The X-Men rarely get any down time but when they do the preferred way to relax for the team is with a game of Baseball. This was just one of the cool things I remember about the title back then and I remember it showing up from time to time but I never remember them finishing a game. Issue 201 of the X-Men kind of snuck in as a key book with its real significance revealed years later (I don’t think they planned it that way it just sort of happened in my opinion). We also see a much larger shift in direction with a change in leadership and a choice that I liked a lot better in the years to follow. With Professor X leaving for the stars in the last issue there was one final shakeup that needed to happen or it really wouldn’t have mattered.
The Story: The X-Men return to the mansion with a new member in tow and a new baby waiting to meet his daddy. There’re a few moments of cooing and ahhhhh’s but it’s made clear Maddie and little baby Summers are leaving with or without Cyclops. The conversation becomes heated as Cyclops is torn between his duties as the leader of the X-Men and being a father while blaming Professor X for not being there. As a way to keep the peace Storm comes up with the solution of challenging Cyclops for leadership. As everyone in the mansion packs into the observation room to watch what should be a major faceoff in the Danger Room below a depowered Storm dispatches Cyclops with relative ease. After admitting defeat Cyclops leaves the mansion for his new life and the X-Men have a new leader who gets a rough welcoming in the next issue.
The Take: I really have never been a fan of Cyclops, and always found him to be a bit of whiner over the years. Even later on in X-Factor I tolerated him but was more interested in the Iceman and Angel’s storylines; It wasn’t until Jim Lee revamped him that I really enjoyed the character much at all. It was at this point in the X-Men history that Cyclops was a bit in over his head, which seemed the case most of the time to be honest. This whole situation being manipulated by another more Sinister character behind the scenes to be revealed later; by design or not Cyclops days as an X-Man were numbered. Either way, he was the last link to the old guard and the Professors vision that needed to be removed if the team had a chance of moving forward to becoming the one of greatest X-Teams of all time.
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