Super Reads? Check. All-New X-Men #2? Check. Looks like we're ready to go.
That being said:
There are SPOILERS ahead.
Hey. That rhymed.
This is young Cyclops. He's had a rough life. Not just the usual Cyclops stuff, either. Sure, he's got mountain destroying concussive blasts that emit from his eyes and are only stopped by a ruby quartz visor of it's glasses equivalent. Sure, he lost his parents at a young age and spent most of his life in an orphanage being tormented by the villainous Mr. Sinister. Sure to all of that.
But he's also living in his own future where the present-day version of Cyclops has committed monstrous unnamed atrocities before dying. These are acts so unspeakable (seriously, no one's telling us what they are) that they have caused the remaining mutant race to be feared and hated on a whole new level.
Not only does he know that he'll grow up to COMMIT those acts himself (because his own timeline is still DIRECTLY linked to this one) but he's still wearing that evil Cyclops face. All of his friends look at him and see the villain he's going to become.
So, yeah. Scott Summers has a rough life.
But not everyone thinks that the Old-Dead Cyclops' ideas were awful.
There's a group of bratty college students called the Ghosts of Cyclops who are inspired by the actions of the older Scott Summers. They were masks that resemble Old Cyclops' last known head gear. They show up all around Chicago to extol the virtues of their departed inspiration.
And then they loot the place as all the normals are panicking.
So they're bad guys who hide behind a political message to cause mischief.
The younger Scott Summers had tracked them down and was in the middle of paying a visit to their presumed leader, Austin Deprez. Codename: Thirst. He vomits flash floods. This search led him to the library of Algar University. Which is where the members of the Ghosts identified him and attacked.
In the course of the ambush, Scott was forced to use his optic blasts to save the life of an innocent. This is significant because it's the first time he's used his mutant powers in months. It allowed his X-Men friends to track his location and, within moments, the All-New X-Men teleported to the Algar University library to play super-heroes.
Before Beast and company showed up, they had to make a pit stop in Vail, Colorado to pick up Angel and the All-New Wolverine. This didn't take long but it allows me time to tell you a little about these two.
They're dating. They have been for a while.
But that doesn't mean that they're living an idyllic existence free of troubles. Nope. Just like any couple, Warren and Laura have their problems. In their case, the problem is that Angel wants to save Wolverine's life when she doesn't feel he has to.
Warren's basically messing up her groove and being overprotective. Will he be able to respect her wishes? Will it matter? Is this a bump in the road for our only romantic pairing in the book or is it a full stop?
Time will tell, people.
All-New X-Men #2
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: Cory Petit (from Virtual Calligraphy)
Assistant Editor: Christina Harrington
Editor: Daniel Ketchum
X-Men Group Editor: Mark Paniccia
In this issue: As Scott Summers and Austin Deprez spend the night in jail, Pickles creates trouble in a pizzeria and the Ghosts of Cyclops plan a jail break.
• The Ghosts of Cyclops escape a confrontation with the All-New X-Men but Thirst is taken into police custody.
• So is Scott Summers.
• While waiting for Scott to be released, Hank and Bobby head to a pizza place to get their transporter, Pickles, some food, leaving Idie and Evan to take care of their van, the Nerd Wagon.
• In jail, Thirst does a lot of talking, assuming that Scott is the son of his hero, Cyclops.
• Scott eventually gets tired of this and admits that HE'S CYCLOPS!
• When Hank and Bobby enter Billy's Pizza, Pickles goes nuts, teleporting around, eating other people's pizza and causing trouble.
• Wolverine and Angel track the rest of the Ghosts to a parking garage and face off against them.
• Warren messes things up when he "saves" Laura and ends up letting the Ghosts of Cyclops get away.
• Idie lets the city impound the Nerd Wagon and then goes to enjoy the Pickles show at Billy's Pizza.
• At the jail, Cyclops explains his situation to Thirst right before the Ghosts of Cyclops show up for a little jail break action.
Finally, after a whole one issue, we get the ultimate confrontation between the Ghosts of Cyclops and the All-New X-Men! I've literally been waiting WEEKS for this!
Before this titanic tussle can commence, Iceman helps revive and unconscious Scott Summers and gives the mutant back his protective glasses. Scott might have used his mutant powers last issue but he's not about to do that again. Instead, he picks up a stick from the rubble and gets ready to throwdown. Oh, he's not SUPER excited to see his teammates, either.
To begin this battle, Thirst spits out a flood of water which is almost immediately frozen by Iceman. For an opening move, it's not a very good one... unless it's being done to cover the Ghosts' escape. Which it is.
The Ghosts of Cyclops know when they're outmatched and do their best to run the hell away. Thirst tries his best to get away with his team but since he was the one providing the flood, he lags JUST far enough behind the other Ghosts that he's tackled by Scott Summers.
Angel and Wolverine soar off to pursue the rest of the Ghosts while Scott beats the crap out of Thirst. Hank tries to stop this violence but Summers doesn't quit until he realizes that he's surrounded by the police.
We might be living in a world where mutants are hated and feared more than ever before but these cops are literally the most reasonable law enforcement officers I've ever seen in the Marvel Universe. Instead of arresting everyone in the library, they only drag away Scott and Thirst. Hank McCoy (Beast) tries to protest but, seriously, that's the BEST outcome that could have happened. As the lead officer points out, she could take them ALL and "not a judge in the state would bat an eye."
Besides, they arrived to find Scott beating on another person. Sure, it was self defense but standard procedure is to bring them both down to the station. And it's only for the night. Hank will be able to collect his friend in the morning.
When you look around the remains of the library, it could have been MUCH worse.
