Simply put, Cyclops is a boy scout. Despite its positive connotations, it's a label that very few are particularly fond of. Thankfully, writer Lee Black has taken Cyclops' upstanding (and uptight) nature and played it up for laughs in Marvel's Cyclops one-shot. Black turns the X-Men universe upside down by adding a pinch of absurdity -- OK, maybe he adds a lot of absurdity, but it makes Cyclops a fun and fast read.
You get the idea of what you’re in for after the first few pages. While sitting in a coffee shop one day, lamenting over his team’s perception of him, Scott Summers' day is thrown off-kilter when a car carrying the Circus of Crime -- yes, you read that right, the Circus of Crime -- crashes through the shop. Summers, always ready to do the right thing, pursues the villains with his upright demeanor as he quotes passages from The Art of War.
From there, you get the pleasure of seeing Cyclops “incognito,” successfully disguising his X-Men uniform with only an orange hoodie and watching him end a text to Jean Gray with a smiley face as he follows the Circus of Crime, who tour some of New York's hottest spots bantering back-and-forth about nothing a la Seinfeld.
Cyclops is riddled with little, rapid-fire comedic touches -- some so subtle that they may go completely unnoticed or unappreciated after only one read. It's those little moments that make Cyclops the gem that it is.
The book is made all the more enjoyable by the art of Dean Haspiel, whose Silver Age style is the perfect companion to a story that doesn't delve into weighty plotlines or character arcs. It's strictly for fun, and Haspiel's artwork matches that tone.
Cyclops is an off-beat diversion for comic book fans, and it's one that really shouldn't be missed.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ray Tate also reviewed Cyclops. Read his thoughts, too!
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