There are teasers that make you excited for the comic that’s being talked about, then there are teasers that make you wonder just how below expectations initial orders were. Today’s X-Men: Schism teaser is definitely one of the latter, a surreal letter from Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso to… who, exactly? Fans? Retailers? Anyone who’s listening? As if the letter’s very existence wasn’t enough, the content was very telling. Here’s what he wrote… with some handy translations:
Schism is the X-Men’s Civil War.
Translation: Remember that event book we did that you all liked and sold really well? This is just like that, but with the X-Men! Just ignore the fact that we already did a book called Civil War: X-Men.
The biggest X-event in a decade divides the mutant universe across distinct battle-lines and asks readers the question: Whose side are you on?
Translation: Just like Civil War! Do you guys remember Civil War? This is just like that! But Cyclops is Iron Man and Wolverine is Captain America! Or maybe the other way around. Which one are we killing afterwards again? Also, it’s the biggest X-event in a decade, so remember things like Messiah CompleX? Second Coming? Small fry compared with this! Just think of how many crossovers we can have!
And there’s a reason Schism ends at exactly the same time as Fear Itself.
Translation: I know you all thought that we were really bad at scheduling crossovers, what with Fear Itself and Spider-Island and Schism all running at the same time. But we’re going to make it work, honest.
Next summer, the entire Marvel Universe will have its eyes on the X-Men.
Translation: Remember that I said this was like Civil War and the biggest X-event in a decade? This is nothing compared with what’s coming in a year’s time, and if you don’t read this, then you’ll not be getting in on the ground floor. Don’t you want to be an early adopter?
And then there’s a signature, and his byline. There’s something really amusing about including the signature, for me: It reminds me of those old ads where the president of the company would offer his personal guarantee for the product. I think that’s what this ad is missing: Axel Alonso offering me my money back if Schism isn’t just like Civil War but with mutants.
The two shout-outs to Civil War are worrying, though; I get why he’s doing it – Civil War sold really well – but it really makes Schism sound like a retread, instead of anything new or even that interesting (Seriously, how many times have we seen Cyclops and Wolverine fight before?). As a gimmick to get people to pick up the book, I’m not sure it’s a smart move – but on the other hand, maybe the X-Faithful are feeling really, really nostalgic these days.