Rescuing the life of the pirate captain who wants your father dead? Probably a bad idea.
Revealing who you really are to the pirate girl who thinks she’s in love with you? Possibly even worse.
And doing both while trapped on a hostile planet full of angry Shi’ar? No doubt a fatal error! Your Major Spoilers review of Cyclops #11 awaits!
Previously in Cyclops: “The teenage Scott Summers of the past has been ripped through time alongside the other original X-Men in to his future, our present, a world traumatically different from the world he left behind… On a trip into space, Scott discovered that Chris Summers, the father he thought was dead, still live and more, has made a life for himself among the stars as the infamous pirate Corsair, leader of the Starjammers. Given the choice of staying with his father or returning to Earth, Scott chose to do what any 16-year-old boy would do: head into space, to the life of a space pirate, the life of adventure!”
It’s not really working out like he expected…
STARTING WITH A GUN TO OUR HERO’S HEAD
With last issue’s revelation that Scott is NOT a loyal member of Captain Malefact’s crew, he has been captured and is seconds from being murdered by the Cap’n for toying with his beloved daughter’s emotions. Thanks to some helpful sabotage by Corsair, though, Malefact can’t afford to kill Scott, as he needs to sell them both on a slaver’s planet to afford repairs to his ship and weaponry. By massive coincidence (because space, you may recall, is BIG, really big) Corsair’s crew of Starjammers has been brought not only to the same prison planet, not just the same prison, but the same CELLBLOCK as Cyclops and Corsair. When their shackles suddenly open, Cyclops and Corsair make a run for it, and bump right into Malefact and his daughter Vileena which leads to tragedy.
The last few pages of the issue is a setup to tie Cyclops and company into the ongoing ‘Black Vortex’ saga unfolding in Guardians Of The Galaxy, which feels a little bit awkward, but explains the age-old question of how characters can be doing two different things in different issues published at the same time.
NOT SURE WHAT TO MAKE OF THIS
I’m one of the people who find the idea of the teen X-Men stuck in the future to be an odd choice, but I’m glad to see this book taking some risks with that premise, letting teen Cyclops enjoy bonding time with the father his elder self didn’t meet until years later. It’s a fun premise, but one that feels a bit flimsy as the basis for the series. Artistically, I enjoy everything about the issue except for the images of Cyclops himself (his new costume looks goofy among the more ornate ones created by this art team, and he routinely looks a lot younger than 16), with all the spaceships and aliens and cool technology delivering on the space premise. (Marvel’s practice of choosing random cover artists might hurt this one, though, as the front cover is particularly unattractive and dull with its washed out red tones.) Layman does a good job with the plot this issue, making the whole thing feel complex and emotionally resonant for our hero and especially for poor Vileena. The idea that the X-Men always end up in cosmic shenanigans is kind of a weird conceit, when you think about it, but it gives this series some context and history to work with.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BETTER THAN I SUSPECTED
I don’t have a lot of strong emotional ties to the X-Men books in recent years, but I found this one to be more approachable than some of the recent books, even with the time-tossed baby Cyclops at its center, and the use of the father/son relationship is done very skillfully. Aside from the lead character drawn to seem a bit goofy and some issues of scale which are problems in all the cosmic Marvel books, Cyclops #11 is a solid endeavor with some good-lookin’ aliens and spaceships, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.