Alias: Christopher Summers
First Appearance: X-Men #104 (April 1977 Marvel Comics)
Created by: Dave Cockum
“Are you…afraid Christopher?”
For some certain reason, this week seemed like a great time to explore the first appearance of Christopher Summers, the original space pirate himself. He’s the long lost father of Cyclops and Havok (I’ll include Vulcan if I have to) that was whisked away with his wife from Earth by the Sh’iar Empire. His wife was killed and he was sent away to be a slave, where he met the rest of the Starjammers. Together they escaped and banded together to fight against their former Sh’iar oppressors. Father to presumed murdered sons, husband to a murdered wife. And he will have his vengeance, in this life or the next, or something to that effect.
His first appearance is in X-Men #104, but if I just stuck to that issue there wouldn’t be much to write about, as he only appears in two panels. This means he get’s a two-fer, a look back at 104 and 107, a fuller 2nd appearance.
In issue 107, the X-Men are on their way to Moira MacTaggerts research facility to investigate why she is not able to get in contact with Jamie Madrox, whom she had left as caretaker while she was away. Their boat is ripped to shreds as they come near the shore. They swim the rest of the way, but a force field rips them from the ground and are brought in front Magneto who had been reverted back into an adult by Eric the Red. The team is easily no match for Magneto as they get handled easily.
Cyclops arrives separately with Moira and finds the team being defeated. He is able to surprise Magneto with a full optic blast, stunning him, so Cyclops has time to gather his teammates and flee. After all of this, the final page introduces us to Corsair for the first time in two panels as he and Ch’od discuss the Emperor D’Ken’s plans.
Skipping a few issues, Corsair makes a bigger entrance in issue 107. The Phoenix transported the X-Men in rescue of Lilandra who had been captured by Eric the Red in the previous issue. They come face to face with the might of the Imperial Guard and battle ensues. Nightcrawler is able to free Lilandra from her chains, but the X-Men are completely outnumbered and begin to fall one by one. Just when all seems lost, Corsair and rest of the Starjammers come to their rescue.
The Imperial Guard are defeated with the combined might of the two teams. Jean finds it interesting that Corsair has an accent and uses American slang, so she does a quick mind read and finds the connection between him and Scott, without revealing it here. She doesn’t have time to get into that though as D’Ken is ready to receive absolute power from the M’Kraan crystal.
Corsair doesn’t really get a lot of love between his first and second appearance. In both comics he is only featured on three pages combined. Issue 104 taken by itself gives no information about the character beyond his name is Christopher and a brief look at his costume. It is notable to mention here as well that initially is iconic outfit has a flipped color scheme to what shows up in 107; the emblem on his chest is red while the normal red outfit is yellow.
In 107 he does get a more proper introduction, as he and the Starjammers (being introduced for the first time) get a full splash page featuring him right in the middle, guns blazing, bandana and sash waving. Sadly his pirate sword stays sheathed unless you count him brandishing it on the cover. You also learn that he has some connection to Scott, an addition Marvel made so the character would have a reason to be recurring. They dangle the mystery for later, but it did a good job to get you wondering what the connection was.
Dave Cockrum tried his hardest to get Corsair and the Starjammers introduced in comics and finally got his wish. Except Corsair’s first appearance in 104 should have just been cut out. It didn’t add anything to the character and really didn’t make him interesting; in introducing a character that is planned to be bigger, make them come out with a splash and not wait three more issues to do it right.