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Thanks to another excellent 99-cent sale at Comixology, I finally caught up on X-Men: Schism and X-Men: Regenesis earlier this week. Prior to that, I was enjoying Avengers vs. X-Men and really enjoying AvX: Consequences. It has been interesting — and a bit disorienting — watching Cyclops and Wolverine change roles as these stories played out. The new Cyclops is pretty cool, but the new Wolverine is kind of a puff; so much so that I was originally going to call this column, “The Pussification of Wolverine.” Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to take a look back at these characters, see where they are now, and talk about their respective changes. Let’s do it!
For the longest time, Cyclops was the most straight-laced mutant in the Marvel Universe. He was the original field leader of the X-Men and Professor Xavier’s pet. Over the years, he has developed into a tactical genius and the poster-boy for good mutants. Recent events have pushed him to the edge and caused him to become extreme. While Cyclops was a play-by-the-rules hero for most of his life, he’s now determined to do whatever it takes to ensure the prosperity of the mutant race. His leadership skills and newfound ruthlessness are a formidable combination. Also, it’s a little bit funny that one of Professor X’s oldest students has become a lot like Magneto.
Wolverine was one of the original bad-asses of comics. Fans loved his berserker rage and in-your-face attitude. I’m positive that few longtime Wolvie fans imagined that he would become the headmaster of The Jean Grey School For Higher Learning. In recent years, Marvel’s writers have decided to develop his softer side. The rift between Cyclops and Wolverine opens up in X-Men: Schism because the latter doesn’t want young mutants in the battlefield. That really didn’t work for me. This is a guy that’s known for doing whatever it takes to win a fight. Why does he give a damn if teenage mutants are fighting sentinels, especially considering that the mutant race is on the verge of extinction?!?
In X-Men Schism, Wolverine gives a young girl a doll, eats ice cream with said girl, and runs off to become a teacher.
In Avengers vs. X-Men, Cyclops makes the world better for everyone, goes a bit insane (due to needless agitating by the Avengers), and is partially responsible for more mutants appearing on Earth. In AvX: Consequences, Cyclops cements his status as a bad-ass mutant extremist.
After following X-Men adventures for decades, I never imagined that these two mutants would become the people they are today. On one hand, I love the new, ruthless Cyclops. At first I was worried about the character being ruined, but it’s important to have the “by any means necessary” faction of the mutant race and he’s the best person to lead it. The new Wolverine…I don’t really get it. I’ve always understood the character having a soft side (see his relationships with Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, etc.), but it’s too much now. Like I said before, he’s kind of a puff now. Additionally, I don’t understand how he can run a school, adventure with his team of X-Men, and help out two different Avengers teams.
That’s my take anyway. I’d love to hear what you think of the all-new, all-different Cyclops and Wolverine. Leave a comment and let me know (please!).