So mutants are fucked. The X-men now have to live in fucking Limbo of all places. And everybody hates Cyclops because I guess Brett Ratner has infiltrated Marvel. And what’s O5 Angel doing? He’s skiing with his girlfriend. At a time when opinions of rich white people is at an all-time low, this is not a good way to way to spend his free time.
There’s some nice exchanges between him and X-23, but they sure as shit aren’t the next Reed/Sue of the Marvel Universe. They have the chemistry of a prolonged one night stand, but they’re not as toxic as a typical relationship on Two and a Half Men. So it’s bearable, if only because O5 Jean’s efforts at romance have failed so spectacularly.
Before teen hormones get overly active, O5 Beast calls. Apparently, he’s being only slightly more proactive in this world where mutants and anything Fox owns is overly fucked. He’s hanging out in Florida with Genesis and Oya, which I guess makes sense. It’s not like mutants are the most fucked up part of Florida in the first place. This is a state that elected Jeb Bush for crying out loud.
They seem to be organizing a get-together. They don’t seem to be planning to make any part of their situation any less fucked. They’re just going to hang out like ordinary teenagers. I can’t say I blame them, but they do at least mention that this world really shafted Cyclops beyond repair. They identify him as a lock for the Worlds’ Most Hated Mutant award, as if anyone could ever top Hope fucking Summers. Again, we get no details as to why everybody hates him. We don’t know if he strangled a puppy or beat up a sick Inhuman. We just know that he’s fucked and Brett Ratner is probably jerking off to it.
What about O5 Cyclops? Only his future is fucked, but he’s still stuck in the future so the least he can do is avoid fucking up his legacy any further. He’s doing this by hunting down a gang calling themselves the Ghosts of Cyclops, who randomly show up and scare the shit out of people because I guess they can’t resist smearing more shit on Cyclops’ grave. He’s somehow tracked them to Chicago where cute girls randomly come up and take selfies with you. Don’t know what part of Chicago he’s in, but it’s definitely not a part I’ve ever been to.
The girl randomly starts chatting with him, mentioning how petrified everybody is of the Ghosts of Cyclops. I bet if they named themselves after an Inhuman, they wouldn’t care. But it too late for that. Before O5 Cyclops can make this girl his next psychic affair, the Ghosts of Cyclops show up. They’re not exactly the Brotherhood of Mutants, but they’re not Tony Romo’s backups either. They say Cyclops dared to fight when mutant were being fucked over/sterilized again and somehow that makes him a bad guy. I’m as confused as everyone else.
At the very least, it gives O5 Cyclops a chance to remind everyone that Cyclops can still be awesome. He fights them until the cops show up and he doesn’t even need to use his powers. Seeing as how cops were using mutants as target practice in Extraordinary X-men, this is probably smart on their part. Cyclops doesn’t win the fight, but he does kick enough ass to make him more likable than any Inhuman not named Kamala Khan. It doesn’t help him hook up with the new girl though. As soon as she hints that she’s among the anti-Cyclops crowd who jerks off to pictures of his corpse, he ditches her. Probably for the best.
While O5 Cyclops is doing his best to fight the assholes shitting on his grave, O5 Iceman is helping by doing only slightly more than jack shit. He’s in Austin, Texas making ice sculptures. Will it unfuck the current state of mutants? No. Will it at least give them some good PR? Yes. The people of Austin don’t seem to give a shit that a gay mutant is making snow sculptures in the middle of Texas. That’s why I’m never afraid to get hammered in Austin. It’s just that kind of town.
It makes for a friendly meet-up between O5 Iceman and O5 Beast. They then meet up with the others in his surprisingly spacious van. Because why do anything about the shitty state of the mutant race and the X-men when they could party and drink slushies? Not going to lie though. A good slushie is valid excuse.
O5 Cyclops doesn’t have time for slushies though. He managed to bum some ID from one of the Ghosts of Cyclops. He tracks him to a university in Chicago where he learns that the internet has completely shit all over our concept of privacy, making it easy to find this kid. He ends up not having to. The asshole finds him as a result. It nicely shows that while the O5 X-men have carved a place for themselves in the future, they’re still very much from an era before everything became a hashtag. Even an 8-month time skip can’t change that.
Modern proclivities aside, the Ghosts of Cyclops waste no time in kicking O5 Cyclops’ ass again. He tries to fight back, just as before. It makes for a nice, brutal fight. All the while, the rest of his so-called friends are taking it easy, dancing in parks, and enjoying the act of not doing jack shit to unfuck their situation. I imagine this is the kind of wet dream that anti-Cyclops fans have been having for years. Every other character enjoys themselves while Cyclops gets his ass kicked. For that crowd, this scene is their new favorite porno.
Again, Cyclops still tries to fight them off without using his powers. He assumes that optic blasts draw the worst kind of attention and he’s probably right. Just wearing a visor probably sends every Wolverine and Hank McCoy in every alternate universe into an uncontrollable rage. But when these assholes who are throwing more shit on his legacy start threatening innocent civilians, he stops giving a fuck about attracting attention. He blasts their miserable asses, insulting himself in the process because I guess that’s a healthy way to deal with his situation. And no, I don’t write that with any sarcasm.
Naturally, the Ghosts of Cyclops are shell shocked and maybe a little star struck. And when O5 Cyclops wears himself out with a pent up optic blast, they see an opportunity. They now have the man behind the legend. That has to do wonders for their street cred I guess. But by using his powers, O5 Cyclops makes himself detectable by O5 Beast’s new Cerebro. And since he happens to have a pet bamf capable of teleporting them across the Country (still the most adorable creature in the Marvel universe not named Kamala Khan), they arrive just in time to intervene. Because why wait until before Cyclops gets his ass kicked? That might actually make them his friends.
So...is it awesome?
Well, to the extent that it reinforces what we already know and slightly more than that. We already knew Cyclops was fucked in ways that even Emma Frost couldn't match. This issue offers a new plot in this All-New, All-Different, Mutants-Are-Fucked Marvel Universe. And while it's slightly more upbeat than the demon-filled clusterfuck in Extraordinary X-men, it offers nothing more in terms of details. We still don't know why Cyclops is somehow more despised than Michael Vick at a PETA rally. But at the very least, his younger self shows that he can still kick ass, albeit in a very bittersweet fashion. That's really the most All-New X-men #1 has to offer, an entertaining yet bittersweet story that would be so much more enjoyable if we didn't already know how badly the X-men were fucked.
Final Score: 7 out of 10