I’ve read Uncanny X-Men since the ‘80s. That means I’ve experienced some high points and some (very) low points. It also means I’ve gotten to know the characters.
My favorite X-Man has always been Nightcrawler. He was, in better times, the heart and soul of the team. I’ve also enjoyed, depending on who is writing the title and its storyline, Wolverine, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, and Sunfire. I have not ever really gotten into Cyclops, however, despite his status as the team’s spine.e his status as the team'
Cyclops has always been a one-note general to me. I was even cold to him when he first got romantically involved with Emma Frost, no pun intended, despite the potential for character development. He’s never been all that interesting, and there were always better players in the ensemble.
That has changed.
Brian Michael Bendis, a writer with whom I have had problems with in the past, is the reason for this turnabout. While I loved Bendis’ work on Daredevil, I do think he tends to get a little wordy and stuck on himself at times (and this has nothing to do with him turning down my interview request for Film Threat over a decade ago). That said, Bendis’ work on Uncanny has taken the generic character of Scott Summers and has filled him with more issues than Matt Murdock had back in the day. Not only has Bendis made Cyclops relatable, he’s made him interesting to a degree writers tend to fantasize about. He’s become the standout Marvel always wanted him to be. The comic is now the Cyclops show, and it is worth reading again.
I’m sure that someday, when Bendis has moved on to some other title, Cyclops will slowly fade into the background and become just another body. Until then, however, Bendis is doing for him what he did for Daredevil, and future writers of the character should take note: this is how you write him. Mark Waid was able to keep Daredevil’s momentum going. Will Bendis’ successor be able to do the same with Summers? Only time will tell, but if they don’t, the title will, as it has in the past, suffer … and so will the readers.