I wish my dad was a space pirate. Maybe. I dunno. My dad is a pretty cool guy. Raised me right. Does everything he can for the family. But man, how cool would it be if he was a space pirate?
Well Cyclops’ dad is a space pirate, and at some point, writer Greg Rucka realized that was a very awesome thing. Surely that’s what spawned this Cyclops ongoing series. Either that, or Rucka himself has some issues he wants to work out about fathers in general. Because in this complex, messed up, continuity-crazy Marvel Universe, we’ve got a comic where Scott Summers from the era of the original X-Men has come forward in time to the present day, where he gets to hang out with present day Corsair, all while completely ignoring present day Cyclops and original X-Men era Corsair.
The premise is pretty insane, but the comic is absolutely lovely.
The first two issues of the series were one big, joyful romp in outer space. Rucka has figured out every cool thing about being a Spacejammer and put it on the page, with help from a more than capable artist, Russell Dauterman. The time-traveling Young Cyclops is positioned as the outsider, who is discovering all of these awesome space things alongside the rest of us. For example, his dad is dating some kind of hot, alien skunk woman, who is also the coolest woman Scott has ever met. So that’s neat. There’s also the fact that his father has a price on his head from evil alien bounty hunters. That’s also kind of cool (and dangerous).
Everything cool and dangerous about being the son of a space pirate was packed into those first two issues. So this third issue slows things down to deal with some of the more serious aspects, especially between father and son. And considering the weird time-travel background of this series, there are a lot of issues to talk about. Cyclops #3 gets a little continuity crazy at times, but the bond between father and son is especially strong.
When Young Cyclops and Corsair crash land on a strange, alien planet, father and son have nothing but time to talk. Scott wants to know why his dad never came back for him. And Corsair comes clean about his resurrection – while also going into detail about Vulcan, his mad son. It’s complicated, and Rucka dives right in. They’re all solid scenes, building off the great relationship Rucka has built between the characters in only a few short issues. He’s always been a strong character writer, and all of his skill is on display in Cyclops, creating a believable and fun relationship between father and son despite the odd situation.
Speaking of odd situations, Dauterman and colorist Chris Sotomayor absolutely nail the alien landscapes and creatures in Cyclops. The planet the Summerses crash on is wildly colorful, in that special sort of alien way. And Dauterman’s characters are very expressive, conveying all the anger, doubt, pride and annoyance that comes up in the conversation. Sotomayor has the unenviable task of coloring several scenes set around a raging, blue-colored campfire, but he handles the pages marvelously. The blue tones perfectly set the mood for the serious discussion.
Cyclops is a very fun series with a unique little tale to tell. It stars two very human character, but in very weird situations. Rucka easily finds the humanity amidst the space piracy and time travelry. The first two issues focused on fun, but with Cyclops #3, he delves deep into the real emotion behind the relationship. The issue is over too quick, but Rucka nails the bond between father and son.
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: VC’s Jee Caramagna
Rating – 8/10