It's been a heady time to be an X-Men fan, with more time travel hijinks than usual bringing the original X-Men to the future and future X-Men to the past (and yet somehow there's still no room for Maggot or Adam-X on the roster). With Young Scott Summers headed to space to finally connect with his father in a way his older self never did, we'll hold out hope. In the meantime, Greg Rucka and Russell Dauterman's "Cyclops" #1 sets "the adventures of Scott Summers in SPAAAAAAAAAACE" off to a fantastic start.
Like much of Rucka's work, this is not a super hero tale, but a story about personal relationships set in a world with super powers. This is the story of a boy going to live with his father and his father's new family. It is also a story of a father trying to figure out how exactly to be a father after years of being on the open space ways, living like he had nothing to live for. Rucka dives in to the feels for both Cyclops and Corsair and I was surprised to find so much of the latter's point of view in this book. Scott likes the new people in his life but his uncertainty about himself and his place in the world and his place in the world in the future all lend him to self doubt. Corsair loves his son but his uncertainty about his ability to be a father lends him to self doubt as well. It's in these moments that Rucka, instead of allowing the characters to keep these feelings focused inwards, lets them express it and deal with them in a real way. The Starjammers are clearly more than just a crew -- they are a family that have chosen to be with one another. With that comes opening up and sharing doubts, hoping to find a solution as a group. Rucka shows us why Corsair is with Hepzibah more than any other writer I can recall, and after reading her insights into Corsair's situation, I'm jumping on Tinder to find a large talking skunk woman of my own. I daresay this is the best depiction of the Starjammers since Chris Claremont's run with the crew in the '90s.
This book gives great joy in the pants thanks to the gorgeous art by Russell Dauterman. His art is clear, dynamic and crackling with energy. His characters convey real movement and the page layouts are all enjoyable and interesting. There's a definite sexiness to the characters, both male and female -- the posing and careening of Hepzibah and her tail; Corsair's meditation in boxer briefs; Ch'od. Dauterman is officially in the big leagues now and he's brought his A-game along with him. Getting him in Marvel's stable of artists is a very smart move by the publisher.
There was more than one moment in which I genuinely teared up in this book. Blame it on the unresolved loss of my own father years ago or the squishy soft mud hole of a heart in my bone cage; whatever the case, I was pulled in to the gravity of this anti-gravity tale. A book that I almost dismissed is now one I'm completely onboard for.