As much as Cyclops #1 surprised me with how much I enjoyed reading about Scott Summers (a character I’ve never really identified with or cared about much), #2 surprised me with how effortlessly Greg Rucka and Russell Dauterman continue the ongoing adventures of Cyclops and Corsair. A killer first issue never guarantees a good run but Cyclops #2 is fun, fast-paced and hints at the underlying issues this story will be exploring. Corsair may not seem like (or consider himself to be) father material, and this issue touches upon just another reason why, though Rucka hints at it just enough before leaving it ‘To Be Continued’ in the next issue. Dauterman’s art continues to be stellar, with Chris Sotomayor’s colours bringing every line to life. And is it just me or does Dauterman feel like he’s channeling Frank Quitely in the occasional panel, without sacrificing his own style?
What I love most about this book is how much the Summers boys feel like real people. Scott is the awkward teenage boy who second guesses himself at every turn, despite the fact that he’s handling travelling the galaxy in a spaceship with his long-lost father pretty damn well in the grand scheme of things. I mean, Corsair trusts him enough that he let him fly the ship! That’s big league father/son stuff, even if you’re on Earth. The elder Summers, who certainly doesn’t look old enough to be modern era Scott’s dad (not that I’m complaining), is embracing fatherhood but that doesn’t mean he’s really changing his ways. He’s still the smart-ass gunslinger who taunts danger right to its face, a move that Scott doesn’t really appreciate now that he’s along for the ride. It makes for great role-reversal moments, with Scott trying to diffuse situations as Corsair exacerbates them seconds later. It also allows for some strong but not heavy-handed proof that Cyclops is pretty bad-ass, he’s just not so insecure that he needs to flaunt it.
That dynamic and this interpretation of Cyclops is what makes this book an essential read. Scott Summers was too often portrayed as whiny or trying too hard, but Rucka and Dauterman are reestablishing the man this boy will become. His journey may be very different than it first was, but they’re bringing the core of the character to the forefront in a respectful and empathic way. You understand why Scott eventually made all the hard choices— because he had to. Even when he made mistakes, he kept at it, because that’s what you have to do to survive. All in all, Cyclops works because it’s great to watch teenage Scott grow up with more character development and internal insight than we got the first time around in comics.