at the hands of anyone else, though Logan disapproves. He's on every fucking team though so he's always had a lot of split loyalty.

Worldwide fear of mutants is at an all time high and Kilgore's company launches a brand new line of Sentinels to capitalise on the instability. Hellfire Club soldiers attack the Museum of Mutant History during a visit by the X-Men and some students. 14 year old Idie Okonkwo (Oya) is trapped inside the building, and telepathically asks Wolverine and Cyclops what she should do. Wolverine instructs her to get to safety whereas Scott tells her to "do what she has to do". She ends up killing the soldiers and saving civilians and X-Men, but Wolverine is even more pissed at Scott for not telling her to avoid killing.

So inevitably they face off and Scott goes immediately for the low blow, since these two can't go five seconds without reminding each other that they once loved the same woman. Logan says it's wrong to make the children fight and quits the team. Scott lets him go, and the X-Men essentially split into two: part of them stay on Utopia with Cyclops and part of them leave with Wolverine, who intends to open a new school on the grounds where the Xavier Institute once stood.

And that's Schism! From here I read all of Wolverine & the X-Men which is excellent. For example, check out this sample of the classes offered at the new school, named the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning:

  • World History (1880-1950): An Eyewitness Account, with Headmaster Logan
  • Quantum Biophysics, Molecular Phylogenetics and Other Elementary Scientific Concepts, with Dr. Henry McCoy
  • Ethics 101: Forgetting Everything You Ever Learned From Emma Frost, with Headmistress Pryde
  • Algebra Sucks: I Know, But You Still Have to Learn It, with Professor Bobby Drake
  • How to Weaponize Household Products, with Professor Remy LeBeau
  • Diction and Linguistics, with Professor Rogue
  • The Art of Fighting Without Fighting, with Headmaster Logan
  • The Art of Fighting With Fighting, with Headmaster Logan
  • Computer Hacking 101: ONLY FOR USE TO SAVE THE DAY! with Headmistress Pryde
  • Sex Ed, with Professor Remy LeBeau

WatX was my first introduction to some of the new generation of mutants and I gotta say I was pretty impressed. I loved Quentin a lot more than I expected, since he's such an irredeemable little shit, but it works.

Mostly because of his excellent t-shirt collection and the fact that he's almost always drawn boots-first.

and, you know, there's a little heart of gold in there somewhere. The school's staff are awesome, especially Kitty, who deals with the stress of being a headmistress like a champ.

"While I was busy throwing up this morning, I found a grey hair. The whole day I've been pretending it was an illusion and that we’re secretly under attack by Mysterio. If you know what’s good for you you'll play along."

The art's great, and check out this variant cover by one of my all time favourite artists Alex Maleev:

I really enjoy the friendship between Logan and Vice Principal Beast, and the budding romance between Kitty and teacher Iceman (Bobby Drake) is super cute, as is Warbird's crush on him. LOOK AT THESE TWO AND ESPECIALLY LOOK AT HANK'S SUPER CUTE VINTAGE SWIMSUIT:

The students are also adorable, especially Broo the Brood, the only peaceful member of his usually bloodthirsty murderous race whose adorable little glasses and totally endearing desire for friendship with everyone he meets is just precious. 

Basically it is all adorable and I highly recommend it! 

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