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Menshevik

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,994
In Reply To
America's Captain 
Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,058
Subj: Re: Heh, I Found A Hysterical Article On Cyclops And Why He Is The Worst X-Man.
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 at 05:22:42 am EST (Viewed 90 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Heh, I Found A Hysterical Article On Cyclops And Why He Is The Worst X-Man.
Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 at 08:40:25 am EST (Viewed 97 times)



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      Nope, he is not a broken shell of a man but a surly, passive-aggressive self-centred jerk. How dare Madelyne hold him to his marriage vows and other promises he made, to expect him to fulfill his responsibilities as a husband and father! How dare she feel neglected after Scott could not even be bothered to give her one single phone-call when she was going through the final days of her pregnancy and giving birth to Nathan! And funny how it was only then that Cyclops discovered that he could not stay in Alaska, after living there, apparently contentedly and largely incident-free, for at least ca. a year story-time. Not to mention that before that he had been happy to be on an extended leave from the X-Men ever since UXM #138; during that time he tended to get involved with the X-Men's agenda mostly by accident (being shipwrecked on Magneto's island with Lee Forrester) or in ways that did not involve the fate of mutantkind (galivanting through space to fight the Brood, being targeted for personal revenge by Mastermind).


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    At what point in the above did Jean return? That always seems to be the deciding factor.


Here's the timeline
UXM Annual #9: Cyclops and the X-Men leave the Mansion to go rescue Storm(1) and the New Mutants from Asgard (Asgardian Wars). Madelyne stays behind at the Mansion, where she had previously joined Cyclops who had been called there following Professor X's injury at the end of the half-year break (IIRC he first was shown in Westchester again in UXM #199).

(1) Storm had previously been on a leave of absence in Africa and had eventually ended up in the pages of New Mutants. Then she and the New Mutants were abducted to Asgard by Loki in NM Special #1. At the time Nightcrawler officially was the leader of the X-Men, but he was uncomfortable in that role.

UXM #200: Returning from Asgard, the X-Men (now including Storm again) end up in Paris, where they stay during the Trial of Magneto, at the end of which the badly injured Professor X is taken to the Starjammer, which then flees from Earth to avoid Shi'ar pursuit. Meanwhile in the Mansion, Madelyne gives birth to Nathan, all alone on the kitchen floor.

UXM #201: While the X-Men coo over the newborn baby, Madelyne is upset over Scott's unconcern and lack of enthusiasm over Nathan Charles Summers and the cold shoulder he has been giving her. She complains to Ororo that after his return from Asgard he never once phoned her, while most of the X-Men had called her from Paris to enquire after her health etc. She later confronts Cyclops who tells her that he intends to stay because the X-Men need him, especially with Magneto living in the Mansion, and that he expects Madelyne to ditch her career as a pilot to look after their child. Madelyne disagrees, saying that maybe he is just afraid that the X-Men can get along without him. Storm then challenges Cyclops to a duel for the team leadership. She wins, and Scott has no option but to return to Alaska with Madelyne.

X-Factor #1: Scott is living in his home in Anchorage with his wife and son, then gets the phone call from Warren and learns about Jean's return. He leaves Madelyne and Nathan with a non-explanation explanation and rushes off to New York despite Madelyne trying to stop him.


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    Jean is Scott's Lois Lane in the eyes of many fans and many fans-become-writers, the latter of whom have the power to push their vision onto the comic book page.


Yes, early is a textbook example of fans-turned-creators running amuck in an (ultimately futile attempt) to prove Tom Wolfe wrong and "go home again". Not only did they reunite Scott and Jean (in a horrible execution), but they also broke up Warren and Candy so they could reestablish the Scott-Jean-Warren triangle that had briefly been a thing in the 1960s, returned Hank to his pre-furry state and even brought back his Silver Age love interest Vera Cantor...


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    In the eyes of such fan/writers, Madelyn should not have existed, and didn't even really exist in her own right, because somehow in some people's minds a clone is not a unique individual (which makes no sense to me).


