Cyclops (comics)

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Cyclops drawn by John Cassaday.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Men #1 (Sep 1963)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In story information
Alter ego Scott Summers
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations X-Men
Young X-Men
The Twelve
Notable aliases Cyke, Eric the Red, Mutate #007, Slim, Slym Dayspring
Abilities Optic energy beam

Cyclops is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in The X-Men #1, and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-writer Jack Kirby. Cyclops is a mutant, born Scott Summers with the ability to produce powerful “optic blasts” from his eyes, forcing him to wear specialized glasses at all times and a specialized visor in combat. The character is one of the prominent members of the X-Men, and is featured as the field leader of the group.


  • 1 Publication history
  • 2 Fictional character biography
    • 2.1 The X-Men
    • 2.2 X-Factor and Inferno
    • 2.3 Return to the X-Men
      • 2.3.1 Marriage
      • 2.3.2 Merging with Evil
    • 2.4 New X-Men
    • 2.5 Headmaster
    • 2.6 Deadly Genesis
    • 2.7 Civil War
    • 2.8 World War Hulk
    • 2.9 Astonishing X-Men
    • 2.10 X-Men: Messiah Complex
    • 2.11 Divided We Stand
  • 3 Relationships
  • 4 Powers and abilities
  • 5 Skills
    • 5.1 Feats and accomplishments
      • 5.1.1 Alternate Reality
  • 6 Other versions
  • 7 In other media
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Publication history

Cyclops has been a mainstay character of the X-Men since the character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and seen in X-Men (vol. 1) #1. Summers has also been a regular in the first series of X-Factor and can currently be seen in the third series of Astonishing X-Men. Over the years, Cyclops has appeared in a few limited series including Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix, Further Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix, the second series of Astonishing X-Men, X-Men: The Search for Cyclops and his own self-titled series Cyclops.

During Joss Whedon’s run of Astonishing X-Men, Cyclops adopted new attitude unfamiliar to most accustomed fans. After Emma’s psychic intervention at the mansion he temporarily lost his powers after owning up to his self-inflicted, traumatic past. This prompted an interview with Joss Whedon in Wizard magazine #182, when asked if Cyclops didn’t have his powers any more, Whedon replied that “No, he doesn’t have his powers. Well, he had a choice to either be completely out of control or bury them. He can’t use them. That’s pretty much it. But the thing that would be fun is that, with no powers, he’s going to be the best that he’s ever been. That’s what the arc is about. [Cyclops has] been the team leader and the team washout in terms of popularity. He was defined by Jean so much, and I just think that this guy is so interesting in his struggle against mediocrity. Then, when it’s all laid on the line, when you find out the thing that’s been holding him back from being just a complete bad ass has been himself all his life, that he’s been lying to everyone, including himself, about who he is-that should be freeing. The Scott we’re going to see is going to be a little bit different. This guy is either completely out of control or in control of something we’re not used to. I wanted him to be an unabashed tough guy. He is shooting people and turning very much into a leader. Not everyone is going to like it.” Now, the X-Men leader has become more confident, outspoken and audacious. This has had a significant effect on his leadership and his respect among fellow teammates, most notably Wolverine.

Fictional character biography

When Scott was a boy growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, United States, his father, USAF Major Christopher Summers, takes the family for a flight in their de Havilland Mosquito. It comes under attack by an alien Shi’ar spaceship. As the plane goes down in flames, Scott’s parents fasten him and his younger brother Alex (also known as Havok) into a parachute and push them off the plane, in hopes that they would survive. Unfortunately, the parachute catches fire and Scott strikes his head upon landing. This causes brain damage to Scott, which is supposedly responsible for his inability to control his optic blasts, as well as prolonged amnesia about his childhood.[1] Parts of his memory return when he is unexpectedly attacked by D’Spayre while on a leave of absence after Jean Grey’s death.[2]

Scott spends most of his childhood in an orphanage in Omaha, Nebraska and is subjected to batteries of tests and experiments by the orphanage’s owner, Mr. Milbury, an alias for the geneticist Mister Sinister, who also places mental blocks on Scott.[3]

The X-Men

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Cyclops projecting an optic blast. Art by Jack Kirby.

When Scott is sixteen, he runs away from the orphanage, and wanders the streets. While wandering, he walks across a construction site and his head trauma activates, causing an optic beam, also causing a metal crane to fall toward an onlooking crowd. He thinks quickly unleashing a second blast that destroys the crane. The crowd thinks this is an act of violence, and forms a lynch mob. He encounters Jack O’ Diamonds and battles the villain. Scott is found by Charles Xavier, who erases the crowd’s memories. Xavier then asks Scott to join the X-Men, and he gladly accepts, as the first official member.[4] In the X-Men’s first field mission, he battles Magneto.[5] With the X-Men, he battles the Blob. He also becomes romantically attracted to Marvel Girl.[6] With the X-Men, he then clashes with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants for the first time.[7] He soon becomes the team’s field leader,[8] a position he will traditionally hold over the years.

