Cyclops Was Right Yet Again, Let Me Count the Ways
For the past year of X-Men comics, the once glorious Cyclops has been hailed as nothing short of the next Hitler. He’s been on this trajectory for awhile now, but comics took an 8-month jump at the beginning of the year, and everybody was very hush hush that not only had Cyclops died, but he died doing something absolutely horrendous to the Inhumans.
Well the big mystery was revealed in the conclusion of Death of X last week, but all that it revealed was that Cyclops is a true hero, now and forever.
I don’t know what the heck Marvel is doing. Either they don’t understand what it means to be a super-villain, or this is the greatest long con in superhero comics history. Part of me is leaning towards the latter.
Join me after the jump for the latest revelation, as well as all the reasons why Cyclops has been right for years. I really do think Marvel is toying with us.
So what did Cyclops do that was so horrendous that even the teenage Champions consider him the next Hitler? Here they are discussing the pros and cons of letting Young Cyclops join the team.
The Champions are so discouraged about adult Cyclops’ actions that they’re not even sure they can welcome teenage Cyclops.
So what did he do?
Cyclops saved the mutant race from certain death. And I guess the world hates him for it.
Here’s the set-up: a few years ago, the Inhuman king Black Bolt unleashed a giant cloud of Terrigen Mist across the Earth. Terrigenesis is the process of transforming new Inhumans, and for decades, it was a very secretive ritual within the isolated Inhuman community. But now with a giant Terrigen Mist cloud moving across the Earth, every single human with a strand of Inhuman DNA in their system is now transformed. This is how Ms. Marvel got her powers.
But recently, Cyclops and the X-Men learned that the Terrigen Mist is immediately fatal to mutants. Exposure to the cloud causes mutants to instantly break out in a horrible disease, killing them seemingly within minutes. The cloud killed Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man.
The cloud doesn’t effect all mutants, but it’s definitely deadly to some mutants. It also renders them sterile.
So here’s the conundrum: the cloud is the only way to make new Inhumans, but at the cost of killing mutants. The Inhumans have embraced their population explosion.
But Cyclops, being a great mutant hero, isn’t about to stand by and let this cloud wipe out the mutant race.
So he recruits an old ally with the mutant power of altering the chemical properties of things, and together they change one of two Terrigen Mist clouds into harmless vapor.
The old ally dies in the process, which is tragic, but the mutant race is saved with no harm done to any Inhuman.
So what does this earn Cyclops? Murdered by Black Bolt.
How does any of this warrant Cyclops being hailed as the world’s greatest super-villain? I’m not being rhetorical here. If somebody has an answer, I would love to know!
At this point, I do need to point out that this wasn’t really Cyclops. The final issue of Death of X also reveals that Cyclops actually died alongside Madrox. He was exposed to the Mist and died within minutes. But his dying words to Emma Frost were that she carry on his legacy and not let this cloud kill all mutants. So for the four issues of Death of X, Emma creates a psychic illusion of Cyclops to carry on his mission of stopping the Terrigen Mist.
But nobody knows this. Emma only tells one other person. So everybody, from Black Bolt to Medusa to Storm to the other X-Men to the Champions, all really do believe that Cyclops died after neutralizing the Terrigen Mist cloud. For all intents and purposes, the world thinks Cyclops did this.
So why is he the next Hitler? THAT CLOUD WAS KILLING MUTANTS! It killed him! Yeah, the Inhumans can’t make any more, but they’re the ones who unleashed the cloud in the first place. Why weren’t the Inhumans doing the right thing and trying to shut it down to protect mutants? What kind of selfish bastards are they?
What kind of selfish, MURDERING bastards are they?
But here is where I think Marvel is just trolling us. We can all objectively see that Cyclops’ actions were heroic…it’s the characters in the comics who see them as villainous. Those characters are biased, based on all they’ve been through. So maybe they feel justified in vilifying Cyclops, no matter what we astute readers can see.
That’s the troll: Cyclops does the heroic thing, but the comic treats it like something villainous. History is written by the winners, after all.
This has actually been happening for a long time now, ever since Marvel decided to make Cyclops a renegade. He does the right thing and the comic presents it as something bad.
It all started during Schism, when Cyclops and Wolverine had a falling out. That comic began with Quentin Quire trying to cause trouble for mutants on a world-wide scale. Cyclops, the ‘villain’, wanted to protect Quentin and hide him from the authorities, but Wolverine, the ‘hero’, wanted to turn the kid over to Captain America. In the long run? Wolverine took Quentin under his wing as a sidekick.
Let’s see if I can’t run down a bunch more. In pretty much every single one of these scenarios, Cyclops’ decision is portrayed as the bad idea.
- Cyclops convinces Oya to use her powers to save her fellow X-Men, even though Wolverine insists she just sit back so that Wolverine can try and do all the work.
- Cyclops insists the X-Men work together to defeat the evil Sentinel that is about to destroy their home on Utopia, and they do, but Wolverine has planted bombs all over the island because he just wants to cut and run.
- Wolverine breaks off from the X-Men to reform the school, and this is presented as the more noble choice. Cyclops just keeps everybody else going as an awesome superhero squad.
- When the Phoenix Force returns to Earth, targeting Hope Summers, Cyclops does his best to try and train her to handle the responsibility so that she can use the power to restart the mutant race. Wolverine just wants to kill her (when he fails, she decides to cut him some slack and teams up with him).
- When the Phoenix Force does arrive on Earth, the Avengers accidentally cause it to break apart and possess five of the X-Men, including Cyclops. He then immediately leads his people in using this power to stop wars, bring food and water to desolate parts of the world and do everything they can to make good. The Avengers immediately plot how to stop him.
- After telling the Avengers to leave them alone, the Avengers promptly break into the X-Men’s home to kidnap Hope Summers.
- While possessed by the Dark Phoenix, Cyclops kills Charles Xavier. Cyclops is blamed, not the Dark Phoenix. Cyclops goes peacefully with the authorities.
- Hope Summers later uses the Phoenix Force to restart the mutant race, which was Cyclops’ goal all along. This would have been the likely outcome had the Avengers and Wolverine not gotten involved at all.
- After breaking out of prison, Cyclops starts a new mutant ‘revolution’ that basically involves saving new mutants from prejudice, which is what the X-Men have been doing for decades. Other X-Men teams don’t bother saving new mutants, only sit around complaining about Cyclops.
- When Cyclops encounters mutants that can’t be part of his revolution, he sends them to Wolverine’s new school.
- When Cyclops is bequeathed everything in Xavier’s will, he doesn’t hesitate to sign it all over to the ‘good’ X-Men.
- When Cyclops is called on the merits of his revolution by one of his team members, he immediately calls off the revolution and instead organizes a peaceful million mutant march at the Lincoln Memorial.
- And finally, when a deadly cloud of Terrigen Mist is discovered to kill mutants, Cyclops finds a peaceful, relatively harmless way to neutralize it and save the mutant race. He’s promptly murdered for his heroic actions.
Taking all of this into account, the only clear explanation is that Marvel is having some fun with us. Somebody decided to turn Cyclops into a villain, but to do so by having him do only heroic things while having them presented as villainous. Write every other character as appalled by Cyclops’ actions, and treat them as the hero, and they can create the greatest trolling in comic book history.
It’s actually kind of funny when you think about it.
Cyclops was right.