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X-Men Architect Reveals Plot Hole Destroyed Plans for Cyclops’ Brother

X-Men writer Jonathan Hickman had big plans for Cyclops’ Omega-level brother, until one accidental line of dialogue made them impossible.

Celebrated X-Men writer Jonathan Hickman has revealed an accidental plot hole destroyed his plans for Cyclops‘ brother, Vulcan. The Summers family tree is the craziest one in comics, incorporating alien half-brothers, time-traveling children who are older than their parents, and of course a number of clones. Vulcan is one of the more remarkable members of the Summers family – Cyclops and Havok’s younger brother, he’s an Omega-level mutant born in Shi’ar space (their parents having been abducted by aliens when they were younger). Vulcan’s story is a tragic and twisted one, with the powerhouse conquering the entire Shi’ar Empire and causing a galactic war before he was killed.

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But death is a revolving door in comics, and Vulcan’s return was explained in X-Men #10. This issue opened with Vulcan spending some quality time with his old X-Men colleagues Petra and Sway, but soon turned into a twisted exploration of his resurrection by revealing he’d been returned to this dimension by cosmic beings who’d twisted his very soul towards evil. X-Men #10, by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu, was a tremendous read – and yet, curiously, Vulcan’s arc seemed to be forgotten immediately after. Hickman is known for playing the long game, but it seemed rather odd to set up something so cosmic in scope and then abandon it.


Related: Cyclops Is Secretly Betraying The X-Men in Marvel Comics

After enjoying a significant tenure as Marvel’s ‘Head of X,’ Hickman is leaving the X-Men books, and he just did a final interview on Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men to discuss his run. There, he revealed Vulcan’s mind was supposed to be even more fragile than he’d hinted – because Petra and Sway were actually intended as hallucinations. Unfortunately, when writing a later issue, Hickman penned some dialogue while in a hurry and accidentally wrote a scene where another character referred to the two, unwittingly confirming they were real. A single mistake in dialogue destroyed all Hickman’s plans for Vulcan – which appear to have been significant – and he seems to have been unable to figure out how to fix the problem. And so the entire Vulcan arc was essentially dropped, waiting for other writers to pick it up and work out what to do with it.


The thing I probably got the most angry about, that was my biggest screw-up in this entire thing… I rewrote some dialogue really really quickly, and one of the lines I rewrote in the dialogue was Havok saying something like, ‘Petra and Sway are back on Earth, they went back through the gateway and they’re back on Earth.’ Petra and Sway are dead. They exist only in Vulcan’s mind. And so, he was supposed to be imagining them the whole time. All of the scenes you see Petra and Sway in, that’s just him imagining it.

X-Men 10 Vulcan Petra Sway plans Cyclops brother

The irony, of course, is that Hickman’s dialogue didn’t just create a plot hole; it also created a major continuity problem. Petra and Sway were part of the “Deadly Genesis” team who died on a mission to the living island of Krakoa – and they were supposed to have been killed years before Xavier perfected the Cerebro technology that allowed him to record copies of the minds of mutants who had died. That means it should have been impossible for them to be brought back using the X-Men’s Resurrection Protocols. More recently, Scarlet Witch has expanded the Resurrection Protocols using magic, allowing mutants from that era to return after all – and that’s been a major plot point. Petra and Sway really shouldn’t have been resurrected until a lot more recently.


Hickman is a skilled storyteller, and he weaves together plots that are remarkably intricate. Unfortunately, that does mean that a single mistake can cause major problems – and, in this case, he unwittingly wrote in a plot hole that destroyed his plans for Vulcan. Hopefully Marvel’s writers can figure out a way to salvage these plans for Cyclops‘ brother, because this particular story truly looked promising, and X-Men #10 reads far better through the lens of Vulcan’s fragmenting mind.

More: Cyclops’ Ultimate Form Showed His Mutant Powers Could Make Him a God

Source: Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men



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