Cyclops has a relationship with Jean Grey during their time in the “original” X-Men. For a long time, he refuses to admit, even to himself, that he has feelings for her, afraid he would be hurt again or that his optic blasts would hurt her – or anyone else he cared about for that matter – and also because he feels he is no match for his wealthy teammate Warren Worthington III, a.k.a. Angel, who is at first also romantically interested in Jean. What Scott doesn’t know is that Jean actually has a crush on him, but is too shy to make a move. Finally, on Bobby Drake’s 16th birthday,[9] they reveal their passion for each other and begin to date.

When the X-Men are defeated by Krakoa, Cyclops is the only member able to escape and return to Xavier. He helps train a new group of X-Men, which includes Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Wolverine to rescue the others.[10] When the other original X-Men (Angel, Beast, Iceman, Jean Grey, and later additions Havok (his own brother) and Polaris) decide to leave in light of the arrival of the new X-Men, Cyclops stays, feeling that he will never be able to lead a normal life because of the uncontrollable nature of his powers.[11]

At first, Scott believes that his parents died in the plane accident and is unaware that they, in fact, had been captured and sold into slavery by the Shi’ar. As an adult member of the X-Men, Cyclops meets his father, now known as Corsair, leader of the Starjammers, a group of aliens opposing what they see as the tyranny of the Shi’ar empire.[12] Several more years pass before the two learn of each other’s true identities. He later comes into contact with his grandparents, who he learns are still alive and own a shipping company in Canada.

Cyclops privately questions his relationship with Jean after Jean dies trying to pilot a space shuttle through a solar flare, and then is reborn as Phoenix, feeling that this reborn Jean was not the same Jean he had loved. But when he thinks her dead for an extended period of time after a battle in the Savage Land, Scott is not able to mourn her, and believes this meant he didn’t really love her anymore. He briefly dates Colleen Wing. However, when Scott and Jean are reunited on Muir Island to fight Proteus, he rediscovers his love for her, and they share a passionate kiss on the way home.[13] A few days before Jean dies, Scott psychically proposes, and she accepts. After her death, he quits the X-Men, unsure of what to do anymore.[14] He signs on as crew of a fishing boat, captained by Lee Forrester. After an adventure in which Lee’s father is possessed by D’Spayre, and Cyclops and the Man-Thing must fight D’Spayre,[15] Scott and Lee find themselves shipwrecked in the Bermuda Triangle, where they stumble upon Magneto’s new base of operations.

Scott soon returns to the X-Men.[16] He then discovers that Corsair is actually his father.[17] Eventually, Scott marries Madelyne Pryor, a woman who bears a strong resemblance to Jean.[18] Scott later battles Storm for undisputed leadership of the X-Men, and after being defeated he retires from the X-Men. Scott, his wife Madelyne and his infant son Nathan move to Alaska.[19]

X-Factor and Inferno

Shortly after the birth of Nathan, it is revealed that Jean is not dead. The Phoenix is revealed to be a cosmic entity who had supplanted Jean, placing her in a healing pod at the bottom of Jamaica Bay, to be eventually revived by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Cyclops leaves his wife and son and returns to Jean, although Warren moves in on the now single woman. Jean joins with Cyclops and the other original X-Men as X-Factor, who pose as mutant hunters but in reality are trying to help their genetic brethren.[20] Meanwhile, Pryor goes on to be an assisting member of the X-Men, apparently sacrificing her life during the Fall of the Mutants with her teammates, although she was left with feelings of despair over the loss of Scott.

No longer married, Scott moves on. During an adventure, his teammate Warren, the Angel, loses his wings. Bitter, Angel is transformed by a villain the team recently encountered, immortal mutant Apocalypse, into Death, general of his Horsemen. Iceman manages to bring Warren back, who becomes Archangel.

The demons S’ym and N’astirh corrupt Madelyne’s feelings of self-despair, transforming her into the Goblin Queen. Madelyne seeks revenge on Scott for leaving her. When it is revealed that she is a clone created by geneticist Mr. Sinister, essentially for the purpose of becoming a brood mare, Madelyne can’t take it any more and kills herself. Scott kills Sinister with an optic blast, and pursues a romance with Jean, reclaiming his son.[21] Scott soon learns that Mister Sinister ran the orphanage in which Scott was raised, and battled Sinister over this.[22]

Shortly after The X-Tinction Agenda, Scott re-encounters Apocalypse, who infects Nathan with a techno-organic virus. Although Scott rescues his son with the help of his fellow team mates and through the combined strength of Nathan, Jean and his own defeats Apocalypse, he was unable to save his son from the fatal infection. Distraught, Scott sends his son into the future where he can be cured, although it costs him his relationship with Jean for a second time.[23]

Next, Xavier’s psionic enemy, Shadow King, returns to combat the X-Men and X-Factor. After his defeat, Cyclops and X-Factor rejoin the X-Men team, and Scott is named leader of a newly created “Blue Team”.

Return to the X-Men

After Cyclops’ return as field leader, much of the Blue team is kidnapped by Omega Red and the ninjas of The Hand. After the captured teammates’ rescue, Mr. Sinister sends Caliban, a former X-Factor member, to kidnap Cyclops and Jean for Stryfe, a madman and rival to Cable, both time-lost mutants. Stryfe tells the two that he is Nathan, sent to the future and abandoned. In a fight, Cable and Stryfe apparently die. Afterwards, the team battles Omega Red again, and fellow teammate and telepath Psylocke tries to lure Cyclops into an affair behind Jean’s back. Ultimately, Jean Grey defeats Psylocke in a telepathic battle and claims Cyclops as her boyfriend alone. Cable returns as well and reveals to Cyclops that he is the real Nathan Christopher Summers.


