Review: Marvel Cyclops #9 by Layman, Garron, and Sotomayer | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Marvel Cyclops #9 by Layman, Garron, and Sotomayer

Posted by Sean Hamilton Thursday, January 22, 2015
Cyclops tortures Corsair
Cyclops #9 cover by Alexander Lozano
Quality father/son time?

Cyclops continues to straddle a precarious position. On one side he needs to protect his captured father, the pirate Corsair of the Starjammers, and on the other side he has to maintain the pretense of being a crew member on the captors' ship the Desolation.

This has presented some unique opportunities to see the young Cyclops develop. During the teen's time on the ship, he has found himself pursued by the captain's daughter while he still feels something for Jean Grey. The awkwardness, both situational and physical, of the teenager is depicted by through writer John Layman and artist Javier Garron.

Layman's story in issue #9 continues in a consistent manner from the previous issues. The story is fine. Just fine. It isn't an explosion off the page; rather, it feels more subdued. This may or may not be his intention, but it certainly isn't gripping me. I have hope for future issues, but time will tell.

The pirate ship Desolation in deep space
No one can hear you scream in space
Chris Sotomayer's colors remain a high point for this series. This issue is a great example of how he brings to life the alien landscape and characters of Cyclops. The bright creatures become imbued with a sense of belonging under his colors, and the space opera itself takes on a quality of theatricality. Garron excels at matching Sotomayer's artistic nature in this manner.

Garron depicts wonderful settings in the characters explore and interact. The planet of Karchenar-4 is the perfect example of the artists working in tandem. Garron's inking is solid in this issue and consistently so in Cyclops. One grumble I have, though, is the depiction of human or humanoid characters' faces; the cartoonish quality of their features distracts from the more serious aspects of the story. While they are fun to experience, the style isn't a personal favorite, nevertheless, this is a minor issue.

Cyclops must torture Corsair to keep up false pretences
Let the torture commence
The fantastic cover art is again worth mentioning, as I have done in previous issues. Alexander Lozano's outstanding contribution to the issue is worth the price alone. The imagery has a gravitas that is mesmerizing in its beauty.

The new artistic team and concept have the potential to do something great, but the total package doesn't feel like it is coming together. It is currently in a difficult position, having to follow a solid run from the previous artistic team. Yet is does show what could be achieved within the same series. The emotional weight of the father and son relationship was a great draw to the series that seems to be missing now, and although I believe this is deliberate on Layman' s part, the loss of that emotional connection with the characters means that readers have to dig deeper to relate to them in a meaningful way.

The pirates dont supsect Cyclops and Corsairs treachery
Quality Father and Son time
While I enjoy reading the series, it is feeling a little flat. It isn't a must read each month, but I haven't removed it from my pull-list either, yet. Contrast the series against the other solo X-Men series currently from Marvel each month, Magneto, Storm, and Nightcrawler. Each of these books is distinctly a character-driven series that feels like it represents the titular character. They each have different strengths or weaknesses, but I certainly don't feel they are interchangeable to any degree. With Cyclops, you could substitute the main character and the story may continue moving forward like any other space odyssey story.

Owing to this, I wonder whether Cyclops will make it out the other side of the Black Vortex event that begins next month. I wouldn't be surprised to see a shakeup, and Marvel certainly hasn't been shy to pull books that don't perform well enough.

While we see ups and downs on any series, and there a certain positives in Cyclops #9 here, we want to hear what you thought of the issue. Do you agree that the series is just shy of its target? Do you feel it's hitting a bull's-eye?

Leave us your thoughts below, or head over to the Fanboys Anonymous sites on Facebook and Twitter and give us your impression of this issue.
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