X-Men Writer Reveals Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Of Epic Cyclops Battle

WARNING: Spoilers for X-Men #7 ahead!

The author of the latest run of X-Men, Gerry Duggan, revealed the behind-the-scenes process that him and his creative team go through to create and finalize their comics, specifically showing the collaborative communication done to develop Cyclops' epic battle with Doctor Stasis' Ani-Men in X-Men #7.

The team behind Marvel's X-Men titles is affectionally called the "X-Office," and it is an incredibly impressive group of creatives who are passionate about the mutant's stories, and have been wildly intentional about the messaging they are sending out to fans and their preparation for long-term plans and plots. Other X-Men writers such as Tini Howard, author of the newest run of Excalibur as well as the upcoming Knights of X, have spoken about how unique the collaborative spirit of the X-Office is. Duggan's behind-the-scenes documentation is a much more specific glimpse at how the vision of an X-Men comic goes from idea, to script, to art, to publishing.

Related: How Cyclops Became Captain America After Losing His Powers

The relaunched X-Men series follows the newest incarnation of the mutant superhero team as they work out of their NYC Treehouse base to protect the mutant nation of Krakoa as well as the rest of the world. X-Men #7 centers on Cyclops, Synch, Wolverine (Laura Kinney), and Sunfire battling the chimeric Ani-Men monsters created by the villainous Doctor Stasis. Working in tandem with the talented artist Pepe Larraz, the artist who collaborated with Jonathan Hickman to develop the architecture and design of Krakoa in House of X, Duggan coordinated an innovative and beautiful battle scene between Cyclops and the monstrous animal creatures. Specifically, Duggan shared a page of internal communication between him and Larraz discussing the gorgeous two-page spread of Cyclops reflecting his eye-beams off of a traffic light, taking down almost all the Ani-Men in one fell swoop.

Duggan's process page illuminates the way in which he and Larraz communicated about inspiration and vision for the final product. Duggan wrote, "Pepe, we won't always have this job, and we won't always have it together, let's leave a bruise." Duggan goes on to describe how he envisioned Cyclops taking out all the Ani-Men with a single optic eye blast, comparing the bouncing beams to how a pinball machine works. Duggan offered up several suggestions on how Cyclops' eye-beam would refract and hit all the chimeras, such as the blasts reflecting off a street lamp, a car door, or a snow plow. In the end, Pepe decided to have Scott Summers shoot his optic blasts through a street light, which Gerry describes as "pure, uncut Pepe." Finally, Duggan reveals he wants this scene to be so visually innovative and iconic that it is "the first spread that people talk about when they think about feats from Cyclops," especially because this is the scene right before Scott sacrifices his life publicly to save a human child.

It's clear from Duggan's process document that he, and everyone else in the X-Office, puts so much care and attention into their writing and illustration, which is probably why the current X-Men titles are doing incredibly well, and getting positive acclaim from critics and fans. Cyclops has been a character in the Marvel Universe for decades, and so many different writers and artists have made their own interpretations of how his eye-beams work, so the fact that Duggan and Larraz were able to make a Cyclops battle that looks new is very impressive. Now that Cyclops has "died," and is now operating as Captain Krakoa, fans will hopefully continue to get epic fight scenes with the X-Men from Duggan and Larraz. The creative team might even gift readers with some more behind-the-scenes action.

More: Captain Marvel is Teaming Up With Cyclops' Space-Pirate Father

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