Remember that at that point Madelyne was little more than a "normal" woman who happened to be a dead ringer for Jean Grey. She was only retroactively turned into Jean's clone during Inferno in order to provide a rationale for getting rid of her.


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    Once Jean is in the picture, Madelyn must be dispensed with in the most brutal manner possible, because Lois Lane must always be Superman's girlfriend, with no serious competition. Plus, Madelyn was never more than just a plot device any way, a stand-in for Jean, made so obvious by being made a clone of her. It wasn't really Scott (a fictional character with no free will) who was the jerk. It was the writer at the time. But unfortunately Scott the fictional character was made to play out his life decisions in accordance with the whims of the current fan/writer, who cared more about who is paired with whom than about staying true to the heroic ideal that Scott should always have represented.


Well, I disagree about heroes having to conform to some (abstract) ideal, they tend to be more interesting if they have weaknesses or are struggling with the ideals they set for themselves. And I think that "it's just a story" or "he's just a fictional character" are excuses that should be used very sparingly, only in very exceptional and serious cases.

The main problem was that the writers of early X-Factor were too elaborate and did not pay attention enough to previous characterization. For instance, they suddenly wanted to make out that Scott had married Madelyne as a Jean stand-in, while in UXM #175 Scott had visited Jean's grave before his wedding and told Jean that he was marrying Madelyne because he realized that she was NOT Jean but a person in her own right. The also had a tendency towards over-contrived plots, and so the X-Factor setup depended on the O5 deciding to cut their ties with the active X-Men and subsequently never meeting (even though at the time their bases in Manhattan and Salem Center were only a few miles apart), while the JeanScottMadelyne subplot in part depended on Hank, Warren and Bobby helping Scott to hide the truth from Jean.


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    He chose to marry Madelyne of his own free will and let's not forget that if he hadn't done so he could easily have decided to join his father and the Starjammers, i.e. to abandon Earth and mutant concerns for an undetermined time, maybe forever. He was seriously considering that option at the time.



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    He should have gone. I remember that story line. Without Jean to tether him to Earth, he should have gone on a space adventure with his Dad. Had I been the writer, he would have done it, and, if Editorial permitted, I would have written a Starjammers mini-series featuring Cyclops.



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      To speak of apocalypse looming etc. is just being overly melodramatic in order to justify Scott's selfish and primarily personal decision (to present his wife with a fait accompli, to abandon her and to expect her to adapt her life to his wishes without question, i.o.w. to conform to a 19th-century concept of marriage). The fact is that before Nathan's birth things had been unusually quiet - as attested by a break in the narrative covering most of Madelyne's pregnancy. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was lying low and about to become the government-sponsored Freedom Force, and as UXM #201 was to highlight, the X-Men clearly were of the opinion that they could manage without being led by Cyclops. And when Cyclops ran out on his wife and son in X-Factor #1 it was not because of some acute or even "looming" crisis, but in order to revisit his old girlfriend. It was, at most, a purely personal "emergency". The setting-up of X-Factor, Inc., only came later, and then was handled in such an idiotic fashion that it may have caused more harm than good in the long run by fueling anti-mutant prejudice in the general population. So maybe it would have been better if Scott had stayed in Alaska? At least he would have been there to defend his family against the Marauders' attack, and there really was nothing to prevent the rest of the O5 to visit Scott there. (Madelyne got on well with Scott's teammates, she even sent the X-Men an invitation to visit the Summerses in Anchorage when they briefly moved to San Francisco during SWII).



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    Scott should never have abandoned his wife and child under any circumstances. But Lois Lane must always win when fan/writers hold the reins.



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    Nevertheless, somebody somewhere in Editorial must have grasped at last that Scott was being made to look like a jerk, and so we got the story where Scott and Jean raised Nathan in the far future. So Nathan, at least, was not mistreated. Madelyn, however, was sorely ill used. Because she wasn't Lois Lane.





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