Scott Summers and Jean Grey finally marry. During their honeymoon, they are brought into the future where they raise Cable for the first 12 years of his life during the Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix miniseries. After helping Cable defeat the future version of Apocalypse, they are sent back to the past. At the request of Rachel Summers, Jean assumes the Phoenix identity. Mister Sinister, involved with the machinations of Apocalypse and Stryfe and still alive, tells Cyclops that there is another Summers brother, and leaves him wondering.

As Cyclops deals with the fact that his son is now old enough to be his father, the X-Men are forced to battle their mentor when Professor Xavier is transformed into the evil Onslaught as a result of mind-wiping Magneto. Although the X-Men defeat the evil entity and free Xavier, most of Earth’s heroes are lost for a time. Xavier, who is left powerless after Onslaught’s defeat, is arrested for his part, leaving Scott and Jean as leaders and co-headmasters of the school. However, the pair go into retirement following a battle against Operation: Zero Tolerance, in which Cyclops is gravely injured when a bomb is placed in his chest.

Merging with Evil

Scott and Jean return to the X-Men some time after at the request of Storm, when she grows concerned about the mental well-being of Professor X (who had returned sometime prior). Their return then leads to the events of The Twelve; in which Apocalypse locates twelve mutants which can power a machine to allow him to take the body of Nate Grey, the X-Man. In order to save Nate, Cyclops willingly merges with the villain Apocalypse. He is believed lost until Jean and Cable track him down to Egypt and separate him from Apocalypse, killing Apocalypse’s spirit in the process.

New X-Men

Upon Cyclops’ return to the X-Men following his possession, there is a rather drastic change in his personality, as a result of being bonded with Apocalypse. This change causes a rift to develop between Jean and himself, and he claims Apocalypse made him question not only their relationship, but his life as a whole. He is instrumental in preventing the mutant Xorn’s suicide and in recruiting the powerful mutant to the X-Men. Surprisingly, the two establish a close friendship, which is almost unprecedented in Cyclops’ personal history; similarly, repeated missions with Wolverine result in the growth of a tentative friendship between the two veteran X-Men.

When Jean begins to show signs of the Phoenix Force again, the distance between the two grows larger and Scott begins what others would dub his “celibacy kick.” Jean attempts several times to confront Cyclops, but he continues to push her away claiming that Apocalypse had changed him too much on the inside. When Xavier leaves Earth while under the control of Cassandra Nova, Jean is left as Headmistress of the school. Her new responsibilities along with her growing powers, force Jean to put her attention elsewhere leaving Scott feeling ignored. Instead of attempting to reconcile with his estranged-wife, Scott turns to Emma Frost, a former villain who had reformed, been the headmistress of Generation X, and eventually joined the X-Men. Their relationship ostensibly begins as a series of psychic therapy sessions, but Emma takes advantage of this situation to get closer to Scott. Under the guise of counseling him, she instigates a telepathic affair. When Phoenix discovers the affair, Cyclops claims he and Emma shared only thoughts and thus had done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, Emma’s snide and mocking jeers provoke a hurt and angry Jean to psychically confront her. She forces Emma to admit her true feelings for Scott, and also come to terms with her many failures, sins and personal demons. Furious at both himself and Jean, Scott confronts her and demands she read his mind; Jean finally complies, only to discover that Scott and Emma never actually engaged in any physical contact, though Emma had offered it. Yet, despite the fact that the affair was not a physical one, to a telepath such as Jean (who for years shared an intimate psychic rapport with Scott) the incident is just as bad if not worse.

Unable to fully confront everyone about his actions, Scott runs away from the Xavier Institute just after Emma has been shattered in her diamond form and supposedly killed. He soon finds himself at Hellfire Club which had been turned into a sleazy strip club and tries to get drunk off white wine while generally trying to escape the responsibilities, expectations and demands he feels are unjustly placed on him by the X-Men. He then accompanies Wolverine and Fantomex to the government-created time-pocket called The World and then Asteroid M. During his time with Wolverine, Scott reveals that he feels his relationship with Jean is stagnant and that the two of them had not progressed romantically since their initial teenage romance. He also confesses that he feels that Jean is so concerned with the School and her new powers that he and she no longer communicate like before and that he feels left behind due to Jean once again being connected to the Phoenix Force. When Scott finally returns to the X-Men, their new teammate Xorn (who was revealed to be Magneto, but was subsequently retconned as an imposter) attacks the X-Men. Having at last reached full Phoenix power, Jean confronts Xorn-Magneto and is killed in the process. As she is dying, Scott admits how wrong he was to hurt her and begs her to forgive him. Jean however pushes aside his apology telling him that she understands and then urges Cyclops to live on.


Scott, however, felt devastated by the death of his wife, and considered leaving the X-Men once more. It was revealed in the “Here Comes Tomorrow” storyline that, had he done so, it would have led to an apocalyptic alternate future. To prevent this, a resurrected, future-version of Jean used her powers as the White Phoenix of the Crown and telepathically nudged Cyclops into a real relationship with Emma, reaching out to him from this alternate future. Together, the pair rebuilt the Xavier Institute as co-headmasters.

