Review: Cyclops 6 by Layman, Garron and Sotomayer | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Cyclops 6 by Layman, Garron and Sotomayer

Posted by Sean Hamilton Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Cyclops takes charge in art by Alexander Lozano
Cyclops 6 Cover by
Alexander Lozano
Let's reset and go again...

Cyclops 6 is the start of a new artistic team and a new focus for the young X-Man. As announced earlier this year by Marvel, picking up the writer's reins is John Layman (Chew), who I was fortunate enough to meet at the Armageddon Expo this past weekend. When asked about the new direction, Layman stated he wanted to focus on the swashbuckling side of things and be more involved with Corsair's crew, the Starjammers.

The departing writer, Greg Rucka, balanced a fine line of action with the development of the father-son relationship between the young time-displaced Scott Summers and his Corsair. The art, while previously by Russell Dauterman (who has moved onto the new Thor series), is now by Javier Garron.

While the change in direction and artistic team is apparent from the opening pages, the cohesion between the first arc and the new is carried by colorist Chris Sotomayer and cover artist Alexander Lozano.

The cover art is a standout for me on this series. Lozano is an extremely talented artist, whose skill would be outstanding on the inside as well as the outside of the comics. You can also catch Lozano doing the cover for the soon-to-be-realized AXIS: Carnage miniseries from this week.

Cyclops faces down Corsair
Corsair slams Cyclops
With Garron on the pencils and inks, Sotomayer continues to provide a color presence to Cyclops. There does seem to be a slight change in the feel of the color, which is not as dramatic as the first arc of the series. This seems to be directed by the change in artists, as Dauterman had a simpler approach to his panels, compared with the more detailed line work and ink from Garron. One notable change is the approach to space, which is less colored and more reliant on a black background and pin-prick stars lighting distant vistas.

Garron's approach to facial depiction is more cartoonish than Dauterman, bringing a more youthful angle to the characters. This does support the plot notion about a teenage boy, mid-angst, trying to make it in space with his pirate father.

The panel layout from Garron is busier than in previous issues, which takes a couple of pages to get used to. There are more overlaying shots in Cyclops 6 and less width to the border definitions, which means there appears to be more art on each page, but it is closer together. Despite this, the art is not as gritty now as it was under Dauterman.

Corsair rejects Cyclops in opening panels
Cyclops isn't having a good day
Layman applies some thematic approaches used in Rucka's arc to provide continuity to the series in Cyclops 6. The narrative approach from young Scott Summers is one such example, as the book opens and closes with the character's guiding voice. However, as the newly united Starjammer crew very quickly find out, Scott is not his older self. Layman is purposefully making Cyclops seem younger in this issue. He is a little less experienced and more bumbling than confident here, but this does reflect his age and lack of experience in such an unfamiliar setting.

The overall plot for this issue is not extreme, but is certainly setting us up for another adventure. It is great to see Cyclop's unique abilities coming to the fore when necessary. Also, we now have a stronger protagonist to identify in the series, more so than in the previous situational conflict from the last few issues.

There seems to be more dialogue in Cyclops 6, which means we have more character interaction. This makes sense as there are more overall characters for Layman to be able to play with here.

reunited again after being stranded in Cyclops 6
Time to celebrate a close escape
Given the change in direction and the new team bringing us Cyclops, it is expected that we would see some change. It is still an enjoyable comic to read and there is potential for some great adventures to come from Layman as we go forward. Given the direction Marvel is taking in the build-up to events like The Black Vortex and Secret Wars early next year, Cyclops could lead well into the space dramas that are on the cards for fans.

As always, we would love to hear what you think. What was your opinion on the change in line-up? Do you like the new art style?

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