Cyclops (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
October 2014
Story Title: 

Greg Rucka (Writer), Carmen Carnero (Penciller), Terry Pallot (Inker), Chris Sotomayor (Colourist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (Letterer), Alexander Lozano (Cover Artist), John Tyler Christopher (Varient Cover Artist), Katie Kubert (Editors), Mike Marts (X-Men Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Editor), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

Stranded on the alien world with little hope of rescue, Scott writes a letter, venting his frustration at the situation. Later on, he and his father have a sword sparring match, which Corsair easily wins. He tries to teach Scott about learning to counter but his son gives up, as he has come to accept he will die on the planet. When Corsair sees that Scott has lost all hope, he becomes angry and tells him he needs to hold on. They end up arguing because he sees the similarities between the young Scott and his older version. Later that evening, they talk about it some more and Corsair tells him not to let the anger control him. He manages to give Scott the motivation he needs to try and get off the planet. Finding the broken tracking device left by the bounty hunter, he decides to try and fix it. He works on it all night and by morning decides that he needs to use the ship’s comms equipment as parts. The two split up to salvage the ship but, when Scott goes silent, Corsair becomes worried. Walking out onto the beach, he is attacked by numerous flying creatures that have been watching them for a while. Scott kills a few and tells his father he was using him as bait to draw some out. They manage to kill the rest of the creatures and then cook them up for food that night. By the next morning, Scott has fixed the device and they turn it on. They know they have just called the bounty hunters but they will be ready for them when they arrive. 

Full Summary: 

In the campsite on the alien world, Cyclops writes another letter to whoever may read it someday. He explains that his grand galactic tour with the infamous and dashingly handsome pirate Corsair (his father’s words, not his) has hit a snag. They are now stranded on an alien planet with very little hope of rescue, which would be bad enough but it’s made worse by the fact his father is dying. Not for the first time it seems either, although this time it looks like it will take. The medicine he needs to stay alive is running out and, not to be bitter about it, but after he buries his dad he will be alone. Which begs the question: who will be left to bury him?

The next day, Scott and his father are sword training on the beach. Corsair says to keep his eyes on him and use his peripheral vision to account for the other threats. Do not get distracted by the blade. Scott holds his sword out in front of him and says he could just use his optic blast. Corsair tells him that his optic blasts may not always be the best solution and holds his own sword out, telling his son to take his best shot. Scott lunges at him but Corsair manages to counter it and flick his sword out of his hands. As Scott walks to pick it back up, he asks if his father likes making him look like an ass. Corsair tells him it was a glissade and it’s a move he will see over and over again, so he needs to know how to counter it.

Scott grabs his sword and asks why he should bother. It’s not like he is ever going to fight anyone other than his father. Corsair says he will but Scott replies that he won’t and they both know it. A little way off in a tree, a small, winged, lizard-like creature watches them. Corsair spots it and Scott says the animals have been biding their time. Looking up at it, Corsair says he bets it tastes like chicken, which disgusts his son. Scott says there is no way he’s eating it, as it’s too creepy looking. He walks back over to the campsite and Corsair tells him if he wants to continue to eat flora and fish then that’s fine but he may want to diversify his diet.

Kicking the ashes in the burnt-out campfire, Scott says he doesn’t want to talk about it but his father tells him that avoiding the unpleasant truth won’t make it go away. If Scott rations the ship’s stores, then they may last one or two weeks after he has gone. Sooner or later, the food will run out and he will need to eat something until he is rescued. Scott folds his arms and angrily asks if he thinks he is going to be rescued after his father has died. He isn’t seeing it, he sees himself dying there… alone.

Corsair becomes upset at seeing how distraught his son is. However, he quickly overcomes it and tells Scott that while he is alive he won’t stand for it. His son snaps back that it’s the truth but Corsair tells him not to confuse truth with fact. At this moment in time, the fact is their situation stinks, but the facts in five minutes, tomorrow or a month from now may be different. Scott relents and says he might be right but he isn’t going to hold his breath, and then walks away.

Corsair becomes angry and asks his son how he thinks his older counterpart got the way he is, because he sees it in him. He lost hope and, as trite as it sounds, once you lose hope you may as well lay down and die. Scott doesn’t say anything back, so Corsair tells him it will be getting dark soon and they need to get the campfire started.

