X-Men Origins Cyclops #1

Story by
Art by
Andy Lanning, Jesse Delperdang
Colors by
Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by
Rob Steen
Cover by
Marvel Comics

I can't say I recall seeing Jesse Delperdang's pencil art anywhere else before. I probably have seen it, but Delperdang's far better known as an inker, and that's where I see him employ his talents.

But this penciling work in "X-Men Origins Cyclops?" It's pretty good stuff.

Once you get past the strange crescent-moon face of Professor Xavier on page two, Delperdang's art looks quite nice here. He's particularly good at textures, with the wide-eyed, young Scott Summers clad in a denim jacket, the youthful Xavier in a ribbed turtleneck, and Magneto all shimmery slick. Maybe that's his polish as an inker showing through, but Delperdang's layouts are strong too -- spacious and clean -- and this comic looks a bit like 1990s Cary Nord inked by Kevin Nowlan. I like the style.

Matt Hollingsworth's colors don't overpower the pencils and inks either, even with a bright superhero color scheme in the scenes of Magneto's first meeting with the X-Men. Hollingsworth doesn't overpower any scene, whether it's the eerie night scenes in the boys home or the wilderness within which the Summers boys find themselves abandoned, their parents (apparently) killed.

Even with nice art, do we really need another origin story for Cyclops? Sure, why not? It isn't like his origin has been retold as many times as the other big-time Marvel characters, and this particular spin on the origin highlights some of the lesser-emphasized moments, like the struggle to protect his brother after the plane crash. But the big change is the way this story, penned by Stuart Moore, expands the first encounter between Magneto and the X-Men to include a scene where Cyclops confronts the master of magnetism personally.

In that scene, in the way Scott Summers handles himself and the way seeds of current "Uncanny X-Men" storylines are hinted at through Magneto's declarations, we get a sense of the burden of this young leader. Of the burden that Cyclops has always carried. And it adds some nice shading to his character. He isn't Xavier's little soldier, as this story makes clear.

Most of these "X-Men Origins" comics I can do without. But this simple, cleanly told little story is a keeper.

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