Thursday, 2 August 2012

Cyclops, how does he work?

X-Men #42 suspends the "Origin of the X-Men" backup briefly for a five-page feature which goes into rather a lot of detail about Cyclops's powers, in respond to readers' requests for information.

It provides a technobabble power source for the optic blasts (absorption of solar energy, likened to photosynthesis), which I think is new, emphasises that they are force beams, not heat (something that is forgotten by the writers half the time then and now - I suppose drawing them as red blasts doesn't help there), and explains how the visor works. For the first time the little buttons in his gloves that can open the visor without him reaching for it are made explicit.

It closes on a panel refusing to answer that perennial question: "could Cyclops beat Thor or the Hulk". Some questions really are eternal, although now they tend to be asked and answered on Tom Brevoort's formspring page rather than in the pages of comics magazines themselves...

All-in-all, it's an odd little feature. I hope their mailbags decreased in size for their trouble.

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