Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Carmen Carnero
Cyclops #5 is bittersweet as it is the last issue that Rucka will write. While I am excited about what John Layman will bring to the table starting with issue six, the tone will likely change quite drastically. After all, the former writes the bleak dystopian series Lazarus, while the latter pens Chew—a comic about a man who can taste food and know exactly what happened to that food from seed, to harvest, to his mouth.
This is all purely speculation though, so let’s focus now on what we do know: Cyclops so far has been a great standalone series focused squarely on Scott Summers and the father he thought was long dead—the famed space pirate, Corsair. Throughout these five issues, we have watched as Scott and Corsair have tried to reconnect after so many years apart. Rucka does a great job of not only reminding readers of what time these two have lost, but also the fact that there are actually two Scott Summers running around in the 616 right now. This is because of present day’s Hank McCoy’s antics (as seen in All-New X-Men). In issue #4, Corsair states what might be the essential point of this whole standalone series for Cyclops: the older Cyclops has lost hope and has turned to rage. This younger Cyclops, and his “back from the dead” father, now have very real opportunities at redemption. Issue #5 continues this theme, as Scott stops his father from killing bounty hunters, and Corsair teaches Scott what a promise truly means.
Carnero does an admirable job of showing off the action in this issue, as predictably, the bounty hunters do not arrive to rescue Corsair and Scott but instead to, you know, collect the bounty that is on Corsair’s head. There are sword fights, double crosses, and of course, some sweet optic blasts aplenty. Unfortunately, this issue was lacking some of those quieter moments that I had come to expect from Rucka’s brief run, and that is a shame. This young Cyclops has a chance to actually change the future, and it may all depend on what happens between him and his father. Could Xavier live because of this father-son bonding? Could Jean somehow still be alive? Would the Schism event have ever occurred? The possibilities are endless and I hope that Layman (and Bendis as well) continue to mine these divergent timeline alterations to their full potential.
For every dead scalawag, we usually got one or two moments between Scott and his father, but this issue was more about setting Cyclops and his father up for their next adventure under Layman’s guidance. I’ll continue to read Cyclops to see what the new team will do, but Rucka’s grasp on the characters will be sorely missed. Like Warren Ellis on Moon Knight, we’ll just have to cherish the little bit of Big 2 work that certain creators do, and then buy all of their creator-owned work as well.