After spending the past year fighting off aliens, space monsters and less-than-honorable pirates alongside his father, Cyclops' first ongoing series is about to come to an explosive conclusion. With Marvel's "Cyclops" #12, the time-displaced teenage mutant will confront the love of his life, Jean Grey, as part of "The Black Vortex" -- the massive cosmic event currently winding its way through the X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy books. How will Cyclops handle his fiery reunion with an old flame? You'll find out when "Cyclops" concludes on April 1!
This week, "Cyclops" writer John Layman joins us once more at X-Position and answers your questions about everything from wrapping up the character's first ongoing series to tying in with "The Black Vortex."
CBR News: Welcome back to X-Position, John! First up, Charles J. Baserap has a question about how you approach writing different series.
Mr. Layman, I've been enjoying your recent DC and Marvel output and I've noticed that lately you've been coming into books after creative teams have already laid some groundwork but you have been able to hit the ground running and build upon those ideas and add your own seamlessly, which is just awesome. Is there a different approach you use as a writer when you're taking the reins from another writer versus when you get to be the first one to the party and, as a follow up, can we expect any more cool ideas coming out of your head in the coming months? Thanks!
Well, I think "Cyclops" is the first book I've come onto where another writer has "laid the groundwork." I mean, you could say that with Batman, but that would pretty much apply to all Batman writers and pretty much all Big Two writers. That being said, I look at all writing gigs as a challenge of one sort or another, and the challenge when taking "Cyclops" was to be true and consistent to what Rucka started while still telling a story that was distinctly my own.
As for Layman stuff in the coming months, once "Cyclops" wraps with #12, I've got a She-Hulk/Gamora story, in "Guardians Team-Up" #4, and other than that I'm concentrating on getting my creator-owned book "Chew" to its big 50th issue.
Next up, timdogg98 has a question about one of "Cyclops'" subplots.â€¨Since taking over for Greg Rucka, were you able to craft your own conclusion to the story arc of Corsair's illness? Or will you be following his roadmap for an ending?
Sadly, that storyline did not get resolved. It was something I'd meant to conclude, and the first draft of issue #12 even had a resolution, but because of the nature of the final issue, the fact it was part of a crossover and much of the story had been predetermined, it was not something I could get to -- especially when you consider that the "Black Vortex" Corsair is in play somewhere else. That's a big regret, to be sure, probably my biggest.
If "Cyclops" were to return for more Layman-penned adventures, OpticDreams has a question about what you would throw at the hero.
If you were given the chance to continue writing Cyclops in a solo or team book, would you prefer it to be in space or on Earth?
Earth. There are more villains, and more interesting villains, on Earth. Plus, I've always had a thing for the X-Men's rogues gallery.
OpticDreams also has another question about one of "Cyclops'" supporting players.
Will Vileena meet Jean?
Not anytime soon, or not be me anytime soon. Never say never in comics, though.
Speaking of Vileena, nx01a has a question about Cyclops' new squeeze.
The older Cyclops has some pretty nasty exes [the Goblin Queen, Dark Phoenix, Emma to an extent]. How do you see Vileena comparing to them? I've truly enjoyed this series. On behalf of everyone who posts in the Cyclops Appreciation Thread, thanks for your part of the fun ride!
Vileena is not there yet, and I think she has the potential to go either way -- sorta like young Cyclops did. But I think if anything, this series has sorta set young Scott on a good path.
Thanks for kind words from the Appreciation Thread! I've snuck around there once in a while to eavesdrop. It's always gratifying to find out people are not hating my stuff.
Since the final issue will tie in with the "Black Vortex" storyline that's cutting its way through Marvel's X-Men and cosmic comics, somacula has a question about how "Cyclops" will fit into the event.
Which characters are you looking forward to writing during your "Black Vortex" tie-in? It seems like issue #12 will be a Cyclops and Jean centered issue, but I'm sure you won't miss the chance to use other characters from the Guardians or the X-Men.
Well, the story was part of a bigger thing and predetermined by "Black Vortex" mastermind Sam Humphries. He gave me Groot and Iceman to play with and that was just fine by me.
borismortys has a hypothetical for you to think about.
If teenage Scott Summers had to spend 30 days alone on a deserted island, what three items would he bring?
1. Lens cleaner
2. Jean Grey
3. A complete run of "Chew," a hilarious comics published by Image Comics, about a detective who gets psychic impressions from what he eats and gets assigned horrible cases as a result. It's Scott's favorite comic, and he doesn't go anywhere without it. Neither should you!
HeWhoSlapsAll has a question about your Cyclops -- the one from the era of the original five X-Men -- and his modern adult counterpart.
Is O5 Cyke gonna have any lasting influence on his grumpy, older self? I mean, isn't that the whole reason he was brought forward in time? Is O5 Cyke's time with his/their father gonna play into a future confrontation between O5 and current Cyke?
I don't know. Not in my book, since it's coming to a conclusion, but one would certainly hope so.
Lastly, sagiravi has a question to wrap up this final "Cyclops" X-Position.
Well, I can't think of any more questions to add regarding your great run, thank you for the fun ride. But I'd like to hear your thoughts about Cyclops in general; what is your most favorite thing about Cyclops and what makes him a great character?
My favorite thing about Cyclops is his focus and drive. My favorite thing about young Cyclops is he's sorta a "what if" story brought into continuity. "What if" Scott got a second chance, "what if" he didn't have all the baggage of everything that happened to him. You strip away all that and you really get a chance to explore the core character. And I love adding the father element to it, which allowed the story to have a lot of emotion and heart. It was a great run. Certainly one of my favorite things I've written.
Special thanks to John Layman for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, X-Position gets back into the "Wolverines" groove with writer Ray Fawkes. Have a question for Ray? Go ahead and send 'em in via an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position" or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. But get 'em in quickly, because the deadline's Friday! Make it happen!