The new relationship between Emma and Scott has led to problems between them and the rest of the X-Men, all of whom believe that the pair are doing Jean’s memory a disservice. Rachel Summers in particular has felt hurt and angry by her father’s lack of remorse for the psychic affair that hurt Jean before her death, and took on the last name of Grey in place of Summers. Even long-time friends such as Beast stated “I don’t like you very much right now” when he discovered Scott and Emma kissing on Jean’s grave. Also, Wolverine instigated a fight with Scott when he first discovered them together shortly after Jean’s death. He told Scott that Jean would have left Scott for him if she hadn’t been “too strong to give in to what she really wanted”. This fight annoyed Emma, who referred to Jean as a corpse, whom she was still coming second to. Later she also implied that Jean was a cow. Scott and Rachel eventually reconciled somewhat after the tragic “End of Greys” extermination that killed Scott’s former in-laws. He was especially hurt by the death of Elaine Grey after finding her body.

Deciding that the X-Men need to play more of a role in emergency rescue and aid, and thus garner attention on mutants in a more positive light where mutant abilities are used for the good of people, Cyclops has hand-picked a team in order to get out into the world more. This team recently faced an alien named Ord of the Breakworld. The team subdued Ord, but not before learning that one of their own will be responsible for the destruction of Ord’s homeworld in the coming year. Not long after, the X-Men’s Danger Room took on a sentience of its own, and after the apparent defeat of the life-form, Danger, the X-Men abandoned Xavier, when it was revealed that he knew about its sentience for some time already.

Cyclops also tutors a squad at the institute called The Corsairs, named after Cyclops’ father. The team consists of Dryad, Quill, Specter and the three remaining Stepford Cuckoos.

Deadly Genesis

After the events of House of M, nearly all mutants were left powerless, and Xavier was missing. A mysterious villain then attacked and easily defeated several members of the team, including Cyclops and his alternate-reality daughter, Rachel. The two were captured and taken to an undisclosed location, which Cyclops vaguely remembered visiting in the past. Eventually managing to free themselves, Cyclops and Rachel attempted to escape, only to run into their captor (revealed to be named Vulcan), who informed Cyclops that he was the X-Man’s younger brother. A powerless Professor Xavier confirmed this information in the final book of the mini-series. This new information has left Cyclops resentful towards his mentor and has gone so far as to demand that Xavier leave the school as it is no longer ‘his.’

Civil War

Cyclops, along with the other surviving original X-Men, declare neutrality on the subject of Civil War, reasoning that the X-Men sympathized too much with Captain America’s side – who, like the X-Men, were persecuted for wanting to do the right thing – but believed that the mutant race had suffered too great a loss recently to take a side either way due to the recent de-powerment of so many mutants. When Bishop leaves the team to join the Registration supporters and locate the escaped 198, Cyclops eventually helps the futuristic X-Man in recovering them.

World War Hulk

Cyclops is seen fighting The Hulk.[24] He uses a full beam blast to stop the Hulk, refusing to let the Hulk take Professor Xavier regardless of his own feelings towards his mentor regarding the truth about Krakoa. While it peels off some of the Hulk’s skin, he was able to walk towards Cyclops and clench his entire face, effectively containing the blast. After Hulk left from being told by Mercury about the mutant race being near-extinct, Cyclops began to forgive Professor X while the wounded are being tended to.[25]

Astonishing X-Men

In Astonishing X-Men #14, during an impromptu telepathic “therapy session”, Emma Frost presented Cyclops with the possibility that his lack of control over his optic blasts actually stems not from physical brain damage, but from a sort of mental block that the young Scott imposed upon himself after the combined traumas of the loss of his parents, separation from his brother, and shocking manifestation of his powers; this is seen as a coping mechanism, giving Scott something to focus on and try to maintain some sort of control over at a time when events completely out of his control had effectively shattered the life he had led up to that point.

Surprisingly, Scott seems to admit that this theory is the truth of the matter, further admitting that he had even blocked making this decision out of his memory, to preserve the fallacy in his own mind and prevent others from discovering his “secret.” The issue ends with Scott apparently in a catatonic state, with his eyes uncovered and displaying their natural shade of brown, with no evidence of his powers manifesting.

Apparently Emma was right: a fully recovered Cyclops rose in issue #17 from his catatonic state to shoot Perfection in the back with a pistol. At the end of the arc, Cyclops states when he was in a catatonic state, he was still fully conscious and saw the fight between Colossus and Shaw – revealing that Colossus wasn’t really fighting anyone but Emma’s own disordered mind. He also attempted to help Emma get over her survivor’s guilt, speculated by Scott as being the basis for the recent manifestations of the Hellfire Club.

