Greg Rucka and Carmen Carnero’s “Cyclops” #5 finds Cyclops and Corsair attempting escape from their alien planet and certain death for Corsair, by reactivating the tracker signal that will bring the bounty hunters right to their door.
Rucka’s story — Corsair and Cyclops draw in the bounty hunters in order to ambush them and use their ship to escape off the planet before Corsair’s medication runs out — is the kind of smart angle that makes complete logical sense. However, more than just being smart, it’s the first time readers really seen Cyclops and Corsair work together for longer than a page or two, and their rapport is great. This issue finds a chemistry between the two characters that feels like a more genuine and earned bond than seen prior. Rucka does a great job of letting Corsair and Scott shine in their own ways, illustrating their different strengths but also uniting them in their trust in one another. Scott especially gets an opportunity to prove why he’s such a great hero, and why even as a teenager he was an exceptional leader.
Russell Dauterman heading off from his “Cyclops” art duties is indeed a loss (he’s moved over to “Thor”) but Carnero is a solid replacement. Carnero has a style similar to Dauterman that doesn’t feel jarring compared to the work that has come before. Carnero, with inks by Terry Pallot, does a good job with the wide variety of alien character designs, the alien planet and the action scenes. He does a great job of keeping Scott looking young and decidedly “slim” to fit his famous moniker. The expression work, especially for Scott, is strong throughout. However, there are areas where the pencils and inks feel a little thin, presenting bodies with not quite enough heft that end up looking too flat on the page.
The colors by Chris Sotomayor are pretty intense in their saturation. There’s not a lot of consideration for lighting or mood, perhaps because there are so many literal brightly colored objects on the alien planet and in the bounty hunters. It’s fun to look at and the alien world is certainly well considered from a color standpoint, but the book would benefit from colors that had more consideration for lighting and location.
Though there are some minor visual failings in “Cyclops” #5, Rucka’s clever story solidifies an emotional bond for this father and son that makes it one of the best issues yet in the series.