This Op/Ed followup should not be read unless you’ve read Avengers vs. X-Men #12.
Avengers vs. X-Men could be retitled Operation: Hate Cyclops. When AvX was first announced I was on fully on board with Cyclops and the mutants. I posted “Cyke Is Right!” on my blog and all over rallying my fellow X-Men fans. X-Men were my first comic book and I’ve always identified with them. Captain America and the Avengers were yanking away the one Hope the mutants had to save their species.
The architects of AvX turned the greatest hero and leader in comic books into an arrogant, power mad egomaniac. The Marvel masterminds even did the unthinkable – turn me against Scott! I’ve actually rooting for the Avengers. Cyke was right. Now I’m not so sure.
AvX is a dark and critical chapter in Scott’s life. The man Professor Xavier chose to lead the mutants has never had it easy. He’s been put in incredible scenarios against impossible odds and faced tragedy after tragedy. His fellow mutants have constantly been under attack and he’s been forced to make tough calls without a single Avenger coming to his aid. That’s what I love about him.
Scott Summers must always been in control. Holding back his optic blasts is a symbol of the life Scott has been forced to lead. Professor Xavier made him team leader. Cyke pushed himself to be a better leader while the other X-Men got to laugh and escape from training at Harry’s Hideaway. Scott is always living in the Danger Room.
Scott has lost Jean, Madelyne, Nathan. Cyke has held firm despite insults from Wolverine and wavering support from longtime friends. He’s a better X-Man than any mutant…including Logan.
In AvX #11 the Phoenix possessed Cyclops and Emma Frost turn on each other because there can be only one. AvX appears to be the end of a powerhouse Marvel romance. Grant Morrison slowly separated Scott and Jean and paired Cyke with the reformed Emma Frost during his New X-Men run. Joss Whedon united Scott and Emma as the mutant power couple in his Astonishing X-Men epic. As much as I love Jean, Emma is the one true woman for Scott.
The Phoenix Force is now divided between Scott and Emma. Scott has been transformed into arrogant cosmic level zealot. The God-like power of the Phoenix Force has twisted Scott’s intense dedication to save his race. Emma’s behavior is now dangerously similar to the Dark Phoenix. The reformed White Queen has always kept her ruthless streak and it’s been necessary and easy for her to slip back into the role of a villain (Dark Reign & Dark X-Men Saga) to use it for the sake of saving the mutants.
I kept hoping Scott and Emma’s extreme and ruthless behavior was a result of having slivers of The Void (The Sentry’s evil alter ego) in their minds. It was these two mutants who sacrificed to trap the Void when the Avengers couldn’t stop him. I wanted some excuse so it would be easy to redeem Scott and Emma for their actions. Alas, I can blame the Phoenix Force but isn’t the entity just feeding off and empowering the emotions and motivations existing in my favorite Marvel power couple?
Cyclops betrayed Emma and stole her Phoenix Power, killed Professor X, became Dark Phoenix and began burning the earth. In this week’s final chapter Hope and Scarlet Witch (with an assist from Jean Grey?) forced the Phoenix out of Scott. The leader of the X-Men now sits in prison as the most hated man in the Marvel Universe. Cyclops is taking all the blame even though he was right about Hope, The Phoenix and how to save the mutant race.
Every hero falls. Every fan loves redemption. I hope Scott and Emma survive AvX to rise to greatness again in the Marvel NOW.