Recently I've been rereading early issues of X-Factor (because I'm trying to find the bit where Cyclops gives the Talk to Rusty Collins. No luck yet, but I'm determined). Of course, being a Cyclops fan, I have to brace myself a little because even I admit that the whole Maddie/Nathan thing is definitely not Scott's finest hour.
It's not nearly as one-sided as a lot of fans tell it of course, but it's still hard to watch a fictional character completely fuck up his own life.
What surprised me this time around, however, is how much I find myself hating WARREN.
Especially for bits like this:
I think Jean's freak out is fair. She comes back, her boyfriend, who she loved with all her heart, was mentally linked to, and who, though I don't think she remembers it right now, loved her enough to propose marriage when he thought she was still the Dark Phoenix, is suddenly acting like a robot to her.
Tangentially, this gets into one of the most unfair criticisms I've seen tossed at Scott for this arc: namely that he doesn't tell Jean about Maddie. But he tries! I mean, look at this page from X-Factor 1: (click to enlarge)
He's starting to tell her right there! The first time he sees her again!
There are quite a few times like that too. Granted, he could have tried harder, but it's not like it was a hush-hush secret. And considering that Jean's complaint is that he seems to hate her, he's certainly not lying to get into her pants again.
But back to the Warren hate.
See, on one hand, I do get Warren's problem. He's attracted to Jean. He's worried about Jean. And he does not approve of Scott not talking about Maddie.
I don't even disagree with his sentiment. Scott's being a repressive chickenshit who's trying to ignore the problem of impending divorce by Not Thinking About It. Which is a big problem even if Jean weren't in the picture.
But the thing is, the panels are from X-Factor #6. Warren's had quite a bit of alone time with Jean. If he REALLY thinks she deserves to know, there's no reason he couldn't just tell her himself instead of making with the smooth talk.
But see, that would make him the bad guy. The betrayer of trust and confidence. So instead he goes to whack Scott with a clue bat. Which I approve of. He absolutely SHOULD take his friend aside and let him have it. His silence is not only hurting himself, but it's also hurting Jean. It's got to stop!
Warren doesn't DO that though. Instead, he confronts him, in FRONT OF JEAN. He's essentially forcing the conversation himself. Which makes him a two-faced, lying, back-stabbing shit.
See, this way, he gets to play the knight in shining armor, saving damsel Jean from the asshole villain's lies. But at the same time, by forcing a confession from SCOTT, he would get to come off smelling like a rose. He didn't betray a confidence. He's a whistle blower!
Fuck you, Warren. If you're going to back-stab your friend at least have the balls to do it honestly.
Warren in this arc is the quintessential Nice Guy (tm). The girl he loves is pining for a guy who totally doesn't deserve her. A guy who's secretly a dick, but she doesn't know that. When she finds out, she'll drop him like a hot potato and go for someone more worthy of her!
And that attitude is exactly why Nice Guys don't get the girl. Women aren't fucking merit awards. We're not prizes that you get for being a such a swell guy.
Women, like guys, make their own choices in partners. And like guys, sometimes we don't always make the wisest choice. But you know what, that's OUR decision.
That jerk over there? Odds are, he accepts that. Or at the very least doesn't make his utter devaluing of our ability to make our own choices so fucking apparent.
I kind of think this is why so many readers come out of early X-Factor hating Scott. Because we all have a little Nice Guy in us. (Even girls.) And Scott went from being the underappreciated loser in the original run that we all feel for, to BEING the jackass that the girl loves who totally doesn't deserve her. Now he's the enemy.
But the key is, for all of Scott's many many faults, the one thing he's never done was devalue Jean's choice. When Jean dated before they got together, he watched wistfully and thought about missing his chance. When he knew Jean was attracted to Logan, he'd occasionally wish to be a little more like Logan. But even at his worst, he's NEVER acted like he automatically deserved her. He's never acted entitled to her. And THAT, more than anything else, is why she always picks him in the end.
Because he respects her.
And Warren doesn't.
If Warren really disapproves of his friend's conduct so much, he should have taken him aside and confronted him. To be fair, I'm editing to add, he does do this, but...
If Warren truly felt Scott's silence was hurting Jean, then he should have grown some balls and told her himself.
Shut the fuck up and go get Apocalypsed already, Warren. I'm sick of you.