Rating: 3/5 – Another Lackluster Chapter in the Black Vortex Event and an Unsatisfying Ending to a Great Series
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
Marvel’s Black Vortex event, which is currently running through the Guardians of the Galaxy, All-New X-Men, and a host of other books, is nearing its end. I wasn’t a huge fan of the event’s opening issue, which I expressed in my review of the Black Vortex: Alpha, but I continued on with a positive attitude because it crosses over with many books that I enjoy. Cyclops gets one entry into this saga and I was especially excited to see how it would fit in, as this series is easily my favorite of Marvel’s cosmic titles. Unfortunately, I don’t think Cyclops fared that much better than any of the other titles involved.
The issue starts off promising with plenty of the father/son focus that has been at the core of the series. Despite their separation due to the current storyline, writer John Layman finds a way to bring them together for the obligatory family bonding that I’ve come to love. It’s what this series has always been about and I’m glad that Layman chose to focus as much as he could on it as we bid farewell to this volume of Cyclops (one of 33 ongoing titles ending before Secret Wars). I’m a bit iffy on how it was done, but it stayed true to the spirit of the series so I don’t mind. It’s the rest of the issue that I believe suffers most from what has plagued the other titles in this crossover, namely that it feels like just another stepping-stone in the event. Cyclops comes across the Black Vortex and simply hands it off to the next participant in the crossover. Did he use it? That seems to be the biggest take-away from any of the event’s single issues. I suppose like any other writer that gets involved in a crossover event, Layman did what he could within the confines of the overarching narrative, but I’m not sure it’s enough to justify the title’s inclusion into the event. It was ultimately a distraction that I think cheated this series from a proper, meaningful finale. Artist Javier Garrón completes his run on the series with plenty of great illustrations and big, bold splash pages. Along with the bright colors of Chris Sotomayor, Garrón paints a cosmos that is teeming with wonder. I’ve always felt like this is the way a young, inexperienced Cyclops would see the universe. I’m not crazy about some of the character designs this issue, but I don’t know how much it had to do with Garrón. Alexander Lozano gives us one last painted cover that doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the story, but deserves to be framed on the wall with the rest of the gorgeous covers he’s provided for the series. I look forward to seeing where his covers turn up next.
Ultimately, this final issue of Cyclops tried to be too many things, and in doing so didn’t accomplish much at all. It didn’t really add anything to the Black Vortex saga other than to pinch-hit it to Captain Marvel and the heart of what made this series so great was sacrificed in the meantime. Layman did his best to focus on the father/son narrative that has driven the series from the beginning, but he just couldn’t shake the wide shadow of the event. I don’t think it was his fault and ending the series in the middle of a crossover event was a disservice to the creative team, character, and series. Subtract all the Black Vortex stuff and maybe there would have been enough time to send the series off with a proper finale rather than the lackluster one it got.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture