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FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011


Marvel Comics on Friday staged a phone press conference for X-Men: Schism, a story it is touting as "the biggest X-Men event in years."

On the call were writer Jason Aaron, editor Nick Lowe and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso.

Following are highlights:

* Marvel released new art by Carlos Pacheco from X-Men: Schism #1 and Frank Cho from X-Men: Schism #1. Click on the thumbnails above for larger images.

* Aaron said that Quentin Quire is the catalsyt that starts the first fire in Schism, but he's not the only problem and is the cog in a bigger machine. "He'll continue to have a place in the X-Men Universe after this," he said.

* Lowe said the conflict has been building since Cyclops and Wolverine first ever looked at each other. "This leads up to the fight every fan has been waiting for for 25 years," he said.

Specifically, the idea became more concrete over the last 2 1/2 years, Lowe said. "It crossed the point of no return with the launch of X-Force, where he put Wolverine on a black ops team," he said.

* Alonso said there was always a reckoning between the two and they are both alpha males.

* Lowe said the stories have shown Wolverine and Cyclops are as tight as they've been, with Cyclops as the general and Wolverine his most trusted office. "So when the split happens, it means something," he said.

Aaron added that the relatoinship is "pretty rock solid" when Schism begins, but something happens that forces Logan to say that they aren't on the same page any more.

* Lowe said a line in the sand crosses that make its so they can't be on the team any more. "It leads to the most brutal fight that everyone has been looking to since Giant-Size X-Men #1," he said.

* Aaron said there is no villain will come out of this and that readers will be able to take either said on the divide. Alonso said that even the X-Men creators were divided and that the division is similar to Marvel's Civil War.

* Characters look for? Aaron said Schism has a huge cast, including the Generation Hope characters, but at the end of the day, it's a story about Cyclops and Wolverine. "It comes down to their argurments, their fight."

Aaron added the story will have ramifications through the entire Marvel Universe.

* Lowe noted Sentinels play a role and there is a new version of the Hellfire Club with "the coolest villain." Alonso said a new Sentinel "Is just crazy."

* Aaron talked about the meetings with different groups and that the Avengers and Spider-Man creators also get excited. "This is how things can play with one another and things can build," he said.

* Alonso said that it's not a coincidence that Fear Itself and Schism will end at almost the same time. The new status quo of the X-Men will have "a profound effect" on the entire Marvel Universe. "All eyes will be on the X-Men next summer," he said.

* Aaron said he gets to flex different writing muscles and that he had been wanting to write a team book for a while. He said he loved the direction that Cyclops had been taken, and he was excited to write characters like Magneto, Emma Frost and Namor for the first time.

* Aaron said he enjoyed writing Iceman and Idie Okonkwo from Generation Hope.

* Aaron said it isn't a case of Scott suddenly changing that creates the rift with Wolverine. "It's just for some reason, they find themselves at an impasse," he said.

* Aaron said Quentin is the "pernenial rebel without a clause" and won't simply stand back and applaued Cyclops.

* Lowe said the Wolverine/Cyclops dynamic will not become Magneto/Xavier. "They certainly aren't fallling into the same arguments," Lowe said.

Aaron added it is a new dynamic fueling the X-Men going forward.

* Lowe said Schism isn't a crossover. "You don't have to read the stuff that has come before," he said.

Alonso said the story had to come from just one writer and didn't need to span titles.

* Alonso said it's a really sad story at the end of the day. "There's no hatred like the one you've had for someone who was a really dear friend," he said.

* Aaron said Storm will be involved in the story and will have a say in the argument. "You could expect to see the ripple effects and the way things shake out. The X-Men are going to choose sides," he said.

* Hope and the Phoenix Force are not addressed in Schism, Aaron said.

* Lowe avoided any further discussion of Phoenix.

* Aaron said he talks a lot with Rick Remender and Kieron Gillen and that won't change with future stories, despite the recent announced ending of Uncanny X-Men.

Lowe said that there's no place for Uncanny to exist after Schism.

Alonso said that Marvel is not above killing people and taking big players off the board. "We've made some painful choices with where we're headed," he said.

* Magneto and Xavier? Lowe said the characters are not put out to pasture. Alonso said the characters very much Scott's fathers and that fact that Scott currently trusts Magneto is relevant. "Things will play out in unexpected ways," he said.

* Lowe said Wolverine's role in X-Men will increase, Lowe said, and "change," added Aaron.

The story will also change the way the rest of the Marvel Universe looks at Wolverine, Lowe said.

* Lowe said this isn't a "Blue team/Gold team" divide. "It's going to make it impossible for all the X-Men to be on the same side," he said.

Aaron added it's a huge fundamental philosophical difference between the two sides.

*X-Factor? Lowe said characters from the book will show up and they will not escape the after-effects of Schism.

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