Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Cyclops #2
I usually don’t like surprises that don’t involve a free lap dance, free beer, or a nipple slip from Jessica Alba. Not saying I hate them. I’m just saying that cocaine is a hell of a drug. Few surprises that don’t involve free beer are usually that pleasant. That’s part of what made Cyclops #1 such an awesome book. I had no idea what to expect when I read the first issue and not just because I sustained a concussion the previous night in an argument that involved Star Trek and pizza toppings…I think. This was one of those comics where it could have been really awesome or really shitty. More often than not, the outcome usually requires an air freshener at the very least. Not Cyclops #1. This new series succeeded in making O5 Cyclops more awesome and less brooding than his adult counterpart. It actually told a story about a teenage boy hanging out and having an awesome time with his father. Seriously, when was the last time we ever got a story about a teenage boy and his father that didn’t turn into a Dearth Vadar situation? Now we have a series that gives O5 Cyclops a chance to learn how to be awesome from his father and Corsair has a chance to be awesome in a way that doesn’t involve banging a hot alien cat woman. Everybody wins. That said, Cyclops #2 isn’t in a position to pleasantly surprise me the way the first one did. The bar is now higher and it’s hard to imagine how it will be matched without more hot alien cat women.
Minus hot alien cat women, an space road trip that involves seeing an alien form of the Grand Canyon, flying through space and collecting glowing alien bowling balls, and watching an alien form of cockfighting in an alien stadium is the next best thing. And just as he promised, Corsair takes his son to all these places and helps him enjoy the wonders of the galaxy. He even lets him land an alien ship. Seriously, what kind of father lets their teenage son pilot an alien ship? The awesome kind, that’s what.
It’s a great montage of father/son moments, complemented by some nice inner monologue from Cyclops. There are some references to Hamlet, but it all boils down to one simple realization. The universe is fucking amazing and his dad is fucking awesome. It would only be more awesome if his father weren’t keeping a secret from him. As was hinted at in the previous issue, Corsair isn’t exactly in peak condition, despite having a hot alien cat woman for a girlfriend. He has been taking these fancy drugs, which I’m sure the DEA would make illegal in a heartbeat, to keep himself alive. Seeing as how he was supposed to be dead up until the Trial of Jean Grey, this reveals that it’s still an ongoing issue. And it’s an issue that is bound to bite him in the ass at some point.
That doesn’t mean he’ll let it keep him from showing his son a good time during their little space road trip. Their next destination involves some place called Yrzt, which sounds like the sound a guy makes when someone shocks his balls with a taser. Not saying I’m speaking from personal experience. I’m just saying I’ve been in a Dutch brothel. Corsair describes this planet as the Las Vegas of the galaxy, which means it’s the kind of place where a pirate can drink, gamble, and bang alien prostitutes to his heart’s content. Again, what kind of father takes his teenage son to a place like that? The awesome kind, that’s what. While O5 Cyclops doesn’t get to see strippers with bad boob jobs and live shows involving Elvis impersonators, he does get to see naked aliens. Being a teenage boy, I’m sure he’ll still find that sexy.
Corsair then leads him into an alien bar. Admittedly, awesome parents don’t always follow the law, especially bullshit laws about drinking ages. But it happens to be closed and Corsair isn’t interested in getting his teenage son drunk off alien booze. Even an awesome dad isn’t that irresponsible. Instead, he’s there to visit an old associate, Baroque. He’s basically a cross between a sumo wrestler and a squid. There’s some hostility at first, but I guess that counts as a term of endearment among pirates and deviants. There’s even a nice little jab at Corsair having been dead recently, something that could have easily been glossed over, but has been a developing story since The Trial of Jean Grey. It’s a nice moment among deviants, hoping to discuss raiding, plundering, and alien boobs. There’s even a reference to strippers. What kind of father has experience with strippers? If I have to answer that again, then I’ll never get the point across.
It would have been nice if they were just there to talk about all the ways he bangs hot alien cat women with Baroque. He was getting a fresh batch of the drug that appears to be keeping him alive. The fact that he has to go to the black market and cash in favors from old friends shows that not only is he desperate, but health care in space sucks just as bad.
While Corsair and Baroque have their Breaking Bad moment, Baroque summons Vass. She’s another cute alien girl with green hair, blue skin, and red eyes and she’s supposed to keep O5 Cyclops occupied while the grown-ups talk. It doesn’t sound sexy, but for a teenage boy, it’s still sexy enough. Their parts might not even fit, but that’s not a deal breaker for most teenagers. If couch cushions could talk, they would verify my position. She’s supposed to show him the Senex. It sounds like an alien peep show, but Corsair deems it appropriate enough for his teenage son and that’s good enough.
It’s probably an uncomfortably awesome moment for O5 Cyclops, finally meeting a hot alien girl that’s more his age, assuming of course Vass is as old as she looks. I’m sure that’s just as common a problem in Yrzt as it is in Las Vegas. But they don’t end up doing anything that will inspire another shitty Species movie. They just have some simple innocent fun. Yes, teenagers are capable of doing that. Fox News just doesn’t bitch about it as often.
