X-Men: Prelude to Schism #1: Part One

The X-Men are nervously awaiting their leader, Cyclops’ decision on whether to evacuate Utopia or defend it from an impending attack.

Cyclops is consulting with his long-time mentor, Charles Xavier. Xavier reminisces on how Scott has grown from a shy and angry teenager with uncontrollable powers, into the calm and collected leader he is today.

Xavier thinks back to a conversation he had with Scott in a barley field when Scott first came to live at the school. With the proper training, Xavier is convinced he can help young mutants such as Scott control their powers and prove to the world that mutants “are nothing to be feared”. Scott is reluctant to be a part of Xavier’s cause; he just wants to be “ordinary”. But Xavier sees a special talent in Scott and advises him: “A truly powerful man doesn’t need strength. He needs control.”

Xavier’s next memory focuses on introducing a female member to an all-male team of X-Men: Jean. Jean had a confidence in herself that Scott lacked at the time, and though all the boys wanted to impress her, she had already set her sights on Scott.

In the beginning, their battles were “black and white”. Despite being loved by Jean for who he is, Scott was still resentful of his uncontrollable abilities, and yearned to be able to “look at her” without the aid of ruby quartz. Xavier compares Scott’s unattainable wish to his impossible dream of “all mutants [coming] together on common ground, united under one flag and for one cause”. But Xavier was proven wrong by Scott. Cyclops had “united mutantkind” on Utopia.

Xavier hopes that Cyclops will make the right decision with regards to their safety and survival. He is reminded of the time when the Phoenix (as Jean) made the decision to sacrifice herself for the greater good of the galaxy. But it left Scott broken-hearted, and the pain made him worried he would lose control. Xavier related to Scott’s pain of the loss of Jean to his loss of the use of his legs. During his recovery in India, a wise doctor convinced Xavier that the only way he could move on is to accept his loss and bear the pain. Together, Xavier and Cyclops have experienced trials and tribulations, and more losses over the years, but Cyclops has never lost control.

Cyclops turns once more to his mentor for his opinion. Xavier̵s reply is that he will not give up the fight, but cautions Cyclops to consider carefully as his greatest regret as a leader is sending “children” into battle and even “to their deaths”. Nonetheless, Xavier is proud of “the man [Scott] [has] become” as the pupil has surpassed the master.

Next: X-Men: Prelude to Schism #2