With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about love and relationships a lot lately. Well, not really, but I was trying to think up an interesting topic to blog about, and the timeliness of Saturday’s big Hallmark holiday made romance a natural fit. As is par for the course, though, I like to take the expected and turn it on its ass; so, rather than present a list of the top five best superhero romance stories of all-time, I’ve decided to take a gloomier turn and craft up a list of those loves that were never meant to be.
While the awards are named after the on-again, off-again leader of the X-Men, this isn’t just a top five list of all his failed romantic rendezvous; rather, it’s a list for all superheroes who have been burned by love. Cyclops just happens to be the best (or would it be worst?) at it.
#5: Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor
Began Courtship in Uncanny X-Men #168
Written by: Chris Claremont
Shortly after the death of Jean Grey, Scott Summers met an Alaskan charter pilot named Madelyne Pryor, a woman who coincidentally looked nearly identical to Jean and who also happened to be the sole survivor of a plane crash that took place the same day that Phoenix died.
Scott became stuck on the idea that this woman was the reincarnation of his lost love, and the two began a romance immediately. Eventually, Scott confronted her, asking if she was really Jean, at which point Madelyne smacked him and transformed into the Dark Phoenix. Only, not really. She was merely under the control of Mastermind. After resolving that conflict, Scott decided to move on from Jean, married Madelyne, moved to Alaska, and retired from the X-Men.
While together, the couple birthed a son, Nathan, who would later become the ultra-powerful mutant Cable. After a short time of trying to live the buttoned-down married life, Scott received a call from the X-Men that Jean had been found alive and well.
Always the consummate gentleman, Cyclops abandoned his wife and son, returned to his long-lost girl, and formed X-Factor, with the original members of the X-Men. Madelyne was later attacked by Mr. Sinister, who kidnapped her baby, and, in her grief, she found solace in an affair with Scott’s brother Alex, aka Havoc (who himself was still bummed over the loss of his lover Polaris).
From there, Madelyne turned into the Goblin Queen, and I kind of lost track of what happened next, but she eventually died (and has apparently recently returned, as most dead comics characters oftentimes do).
To sum up, though, I’ll let Doominator break all this tragedy down to one simple sentence: “(Cyclops) left his wife for his thought-dead ex, and his wife ended up palling around with his brother in Australia before going nuts and trying to kill her baby because demons told her to.”
What Doomed It:
Simply enough, this sucker was doomed from the get-go. Madelyne was originally made as a clone of Jean Grey (by Mr. Sinister), and was brought to life when Phoenix committed suicide. So, right off the bat, you’ve got a guy going for the girl because she looks just like his ex. That’s screwed up.
It became further apparent throughout their courtship that Scott was merely with her because she reminded him of Jean, but he kept trying to look past that and see Maddy for who she was, rather than what he wanted her to be. The only problem is that Mr. Sinister created the clone’s personality to resemble exactly what Scott was looking for, so he was being manipulated all along.
Before we go feeling sorry for him, though, let’s keep in mind that, even though he’d married her and the couple had given birth to a kid together, the second Scott heard that Jean was alive, he left Madelyne and Nathan behind with nary an explanation.
Again, though, before we go feeling too sorry for her, let’s also keep in mind that, as soon as Scott left Alaska and returned to the X-Mansion, Madelyne immediately started banging her brother-in-law, Havoc.
I mean, really, that is just one screwed up relationship. And here I thought some of mine have been twisted.