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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!).
One thought on “Coffee Talk #539: Cyclops vs. Wolverine”
Great piece! Oddly enough, was watching Nat Geo while reading your article, and a wolverine shows up on screen and the narrator says: “Despite its name, the wolverine is more closely related to the weasel.” LOL guess Wolvie’s acting true to character.
I’m a longtime X-Men fan and Cyclops has always been my favorite character even though most people found him boring. I love his evolution, though at first I was concerned they were ruining his character and just making him another power-mad villain. But what makes him more badass and his story arc more compelling and poignant is that here’s the biggest boy scout this side of Superman, and he had to change and make harder and harder choices to protect the species he’s been fighting for all his life. And then gets disowned by most of the mutants for doing what’s necessary for all of them to survive.
As he said in Consequences, there are people who get to judge him, but Wolverine isn’t one of them. I understand that Marvel for years has wanted to milk Wolverine’s popularity and squeeze him into any title, but as a character they’ve really left him a jumbled mass of contradictions, watering him down and making him come across as a big hypocrite.
Excited to see where this all leads, though having Bendis control the fate of the X-Men franchise scares me.
Oh, and you should have gone ahead with the original title of your column heh :)
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