Ugh. I could fill a couple pages just recapping where the X-Men are at this point in their history. The quick version: Apocalypse’s “seed” is living in Cyclops after the X-Men defeated the bad guy in a big storyline. Now Cyclops is on the run and battling the influence of Apocalypse on his psyche.
The problem here is pacing, and the ease of the conclusion. This is a four-issue series, with one whole issue spent on Cyclops in the Middle East as an amnesiac. After that, things pick up a tad when Phoenix and Cable get on the trail, but even then, the biggest obstruction is just finding Cyclops. The rogue’s gallery is pretty pathetic; you’ve got Gauntlet, Caliban/Pestilence, and Anais, a new cat-lady. (That is, she turns into a cat, not that she has lots of pet cats). There is a nice confrontation in issue three, but when the story has to end, it just… ends. Seriously, Phoenix just rips Apocalypse right out of Cyclops, Cable stabs him with his pscimitar, and that’s it! All set, folks!
Joseph Harris wrote some good stuff in this era at Marvel, but this is not one of his better books. The entire comic is filled with narrative boxes that describe what’s happening. Did Harris not know industry vet Tom Raney could handle the story? The prose gets decidedly purple at numerous points, most especially during recaps at the open of each issue.
Raney does a nice job with the 2000-era costume. Phoenix has that neat little chest piece, and I like Cyclops’ visor worked into Cable’s uniform. Cyclops’ transformation can look either silly (like when his eyes connect to form a Cyclops-like face) or cool (when he gets those weird Apocalypse blue lines on his otherwise normal face). Raney has one page in issue three that makes it clear how this is just a chase book; it’s a segment of tunnels that all the main character pass through right in order. It’s a neat looking set-piece, but that’s the gist of the whole book.
Search for Cyclops 1-4: SELL