Schism hits the mutant world's newest teen heroes! In an event with remarkably few tie-ins, can Kieron Gillen keep up with the standard set by Jason Aaron? Of course he can.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Generation Hope #10
Written by Kieron Gillen
Artwork by Tim Seeley and Val Staples
Generation Hope has been a strange book so far. It's been a teen superhero comic not like any other, and that's mainly down to writer Kieron Gillen and his weird approach to mainstream comics. He's the guy behind Phonogram, and as such his take on superheroes is not the typical one. Hope and the Five Lights have taken on strange out-there foes, and the usual teen-hero mix of 'shipping' and lame romance just isn't there. Add to that a fantastic issue that used mutants as an allegory for gay teen suicide, and Generation Hope is hardly Teen Titans, and is all the better for it.
This latest issue is another strong installment and another one which doesn't do what you would normally expect. Focusing on Idie, a young mutant who believes she and her friends are have not been given a genetic gift but are cursed and monsters, Gillen expands on the shocking events of X-Men: Schism #3 and makes them resonate beyond the page.
Set mainly at the opening of the new Museum of Mutant History, Gillen follows Idie as she meets several mutant characters and learns about mutant history from and persecution, from Prodigy to Rachel Summers, Idie and the readers are given a crash course in some of the bad things that young mutants have been through and been forced to do. Speaking as someone who's dad works in museums and has been to many openings, I wish they were as cool as this, although I did once meet Dave Gibbons at an exhibition opening.
And then the Hellfire Club attack, and spoilers for X-Men: Schism #3 follow.
Gillen has done one of the best jobs I've read of getting across how killing effects and changes someone. When you think about one of the most famous images in X-Men history, Wolverine in the sewers holding a dead Hellfire Club soldier saying 'Now it's my turn!', that's the reader revelling in violence. This issue is a condemnation of that violence, and how the X-Men's fight for survival has lead to an innocent girl becoming a killer. It's a great hook for Schism, and I can't wait to see how Gillen and Jason Aaron handle the fallout.
Gillen uses a great technique in this issue where Idie narrates the story from the future, remarking how long it is until she becomes a murderer. This not only builds up the suspense of any readers not reading Schism, but also emphasises how important the events of this issue is. For Idie, there is her life before she became a murderer, and her life afterwards. For one character at least, this event means things will actually never be the same.
Artwork in this issue comes from Tim Seeley, who I always enjoy when he takes a break from his own creator-owned work to do a little something for Marvel, whether it's Ant-Man or Generation Hope. The thing I liked best about this issue was his facial expressions: contrast Idie's innocent nervousness in the first few pages, to her blank look after she kills. It's haunting stuff. It's not easy to follow up Jamie McKelvie, but Seeley manages it. It was also great to see Morning Glories cover-artist Rodin Esquejo provide a cover here, he's a top artist.
This is a great issue, and required reading for anyone following Schism. While Idie's actions there mainly serve to provide the wedge between Wolverine Cyclops, it's important not to forget the impact on Idie herself, and Gillen does a fantastic job at expanding on what Jason Aaron has set up. This is what an event tie-in should do in my book, make the story bigger, make the story more meaningful.
Review by: Niam Suggitt