Scott, along with Emma, Colossus, Wolverine, Beast, Shadowcat, Hisako, Ord, and Danger, were taken to deep space by S.W.O.R.D. and Agent Brand. The psychics on the S.W.O.R.D. ship did not detect Cassandra Nova in Emma’s shattered psyche, effectively proving Emma’s loyalty to the X-Men by her refusal to allow Nova into Hisako. Though emotionally wounded, Emma recovered fast enough to be present for the team’s departure to the Breakworld. Separated, Emma, Scott, Beast, and Agent Brand discovered the temple of Attur-Hei (“The Palace of the Corpse.”) Joined by teammates Wolverine and Hisako (now titled “Armor”), Emma conceded to Agent Brand’s plan of separation. She and Scott left Attur-Hei on a single S.W.O.R.D. armed jet to rendezvous with the rest of the S.W.O.R.D. operatives on the Breakworld.

While flying, several Breakworld fighter jets approached, attempting to knock Emma and Scott out of the air. The couple successfully repelled the Breakworld onslaught, exchanging heated words in the process. Amidst Emma’s protestations that Scott was “acting as though [he knew] what [she’s] been through,” he finally professed his true love for Emma. Stunned, Emma could barely speak, except to utter an apology. Before her reasons behind apologizing were discussed, Scott noticed a blip on their radar. Danger appeared, utterly decimating the S.W.O.R.D. cruiser. Switching to diamond form in the nick of time, Emma was spared, however Scott was injured. Cradling Scott in her arms, Emma shed a tear for the man who truly loves her. Scott was injured, but alive, as it was revealed that Danger’s parent programming prevented it from killing any of the X-Men. The X-Men join on a space vessel after Emma exchanges an as yet unknown favor with Danger to help them, and Cyclops jettisons on an unarmed shuttle, to draw fire away from the others. He is seemingly left to die in space after his vessel explodes. As he falls out to space, Emma feels his mind leaving. His eyes slowly turn red, either due to oxygen deprivation or from the re-manifestation of his optic blasts. The final thoughts before he blacks out are meeting Jean Grey for the first time, and Charles Xavier telling him “What a Future You Have Ahead of You…”

Scott is brought back to life by the Breakworld technology and is questioned by Kruun about the whereabouts of the Leviathan, which he mentioned before dying was the X-Men’s “ace in the hole”, a secret weapon. Meanwhile, Wolverine and Armor are captured as Emma and the remaining X-Men try to free Scott. It is then revealed through a flashback that the Leviathan is a fake and that Wolverine and Armor were told to be captured so the X-Men would have men inside Kruun’s palace. Kruun only captured and brought Scott back to life so as to question him about the fake Leviathan. Scott then uses his newly regained powers to knock out Kruun and free Wolverine and Armor.

X-Men: Messiah Complex

Cyclops leads a team to Alaska to find the new mutant detected by Cerebra. When the team arrives, they find nearly every child in the town killed, dead Marauders and Purifiers bodies, and the baby gone. He sends a team consisting of Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Angel and Colossus to find former Acolytes for information on the Marauders. He argues with Xavier, who complains about not telling him about his team. Scott tells Xavier it’s not his X-Men anymore and that he can do what he wants. Scott also calls in X-Factor to help with the situation, asks Rictor to infiltrate the Purifiers, and asks Madrox and Layla Miller to go see Forge. Upon discovering that Cable has kidnapped the new born mutant, Cyclops orders the reforming of X-Force with Wolverine leading the team. Their first mission is to hunt down Cable and retrieve the baby. Cyclops later breaks all ties with Professor X and asks him to leave the mansion, as he continues to question the Professor’s judgment. Later on, Cyclops is seen with his own team and X-Factor, to help out Wolverine against the Reavers and to capture the baby from Cable. Cable eludes the X-Men.

Having found later the Marauders’ hideout on Muir Island, Cyclops dispatched X-Force and Bishop to go there and retrieve the baby. During the final battle Cyclops sends the New X-Men against the Marauders, believing that Sinister’s forces will be caught off guard by unfamiliar opponents. The students prove to be effective. Cyclops then confronted Cable demanding the baby. Cable, with a gun pointed at his father, begs Cyclops to let him escape into the future with the baby, however Cable gives the child to Cyclops, after Xavier points out that the future of all mutantkind is at stake and Cyclops, as leader of the X-Men, speaks for mutantkind. Cyclops holds the baby and, realizing that the child deserves the chance to make its own destiny, gives her back to Cable. Cable teleports to the future just as Bishop fires a round at the child. The shot misses her and hits Xavier in the head. Cyclops strikes Bishop with an optic blast, and Cyclops declares the X-Men disbanded.

Divided We Stand

After the events of the Messiah Complex, Cyclops goes on a vacation with Emma Frost to the Savage Land. There, they are contacted by Warren asking them for assistance in San Francisco. He and Emma arrive in San Francisco, where they help free the Haight neighborhood and their teammates from the accidental illusions of Lady Mastermind. After Angel rescues the mayor of San Francisco, she offers to help Cyclops re-establish the X-Men in her city. Cyclops and Emma readily agree and with the help of the city, they build themselves a new headquarters over-looking the Golden Gate Bridge. Once the core team has been established, and after a brief battle with Magneto and some sentinels, Cyclops sends out the message to all the 198 remaining mutants, that San Francisco is now a mutant safe-haven, and that all mutants whether they be friend or foe are welcomed there. The X-Men are welcomed with open arms by the accepting citizens of San Francisco, and have even begun working closely with the SF police department when it comes to cases that are beyond their capabilities.

