A+X #11 (Superior Spider-Man & Cyclops)

Posted by Donovan McComish 03 September 2013

Hello everybody & welcome to my review of A+X #11, well...half of it anyway.

Synopsis:

Scott Summers, aka Cyclops is pursuing Malice, a mutant body snatcher who has possessed an old woman (that's not exactly good for his image.). The chase heads into a subway, where Malice attempts to lose Cyclops by switching bodies into a younger woman boarding a train, but Scott catches onto it and boards the train just as it leaves.

He soon locates Malice, but is attacked by Otto Octavius, the "Superior Spider-Man". Cyclops attempts to explain himself both about pursuing the woman and Charles Xavier's death, but only succeeds in enraging Otto further when he brings up the death of George Stacy (which Otto was largely responsible for) and calls Doctor Octopus an idiot.

With SpOck distracted, Malice attempts to switch bodies to him, but Otto rebuffs her efforts, saying he's "used to pushing away weaker personalities" (You're really starting to tick me off Otto, you know that). He helps Cyclops to his feet and warns him to stay back, as Malice could kill everyone on the train if she possessed him.

Malice then switches bodies to a man and forces him to jump off the train, knowing that Cyclops will save him, which is exactly what Scott does. Now in control of Cyclops' body, Malice attempts to kill SpOck, but finds that she cannot control his optic blasts as not even Cyclops can do that right now. SpOck then uses the moment to sock the Malice-possessed Cyclops in the face, knocking her/him out.

Cyclops wakes up in a secure location of SpOck's, where Otto informs him that it was his plan to allow Malice to possess him as he knew she wouldn't be able to control his powers. He tells Cyclops that deception is as much a part of being a hero as truth is, otherwise they wouldn't wear masks (Okay I'll give you that one). He gives Summers a vial containing Malice ("what he could extract from her" anyway) and sends him on his way, complete with civilian clothes. As he watches SpOck swing away, Scott thinks it's a good thing that "Spidey's" one of the good guys, as anyone else would have kept the vial and tried to turn Malice into a weapon (Hmm)...

Thoughts:

Putting the "Superior Spider-Man" with Cyclops is great as the two characters mirror each other well. Cyclops is now perceived as a villain by the public whilst Otto Octavius is a hero to them, just as Spider-Man, and both men have flaws in their ideology. Malice is also a good choice for a villain since she has some parallels with SpOck already, and her possession of Cyclops allows for comparison to the events of Avengers VS X-Men. SpOck's plan to defeat her is actually pretty smart in it's execution.

I like that Otto lets Cyclops go free by the end. While he doesn't say it, I think it's clear he respects Cyclops for doing things his own way, much like SpOck does. Otto's dialogue does sometimes irritate though. His line about "weaker personalities" was the worst, it's hard to soften towards Otto when he insists on constantly insulting the true Superior Spider-Man. Also, Otto attacking Cyclops because he calls Doc Ock an idiot is idiotic in of itself, and it's a recurring problem with the character. Doesn't he realise that he's risking exposing himself by talking up his former identity and attacking anyone who insults it?

While a little sketchy at times, Ron Lim's artwork is awesome. SpOck and Cyclops both look like their a total badass and the action is rendered very well.This one-shot is a nice little adventure thanks to this inspired pairing and great art, but given how competent a writer Jim Kruegar looks, I would have liked to have seen this in a full issue of Superior Spider-Man Team-Up rather than a short story...

Score: 4.0/5.0


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