Outrage Week Continues: Cyclops and X-Factor!
I haven’t seen “X-Men: Apocalypse” yet, but I felt like it should drive a portion of my “Outrage Week” as I have come to call it. You see, Apocalypse was created for “X-Factor”, one of the early X-Men spinoff books. The idea of that book was that the original X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman) were coming back together to form a new X-team, in a time period that only had the one X-Team to begin with. It was a Big Deal.
However first, they needed to bring Jean Grey, Marvel Girl, back from the dead. It being a comic book, that wasn’t all that hard. Secondly…they had to free up Cyclops as a character, making him an Epic Level Douche in a way that was almost completely unrecoverable, and goes down in the annals of Douchebaggery.
Huh? what am I talking about? I’m talking about a character shift so cold, so rough, it makes Cap’s recent “Hail Hydra” look like a drop in the proverbial bucket. A move so full of @#$% and awfulness, that if twitter and blogging existed in the eighties, the internet would have lost its collective mind over it. Curious for the backstory? I know you are, True Believers.
I’m going to “Cliff’s Notes” this as much as I can. Following the “Dark Phoenix” storyline and the loss of Jean Grey (Uncanny X-Men No. 129-137), Chris Claremont wrote in the character of Madelyne Pryor, an airline pilot working for Scott Summers’ grandparents. incidentally, Maddy looks just like Scott’s dead girlfriend Jean, which is creepy and already douchey, but it gets worse. Pryor and Scott fell in love, got married, and had a baby, Nathan, who would grow up to be the mutant known as Cable.
Cyclops would decided to leave the X-Men after getting housed in the Danger Room by a then powerless Storm for leadership of the team. As a result, he retired to Alaska with his wife Maddie and his newborn son. There he was supposed to have a happy ending and usher in the idea that it was okay for the X-Men to grow and move on, which would then allow new characters to come onto the team with the old guard settling down, according to X-writer Chris Claremont.
Then Jean Grey reappeared in the pages of Fantastic Four, which led to the debut of X-Factor No.1, starring the original team of X-Men, as I mentioned, including Cyclops. But wait…didn’t he just retire to spend his life with his loving family? Turns out that in a monumental shift of character that completely invalidated his role as a hero and as a decent human being, Scott Summers abandoned his new family to return to the side of Jean Grey. He straight up ditches his whole life to go back to his High School Girlfriend.
That @#$% is @#$%ed up, True Believers.
That’s why the protagonist is giving him a Mega-Smack in the artwork above. Scots’ basic @#$%iness as a person resulted in Madelyne Pryor turning evil and attempting to sacrifice her son to open the gates of Hell during the “Inferno” storyline. After attempting this bizarre Satano sacrifice, and screwing up much of New York City, she was then killed off, with the majority of the blame resting on Scott’s shoulders for his @#$% actions. Maddie has been in Adequacy a couple of times…she has issues, sure, but who can blame her? Talk about bad relationships.
In fact, this predates the hated “One More Day” Spider-man story by DECADES, and in that, Spider-Man at least chucks away his happy marriage as collateral to Satan in order to save a human life. Cyclops can’t even take that kind of high ground…he’s just a @#$% person.
This storyline caused a huge outrage among fans and creators alike, who were disgusted at the ease with which Cyclops abandoned all of his personal morals and family simply to help sell a new X-book. If the current version of Internet software for end users existed then, I think that this would have had mega-Outrage, and the Simonsons would have been enduring the kind of crummy, threatening tweets that nick Spencer has been.
Six issues later, Apocalypse was introduced as an antagonist, and now, in 2016, that has given us a major motion picture. From Outrage to Outtakes, people.
At least our hero is knocking those cool eighties shades off of his smug face.