Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Cyclops #1
Let’s face it. Shitty fathers have gone from a serious issue to a defacto excuse every time some teenage boy gets drunk and crashes his car into the neighbor’s pool or some girl gets drunk and bangs half the football team. It’s always the father’s fault. Somehow, he didn’t love them enough to make them not want to have too much fun. That’s not to say fathers can’t fuck their kids up. They can. But I prefer to think that it’s more a matter of kids being surrounded by fucked up adults in general. So I look at Cyclops’ many problems and I can’t blame even a quarter of them on his dad being absent. The guy was abducted by aliens for crying out loud. That couldn’t be a more valid excuse without being abducted by Nazis. But during The Trial of Jean Grey, O5 Cyclops learned that his father was alive and decided to hang out with him while he plays Han Solo with the Starjammers. All I’ll say about that is it beats the shit out of fishing. There’s a lot of stuff Corsair has to teach to his son, including how he’s now banging some hot alien cat chick. And since it can’t all be contained in an arc or two of All New X-men, we’re now getting a full blown Cyclops solo series by Greg Rucka. Still not sure that’s going to be big enough for O5 Cyclops to work out his father issues, but it’s Cyclops and Corsair kicking ass in space. It all starts in Cyclops #1 and I’ve made sure my ass is ready.
But before any ass-kicking can begin, O5 Cyclops needs to learn the basics of functioning in space. Unlike his older counterpart, the most experience he has with aliens probably involves Halloween costumes and action figures. Now he’s hovering around in space getting instructions from Hepzibah, his father’s sexy cat-lady girlfriend and sort-of stepmom. Is it awkward? Probably. But let’s face it, there are worse ways to learn how to spacewalk and few of those ways involve sexy cat-women.
It’s a pretty simple lesson, yet O5 Cyclops still finds a way to screw it up, showing once again that he’s a teenager. If there’s a way to fuck something up, he’ll find it. It just involves using his optic blasts to navigate space without a jet pack. It’s actually a nice lesson in physics until he crashes into the damn ship. Again, he’s a teenager. They’re not known for being fully aware of their surroundings, especially when sexy cat women are in close proximity. But beyond teenage clumsiness, O5 Cyclops narrates the whole ordeal and offers some great insight into his current mentality. He’s still dumbstruck that his dad is alive, pissed off at the man he grows up to be, and confused about all things related to Jean Grey. Because apparently being a teenager isn’t confusing enough, this is what he has to deal with. And to his credit, O5 Cyclops handles it better than most teenagers handle calculus exams.
When he’s done with his spacewalk training, he returns to the Starjammer for some typical teenage brooding. It doesn’t matter that he’s in deep space with his space pirate father and sexy cat-lady girlfriend. He’s still a teenager. He’s going to fucking brood no matter what the circumstances. But beyond the typical confusing cocktail of hormones and destructive impulses, O5 Cyclops is still a kid on many levels.
It shows in more telling narration. He dwells on all the things he wanted to be growing up. It’s not a unique list. He wanted to be an astronaut, a pirate, and a hero. This, of course, was all before he learned about the more unpleasant sides of these dream occupations, like having to take a shit in zero gravity, dealing with scurvy, and having to work with other heroes like Wolverine. It’s the kind of wide-eyed optimism that most kids have at some point and the kind Cyclops hasn’t had since the Nixon administration. But the biggest sticking point for him is that he doesn’t like the man he became. Sure, that man married Jean Grey, banged Emma Frost, and saved the entire fucking mutant race. Nobody ever said teenagers had reasonable standards. But he wants to be better and that’s pretty damn noble for a sixteen-year-old.
Beyond the teenage brooding, there are more adult issues to deal with. And in a story involving a sexy cat-lady, this can only be a good thing. Corsair is busy getting a checkup from Sikorsky, a bug/doctor. I want to say I’m making that up, but I’m pretty sure my weed isn’t quite that potent. It’s the first hint at what might have happened to bring Corsair back from the dead. I may be a drunk, but I do remember that Corsair was six feet under at one point. Then again, who hasn’t been dead in the X-men comics these days? Wolverine fans, this should count as hope. But the hints are lost when Hepzibah shows up and makes his checkup a little more pleasant. I sure as hell wouldn’t mind getting my prostate checked if I had a sexy cat-lady keeping me company.
It would have been easy to just give Sikorsky the finger and enjoy a little xenophilliac indulgence. But Corsair, despite having Hepzibah all over him, hasn’t forgotten that he’s now trying to be a father again to a sixteen-year-old son. His ability to remember that when his penis is giving him every reason not to is nothing short of herculean. It also shows that Corsair is dealing with his own angst about this arrangement. It happened so quickly and it probably means less time humping his hot alien girlfriend. But he’s not DMX. He’s going to be part of his kid’s life, damn it.
