The Incredibly Fucked-Up Love Life Of Scott Summers: Madeline Pryor
Catchy title, no? It was either this or The Incredibly Fucked-Up Love Life Of Matt Murdock, and if you think I'm documenting Daredevil's sex life then you've got another thing coming.
So you probably know the background. Scott Summers and Jean Grey were the obligatory Silver Age couple with tons of UST but some handicap or angst that kept them from getting together, like Matt Murdock and Karen Page or Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy (man, these Silver Age romances do not end well). When Chris Claremont restarted the X-Men, he kept the two and actually got them together. Then came the Dark Phoenix Saga, in which Jean (or... was she?) died (or... did she?) to keep from eating any more planets. But, all told, it was a pretty healthy relationship.
Scott, naturally, was heartbroken and there followed several issues of him working on a shrimpboat, romancing a captain named Lee Forester (a GIRL captain, before you ask), and getting stranded on a deserted island in his skivvies to foil a plot by Magneto to start nuclear war. You know, the usual five stages of grief.
Ruh-roh, Scoob! Looks like we got a mystery on our hands!
(And check out the next issue blurb. Truly, this was the Mighty Marvel Age of Great Titles!)
Ah, X-Men, where even the titles have phonetic accents!
BWAHAHA! I'm sorry, but people going "Uh, Scott, your new girlfriend looks like your dead girlfriend" keeps getting funnier everytime I come across it. BECAUSE HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND LOOKS LIKE HIS DEAD GIRLFRIEND.
In case you were wondering, the Ugloids of "Angel and the Ugloids." No, they're not a band.
Damn. Brother worked up an appetite. I've gotta try that "Hey, you look like my dead girlfriend" line sometime.
You have to love Madeline's response there. "I'm impressed."
I'll spoil you now and say, if I have my facts right, that Claremont meant for this literally to all be a big coincidence. Which could be seen as a bit refreshing after all the conspiracies and grandiose histories your average superheroes have to wad through, but also seems like a bit of a cheat when they make this much of a point of Maddie and Jean looking exactly alike, and Jean dying on the same day of Maddie's crash. I think they could've fudged it a little to make it more plausible, but of course, it's hard to tell how this would read back then, when the Dark Phoenix saga was still fresh in people's minds and Madeline Pryor's name doesn't have the baggage it does today.
They only have one set of pajamas between them, BUT THEY'LL MAKE DO.
You know, I can't help it, Claremont does a good job of making their romance the right mix of angst and genuine warmth. I mean, he shows her an earthrise. Gets ya right there.
Sexual anxiety 1,433: Being interrupted with your girlfriend by your father while a furry flirts with him.
Corsair offers to let Scott and Madeline come with him into deep space. They think it over.
Scott's being mature and thoughtful of other people's feelings, so you know that won't last. The photograph is a picture of Jean and the "priest" is our old friend Mastermind, last seen getting his mind scrambled by the Phoenix for turning Jean's life into one of those Colonial reenactments.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for Madeline Pryor!
Scott goes to apologize to her and finds out she is TEH PHOENIS OH NOES! (Or not.)
It all turns out to be a plot by Mastermind, who really needs to learn to stop messing with redheads that have slept with Scott Summers.
See? Told you.
Jesus, Storm, you're at a wedding...
D'awwwesome. Okay, so that's it, Scott's resolved his psychological issues, they're in love, they're married, all done, now we can move on to all-new, all-different? Well, not quite. First, they've gotta fight a giant fucking shark.
Look at that fourth panel! It's almost like Scott's likable!
They're forced to land at sea, because what do you expect when Scott gets in an airplane, and the happy couple gets to work fixing the plane when...
Madeline's top: Bikini or hard-working shadow? You be the judge!
The shark gets eaten by a giant squid (YES) and...
They fight the squid, but I'll skip the hentai jokes and just say they win. But some day I am so posting those scans.
Okay, so now they're done. They've literally flown off into the sunset, their story's been told, now all that's left is the occasional cameo appearance. Like so:
In X-Men and Alpha Flight, Scott and Maddie run into one of those plot contrivances that resolves everyone's drama, so you just know it's going to get blow'd up by the end of the series. Scott's eyes are normal and Madeline becomes a healer, leading to Rachel Summers adopting her official role of Girl Who Does Not Like Other Women In Scott's Life.
Is Madeline blushing or has she just applied red greasepaint for a game of touch football? It would explain the helmet...
The X-Men: Where when you hear a happily married couple is going to have a baby, the response is to angst about it!
And here we see Madeline Pryor refusing phenomenal cosmic power, which I'm sure will in no way be important later on.
And some Rachel Summers, because she and Scott are cute together.
And here that patented X-Men Angst sets in, with Scott being indisposed with Magneto's trial while Madeline goes into labor.
That tickling word balloon is just begging to be turned into a perverted icon.
Storm interrupts the angst to ask if Scott wants to step aside as leader. He says no. So it's time to tackle the thorny issue of who's best fit to lead the team by a manner both logical and fair. Start the Amok Time music!
Cyclops gets his clock cleaned because it's Storm and Chris Claremont is writing it, so he and Madeline make their angsty way back to Alaska. Scott accepts that Storm's leading the X-Men now and wondering if he'll be able to make up for his douchiness to Madeline. Not beer and skittles, and not the note you want to leave one of the original X-Men on, but for now, it'll do. Because if you thought this wasn't the best final word on the Scott/Madeline relationship, wait until you see next time.
Next time: Jean returns, Scott kicks the dog, and Madeline gets the biggest fridging since William Perry.