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Avengers VS X-Men

Psych Ward: Cyclops Revisited

How do you come back from nearly destroying the world?

By Tim Stevens

Scott Summers is an adult male who appears to be in excellent physical health. He self-identifies as a mutant and has spent most of his as part of the mutant rights group the X-Men and its various off shoots. Recently, however, the client was part of a group of five mutants who absorbed a part of the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix. The group, labeled the Phoenix Five by the press and terrorist agitators by several world governments including the United States, started with what seemed like the best of intentions before devolving into in-fighting, brutal physical altercations, and shocking acts of violence against people and nations. Eventually, a coalition of Avengers and X-Men were able to bring Summers, the final group member, to justice and expel the entity from his body.

Given this and past dealings with the client, this writer had certain expectations about the state Summers might be in. These expectations, however, were far afield of reality. Not guilt-ridden, catatonic, or defiant, the client came across as serious but relaxed. He did not complain about the conditions of his imprisonment—which some might label as excessively restrictive—nor of his punishment in general.

He accepted responsibility for his actions, never once attempting to place blame on the Phoenix entity. Yet, he seemed devoid of guilt. While he agreed that he went too far, acted recklessly, and so on, he seemed disconnected from the statements. This writer got the distinct impression the client was saying the right things but did not truly believe a word of it. Beyond presentation, the only clear sign this writer has of this, however, was an offhand statement about his pride at the return of “mutant proliferation.”

There are temptations to interpret these behaviors as signs that Summers is dangerous or possibly suffering from some sort of rapid development of an Antisocial Personality Disorder. This writer would warn against this. While certainly a possibility and one worth considering, one most also consider the sheer level of upheaval he has experienced in the past few weeks and the effect of literally sharing a body with a cosmic being of overwhelming power. The possibility of him suffering from a sort of prolonged shock that leaves him unable to connect in a meaningful way with his feelings must also be taken into consideration.

It is this writer’s recommendation, either way that the client continues to be monitored and treated. Clarity into his mental state will probably come fairly rapidly and regardless of which answer—or one not suggested above—it turns out to be, the need for therapy cannot be overstated.

Additionally, while the security of Summers is not in my purview, I would urge the prison to consider the possibility of the rest of the Five “visiting” the client. They may still view him as their leader or, given how the group shattered, may wish to enact some measure of revenge on him.

Scott Summers’s next appointment is set for October 31 and while be handled by Doctors Kieron Gillen and Dale Eaglesham. The file name is AVX CONSEQUENCES #4.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee who currently provides therapy and outreach at a state university.

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