He also dispatches Wolverine to track down Mystique, gathers the Young X-Men team, and re-assembles the X-Force team to take down the Purifiers. In Young X-Men, Cyclops’ motivation for making a more bloodthirsty team is revealed; he is actually Donald Pierce in disguise.[citation needed]


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The wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. X-Men #30, art by Andy Kubert.

Although being type-cast as the sensible, stiff loner, Cyclops has had several serious relationships. Unfortunately, most if not all of them have ended poorly. One striking feature is the fact that he seems attracted to women with telepathic abilities. He was married to both Jean Grey and her clone Madelyne Pryor, who both proved to have very strong telepathy; his latest girlfriend, Emma Frost, is a telepath as well. Psylocke, another psionic talent, once blatantly tried to seduce him, although this was due to the subtle influences of the ninja assassin Revanche’s personality that were still in her mind at the time.

He has also dated non-mutant women. Cyclops (during a time in which he thought Jean was dead) went on a date with Colleen Wing and then he briefly dated Lee Forrester prior to meeting Madelyne Pryor.

When he married Madelyne Pryor, Scott had thought he had found a replacement for Jean. Over time however, he realized that while Maddie looked like Jean, it was not her emotionally. Scott then began to emotionally distance himself, while fixating unhealthily on Jean. Scott would later leave Maddie and their child, upon hearing of Jean’s return.

When Cyclops married Jean Grey, fans assumed that Cyclops had reached a happy ending. However, following his brief period possessed by Apocalypse, Cyclops returned to the X-Men, feeling that his long-time love/obsession with Jean was a lie. In the same manner as he did with Madelyne, Scott began to distance himself from Jean both emotionally and physically. Then, using Jean’s expanding mental powers as an excuse, Cyclops began having sexual therapy sessions with Emma Frost, and that led to a telepathic affair between the two. When Jean confronted Scott, he made the claim that it had only been thoughts which they shared and thus he had done nothing wrong, knowing full well however that to a telepath, thoughts could be just as real as the physical actions. Scott then left the X-Men for a time to understand his own conflicting feelings. He returned to tell Emma that he had made a decision between her and Jean, but Jean was killed by Magneto before it was revealed which woman he had picked.

Apparently he had chosen Jean. After her death, Scott felt disillusioned with Xavier’s dream, left the X-Men and refused Emma’s offer to reopen the school. This outcome would have led to an apocalyptic future. To avoid it, Jean, who was resurrected in this apocalyptic future, used her Phoenix Powers to push Scott past the guilt he felt over her death and made him accept Emma’s offer of reopening the school with her. The two have since been together, however not without problems, particularly in light of the recent House of M storyline in which Emma has alienated herself from many people by completely reformatting the school’s workings and the events involving the Hellfire Club’s return. Scott claims to no longer love Jean, although he does ‘honor and respect her’, though this may itself only be a psychic suggestion left by Jean to force Scott to move on and “live”. As of the current Divided We Stand stories, their relationship seems to be back on track.

Powers and abilities

Cyclops is a mutant, capable of projecting powerful beams of ruby red colored concussive force from his eyes which themselves act as inter-dimensional apertures between this universe and another, and can put a hole straight through a mountain. The beams derive their power from the absorption of ambient energy, most notably sunlight; Cyclops’ cells are constantly absorbing solar and other energy and transferring it to his eyes, which in turn serve as apertures which project extra-dimensional non-Einsteinian particles in beam form (in some stories, this means that his powers do not work when he is separated from the sunlight). Contrary to popular misconception, Scott’s optic blasts do not project heat; rather, the beam generates pressure which can pummel and subsequently, if desired, destroy objects (though this power has occasionally been misrepresented in the comics and other media). These beams have also been demonstrated to reflect or bounce off certain surfaces, such as highly reflective metal (which has also been portrayed inconsistently at times). It was through this use of his power that Scott ensured the survival of himself and his brother when their parachute failed, by softening the ground beneath them.

Possibly because of a head injury suffered in this unorthodox landing, Scott was left unable to consciously control his powers – his optic beams are now constantly “on,” and will project indefinitely when his eyes are open. This is explained differently in many stories; according to the original Uncanny X-Men portrayals, if Cyclops uses his powers for too long, he will become weak and run out of energy, using the Sun’s energy to revitalize the beams once his visor is closed or his glasses are on. Scott is immune to the harmful effects of his own powers – the natural psionic field which surrounds his body safely absorbs the energy of his beams if they should come into contact with his body. Hence, he is able to block the beams simply by closing his eyes, with even the thin material of his eyelids being sufficient. To allow him to function in day-to-day life, Scott wears a set of eyeglasses made of ruby quartz, a material which is resonant to his psionic field, and hence blocks his beams in a similar fashion. In combat, Cyclops uses a specialized ruby quartz visor (built with a single, long lens, hence Summers’ alias “Cyclops”) housing adjustable apertures that allow him to control the size and intensity of the beams. Originally, Cyclops had to physically reach for controls on the visor itself for desired firings, but later models had controls wired to his gloves for more convenient use. In addition, the visor has a back-up spring-loaded function to shut its apertures in the event of a power loss while opened so he can at least see safely. Later versions of the visor have been outfitted with various forms of acquired advanced technology, such as thought controlled and neural-activated versions.