O5 Cyclops still doesn’t know about his father’s condition. How can he when a cute alien girl invites him into what looks like an alien diner. She even manages to get him a milkshake. O5 Cyclops is understandably skeptical at first, knowing that aliens couldn’t possibly have access to fresh milk and chocolate. For all he knows, this milkshake was made with alien semen and fungus. But since a cute alien girl is encouraging him, he does it. And remarkably, it tastes like a real chocolate milkshake. It makes for another awkward moment, which is to be expected with teenage boys and girls. It’s so cute that it’s bound to be ruined by something. But instead of parents or high school administrators, this one is ruined by Skrulls. I still say that high school administrators are worse.
It turns into a bar fight, minus the alcohol and vomit. O5 Cyclops may be on a road trip in space with his father, but trouble still finds him somehow. I imagine every teenager feels like that, but this time it’s more than just teen angst. Like a good aspiring Summers, he kicks some Skrull ass and protects the pretty alien girl. That’s enough to make any father proud. However, there’s a catch. This whole scenario was even more innocent than it seemed.
Turns out, the Senex isn’t quite as dirty as my perverse imagination led me to believe. It was just a glorified Danger Room where O5 Cyclops could enjoy the company of a hot alien women in a more comfortable setting. Okay, that sounded dirtier than it needed to be, but again there’s nothing about it that could be turned into freaky alien porn. It’s a little awkward, but given O5 Cyclops’s experience in the Danger Room, it doesn’t shock him as much as it would most teenage boys. It allows him and Vass to part ways on a positive note. If he’s lucky, Vass will think of him the next time she’s in the shower or whatever her species does for private time.
After they leave, Corsair and O5 Cyclops continue their little romp around Yrzt. While Corsair gets O5 Cyclops to try more alien food, he gives him a brief lesson in dealing with Skrulls. It’s not an unreasonable lesson to teach. He points out that his older self has dealt with them in the past and there are very few heroes in the future who haven’t had to deal with their shape-shifting douche-baggery. And since they are in space, there’s always a chance they could run into one of them disguised as an alien hooker. It’s even worse than ending up with a hooker that just likes to tie men up, steal their clothes, and pawn their cell phone. Maybe this is Corsair’s way of telling his son to avoid alien hookers. It’s way more effective than the sex ed I got in high school.
It would probably make for another uncomfortable father/son conversation so maybe O5 Cyclops should be relieved on some levels when they’re attacked by a bunch of alien bounty hunters. Being in the Las Vegas of space, it’s expected to have plenty of other deviants running around. Some of them have probably developed a hefty gambling debt and picking up a wanted pirate would help them get back to the tables. It makes for another battle, but this time it’s not simulated and there are no milkshakes. And unlike Corsair’s last battle, he doesn’t fare as well this time. To be fair, he’s not in peak physical condition. But it’s a nice reminder that he’s still a pirate.
Corsair might not be at the top of his game, but O5 Cyclops more than compensates. This time, he’s the one who gets to kick ass and he gets to do it outside of a simulation. In addition, it gives O5 Cyclops a chance to wield that Badoon sword he took in the previous issue. Why does Cyclops need a sword? Why the fuck not would be a better question? He puts both it and his optic blasts to good use, taking down the bounty hunters with a swagger that would probably soak the panties of every telepathic woman in a 1,000 light year radius. He might still be a teenager who is still awkward as fuck around girls, but he can still kick plenty of ass. I’m sure Corsair had to wipe away tears of joy after this.
O5 Cyclops, still oblivious to his father’s condition, leads him back to the ship and takes off. As far as he’s concerned, this was nothing more than that part of a road trip where they eat at the wrong diner, piss of the wrong people, and have to beat up a few douche-bags to get back on the road. But he got to meet a cute alien girl so I think that counts as a win-win. However, during the battle, Corsair lost the medication he had been using to keep himself alive. If that weren’t bad enough, another alien bounty hunter who is badly in need of a trip to the dentist has started tracking them. I guess that point on the road trip where everything starts going to hell is just around the corner.
The previous issue was a nice reminder of why Corsair embodies the awesome that makes Summers men so noble and so irresistible to beautiful women, especially telepaths and alien cat women. In one issue, he showed O5 Cyclops how to be a badass space pirate and make women horny at the same time. It’s a vital lesson for any teenager. But in this issue, it’s O5 Cyclops who got to step up and remind readers why he grows up to be the guy that bangs Emma Frost and Jean Grey. His father gets into trouble, but he’s able to save him. It’s another wonderful father/son moment in a series that has already had more than the last seven seasons of the Simpsons. It really shouldn’t be such a novel concept, telling stories about a teenage boy learning to be a better man from his father. Yet in an era where Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin are seen as the most competent father figures, that’s exactly what this comic conveys. Now that father/son relationship promises to face some significant new challenges and it doesn’t just involve wading through a sea of panties. There’s so much to enjoy in the present and so much to look forward to with this series. That’s why I give Cyclops #2 a 9 out of 10. I honestly didn’t expect this series to be this good, but like finding a bag of weed in my couch cushion, I welcome the awesome it brings. Nuff said!