In the meantime, the X-Men have a few things that need to be done. Their teleporting demon Bamf, Pickles, has just done so much teleporting that he's out of gas. So they need to get Pickles some food and when you're in Chicago, you might as well get some pizza.
Then, there's the matter or what to do with the Nerd Wagon. It's currently stuck inside a library and, since it didn't DRIVE in here, there's no EASY way to get it OUT. Even though it's not a good idea, Hank leaves newcomers, Idie Okonkwo and Kid Apocalypse, to figure out what to do about their van and trailer.
But they promise to save some pizza for the two.
It doesn't take long for Scott and Thirst to be taken to the Chicago Police Department Station #7 holding area. Since these two were fighting each other, the police put them in different but adjacent cells. It's kind of surprising considering the state of the world and the fact that Chicago isn't exactly a small town but neither mutants' powers have been blocked by any kind of technology. They even let Thirst keep his Ghosts of Cyclops mask which seems like something that should have been admitted into evidence or something? I don't know how police work at all.
As I stated earlier, Thirst's real name is Austin Deprez. Austin is awful chatty and has come to a lot of false assumptions. The main one is his belief that Scott is Cyclops' son. Deprez tries to make friendly with Scott, explaining that they aren't trying to "disrespect his dad." In fact, Cyclops is their INSPIRATION.
After enough of Austin's ill-informed talk, Summers finally yells back that the Ghosts of Cyclops are wearing the mask of a super-villain and acting like criminals. They aren't changing the world. They're just making things worse.
Austin just thinks Scott doesn't understand his dad very well. So Scott has to explain that he IS Cyclops and then go into the whole time travel thing. Which is complicated.
So, before we do that, let's head on over to Hank McCoy and Bobby Drake as they get Pickles some pizza at Billy's Pizza. Are you wondering why Hank left Idie and Evan behind to look after their van and trailer? It's because he wanted to REALLY talk to Bobby about what's been going on with his best friend. As they stand in line to order, Bobby keeps on diverting the conversation with humor. When Hank calls him on it, Drake finally admits he seriously doesn't want to talk about his life right now.
Before things can get any realer, Pickles realizes he's in a pizzeria and goes crazy.
While Pickles makes the pizza restaurant a madhouse, we check on Angel and Wolverine, who have been tracking the Ghosts of Cyclops since they left the Algar University library. This merry chase has led them to a parking ramp.
Most of the Ghosts have reverted to their more human forms and are trying to figure out what JUST HAPPENED. The X-Men they just faced off against looked a lot younger than they were expecting and Cyclops is supposed to be dead. A quick cell phone search shows that there's some evidence that indicates that the original X-Men have time traveled to the present but it's hardly conclusive.
One of the Ghosts loses his patience and decides to get in his vehicle, drive to the police station, and break Thirst out of jail. That's Laura's cue. The All-New Wolverine leaps in front of the truck, slices off some of the wheels, and causes the automobile to flip over into a supporting wall. This would probably have seriously injured the driver if he hadn't transformed into his more monstrous super-strong mutant form.
This unnamed guy (he might be "Jeremy") is pissed off because that was his brand new ride. Before he can attack, Angel swoops in and hits him with some flaming wing action. This leaves Wolverine to scare the piss out of the rest of the Ghosts.
The Ghosts have all changed back into their attack forms. Laura dares the lobster looking one to attack her and he does, setting her on fire. This doesn't stop her, of course, and she pops her claws while getting closer and closer to the Ghosts of Cyclops.
What stops her is an overprotective boyfriend who doesn't realize that Wolverine was on the verge of winning. Angel swoops in, grabs Laura, and then plunges into the fountain located right outside the parking ramp. Wolverine chews him out for throwing the fight. The Ghosts don't waste the opportunity, making a quick getaway in another car.
Back at Algar University, Idie Okonkwo has taken care of the Nerd Wagon. By getting it impounded. Problem solved! Evan knows that this isn't exactly a SOLUTION and is actually compounding the PROBLEM. So does Idie. She just doesn't like being handed "crap jobs." With their mission accomplished, the two head on over to Billy's Pizza to see if there's any pizza left for them.
Pickles has moved on to beer.
Only after failing to stop Pickles does Hank admit that they probably should have ordered IN.
We've avoided the time travel conversation long enough. Let's head on back to Chicago Police Department #7 where Scott Summers is busy explaining his convoluted history to Austin Deprez. Who hasn't committed suicide yet.
We know the basics. He's from the past but was sent to the present to stop his present self from committing mutant genocide or whatever. They didn't actually save the world, though. They just got a front row seat as the elder Cyclops ruined everything.
We still don't know what the older Scott Summers DID but we DO know that his final act of super-villainy was triggered by the Terrigen Clouds and how terrible they are. As we've learned in Extraordinary X-Men, the Terrigen Clouds are the cause of SO MANY problems for the world's mutants. They kill or injure on contact, have caused sterility, prevent the activation of future mutants, and are PROBABLY the cause of the vague mutant disease known as "M-Pox." They also activate new Inhumans when they aren't making things worse for mutants. And sometimes when they ARE.
So whatever the actual CRIMES, Scott Summers grows up to be a monster. And here he is, witnessing his own atrocious future. Even if he somehow avoids BECOMING mutant Hitler, he's still stuck in a world where he's wearing the face of the ultimate bad guy. So he's been avoiding his friends and trying REALLY hard not to by Cyclops.
Now, does any of Scott's rant get through Austin Deprez's thick skull? It's certainly caused the leader of the Ghosts to be extra quiet. However, just as Scott stops shouting, the wall of the jail cell explodes and the rest of the Ghosts of Cyclops stroll in.
Yep. Jail break.