X-Men: Schism #2
Just as the massive Fear Itself crossover was ending, Cyclops and Wolverine finally decided they’ve had just about enough of each other’s shit, and it all comes to a head in the five-issue X-Men: Schism series. This mini-series resulted in the splitting of the X-Men into two teams with one team staying in San Francisco and the other going back to Westchester, NY. It also brought about the end (and subsequent restart) of Uncanny X-Men – one of the longest running titles in comic book history, and began yet another Wolverine title, so as far as X-events go, this had a fairly substantial aftermath. Northstar and Aurora appear as regular members of the X-Men in one panel, and on two variant covers.
Wait, what? Aurora? For those of you scratching your heads, remember that Aurora joined the X-Men in X-Men: Secret Invasion #2 (2008), as revealed in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover #13. When Northstar was asked to re-join the active roster by Wolverine in Uncanny X-Men #508, Aurora was already a member, though no mention was made of it at the time. Subsequent appearances of Aurora in Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3 and as COO of Team Northstar Extreme Snowsports in Nation X #2 made no mention of her X-Men membership either. Even when Alpha Flight was rebuilding in Chaos War and during the overlapping storyline of Fear Itself in Alpha Flight v4, she was still on the X-roster, so this little appearance is the result of a fairly well-researched job on the part of series writer Jason Aaron.
As part of a wave of anti-mutant sentiment, the world’s nations re-activate their Sentinels, only to find many of them malfunctioning. The X-Men send tactical squads across the world to deal with the threat, as coordinated on Utopia by Cyclops, Emma Frost and the Stepford Cuckoos. One of the Cuckoos telepathically calls out to the twins:
Northstar and Aurora, your targets have just sunk a fishing boat in the Red Sea. Coordinates are as follows…
For those of you who were reading Alpha Flight comics instead of paying attention in Geography class, the Red Sea is nowhere near Utopia – it is in fact halfway around the world off the coast of Africa, so it makes sense to dispatch two of the fastest mutants there. Unfortunately, what they do when they get there isn’t exactly clear…
When Frank Cho isn’t drawing cleavage, he just doesn’t know what to do, I suppose. If only the front of Aurora’s costume had a zipper going down the front so he could draw some gigantic massive boobs, we would have seen an actual battle scene. Unfortunately, there’s no zipper, so all we get is Northstar’s feet and Aurora’s butt along with some blurry lines and pretty sparklies.
This speedster battlefail should remind readers of Greg Land’s silly dance scene between Northstar and Spiral in Uncanny X-Men #511. Like that battle, the reader is left to assume victory despite the inability of the artist to portray it.
Note: Aurora does have some sort of lightning blast powers, and so does Northstar, as explained in a caption in Alpha Flight #119 when Aurora blasted the Wrecker with lightning:
That’s the other side to the twins. A side Northstar seems to bury. They generate light energy, wielding it as blinding or concussive force. It’s Aurora’s forte.
Note: this issue was published interstitial to Alpha Flight v4 issues #2 and #3, but likely takes place after the series end or briefly during the series with no concerns to continuity given the twins’ ability to instantly respond and return.
Note: this issue has a variant cover by Frank Cho, which is part of a larger 5-part poster featuring nearly every X-Man and tons of cleavage. Northstar and Aurora are depicted in the seam between the second and third parts, so all we get is Northstar’s right arm, part of his head (pointy ear included!) and Aurora’s right forearm on this cover. There is also a Second printing variant featuring interior art by Frank Cho, a Third printing sketch variant and an X printing variant, which is a sketch variant of the first variant, also featuring Northstar’s right arm, part of his head and Aurora’s right forearm.
||X-Men: Schism #2 – Frank Cho Variant
||X-Men: Schism #2 – Second Printing Variant
||X-Men: Schism #2 – Third Printing Variant
||X-Men: Schism #2 – X Printing Variant