Comic books are weird. If you haven’t figured that out yet – you haven’t been paying attention. There aren’t many franchises out there that are weirder than the X-Men. They fight crime, start private intergalactic wars, time travel, and erase entire universes – and sometimes, they take a moment to reproduce.
It’s not easy. They die often. Yeah, they come back – but it still makes for a problematic environment for children. That’s why more often than not any offspring we see is the result of time travel. The kids coming to the past – or a story told from the perspective of a different timeline.
Today’s the start of a series where we’ll be exploring the many children of the X-Men. Some born in the main 616 universe – others a product of alternate timelines. We’ll be keeping to comics as there have been many instances from other mediums – but these are the ones that matter to us.
Let’s start with the children of Cyclops.
Scott ‘Slim’ Summers on the surface may appear to be one of the most unassuming X-Men there are – in reality, the dude gets around. Not long after the supposed death of Jean Grey following the X-Men’s encounter with the Phoenix Force – while on leave from the X-Men, Cyclops met and married a woman named Madelyn Pryor.
Unbeknownst to both parties – Pryor was a clone created by Mister Sinister and planted in Cyclops’ life in hopes of producing offspring. And that they did. That child’s name was Nathaniel Christopher Charles Summers. Sinister didn’t do this out of pure curiosity. He surmised that the child would be powerful enough to be used against his master – Apocalypse.
Sinister dispatched his Marauders to murder Pryor and retrieve the child – however Pryor survived. After a short stint with the X-Men, and separating from Cyclops, Pryor learned of her origins, went mad, and aligned herself with demonic forces. As the Goblin Queen, the X-Men stopped her from sacrificing baby Nathan in a ritual and then died fighting Jean.
For a while, Nathan was being raised by Cyclops and Jean, that is until the child was intentionally infected with a techno-organic virus by Apocalypse. A woman from two-millennia in the future, Mother Askani, traveled to the past and offered to save young Nathan, but she’d have to take him back with her. With no other hope in sight, they agreed. The next time Nathan is seen, he’s the Cable that we know him as.
Cyclops’ line didn’t stop there. Another one of his children is Rachel Summers. The daughter of him and Jean Grey from a dystopian future from the Days of Future Past story. There, mutants are hunted and herded into concentration camps often by other brainwashed mutants and Sentinels.
Rachel, being an example of the former, traveled from that timeline to the present by way of the Phoenix Force, which she had a primal connection to – thanks to her mother’s past interactions. In the present, she joined Excalibur and even formed a psychic bond with her then baby brother Nathan.
Matter of fact, she was the woman that saved him – Mother Askani. The bond they formed in the past allowed her to sense her brother’s peril through space and time.
There is another timeline where Rachel remained in the Days of Future Past universe. There, she married Franklin Richards – the supremely powerful mutant son of Reed Richards and Susan Storm.
The two produced three children of their own (Cyclops’ grandchildren); Dream, David, and Jonathan Richards. The latter would go on to be known as Hyperstorm. A man so powerful he made his grand-uncle Genesis look like a weakling child. He’d eventually dominate all known space in his universe.
Cable wasn’t Sinister’s only attempt to use Summers/Grey DNA to create a weapon against Apocalypse. In the Age of Apocalypse reality, Mister Sinister, a horseman of Apocalypse acquired DNA from Cyclops and Jean to create Nate Grey, otherwise known as the X-Man.
Nate – and several others – would cross over into the restored main 616 universe. He’d come into contact with the X-Men on several occasions before joining any incarnation of the team – most notably as a member of the New Mutants.
Power-wise, Nate is everything that Cable could have been if he had never contracted the techno-organic virus. In short – a god.
He’s also made out with both Jean and Madelyn… not at the same time. Comics are weird.
From here on out, all of Cyclops’ offspring are the result of alternate realities, and funny enough no longer include Jean – but Emma Frost. Ruby is a daughter of the two mutants from a timeline not dissimilar to the Days of Future Past.
Her body is red in appearance and is composed of an adamant jewel-like material similar to her mother’s ‘diamond form.’
Like Cyclops, Ruby can project beams of energy from her eyes. She may also be immortal. As with Emma in her diamond form – Ruby doesn’t age, need to eat, drink, or even breathe. She looks 25 but is well over 80 years old!
In Chris Claremont’s X-Men: The End we were shown where our merry mutants would ultimately end – had the franchises’ most prolific creator had his way. Among many other changes, Jean Grey remained dead over the years allowing Cyclops and Emma’s relationship to develop.
In this story, they had four children; Megan, a set of raven-haired, telekinetic, twin girls (unnamed), and a boy named Alex. None of the children would receive much panel time in the mini-series. However, in the spin-off series GeNext we got more than acquainted with Megan who grew up to be a skilled telepathic/ telekinetic.
During the book’s run Megan was in a relationship with the eldest child of Gambit and Rogue, Oliver Raven. Which is odd because, in that reality, Gambit was a clone of Mister Sinister who used his own DNA along with portions of Cyclops’ to create him… which means the kids are kind of like first cousins. Probably best not to think about it too long. Comics are weird.
That’s the first part of our series. Be sure to come back for Part 2 where we’ll look at other X-Men including Nightcrawler, Bishop, and Storm!