A while back, we reported that writer and podcaster Jay Edidin, known for being the co-host of the popular Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast, had been hired by Marvel to write a story about Scott Summers before he became Cyclops. Edidin's take on Cyclops sees the hero as a "compulsive contingency planner and heavily coded as neurodivergent. In general, he's off-model (as the leader of a Super Hero team) in ways that make him unappealing to some readers, but also intensely relatable to a lot of people who don't find many Super Heroes to relate to." How does this take on Scott play out in X-Men: Marvel Snapshots #1?
X-Men: Marvel Snapshots #1 is a perfectly crafted comic. It tells a concise, poignant story that sees Scott Summers when he was a kid living his life at State Home for Foundlings. Unaware of both his powers and the family he has lost, except for haunting dreams that lead to him shouting his brother's name, Scott suffers from brain damage and is often picked on by the other kids. Still, he has ambitions to help others. To do good. That ambition is fed when the world becomes aware of Super Heroes due to footage of the Fantastic Four being broadcast on television. Scott finds intense purpose when he sees Reed Richards in the midst of battle, making last-second decisions that risk it all but save lives in the end. This becomes an obsession for Scott and leads him down a path of self-discovery with a poetic ending. Edidin's script is a perfectly standalone that avoids the trappings of origin stories and instead dives deep into Scott as a character. It finds a through-line between who he was as a child and who he is now as Cyclops and using that through-line to tell a tightly-plotted, character-driven story about one of the most underrated Mutants of Marvel.
The art is also pitch-perfect for this standalone story. Artist Tom Reilly, colorist Chris O'Halloran, and letterer Tom Orzechowski collaborate to deliver a comic with a vintage feel. With soft, textured coloring and simple but confident linework, X-Men: Marvel Snapshots #1 lightly pays stylistic homage to multiple eras of Marvel to great effect.
X-Men is known, perhaps more than any other Marvel franchise, to be a bit unpenetrable as far as the continuity goes. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Edidin connects Cyclops' history together with expertise, telling a powerful, simple story about inspiration, choice, and purpose.