The problem is that kid’s life now involves dealing with aliens while still being stuck on hot psychic redheads. These are things even some quality father time can’t work around. But to his credit, O5 Cyclops is able to work nicely with the rest of the Starjammers. He’s already growing fond of Cr’reee, a cat-like alien pet that Paris Hilton would probably love. He’s also getting along with Ch’od. He may be a big alien green guy, but I imagine he’s no more hostile than senior high school boys in a game of dodge ball. It demonstrates nicely that O5 Cyclops doesn’t just fight for peace and quality. He practices what he preaches, finding a way to get alone with even ridiculously inhuman creatures. That puts him above over 80 percent of today’s religious leaders.
Everything seems to be going smoothly for O5 Cyclops. He’s getting along with his father’s girlfriend and making new alien friends. But at some point, his dad being a space pirate is going to catch up with him. It comes in the form of a Badoon ship. It gives him a chance to see his dad and the Starjammers do their thing, taking on the ship and crippling it so they could plunder it. It also gives him a chance to channel his inner Star Trek geek. I imagine most Trekkies would be jazzing their pants in this situation. To his credit, O5 Cyclops hides his boner well.
While he’s hiding that boner, there are some more interesting musings. O5 Cyclops keeps coming back to how he doesn’t want to be the man he grew up to be. And in seeing his father work, he actually has some insight into what he wants to be. His father is cool, badass, and has a hot girlfriend while taking on an alien ship. Whereas most teenage boys try to avoid becoming like their father, O5 Cyclops wants to do the opposite. He’s basically an anti-hippie and there’s nothing wrong with that.
There’s some light Star Trek style battle. It’s no Star Wars Death Star run, but it’s O5 Cyclops’s first mission. It can’t be too epic. The Starjammer eventually subdues the Badoon ship and manages to stay in one piece. That’s a victory in and of itself. Now comes the fun part and that’s plundering the ship. Beating up Badoon are just bonus. And being an awesome/irresponsible father, Corsair wants O5 Cyclops to tag along. If he’s going to learn from his space pirate dad, he might as well get his hands dirty. If only learning algebra had been that much fun in high school. I might not have felt the urge to throw up every day I went.
Irresponsible parenting aside, Corsair had another reason for allowing his son to tag along and not just because he didn’t trust him not to download porn on the ship while he was gone. The Badoon ship might be disabled, but there are still plenty of pissed off Badoon inside. They’re all armed, hostile, and ready to shoot them like Storm Troopers at a shooting range. Corsair knows this and isn’t retarded so he comes up with a plan. And it’s a plan that would make any son, teenager or otherwise, gush with pride.
Using O5 Cyclops’s blast, the blow a hole in the roof of the ship and surprise the Badoon before they can get too trigger happy. Not only that, Corsair makes one of the most badass speeches made in space that wasn’t made by James T. Kirk. In that speech, he gives the Badoon all the reasons they need to surrender unconditionally. If this were a Father’s Day gift, it would be the best damn gift ever. And it didn’t even cost them overpriced tickets to a baseball game.
It’s a great impression for a father to make on his teenage son, outsmarting a ship of hostile aliens and plundering their gear. And he didn’t even have to buy him a car. It’s a pretty basic victory for the Starjammers, but Corsair isn’t all bravado and dick-waving. He’s still uncertain about being a father to a teenage boy. To be fair, the idea of being a space pirate is less daunting than being a father to a teenage boy. But he makes it clear that he wants to make the effort. Just being badass and hijacking Badoon ships isn’t enough. He’s a fucking Summers. He has to go further.
And he does just that with help from Hepzibah and the rest of the Starjammers. While the rest of the Starjammers handle the Badoon, Corsair hijacks their ship and offers to take O5 Cyclops to a few exotic inter-stellar locales for some quality father/son time. That’s like a father hijacking Donald Trump’s private jet and letting his son choose the beach they’re going to crash. What kind of father does that for their son? The awesome kind, that’s who! And Corsair shows that in addition to hijacking alien ships and hooking up with hot alien women, he can still be an awesome father. He couldn’t be more awesome without telling Captain Kirk and Han Solo to kiss his ass.
Reading this comic, the former sixteen-year-old cried a little. This is the comic that Cyclops fans have been waiting for almost as long as an X-men movie that doesn’t screw him over. It isn’t just about an awkward teenager having out with his father, playing Han Solo in deep space. It’s also about a father trying to figure out how to be a father to a sixteen-year-old son. Spoiler alert: nobody fucking knows how to be a father to a sixteen-year-old son. And that’s what makes it so awesome. We get both perspectives, O5 Cyclops and Corsair’s. Yet they still find time to blow up an alien ship and beat up some Badoon. In terms of parenting, that’s not a bad start. Sure beats the hell out of fishing. Cyclops #1 gets a much deserved 10 out of 10. It has all the right emotions, from awe to angst. And it has a sexy cat woman. It’s hard to go wrong with a sexy cat woman. Nuff said!