Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feeling burned by Schism, but not that way...

Over at Blog@Newsarama, there was some commentary from Graeme McMillan on the Wolverine/Cyclops fight in X-Men: Schism #5. How do you show Logan and Scott have finally had it with each other, this time for really reals? Um, by optic-blasting Wolverine's face off, I guess.

Now, I would figure that's a little too far for Cyclops to take things, no matter how mad he is at Wolvie...but then again, Cyke may well know even that's not going to kill him. It doubtless hurts like all hell, but Wolvie's probably trying just as hard to stab Cyke in the face, and is all sorts of a dick anyway. Plus, as some of the commenters point out, this is an X-Men comic, did you really want them to sit down and talk things out calmly and rationally?

But my first thought is super, super geeky: where did the flames come from? Cyclops' optic blast isn't hot, it's concussive. It's the first line of his powers in Marvel's own wiki for Cyclops: "Cyclops possesses the mutant ability to project a beam of heatless ruby-colored concussive force from his eyes..." And don't take their word for it, take mine! And, um, John Byrne's:

From Fantastic Four #250, "X-Factor" Storyteller, John Byrne! The Thing recognizes "Cyclops" there as a fake because the blast burns him! (That's a super great issue, and the first FF comic I remember buying myself.)

Mind you, I had the idea that years and yeeeeearrrs later, Byrne would have to have Cyclops zap the Thing one in X-Men: the Hidden Years to justify that one, but no! After some research, I found Fantastic Four #28, a Lee/Kirby classic: "We Have to Fight the X-Men!" (Not their most imaginative title...) Cyclops zaps the Thing more than a couple in that one, without setting him on fire. (No scans of that, since I looked in up in Essential Fantastic Four Volume 2.)

Now, if I was trying for a No-Prize, I'd tell you the force of Cyke's beam on the adamantium was enough to spark Wolvie's head and mask and hair aflame. Or, you could well argue the rule of cool applies to Wolverine's flaming skull. Maybe. I don't know if it's that cool. I feel like a lot of writers at Marvel are trying to invoke said rule of cool, without having earned it. Breaking Cap's shield or sending Spider-Man home crying in Fear Itself would be likewise unearned. Now, if say, Warren Ellis wrote a scene where Emma Frost telepathically turns Scott into a twelve-year-old, who then goes on a crying jag with his optic blasts, setting the drapes on fire...I'd buy that.

(P.S. All this bitching, but I'll almost positively buy the new Uncanny X-Force with the Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler! And Deadpool and Psylocke! And Fantomex, who I absolutely can't stand already.)

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Good point about the Cyke's blast goo. It's always been stated since day one, that his blasts were pure concussive force, not heat. You can add Giant Size-X-Men#1 to the list that explains that.

I'm sure Arron's knows his stuff, but you know sometime's comic book artists employ artistic license/ their own interpretation of things, so that's probably the case here.

I'm just surprised(well maybe I shouldn't since it's comics) that Cyke makes it out of Schism alive, when we were all lead(falsely obviously) to believe that he wouldn't.

Also, did you notice how many now former friends of Logan's is now on Cyke's team? Dan(from it's dan's world) and I both figured that out, and that possibly this is Wolvie's way of keeping spies/eyes on Cyclops.