The maximum force of Cyclops’ optic blasts are unknown, but a commonly given description is that he can “punch holes through mountains”, and he has been shown to rupture a half-inch thick carbon steel plate. During a particular battle, Scott says that he hit Cain Marko (a.k.a. the Juggernaut) with enough power to split a small planet, though he may have been indulging in hyperbole. In the mainstream continuity of the Marvel Universe, it has also been implied that Cyclops only utilizes a fraction of the energies at his disposal. During the Civil War: X-Men story arc, Cyclops is controlled by another mutant to use his powers at their full magnitude. When directed at the energy-absorbing mutant Bishop, Cyclops was able to overload Bishop’s powers in a matter of seconds. It is also stated that Cyclops does not use his powers at such a level due to the preoccupation he has regarding his control (or lack thereof) of his abilities.

Scott is immune to the power of his brother Alex, and vice versa. However, he is not immune to Vulcan’s powers.


Cyclops seems to possess an uncanny sense of geometry, in this sense used to describe his observation of objects around himself and the angles found between surfaces of these objects. Cyclops has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to cause his optic blasts to ricochet and/or reflect off those objects in a trajectory to his liking. This is commonly called a “banked shot” when applied to this talent. Cyclops has been observed causing beams to reflect from over a dozen surfaces in the course of one blast, and still hit his intended target accurately. It is possible he may possess a sense of superhumanly enhanced spatial awareness that allows him to perform these feats as well.

Cyclops is an expert pilot of fixed-wing aircraft, a skill he appears to have inherited from his father. It has also been implied that his trigonometric sense improves his abilities in the air.

A master strategist and tactician, Cyclops has spent most of his superhero career as the leader of either the X-Men or X-Factor and has developed exceptional leadership skills. It is notable that regardless of their general attitude towards him, all of the X-Men tend to obey his orders in battle — because they know that he’s usually right. Even Sebastian Shaw acknowledges Cyclops’ talents, noting during the “Dark Phoenix” saga that Cyclops is a born leader, identifying a weakness in the Hellfire Club’s defenses and rapidly exploiting it. Further evidence of this is seen during the House of M storyline, where the gathered heroes accept Cyclops as the field leader, again without argument, despite the presence of such other notable leaders as Doctor Strange (who lead the Defenders) and Luke Cage (who in both the House of M reality and the main reality has lead the Avengers). His talents at leadership are underscored when Emma Frost alludes to the fact that Charles Xavier only made Cyclops a team leader as an anchor from which Scott could gain some sort of stability in his life. Even though she cites examples such as Scott not being a natural leader like Captain America or Mister Fantastic and his defeat by a non-powered Storm for leadership of the X-Men (later revealed to be the subconscious doing of the Goblin Queen), Emma does affirm that Cyclops has proven to be an excellent leader. During his twelve years raising Cable in the distant future, Cyclops and Phoenix, under the aliases of Slym and Redd Dayspring, helped organize a resistance to Apocalypse’s rule, with Cyclops/Slym becoming one of the leaders of the Clan Rebellion.

Cyclops also has extensive training in martial arts and unarmed combat, holding black belts in judo and aikido. In addition, he has been known to incorporate the martial arts and fighting styles of his teammates into his own self-defense system, calculating the most successful features of their styles and adapting them for his own use. His level of skill is sufficient to defeat six normal men with his eyes closed. He has also defeated Wolverine in battles with and without the use of powers.

Under the direction of Professor X’s training and due in part to his own emotional stoicism, Cyclops has developed a degree of resistance to psychic probes, attacks, and manipulations. He is virtually immune to casual scans, and has shown an awareness during deeper psychic intrusions that makes him difficult to read, even for the psychics closest to him, notably Professor X, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost.

Feats and accomplishments

While rarely displayed, Cyclops’ versatility in the use of his abilities is quite astounding. Below is a list of impressive feats accomplished by Cyclops (with issue numbers for verification).

