Christopher Summers has a drug problem. One that his son Scott stumbled upon quite by accident and that required some explanation. And it turns out his drug problem is that he doesn’t enough drugs. To live. It was revealed to us readers before and, rather than going the somewhat expected PSA route, it turns out the drugs are all that are keeping Corsair alive. And now his son and he are stuck on some remote planet, inhabited by sentient life. This slight change to a rather well worn trope of the father who “has problems” and the son who fixes him was incredibly welcome last issue and serves to be the driving force behind a great deal of this issue. Greg Rucka takes us for a trip of a different kind where Corsair has the benefit of experience but dodges the usual above trope in favor of a more nuanced version of that character. Cyclops himself risks falling into overused trope territory himself as the rebellious, backlashing kid, but Rucka also manages to sidestep yet again and turns the character into something far, far more intriguing. There are only two real characters in this issue, but they both grow and develop naturally over the course of the issue, even bonding with one another as they strive to survive, and eventually find a way out of their predicament. And it’s not the most predictable way, either.
New series artist Carmen Carnero makes an absolutely incredible first impression, drawing incredibly detailed, yet strange and dynamic, backgrounds and creatures on the incredibly alien world that the Summers men find themselves on. This issue covers a decent chunk of time and that could easily have its emotional impact reduced, but Carnero does a great job of doling out the emotional trauma and impact little by little so each scene has its own impact, particularly the one where Scott realizes how they’re going to survive this little adventure IF they’re going to survive the adventure.
I was hoping the pace of this title would slow down now that we’ve got the Summers’ duo to stay in one place but we get another issue of incredibly fast-paced bonding where a few months take place over the course of a few months. Additionally, they’ve already set up how they’re getting off-planet, so the notion of seeing the two of them get to know each other in the downtime, while accomplished, won’t really be seen by us.
I’m still not a fan of the pace, but everything else about this book makes it easy to recommend. The parts we DO get to see between Chris and Scott Summers are heartwarming and heartbreaking, and we get some truly incredible character moments about the boy Summers is versus the man he becomes. Those moments, and the great art, make this issue very worthwhile.