Friday, October 24, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Cyclops #6

People tend to forget that crazy situations lead to crazy problems. It goes both ways to an extent that even Anna Paquin would find excessive. Those who decide to kill that huge spider with a shotgun still act surprised when they hit some wires, start a fire, and have to fight the urge to shoot their insurance agent. It’s no different in comics. Heroes often get desperate in their efforts to deal with a situation and because of that, the often create entirely new situations that require even more desperation. Superman saves the world from an asteroid by moving it out of the way. In doing so he triggers an earthquake that turns California into a chain of islands. It’s the circle of life. O5 Cyclops might not be Superman, but he’s dealing with space pirates on top of being a teenager. Even being Superman wouldn’t help him with that. He’s learning how to be a space pirate from his father and already those lessons left them marooned on an alien planet. So there’s room for improvement to say the least. Now in Cyclops #6, he gets show how he’s learned from that experience. But if he fucks up again, they can’t act surprised. He’s a teenager. He’s not ready to perform brain surgery after one class.

Corsair must not have gotten that message. He must have unreasonably high standards for teenagers because now he finds himself in a situation where he has to punch his son in ways that would get him suspended from the NFL. It’s a complete departure from the friendly, understanding approach that Corsair has taken with his son since he decided to join him and learn how to become a space pirate at an age when most teenagers are learning how to drive. What could’ve changed? What did O5 Cyclops do to fuck things up this much that it warranted the kind of discipline only seen in Catholic Schools? Well, there is a story behind it and it’s worth staying sober for.

It actually started off a lot more innocently. Well, as innocent as is possible whenever alcohol is involved. O5 Cyclops and Corsair finally made it back to the Starjammer and reunited with the rest of the crew. They were all happy to see them return and prior to Corsair and Hepzibah’s reunion sex, they all shared a good celebratory drink. But since they don’t have whiskey in space, they drink something called Bach’terrian Vesperjuice. It sounds like the kind of liquor that’s fermented between a snake den and Ann Coulter’s vagina. As disgusting as it sounds, I desperately want to try it.

Beyond the booze, there’s also some nice insight from O5 Cyclops into the family-like dynamics of the Starjammers. Sure, they’re renegade space pirates that steal shit and raid Baddoon bandits, but they’re also very close-knit. They’re a bunch of ragtag aliens that find a way to get along. And O5 Cyclops’ exploits on the alien planet officially earn him some street cred. For a teenager, that’s like seeing an exposed tit. It goes a long way.

They can’t celebrate too long though. One of the reasons why they needed to get off that alien world so quickly was that Corsair admitted that he was kind of dying. It’s one of the side-effects of being brought back from the dead and not being Jean Grey. He’s relying on illegal alien drugs to stay alive, much like Larry King at this point. But now that he’s back with his crew, he can have his hot sexy alien cat lady girlfriend administer the treatment. It couldn’t be more of a relief without her putting on a sexy nurse costume, which I’m sure Corsair would’ve preferred.

The treatment finally gets Corsair out of the danger zone and in a condition to get into Hepzibah’s panties. As it just so happens, those same panties contain Corsair’s second round of treatment. After being stuck on a planet and left to die, I’d say Corsair has more than earned that. He’s in a good place now. The same can’t be said for O5 Cyclops though. While they’re off for a little inter-stellar humping, they find him already getting a head start on his first hangover. They don’t let it kill the mood, but they do acknowledge that O5 Cyclops really needs to work on his alcohol tolerance.

After he sobers up, O5 Cyclops decides to make himself useful while his father is enjoying the wonders of being alive and having a hot alien girlfriend. So he tries to hang out with Korvus, who also happens to be his future AU daughter’s one-time lover. But for some reason, that never comes up. He just starts helping out with random alien tech that he’s in no position to understand. That’s like giving a drunk a remote controlled cruise missile. Nothing good can ome of it.

While I’m sure this is vital for an aspiring space pirate to learn, his ineptitude is pretty startling. He’s less a leader of the X-men and more a walking Three Stooges parody. It again shows his inexperience, which I really don’t think anybody needs to be reminded of at this point. It also reminds everyone that Korvus is not dead and nobody seems interested in using him in a meaningful way. He’s in the same room as his ex-girlfriend’s time-displaced father. How could anyone pass up this opportunity?

Corsair, now invigorated with medicine and Hepzibah’s sweet loving, decides to take his son out for activities that don’t involve blowing up the ship’s vital components. This involves doing a little space walking and raiding an abandoned alien ship for parts. Sure, it’s the plot to no fewer than 25 alien horror movies, but a pirate has to make a living. At least with this, O5 Cyclops will only blow up a ship that’s already abandoned.

For a moment, O5 Cyclops laments how shitty a space pirate he is thus far. Sure, he’s been at it for less time than most college dropouts, but he’s already made an ass of himself on more than most teenagers do on a daily basis, which is saying something. It’s a nice reminder that O5 Cyclops is really out of his element here. He may be awesome when it comes to leading the X-men, but he’s not much of a space pirate. He’s like a lion in Antarctica. In the jungle, he’s the king. But in the tundra, he’s a penguin’s bitch.

His father tries to encourage him, but only ends up finding out that his son fucked something else up. It didn’t lead to anything blowing up, but it did lead to them being detected by another alien ship. This ship has far more competent space pirates because they proceed to disable the Starjammer and force the crew to surrender. He even captures O5 Cyclops and Corsair with a bunch of mechanical rejects from Japanese tentacle rape porn. I imagine at this point, Corsair is going to think twice about encouraging his son again.

That’s strike three for O5 Cyclops today. At this point, his ineptitude is getting pretty pathetic. That might be okay for some characters, but it’s starting to get excessive here and I normally never say that about a 16-year-old. I know O5 Cyclops isn’t as known for handling high tech gear, but that should make him this fucking hopeless. I know teenagers fuck up, but these fuck-ups just feel forced at this point. At the very least, the anti-Cyclops crowd will have something to jerk off to.

The name of the competent space pirate looking to take advantage of O5 Cyclops’ screw-ups is named Captain Malafect. It sounds like a symptom of liver disease, but it doesn’t make the Starjammer’s any less screwed. Now Corsair and his entire crew are abducted and taken prisoner. This finally brings us back to that brief flash-forward from earlier when Corsair was giving his son the Adrian Peterson treatment. Well, it’s at this point we finally realize that it might not warrant a suspension from the NFL after all.

Corsair yells at and berates his son, but he never lets it slip that O5 Cyclops is his son. He talks down to him like he’s just some dipshit skipper who stumbled ass-backwards onto the Starjammer and found a way to fuck it up. It goes back to the first lesson O5 Cyclops learned when this series began, which is to think like a pirate. That means sometimes being a little deceptive, even if it means being a dick. A quick wink from Corsair reminds him of this lesson. It also warns him that he’s probably going to need see a dentist after this.

It unfolds as we saw earlier. Corsair slugs his son in a perfectly convincing manner, almost too convincingly in some respects. I guess O5 Cyclops kind of earned it for his screw-ups, but I’m not a fan of corporal punishment that doesn’t come from a dominatrix so I’m not going to condone it. O5 Cyclops understands what his father is doing and goes along with it, even if it means getting yelled at. He’s a teenager and a mutant. He should be used to that. It still means he has to stand by and watch as Malafect forces the Starjammers to pile into some pod and get shot out into space, which sucks. That means O5 Cyclops even more incentive not to fuck up this time.

He certainly does his part, finally showing that he can be a competent pirate, so long as it doesn’t involve equipment that requires a PHD in astrophysics to work. Malafect, who still isn’t aware that O5 Cyclops is Corsair’s son, is curious about him and tries to figure out how Corsair could let someone so inept on his grew. O5 Cyclops decides to get back at his dad for the punch to the jaw and shows off his optic blasts, which I’m sure would intrigue any deviant space pirate. I’m not sure if it’s ironic or fitting that in order to finally be competent, O5 Cyclops has to be a bit of an ass. I’m too high to figure it out, but it does do the trick.

The effect puts O5 Cyclops in a position to save both his dad and the Starjammers. While Corsair rots in the brig, Malafect gives him a provisional status on his crew. He just can’t pass up a crewmate that has built in firepower like that. He also makes clear that if he so much as spills his coffee, he’ll throw him out of the nearest air lock. He’s not one of those Jack Sparrow type pirates. He’s one of those pirates that really isn’t afraid to be a dick. It puts O5 Cyclops in a very difficult position, but one he can’t afford to fuck up. So after all his ineptitude, O5 Cyclops is now the only one who can save the Starjammers. Again, I’m not sure if that’s ironic or fitting. I’ll just smoke an extra joint and just say it’s awesome.

If I’ve said once while sober, I’ve said it ten more times with more cursing while drunk. A fuck-up by a teenager is way more destructive by a fuck-up from an adult, minus those that involve tainted prescription drugs. O5 Cyclops is continuing to learn just how much he sucks at being 16. While he was able to be awesome enough to get him and his father off that deserted planet, he wasn’t able to avoid another one of those little mistakes that turns into a cosmic shit storm. Now he has to do what he did before and find a way to pull his ass and his father’s out of the fire. That involves doing exactly what his father is teaching him to do. He’s thinking like a pirate. He has to be deceptive, cunning, and a bit if a dick at times. He basically has to not act like a boy scout while still trying to accomplish what a boy scout would do. For a guy destined to lead the X-men, that’s not a bad skill to have and it continues the development of this lovable teenage boy who grows up to be a controversial adult that fans on message boards can’t stop bitching about. Cyclops #6 gets a 9 out of 10. Teenagers can all say they’ve had minor fuck-ups turn into utter disasters, but O5 Cyclops can say that he knows how to deal with it. Now if only he could learn how to handle his alcohol. Nuff said!


  1. Shame about the sales. I think this is best current Marvel related comic.

  2. I wasn't as happy about the art this issue as I was with previous ones. I felt the awkward doesn't get it aspect may have been laid on a bit thick, but I think that may have been to raise the stakes for the upcoming issues. Scott isn't just on his own in the lion's den, he has to learn on the fly in a situation where the slightest wrong step could end everything.......

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