  • X-Men First Class #6 (of Vol. 2): After being depowered by an extraterrestrial, the X-Men are attacked by a Sentinel. Scott engages it in a chase and leads it into the Danger Room where the robot is destroyed by a wargame scenerio. This proved to the team that they were not actually “powerless” and Hank said in the next issue that the event showed a great deal of intellect.
  • Uncanny X-Men #124: While trapped in Murderworld (controlled by the villain Arcade), Cyclops saves Nightcrawler by clearing out a room of attacking robots with just one blast that reflects from enemy to enemy, eventually destroying a total of eight attackers.
  • Uncanny X-Men #144: While playing pool, he uses one pinpoint optic blast to strike the cue ball, sinking every ball on the table.
  • Uncanny X-Men #152: He deflects his blast off three surfaces to hit Sebastian Shaw, and pushes him towards the waiting Colossus. This shows an impressive level of intelligence (given Shaw’s power to absorb kinetic energy), to adapt his strategy accordingly.
  • Uncanny X-Men #170: While trying to explain his mutation to Madelyne Pryor, he flips a coin, and blasts the center out of it, leaving the outer edge intact.
  • Uncanny X-Men #175: When the X-Men are hypnotized into thinking Cyclops is the Dark Phoenix, they try to hunt him down. After thwarting Colossus, Nightcrawler and Storm in quick succession, he flees to the Danger Room. Inside, he creates a jungle environment in which to hide from his fellow X-Men. They attempt to hunt him down, but he outwits them, defeating Shadowcat, Wolverine, Colossus, Storm and Rogue, all the while suffering from broken ribs.
  • X-Men (vol. 2) #112: While infiltrating Genosha with Wolverine, he fires a blast, deflecting it around two corners to take out two waiting enemies. Wolverine later remarked that it was the first time he’d ever seen Cyclops ‘showing off’. In the same comic, he and Wolverine come up against a force of armed guards. Cyclops uses several small blasts to disable the weapon of each one of his enemies before they even fire a shot. In a later issue of this arc, while battling Magneto, he fires past him, hitting Magneto’s fallen helmet, which rebounds and strikes Magneto in the head. Lastly, although it isn’t shown on panel, Wolverine recounts a memory in which Cyclops opened a car door-lock using only his optic blasts.
  • New X-Men #137: During the ‘Riot at Xavier’s’ storyline, he is one of the X-Men who faces off against Quentin Quire’s Omega Gang. When Redneck challenges him, he fires one blast accurate enough to break Redneck’s nose without causing any other damage. During the ensuing fight, he fires (while doing a cartwheel) a second blast that breaks Radian‘s leg.
  • Two examples of the extent of his power were displayed in issues of Uncanny X-Men and Astonishing X-Men. In Uncanny X-Men #336, while battling the evil being known as Onslaught, Cyclops took off his visor, releasing a huge blast that blew a hole in Onslaught’s armor. Then, in Astonishing X-Men #8, while the Xavier Institute was being attacked by a damaged Sentinel, Cyclops again removed his visor, unleashing a blast that blew the Sentinel back across the lawn, and completely leveled a large part of the forest in front of him. After this, Wolverine states that the blast he just unleashed was one of the reasons he’s been leader of the X-Men for so long.
  • In Civil War: X-Men #3, he shoots Bishop, overloading him with power, and in #4, while trying to blast through a reinforced door, Cyclops powers up Bishop, and Iron Man measures the power at nearly two gigawatts. Two gigawatts is the equivalent to the output of a large nuclear reactor.
  • In X-Factor #68, in the battle against Apocalypse, Cyclops, somehow empowered through his wife and son, released an unusually large optic blast that defeated Apocalypse. This display is similar to the occasional one demonstrated when Cyclops removes his visor.
  • In X-Factor # 25, knowing that his optic blast would ricochet off War’s mechanical horse’s armor, Cyclops flipped himself off a statue in a graveyard to reach War’s steed, and fired an optic blast directly into the mouth to destroy War’s horse, demonstrating impressive agility and tactical ability.
  • In X-Factor #14, Cyclops encountered Master Mold, who was searching for the Twelve. Taking advantage of the battlefield which was near an oil refinery, by provoking Master Mold he caused the robot to blast the oil tanks, setting off an explosion, while he used his optic blast to create a trench and shielded himself with one of Master Mold’s hands, which he had blasted off.
  • In Astonishing X-Men #18, Cyclops displays expert pistol marksmanship against the newly formed Hellfire Club, by disposing of Sebastian Shaw and even managing a head shot off of Negasonic Teenage Warhead while not even looking.
  • In Astonishing X-Men #23, While held captive by Powerlord Kruun, the dictator explains to Cyclops, “Even the cursed Colossus cannot tear through our prison walls.” Effortlessly, after misleading Kruun into believing he was powerless, Cyclops knocks Kruun unconscious with a direct blast to the face and demolishes most of the prison’s outer structure that Kruun had boasted about earlier. Wolverine, who is a few levels above Scott, is freed by an upward beam that breaks the shackles. He then uses the same beam as a beacon for the remaining X-Men to find the prison, all after being recently revived and tortured.

Alternate Reality

  • In Age of Apocalypse: Weapon X #1, it is revealed that Wolverine has lost his left hand from Cyclops’ optic blast. Though the detachment occurred at a joint, it shows Cyclops could easily incapacitate a dangerous enemy such as Wolverine if the situation was critical.
  • In Ultimate X-Men, while being held at gun-point, Cyclops uses Colossus’ organic steel body to ricochet an optic blast, and hit his attacker.

Other versions

Alternate versions of Cyclops

In other media

Cyclops in other media


  1. ^ revealed in Uncanny X-Men #156
  2. ^ X-Men #144
  3. ^ revealed in Classic X-Men #41-42
  4. ^ as revealed in X-Men (vol. 1) #38-42
  5. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #1
  6. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #3
  7. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #4
  8. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #7
  9. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #32
  10. ^ Giant-Size X-Men #1
  11. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #94
  12. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #107-108
  13. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #129
  14. ^ Uncanny X-Men #138
  15. ^ Uncanny X-Men #144
  16. ^ Uncanny X-Men #150
  17. ^ Uncanny X-Men #154
  18. ^ Uncanny X-Men #175
  19. ^ Uncanny X-Men #201
  20. ^ X-Factor #1
  21. ^ X-Factor #36
  22. ^ X-Factor #39
  23. ^ X-Factor #68
  24. ^ World War Hulk: X-Men #1
  25. ^ World War Hulk: X-Men #2

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