For the last few issues, teenaged Cyclops and his father (Christopher Summers) have been stranded on a remote planet, spending plenty of time together while figuring out a way to escape. Last time, Cyclops managed to fix a tracking device so that they could be rescued. The downside is that the tracking device belonged to bounty hunters who are hunting Christopher.
This issue kicks off with a group of hunters discovering and following the signal. It’s a brief yet effective introduction to the hunters’ culture and honour system, making them far more interesting than just another team of brutes. Once the action begins, Cyclops’s narration highlights the differences in how Scott and Christopher think. Christopher is willing to kill the hunters while Scott would much rather them remain alive. It’s a good highlight of young Cyclops’s heroic nature, and their battle strategy also shows off his already impressive tactical skills. The conclusion delves further into the hunters’ honour system while also giving father and son a couple nice moments of conversation. All of these elements fit together to make a tight, well-written comic.
The art by Carmen Carnero is also great. The planet is full of colourful plant life that’s both familiar and alien at once. Everything about the character designs are well-detailed, from the different alien clothing styles and war paint to even the sunburn on Scott’s shirtless body and his father’s chest hair. But perhaps the real highlight is the facial expression range, especially with the bounty hunters’ servant who shows disappointment when told to guard the ship, determination while dueling Cyclops and panic when she’s worried about her masters.
Like I said in the Red Sonja 12 review, my favourite comic of the week is between this and that. Greg Rucka’s short run on Cyclops was fantastic. He did a great job at exploring the father and son relationship through their adventure in space, and helping to make Cyclops a more balanced character. If you’re a fan of Cyclops at all, you should make sure to at least read the first 5 issues of Cyclops’s first ongoing solo title.
John Layman is taking over writing with the next issue. I know little of his writing, but he has written a creator-owned series called Chew that won several Eisner awards and made the New York Times bestselling list. I’m willing to give him a chance.