Monday, December 19, 2016

Possibly The Low Point For This Blog

Mark Waid said sometime recently, in regards to his writing Champions, that he could make us like Cyclops. My response would be no, no you can't. Actually, it would be hysterical laughter, then a negative response, probably involving profanity. That said, I am capable of feeling sympathy for Cyclops. I know, I was horrified to learn that as well. The teen version, who gets side-eye looks from everyone because of his older self, but also the older, now deceased Scott Summers.

Because Marvel made a big deal, coming out of Secret Wars, about this horrible, awful thing Scott Summers had done that made everyone hate him. Hate him more than they already did, I mean. Over that whole killing Xavier thing. Which, let's face it, he was possessed by the Phoenix Force when that happened, so he should be getting at least a partial pass for that one.

But Marvel released Death of X, and the answer to the question of what Scott did that was so awful was, apparently, he got a mutant codenamed Alchemy to render one of those Terrigen clouds harmless (though this may have gotten Alchemy killed), and then started to attack Black Bolt, only to be killed by him. Or maybe not even that, since it seems like Emma was making everyone think that's what happened, but Scott may have already been dead from exposure to the cloud.

Hardly seems like something for everyone to throw up their arms about. It doesn't even seem like the Inhumans pulled some p.r. move where they lied about what happened. People just got pissed at Cyclops for convincing someone to help destroy a cloud (one of two) that kills a specific segment of the population. I know humanity has not demonstrated a particularly high level of intelligence this year (or ever, really) but that's pretty damn nonsensical.

But the whole Terrigen Cloud mess is nonsensical. For how panicky, stupid, and generally hateful the average denizen of the Marvel Universe is, they seem remarkably sanguine about Black Bolt just deciding to release this weird cloud on the entire world that alters some people against their will, and kills others, without so much as a by your leave. Where are the calls for giant purple robots who hunt down and kill the Inhumans? Nuhumans, whatever. It's all stupid, but that's not new, and not really what I'm interested in here.

What would have interested me was if Cyclops' actions in Death of X had been a recognition that Black Bolt was making the same mistake Cyclops made. Because for all the things Scott Summers has recently taken shit for which he shouldn't, one thing he should take shit for was his plan in Avengers vs. X-Men. If you'll recall, the plan involved Hope using the Phoenix to make people into mutants, without bothering to ask whether that's what they wanted*. Does that wreck your life, that you now uncontrollably secrete acid from your skin? Well, too bad, Scott Summers decreed you take one for the mutant cause. Who is Scott Summers to make that decision for you? Good question, but sure, "Cyclops was right".

And here's Black Bolt, doing the exact same thing. Deciding he gets to change people's lives without their input, because it suits his purposes. There was a fair amount of discussion online about how Cyclops promised some "revolution" after his actions in AvX, and yet, there was no clear sign what that was. He and the other X-Men with him found some of the new mutants, and tried to train them and look after them. Sounds like business as usual for the X-Men. Even before Black Bolt unleashed a mutant-killing cloud**, what revolution has Scott Summers produced? There were more mutants, but there had been lots more mutants previously. Some of them were putting on costumes, some weren't. Some were doing good, some evil, some just trying to live their life. Some people hated and feared them, others didn't. All Cyclops ultimately accomplished was to make a selfish decision that fucked a bunch of other peoples' lives up.

So he sees Black Bolt's done the same thing, made the same mistake, and he tries to stop it. Black Bolt's is actually worse, because the cloud is actively killing mutants (although I'd imagine there were a few people who were killed by the mutant powers they received courtesy of the Phoenix, but probably not nearly as many). And so Scott tries to stop it, maybe even tries to make Black Bolt and Medusa understand why it needs to be stopped, but failing that, he's going to try and stop yet another person from, well the mistake is already made, but keep them from making it any worse. Stop it from hurting any more people. And maybe that kills him, or Black Bolt just can't see it yet, and he stops Scott. Given that Black Bolt is royalty, used to ordering people around, and the Inhumans historically just do whatever they want, whenever they want, I'm not sure he'll ever understand why he was wrong, but one can still try.

* We'll set aside how the plan only worked after Hope got some training from iron Fist and an assist from the Scarlet Witch, neither of whom were part of Cyclops' plan. In this particular case, we don't need to belabor Cyclops' stupidity in risking the entire planet on his cockamamie scheme. 

** And let's pause here to once again thank Reed Richards for leaving that little gift in the reconstructed Marvel Universe. Great hustle, Reed. Excellent quality control there. I may be too tired to belabor Cyclops' stupidity, but I refuse to pass up a chance to dump on Reed Richards for being a dumbass.


Earl Allison said...

Well, out-of-story, like "fetch," Marvel is trying to make the Inhumans happen because they don't want Sony to have any more characters to make money off of (although the newest X-Men First Class might have done that already).

In-story, no idea. Every time I hear a defense for what the Inhumans are doing, it fails miserably. For all the bad things Scott has done, opposing the Inhumans isn't one of them. As you point out, the Terrigen kills mutants -- it ALSO can potentially kill some Inhumans. It's a cultural thing, but NOT required for living, nor will non-Terrigen Inhumans DIE if not exposed.

Marvel seems to remain tone-deaf with their ideas and the sides they take with them (the original Civil War, this event, etc)

Kelvin Green said...

Who wrote Death of X? Whoever it was, this is nonsense and they should be ashamed of themselves.

CalvinPitt said...

Earl Allison: I thought about adding that Terrigen could be lethal to Inhumans, but couldn't remember if that was right or not.

And I've read some comments from Charles Soule about the whole thing, where he compared the Terrigen cloud killing mutants to kids with peanut allergies, and I can't tell if he's being serious or taking the piss to make the best of an editorially mandated bad situation.

Kelvin: Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire got writer credits, but who knows how much of this mess actually originated with those two.

SallyP said...

Marvel keeps trying to make me like the Inhumans...when with the sole exception of Kampala, I just can't STAND them!

But Scott has been written very badly for quite a while now.