Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blogathon 26: Cyclops was Right! Cyclops was Wrong! (Part 1)

Shortly after Avengers vs. X-Men ended, Tim O'Neil attempted to engage me in a discussion on Twitter about Cyclops and I sort of blew him off. I really like Tim, it was just that I was tired of talking about Cyclops and that story at that point. I had no interest in the topic, feeling that I had said everything I wanted to say. I'm not sure if I have a lot to say about it still -- less sure that I have anything new to say. But, I am interested in seeing what Tim has to say. I like that there's someone who I like and respect who read those comics and came away with a very different impression of the character than I did. Part of the reason why I dismissed them to a degree is that they seemed so obviously one-sided. That Tim didn't see it that way makes me think maybe they produced a better series than I thought. Maybe. Maybe Tim is wrong.

I'll run down my basic argument and then leave it to Tim to freshen up this topic:

Cyclops began Avengers vs. X-Men as the villain. He was basically a crazy cult leader who believed a cosmic bird was going to arrive and save mutantkind. He was willing to risk Earth to do so, because that giant cosmic bird has a habit of destroying worlds. Instead of offering a nice compromise like taking Hope off planet to meet the Phoenix, he strarted throwing around punches. After the conflict escalated, the Phoenix arrived, was split up by Tony Stark, and put inside of Cyclops and four other mutants. They then went to work on making the planet better in ways that superheroes should: they tried to combat hunger and poverty, eliminate weapons, stop crime... and the Avengers responded by continually attacking them. Now, Cyclops was surrounded by weak people who succumbed to corruption. However, with each of them falling, he gained more power and kept his focus. He kept trying to keep the others in check, believing that Captain America and the other Avengers would come around once they proved that they were only doing good. Instead, the Avengers kept poking at him and poking at him and poking at him until they teamed up with the other X-Men and got his mentor to try and shut down his brain. He reacted in self-defence, killed his mentor, and was pushed over the edge, resulting in some horrific actions that eventually led to mutantkind being reborn.

He was right. At worst, he was possessed by another lifeform and not responsible for his actions under the argument of See Every Other Superhero Possession Ever. Much of the damage that happened only happened because the Avengers decided that the best way to deal with a man possessed by a destructive cosmic force was to keep attacking him until he snapped and was taken over completely, losing all control. Great strategy there, Captain America.

In 30 minutes, we'll see what Tim has to say. It should be good.

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