New cover art suggests that Marvel's next big X-Men event, Extermination, could bring a fan-favorite hero back from the dead. Cyclops was tragically killed two years ago and up until now there has been no indication that Marvel has any intention of resurrecting the character.
In 2012, Marvel introduced the All-New X-Men, a time-traveling version of the five original X-Men who become trapped in the present. The group of teenage heroes are currently the focus of the ongoing series, X-Men: Blue. In April, Marvel announced Extermination, a new miniseries that will bring the All-New X-Men's story to an end beginning in August.
Now, the fate of Cyclops seems to suddenly be in doubt.
Marvel's October solicits reveals the cover of Extermination #4, which shows the adult Jean Grey standing alongside a mysterious, hooded figure holding a gun. The character's identity isn't mentioned or teased in the synopsis for the issue. The only possible hint as to who the character could be is found in the way the two are posed. The artwork is clearly based on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #137, which is Part 9 of the Dark Phoenix Saga.
In this particular issue, the X-Men had to fight to protect Jean from the Shi'ar Empire, who wanted retribution for all the damaged caused by the Dark Phoenix.
EXTERMINATION #4 (OF 5)ED BRISSON (W) • PEPE LARRAZ (A)Cover by MARK BROOKSCONNECTING VARIANT COVER BY MIKE HAWTHORNE (4 OF 5)Variant by JOHN CASSADAY• The X-Men are at the end of their rope.• If even one of the original five X-Men dies, our future is lost.• Jean Grey and the X-Men only have one option left…and it may cost them everything.32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
The cover of Uncanny X-Men #137 shows Cyclops holding on to Jean Grey, while Extermination #4 replaces Jean with the modern version of the character, and Cyclops with the hooded figure. While the recreation of a classic cover certainly doesn't confirm anything, it raises suspicions that Extermination will see the return of the X-Men leader.
Marvel's handling of Cyclops in the years leading up to his death was a major point of criticism with fans, as many were upset with his participation in several morally questionable decisions. Death proved to be the only thing that could stop his downward spiral. Hopefully, a Cyclops resurrection will lead to a redemption arc for the hero.
For Marvel Comics, the last two years have been all about restoring classic characters to the status quo, and that includes bringing back dead heroes like Wolverine, Jean Grey, Bruce Banner's Hulk, and Black Widow. One character to remain dead was Cyclops.
Last October, then-editor-in-chief Axel Alonso confirmed that there were no plans to resurrect Cyclops. Fast forward to nearly a year later, and those plans could have changed, just as the landscape of the Marvel Universe has changed. Wolverine is officially back, Jean Grey has settled back into the Marvel Universe with her own team, and Cyclops' brother, Havok, has returned to his heroic roots. It's worth noting that Marvel is planning on relaunching the Uncanny X-Men in November, so if Marvel is going to bring Cyclops back, now could be the perfect time.
Extermination #4 goes on sale in October.