Later on, once it has gotten dark, the two of them sit by the campfire eating some rations. Corsair says that they need to catch more of the fish, as they taste infinitely better than the reconstituted nutrient paste. As he says it, he squirts some out of a tube and curls his lip up at it. He puts it down and tells Scott they could go for some bird things. He still bets they taste like chicken. Scott asks if that is how he survived, to which Corsair replies that he ate more than chicken. Scott says he knows what he is talking about and means being a slave and seeing his mother murdered. He asks if it was just about hope. Corsair prods the campfire and tells him it was that and anger too. The anger is toxic, like he said before, but it was Hepzibah who helped him let go of it.

Scott says he could see the anger inside the older Cyclops, like it was burning him from the inside out. Corsair gets up and walks over to his son, telling him Cyclops wasn’t always like that. From what he has said, though, he thinks the older Scott traded hope for rage. He asks Scott to trust him when he says hope will nourish him but rage will eat him alive. Scott says he won’t be like that and gets up. As he walks away, Corsair tells him to give him a round of applause because apparently he is one hell of a motivational speaker. He sees Scott start to look for something and asks what he is looking for. Kneeling on the beach, amongst the debris of the spaceship, Scott says he is trying to find the quantum tracker the bounty hunters stuck on their ship.

Eventually he finds it and Corsair asks if he knows how to fix it. Scott says he doesn’t, and his father also confirms he doesn’t know either. Looking at the smashed device, Scott says they had better get started then.

Morning arrives and the flying creatures in the trees are starting to group. Corsair greets them as he takes his box of serum and removes the second to last one. He injects it in his neck as Scott leans over a crate, working on the device. He tells his dad there are three more flying creatures in the trees by the wreck and they both know what they are waiting for. Corsair asks Scott how it is coming along and his son replies “slowly” and he wishes Hank was there. He would have fixed it and built another spaceship by now. Scratching his head and looking puzzled, Scott asks if the communication system on the ship uses similar technology.

Corsair tells him they should go find out and they split up to search the ship. Scott gets on the roof to inspect some of the antenna whilst Corsair goes into the wreckage. He shouts to his son and asks if he knows what he needs. Scott jokes that he needs to get rescued and his father says he needs to work on his fencing. Walking into the ship, he starts picking up charts and shouts that they should be sparring twice a day. As he takes off a panel on the roof, Scott replies his ego doesn’t need that much abuse. Above him, the flying creatures take to the air and start circling him. Corsair says he is better than he thinks and it must run in the family. He starts picking up various devices from a storage box but, when he doesn’t get a reply from his son, he stops and calls out.

He draws his sword and quietly leaves the wreckage to find no sign of Scott. All of a sudden, he is attacked by one of the flying creatures and he drops the gun he was also carrying. A whole group of them start to swoop around him, but a red beam of energy knocks three of them out of the sky. Corsair turns to see Scott huddled under some a sheet of metal. He rushes over and says that he could have warned him but Scott replies that he was using him as bait. He wanted to get as many at once whilst he could. He says sorry but his father tells him not to apologize as it was good thinking, he could just warn him next time.

Corsair uses his sword and slices the wing off another creature and then asks Scott how many are left. His son tells him six, fires another optic beam into the sky then corrects himself to five. The two men stand back to back and Corsair asks him to cover him as he goes for his blaster. As Corsair runs, more of the animals attack but Scott blasts another one out of the air. Corsair makes it to his guns and turns around, firing, hitting three more. The final one swoops down and goes to attack his face but Scott hits it with another optic beam.

After it is over, Scott walks up to his father and they look at the dead animals on the sand. Corsair asks his son if he knows what he is thinking and Scott reluctantly says he does. Corsair picks up one of the bodies and walks off, telling Scott to salvage what he can from the cockpit as he is going to start the fire.

That evening, as the creatures roast over the campfire, Corsair asks for a verdict. Scott, eating one of them, tells him he doesn’t want to say. His father smiles and says that he does and that he isn’t too big to spank. With crumbs around his mouth, he gives in and tells his dad it tastes like chicken. Corsair is pleased and stands up, telling Scott they should see if they can get their sunburned selves off this rock.

After a long night of playing with the tracking device, they finally manage to fix it and turn it back on. Scott asks his father if he knows who they just called to come rescue them and Corsair answers with “the bounty hunters.” But they will never know what hit them.

Characters Involved: 


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