After making it through three-fifths of the story, I finally understand what X-Men: Schism is all about… because I read Kieron Gillen explain it in an interview with the LA Times:
[T]he core disagreement is about how much of the present should you be willing to give up for the future. As I said, Cyclops made all sorts of hard, leaning gray decisions — which he’s doing to make sure the mutants have a future. Wolverine, while involved in most of the gray decisions, thinks that Cyclops is still working in some kind of bunker-siege mindset and acting against principles which should be sacrosanct.
I don’t know why I feel as if this could’ve been made clearer in the books themselves, considering that Schism – by its very nature – is all about setting up and purposefully not resolving the conflict between the two sides, so of course it’d take time for the conflict to become obvious. And yet, I still feel as if Schism is oddly draggy, which leads me to wonder whether there’s something… not wrong, exactly, but wrong-ish about the expectations readers have about the series given the way the series and subsequent Regenesis branding has been hyped: We’ve known from the start – before the start! – that this series would lead to a separation of the united mutant front that’s been living on Utopia for years, and that it would split the X-Men into two distinct camps. With that in mind, is it the reader’s fault for being impatient to actually see that conflict as quickly as possible?
I’m genuinely torn – I know that, in order to sell Schism, the idea had to be given away to catch readers’ and retailers’ attention (especially considering the low orders; remember the last-minute attempts to convince people that it was really, really important?), but in doing so, I think the actual story got screwed because we all knew the end, and getting there suddenly became an entirely different thing. Would it have been better for Marvel to have kept quiet about Regenesis and the spin-off books until later? Should Schism have been shorter? Am I the only one who feels impatient for the actual schism to happen already?