Friday, June 28, 2013

Character Study: Cyclops, Part 2

Now, where were we? Oh, yes.
Xavier sent the team to a place called Krakoa, where he thought he sensed a powerful mutant, but was really a living island with a name that sounds like a sup-par thunder onomatopoeia. It tried to eat them, like living islands do, and the team was stuck on Krakoa. Xavier recruited new X-Men to rescue them, like throwing more Frisbees at one stuck in a tree.

This team was not Wolverine, Storm, and those. This team instead consisted of Petra, Darwin, Sway, and Vulcan. (They found Vulcan in spaceship wreckage, and determined he was related to Scott by reading his mind, which apparently means he's qualified for rescue missions.) Vulcan was so powerful that instead of trying to eat the new X-Men, Krokoa considered him dangerous enough to kill the new X-Men, but this time, Scott escaped. After suffering a breakdown over losing a brother he never knew he had, Xavier removed Scott's memory of the 2nd team, and recruited a third, who saved the original team. Even better, he soon after met his dad in space, who was now the leader of a band of freedom fighters called the Starjammers. Scott didn't know it was his dad, but Jean found out and kept it a secret 'cause secrets cause drama.

Speaking of Jean, this was about when she drove a space shuttle through a solar flare and died. But, it turns out Jean Grey wasn't dead! ...I get the feeling that I'm going to be saying that a lot. Jean was reborn as the Phoenix, becoming more powerful than ever.

Seriously, I want full credit if it happens.  Looking at you, Bendis.
Scott didn't take this well, wondering if this new Jean was really the Jean he knew. So to fix that, he dumped her and started dating Colleen Wing, because Joe Quesada wasn't around to enact his No Redheads policy. They later broke up, because I don't know. Scott and Jean got back together while fighting Professor X's evil son, truly the most romantic situation. Scott proposed, and then Jean died again. Look, Jean, you didn't have to say "yes."

Scott was torn up about this, but he met Madelyne Pryor, who looked just like Jean, and they got married because... one redhead's as good as another? But then Storm was all like, "It's 1986; Captain Marvel's black; I wanna lead the X-Men." Scott was all like, "No way." They fought, which is how X-Men will always settle their issues, and Storm won. Scott was like, "Fine, I didn't want to be on your stupid team anyway. I'ma start my own team. With blackjack. And hookers! You know what?  Forget the team!"

After Scott's, um, "retirement," Madelyne gave birth to Scott's son, Nathan. But, it turns out Jean Grey wasn't dead! The Jean that came back was really a cosmic entity, like Galactus, or Parallax, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. With the replacement gone, real Jean came back, and Scott left his wife and son to get back with his ex-girlfriend. What a keeper. Warren went for the rebound, because now there's enough redheads to go around!

You get a redhead!

You get a redhead!
Madelyne stuck around, later sacrificing her life to defeat "the Adversary." After this, demons corrupted Madelyne into the manipulative Goblin Queen, who went to take revenge on Scott. Sounds like one of my ex-girlfriends! Heh, yeah, actually, my ex-girlfriends are both pretty nice. Sorry, you two, that's just the obligatory joke.

It's then revealed that Madelyne was Jean's clone, created by Mr. Sinister to get Scott to breed. After finding out, Madelyne killed herself, and Scott got back with Jean.

After a conflict in Genosha, Cyclops ran into Apocalypse again, who infected Nathan with a techno-organic virus. But Scott thought a cure could be found in... the FUTURE! And he sent Nathan there, where he grew up to be Cable, Stryfe, and Nate Grey. Clones, amirite?

Scott then finally married Jean. Yay. Then Onslaught appeared. (Xavier's all-powerful evil side.) With Onslaught defeated, Xavier is powerless and arrested. Cyclops and Jean became the school's headmasters. Then he got a bomb in his chest, got better, got possessed by Apocalypse, got better, then felt like crap about it. Being possessed by Apocalypse led Scott to question his life. He helped rescue a mutant named Xorn, and they became friends. Jean started to get all Phoenix-y again, and Scott pushed her away. Jean kissed Wolverine, but he told her to stay with Scott. Scott, meanwhile, was psychically cheating on Jean with Emma Frost. To be fair, it started as therapy until Emma took it too far.
Protip: Don't let your psychiatrist remove your shirt.
Even if it's just in your head.

Jean found out, but forgave him, because they were only having brain-sex, not real-sex. Scott left the school, but rejoined in time to discover that his BFF Xorn was really Magneto. Jean and Scott reconciled as Jean died to stop Magneto. Scott almost left again, but future-Jean hooked him up with Emma to stop the Armageddon.

Then the Danger Room gained sentience, a cure for mutation was found, and Colossus was resurrected. After some "therapy" with Emma, he got rid of the mental block on his powers temporarily, but also lost his powers.

After 98% of mutants were depowered by the Scarlet Witch, the X-Men were attacked by Scott's secret brother, Vulcan, woken up from his coma on Krakoa by the energies of M-Day. After learning the truth about Krakoa, Scott kicked Xavier out of the school.

The X-Men twiddled their thumbs for Marvel's Civil War; moving on. 

Soon after, a post-M-Day mutant was born, which meant that the Mutant race might not die off, and was taken to the future for protection, but Bishop shot the Professor dead while trying to prevent this. Scott disbanded, then un-disbanded the team and moved to San Francisco. They became popular local heroes, but Scott's life became one questionable decision after another. After founding Utopia, the mutant nation, said nation has multiple catastrophes.

After Scott became one of the hosts for the Phoenix for a short while, Scott's bad ideas culminated with the X-Men splitting between Wolverine's traditional team school and Cyclops's radical one, and Beast thinks, "I wonder what young Scott would say about this." So he sucked the original X-Men form the past to the present. Will this learn Scott? Only time will tell....

Alternate Versions
Cyclops has been in almost every X-Men adaptation. He's up there with Wolverine in terms of popularity, which is an impressive feat. Seriously, there are too many to list.

Is he a boy scout or a jerk who makes the tough decisions? It depends on the writer. What remains consistent is his determination and sheer willpower. In the hands of a skilled writer, Cyclops is likable: he has the potential to be flawed but sympathetic. Either way, this is one guy with glasses you should never, ever hit.

Final Thoughts
Sometimes, the jokes write themselves. Other times, no amount of snark can top simply stating:
"Future-Jean hooked him up with Emma to stop the Armageddon."

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