I wanted to write something else - less contentious, more literary - about Matt Fraction on the X-Men, so it's a shame that this has to be the first thing. See, there's a scene in the middle of 503 where Cyclops and Emma Frost are investigating the Hellfire Cult's warehouse, during which Emma dresses up in some bondage gear and, presumably, things get a little unprofessional.
The thing is, as we learn at the end of the issue, it's not Emma in the bondage gear. Apparently, I was the only person (on a message board, at least) who was immediately skeptical - "this is kinky even for you", Cyclops' mentioning that she's unnecessarily in his head, and the uncharacteristically glowing red eyes were pretty much a dead giveaway. Or so I thought. But there are other, rather obvious clues: the story arc's mystery villain, the Red Queen, is shown telepathically extracting information about Emma Frost's personality earlier in the issue, and Emma admits to having no idea what Cyclops is talking about when he mentions the scene at the end of the issue - after which Cyclops immediately sees the Red Queen, who he identifies as his ex-wife, Madelyne Pryor. So it's implied and not totally clear until the end, but it happened nonetheless: Cyclops was telepathically raped. (If you're still not with me, see my brief discussion of the issue of consent in the very last paragraph of his blog post.)
When I asked why no one was talking about this on the message board, it was suggested that it's a sort of comeuppance for Cyclops. During Grant Morrison's run, Cyclops and Emma had a psychic affair that the former dismissed as not disloyal to his wife because it wasn't physical, and so Maddie is sort've toying with that logic - that is, it must not be sexual assault because it was only psychic. And, going back to Claremont's pre-Inferno days, the same person suggested that the story element of tricking him into doing something without his informed consent is not unlike the process by which Madelyne was herself transformed into a villain during what she thought was a dream. Notably, Cyclops didn't accept this as an explanation of her transformation, nor did he accept any blame for the mental distress that led her to that point, much of which was his fault.
So to the extent that it seems to be invoking these earlier moments of Cyclops' hypocrisy and using it against him, it works. But there's something so incredibly distasteful about the suggestion of rape, here, that I just can't get past. Maybe it's just that sexual assault is so often sensationalized, and that instances of gender-reversal of his sort are so often handled poorly, that I'm having a knee-jerk reaction that will turn out to be unfounded. And maybe it's also because I have some affection for Madelyne's original character and didn't like her transformation into a villain in the first place - and so I find it additionally detestable that she's been reduced again, this time into a rapist.
[I should also note that this scene caused me to reconsider an element in the last Casanova story arc where something surprisingly similar happens, though it escaped my notice in the moment. In that story, Casanova is undercover as his sister, Zephyr, and has a sexual relationship with a male terrorist named Kubark - who, predictably, feels deeply betrayed and disturbed when he learns that Zephyr was never Zephyr at all. This fits all the same criteria for any legal or moral definition of rape - you can't give informed consent when someone is withholding information that prevents a full awareness of the consequences of your actions, ie. when they're lying about who they are or intend to do you harm. And yet I totally missed it - probably because Casanova is deeply apologetic and Kubark is totally evil, responding with homophobia rather than admitting any emotional pain. It's probably to Fraction's credit that he can do this twice before I catch it, and that it can work so well in the context of the story. But I still find it a troubling sort of trope.]