Cyclops #1 – Friday Flash Review

Cyclops-01

Bane of Kings and Shadowhawk take a look at the first issue of a Cyclops-focused series.

“A strong first issue and has the potential to be the best X-Book on shelves.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

“An unfocused issue that doesn’t really give a sense for what this series is going to be all about.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields

Bane of Kings:

If I had to write a list of my least favourite X-Men, Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, would probably be near the bottom. I find his character boring, and am not a fan of the direction that Marvel has taken him following the Avengers vs. X-Men series, which has basically made him one of the most unlikable heroes in the Marvel Universe. However, there was no way I was not going to check out this issue – Greg Rucka has an excellent track record, and the younger, time-displaced Cyclops has always been more interesting to me than the adult one.

Plus, when the book’s essentially a Road Trip in Space, and Cyclops is going to be spending time with Space Pirates, this book has loads of potential, and it’s great to see somebody with the quality talents of Greg Rucka penning the script, because he meets expectations, and may have just got me reading a Cyclops comic on a monthly basis, something that I would never have imagined happening even shortly before the comic was announced.

What makes a great change is that Rucka is taking Cyclops out of his comfort zone, putting him away from his normal status quo. It’s not the first time Marvel have tried this with characters – Peter Parker recently just got his body back from a mind switch with Otto Octavius, Daredevil’s no longer in New York and Frank Castle is in LA. However, this is by far the coolest move that Marvel have done lately, because even the most dedicated Cyclops hater will probably be interested in reading this book given the talent and the potential.

The potential is certainly more than lived up to. Rucka creates a very strong first issue that although may be enhanced with the knowledge of the basic concept of All New X-Men to understand what’s going on, can be understood by readers who have stayed clear of that title (or are yet to try it out) for whatever reason. If you want to try an X-Book that feels more cosmic than your usual book then now would be a great place to start reading, especially as it gives an attention to Scott’s father, who has had little appearances lately in the Marvel Universe.

However, despite the solid start, there are questions left to be answered. This book feels more like a prologue than an actual first issue, with the series still having plenty of potential to go in different directions. Presumably the book will be Cyclops centric given the title but is it going to be more about his life with the Starjammers or with the main focus on just him and his dad? Will we run into older Cyclops at any point down the line? (Doubtful, considering this is mainly a space-based book, but I wouldn’t rule it out either here or Uncanny) The book could go anywhere from here – but regardless, it should be interesting to find out.

Artistic wise, pencils are handled by Russell Dauterman and he’s on fine form, really getting a feel for the cosmic theme of the book and it’s certainly in alien territory here for both Cyclops and his dad. Chris Sotomayor’s colours are good as usual and on the whole the artwork is fairly solid, if there may be nothing outstanding. The cover art is great though – with a really cinematic feel, with Alexander Lozano doing a good job on that front. The Skottie Young variant is awesome as well, but by that point it doesn’t really need stating.

Cyclops #1 gets a lot of things right. It’s a strong first issue and has the potential to be the best X-Book on shelves. Right now it’s already one of the two for me, along with All New X-Factor, which is great. Also: who didn’t love the Star Wars reference that Scott quotes in the book? It seemed like the perfect element of humour on display there.

Rating: 9/10

Cyclops-01Shadowhawk:

When this series was announced, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from it. Coupled with the fact that I really am not much of a fan of the character either, it wouldn’t really make sense for me to pick up this title. But pick it up I did, largely because I was intrigued by the concept of Cyclops in space. I suppose that was really it, nothing more than that. I went in with zero expectations and I came out feeling bored and that my time had been wasted. Because this really was a comic that wasn’t sure what it wanted to be.

Cyclops is in space. Flying around the galaxy with his pirate of a father, and almost-stepmother who happens to be a humanoid feline. And a crew that is equally diverse. Apparently during the recently concluded “Trial of Jean Grey” arc Cyclops discovers that his father is well and truly alive and he decides to go gallivanting with him, to reconnect with him and find out more about himself and his family. That’s really all that this comic seems to be about. I know this is the first issue only and that it can’t be an absolutely jam-packed issue, especially not when you have a writer like Greg Rucka, but I was truly hoping for something more substantial here.

The characterisation of Cyclops or any of the other characters just didn’t connect with me, and I feel that to be the biggest letdown. There are no explanations for why things are happening as they are and it is as if the writer is writing for an audience who already know everything about why Cyclops is with his formerly absentee father (and presumed dead?). There is too much backstory missing as far as I’m concerned and Cyclops’ summation early on doesn’t really give the full picture either, or half-picture for that matter. It is too incomplete.

Normally, I like Rucka’s writing and think he is one of the better writers in the industry, but with this issue, he has proven to be not-so-good anymore.

The art here is by Russell Dauterman with colours by Chris Sotomayor and letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna. The visuals in the issue were good, with Dauterman getting ample opportunities to show all sorts of background and alien races, but with the boring story at hand, the art didn’t work for me either. And I just don’t like Scott’s new visual look, not at all. So on that front too this issue proves to be somewhat disappointing. I mean, I’m just indifferent to all of it.

I might give this series another issue to impress me, but I’m not holding out much hope to be honest.

Rating: 5/10

Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading.

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