Although “Cyclops” #6 opens with Scott Summers getting decked by his father, Corsair of the Starjammers, this comic is filled with lot of cushion. That delivers a nice chance for readers to get caught up as incoming writer John Layman and artist Javier GarrÃ³n take inventory of the cast. Letterer Joe Caramagna and colorist Chris Sotomayor remain on from the previous regime, providing stability in those respective areas.
From the opening shot heard ’round the Starjammer, GarrÃ³n puts his own stamp on Cyclops and the supporting cast. With an over-the-top starburst highlighting the point of impact between Corsair’s fist and Cyclops’ face and speedlines shooting around the duo, GarrÃ³n brings manga-esque qualities to the spacefaring adventures of Cyclops and company. Sotomayor piles on, coloring that scene in intense yellow and green to offset the blues and reds in the uniforms of Corsair and his son. Caramagna adds the requisite “FWAWHAM!” to punctuate the shock for readers and Scott Summers alike.
The letterer casts Cyclops’ caption boxes in ruby quartz red with white text throughout the issue, tying them quite closely to the titular mutant. The word balloons Caramagna uses don’t have a wide range of tenor, but they work for the story, with lots of inflection and emphasis built into them, playfully swapping places with sound effects throughout “Cyclops” #6. Along the way Sotomayor paints with every color at his disposal, all of them bright, bold and on task for the crew of the Starjammer, as GarrÃ³n tests the waters with most of the characters, visually introducing readers to his take on Ch’od, Hepzibah, Raza, Korvus, Sikorsky and Cr’eee along the way. For the most part, GarrÃ³n’s playful style works, but when the characters are physically challenged, anger and pain don’t find their way as easily to the faces he draws. In some instances, the end result leaves a lot to be desired, but in times of confidence, action and even serenity, GarrÃ³n’s faces and characters are quite reminiscent of Nick Bradshaw.
The opening is explained within the context of the story, giving Layman a chance to go full circle in the span of the issue, making “Cyclops” #6 feel more robust than the storybeats would be if they were simply stacked one on top of the other. The writer plays upon the loneliness Scott Summers is feeling, despite being with his father and his father’s crew. That leads to oafish teenager mistakes, making Cyclops less of a heroic figure and more of a sympathetic every kid. The plot Layman uses to anchor this tale has swift repercussions, but the story itself gets wobbly under its own exposition. The end result is that “Cyclops” #6 is a mundane issue that leads to new paths for Cyclops, Corsair and the Starjammers, but the story itself needs more electricity. Now that Layman has introduced himself and the readers to the crew of the Starjammer, maybe he can fire up some action and make this swashbuckling crew’s adventures worth reading and re-reading.