Words: Jay Edidin
Art: Tom Reilly
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Tom Orzechowksi
Let’s get a couple things straight right up front just so you fully understand the biases that I’m working with here. I got into X-Men because of Jay Edidin and his podcast Jay and Miles X-plain the X-Men (probably also why Scott’s voice in my head is Jay’s voice). Heck, I got into reading comics as more than just a casual thing because of Jay Edidin. So I guess I’m trying to say that I was coming into this one expecting to love it.
This was everything I expected it to be. It’s so much better than I thought it would be. This is the culmination of all of the work Jay has put into being a positive force in the comics community. This is the start of Jay going into something bigger.
All hyperbole aside, and there wasn’t much up there I promise, there’s a reason why Jay was the perfect person to write this issue. Lots of them really. Growing up for me everyone I knew either loved or hated Cyclops because he was the leader. Later on, the reasons got to be more complex but only in that “I don’t like this because I’ve been told I’m supposed to like it” kind of way.
Alright, let’s actually take a look at this thing. Weird title aside (Why name it X-Men when it’s really just about Cyclops? I don’t know either and since this is my only real criticism of the book I can easily look past that.) this is my new definitive intro to Scott Summers. Jay’s choice to take this in a direction that largely focuses on Scott before his powers manifest is brilliant. This doesn’t read as the origins of a super hero as much as it reads as the origins of an adult human, which is a distinction that I loved seeing. Jay has made it clear that his love for Scott Summers doesn’t come from the powerset or the fact that he happened to be picked as the leader.
This is a wonderfully written and complete story. But oh no, the greatness doesn’t stop there.
I’m a big fan of flashbacks being obviously different in art style. Tom Reilly and Chris O’Halloran have that covered pretty well here. I could easily tell what Scott thought of as a sad memory or a happy memory with just a glance at the page. Tom and Chris’s art captures the essence of Scott just as much as Jay’s words.
Through every aspect the story telling here (and yes that includes the art as well since after all, this is a comic) the mental gymnastics that Scott has had to put himself through in order to survive in a world that way too often just seems like it’s out to get him. It’s that journey from accepting what’s happened to him to accepting how he can use what’s happened to help make the world a better place that seems to be behind the love that everyone here has for Scott as a character.
If you already like Cyclops then reading this is a no brainer. If you want to get into him, or know someone who does, then the same no brainer label applies here. I only wish that my shop had been able to get some of the variant covers so I could have had a better excuse to buy it again.