Much of the X-Men mythos has revolved around Cyclops in a way. He’s played a large role in just about every major story told since the franchise’s inception. With that comes a long list of events worth mentioning. We’ll start with how and why he came to be the man he is.
Born in Anchorage Alaska, Scott is the eldest of two children parented by Christopher and Katherine Summers. While flying in a plane piloted by their father, an Air Force Major, they are attacked by an alien craft (The Shi’Ar). Falling out of the sky, and with only one operational parachute, Summers strapped it to their children and hoped for the best. Falling, the chute caught fire and made for a rough landing. His little brother Alex would seemingly come away unharmed, but Scott injured his head. He also experienced bouts of amnesia. The two children are placed in homes and are separated within the adoption system.
As a child recovering him his wounds, Scott would eventually become a resident of an orphanage in Nebraska secretly being run by Mister Sinister. He fled the orphanage during his teenage years. When his powers emerged, it was discovered that his ability to control them was hampered by the head injury he’d suffered as a child. After an accident, which resulted in an angry mob wanting his head, Xavier would find the young man and bring him in as his first X-Man. As his powers matured, Scott would need a visor or glasses made from special ruby quartz to help control them, thus Cyclops was born. Scott’s ability to analyze situations along with a calm demeanor would allow him to ascend to the role of leader of the X-Men after the additions of Bobby Drake (Iceman), Henry McCoy (Beast), Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), and Warren Worthington III (Angel).
From early on and into the years that followed, Scott and Jean would become far more than just teammates. The X-Men would grow with members Polaris and Havok, Scott’s younger brother was added to the roster. Years later, more would come into the fold. With the amount of X-Men doubled, Scott came to share his leadership role with Storm. A situation that is much of the same to the present. With the new members also came a challenger for Jean’s hand in the way of Logan, the Wolverine. This would create tension between the two for a long time to come. Even up to her supposed death during the Phoenix/ Dark Phoenix Saga. During which time he also discovered his parents did not die during the plane crash. They were abducted by a race called the Shi’Ar. His mother was murdered by the emperor/tyrant D’kann, but his father survived and captained a crew of space-pirates named the Star Jammers!
With the love of his life seemingly deceased, Scott retired from the X-Men and returned to Alaska. There he met a woman named Madelyn Pryor, whom remarkably resembled Jean. This was no coincidence, however. Madelyn is actually a clone of Jean created by Mister Sinister in hopes the two would produce offspring for him to study. According to his plan, the two would marry and conceive a son. Soon after the birth of Nathanial, Scott got word that Jean was discovered alive and well. Shocked and in disbelief, Scott left his family to see for himself, essentially abandoning Madelyn and Nathan. Reunited with his original X-Men team, including Jean, they created X-Factor.
In a short time after, Madelyn would die and be resurrected as the Goblin Queen by a pair of demons during the storyline, Inferno. Sinister, again took advantage of the situation and would use her as breed stock. Distressed and out of her mind with misery over her life thus far, she committed suicide. This wouldn’t be the end of Scott’s familial worries as his son Nathaniel is infected with a techno-virus by Apocalypse. The infection threatened to transform the child into living machinery. With little hope of helping him, Scott allowed his son to be taken into the future for treatment. He’d return later, as a man, even older than his father, the time-traveling X-Man, Cable.
Jean and Scott would finally get married themselves but almost immediately have their consciousness’ extracted from their bodies and implanted in others in the future where they’d sent Nathan. Together, they raised the young man into young adulthood, without ever leaving their time and within the blink of an eye. In the present day, Cyclops went onto lead the X-Men for years to come. He survived a plethora of tragedies including being merged with Apocalypse. While his marriage to Jean hit the rocks following an affair with Emma Frost, he’d soldier on, even after Jean’s death at the hands of a Magneto clone.
Cyclops’ demeanor and personality would go through several changes as he adapted to his life which soon turned into being the face of the entire mutant-race following M-Day. Numbering less than 200 worldwide, Cyclops took on a more proactive approach to leading the X-Men. His new, more militant way of leading put him at odds with several members, key among them Beast and Wolverine. This would lead to a schism that split the X-Men down the center. Amid this, the Phoenix quickly approached Earth. Cyclops hoped it brought with it salvation for the mutant race, but the Avengers thought otherwise and attempted to intercept it and the person it was seemingly come for. This individual was Hope Summers, the first mutant child born after M-Day, and Cable’s adopted daughter.
During a showdown on the Moon’s blue-area, Iron Man succeeds in shattering the Phoenix Force, but it doesn’t destroy the Firebird. It splits its power into 5 parts and inhabits the closest mutants; Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik, and Namor. Cyclops and co. become the Phoenix Five. While their intentions are just, the power slowly drove them mad. One by one, they turned on each other until only Cyclops remained, fully empowered by the whole Phoenix Force. Confronted by the X-Men and Avengers, he went Dark and inadvertently killed Professor-X. Cyclops is defeated and temporarily jailed, but his assumption that the Phoenix came back to reignite the X-gene was correct. Mutants had indeed returned to the world.
At this point, Cyclops had become something of a revolutionary and even created his own counter-mutant academy along the sides of Emma Frost and Magneto. He’d continue this all the way up to his unceremonious death by exposure to the Terrigen Mist cloud which was deadly to mutants. Cyclops has recently been resurrected by a younger version of Cable. Whilst the X-Men are stuck in the Age of X-Man, Cyclops, alongside Wolverine, Havok, and most of the New Mutants, is tasked with dealing with a world without the X-Men as well as mutants forcibly being administered a X-gene “cure”.
Off the Pages
Cyclops is no stranger to animated shows and live action. He’s been in vital parts of X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men: Evolution, Wolverine and the X-Men and the recent X-Men anime series. He’s also been a staple in just about anything X-Men related in the gaming industry. He has made appearances in the OG arcade beat-em-up, the fighting games Children of the Atom, and the Capcom Vs. series, and all the console X-Men games.
As for the movies, he’s been portrayed by James Marsden in X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X3: The Last Stand, and as a cameo in Days of Future Past. He’s further developed as a youngster by actor Tye Sheridan in X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix.
- Cyclops needs exposure to cosmic energy for his powers to activate. If he’s cut off from his power source, he would not be able to access his optic blasts!
- Scott may be a good man, but he’s not generally a great companion. After Jean’s “death”, he married Madelyn Pryor, produced a son (Cable), but then left them to reunite his Jean. Little before marrying Jean, he and Psylocke would start heavily flirting with one another. Years later still, he’d be caught having a psychic affair with Emma Frost! Frenzy, under the sway of Legion, would also come to fall deeply in love with the X-Men leader. He uncharacteristically spurned her affections.
- Recently, while attempting to stop his adopted grand-daughter, Hope, from assassinating a senator, Cyclops lost an eye when she shot him with a handgun! He’ll soon be sporting a one-eyed visor, not unlike his Age of Apocalypse persona.
- Cyclops’ optic blast is reflective! He can masterfully bounce it off of mirrored surfaces to hit the most obscure of targets!
- He has a second younger brother! His mother was pregnant when she and her husband were taken captive by the Shi’Ar. Their unborn son, Gabriel was taken from her body and raised to be a slave. He’d later join Xavier’s secret X-Men as well as become the Emperor of the Shi’Ar Empire.