Note: Cyclopsjc // Cyclops Jim Lee // Cyclops Jim Lee
Note: Cyclopsjc // Cyclops Jim Lee // Cyclops Jim Lee
Art by John Cassaday
|First appearance||The X-Men #1 (Sep. 1963)|
Stan Lee (writer)|
Jack Kirby (artist)
|Alter ego||Scott Summers|
(Time-Displaced Cyclops): Champions
|Notable aliases||Slim, Slym Dayspring, Eric the Red, Mutate #007, Phoenix, Dark Phoenix|
Cyclops (Scott Summers) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics and is a founding member of the X-Men. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in the comic book The X-Men #1 (September 1963).
Cyclops is a member of a subspecies of humans known as mutants, who are born with superhuman abilities. Cyclops can emit powerful beams of energy from his eyes. He cannot control the beams without the aid of special eyewear which he must wear at all times. He is typically considered the first of the X-Men, a team of mutant heroes who fight for peace and equality between mutants and humans, and one of the team's primary leaders.
Cyclops is most often portrayed as the archetypal hero of traditional American popular culture—the opposite of the tough, anti-authority antiheroes that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War (e.g., Wolverine, his X-Men teammate).
One of Marvel's most prominent characters, Cyclops was rated #1 on IGN.com's list of Top 25 X-Men from the past forty years in 2006, and the 39th in their 2011 list of Top 100 Comic Book Heroes. In 2008, Wizard Magazine also ranked Cyclops the 106th in their list of the 200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time. In a 2011 poll, readers of Comic Book Resources voted Cyclops as 9th in the ranking of 2011 Top Marvel Characters.
James Marsden has portrayed Cyclops in the first three and the seventh X-Men films, while in the 2009 prequel film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he is portrayed as a teenager by actor Tim Pocock. In 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, he is portrayed by Tye Sheridan.
Cyclops first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963). He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and has been a mainstay character of the X-Men series. Lee said that Cyclops and Beast were his two favorite X-Men, elaborating that "I love tortured heroes—and he was tortured because he couldn't control his power." Originally dubbed "Slim Summers", by The X-Men #3 his name was changed to "Scott", with "Slim" becoming a nickname.
Scott Summers is the first of the X-Men recruited by Professor X; Xavier hand-picks Scott to lead his X-Men, and to carry on the legacy of his mutant-human-harmony ideals. Xavier views Scott as one of his most prized pupils; their relationship exhibits father/son qualities. From time to time, Scott's extreme loyalty to Xavier has cost him dearly in his relationships with others; but, over the course of the characters' publication history, he eventually emerges from Xavier's shadow as the X-Men's undisputed leader.
Dave Cockrum created the Starjammers, including Corsair, and convinced X-Men writer Chris Claremont to use the characters for this series. In order to provide a plausible excuse for the Starjammers to make repeat appearances in X-Men, they decided to make Corsair the father of Cyclops.
Summers remained a member of the team up through Uncanny X-Men #138. After departing the main cast, he was a recurring character in the series until Uncanny X-Men #201, after which he was featured in the launch of a new series by Marvel. This new series, X-Factor, launched in 1986 and starred the original X-Men team of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, and Angel. Scott stayed with the X-Factor title through X-Factor #70. In October 1991, Summers returns to the X-Men to launch X-Men #1 (2nd series). This series was the second of two X-Men titles and featured Cyclops, Wolverine, Gambit, Psylocke, Rogue, and Beast as Blue team. Cyclops has recently been featured in another title launch with the second introduction of a new X-Men series Astonishing X-Men. Astonishing X-Men features Cyclops, Wolverine, Shadowcat, Colossus, Emma Frost, and Beast as a team. Throughout this time, Cyclops continued to make appearances in Uncanny X-Men Marvel has also used Cyclops to launch variant series of X-Men titles most notably Ultimate X-Men and New X-Men.
Cyclops has appeared in limited series including Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix, Further Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix, X-Men: The Asgardian Wars, the second series of Astonishing X-Men, X-Men: The Search for Cyclops, his own self-titled series Cyclops, and X-Men Origins: Cyclops #1.
In 1991, writer Brian K. Vaughan worked on the self-titled series Cyclops #1–4. In 2000, Joseph Harris wrote the four-issue run titled X-Men: The Search for Cyclops that dealt with Cyclops's return after merging with Apocalypse in the events of the Twelve from Uncanny X-Men #377.
During Joss Whedon's run of Astonishing X-Men, Cyclops adopts a new attitude unfamiliar to most accustomed fans. After Emma Frost's psychic intervention at the mansion, he temporarily loses 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:
|“||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 [Grey] 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."||”|
|— Joss Whedon|
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 teammates, most notably Wolverine.
However, since the birth of Hope Summers, Cyclops has become increasingly unstable with his own self. Overprotective of those close to him, amoral in his new, Magneto-like view of humanity, and mentally ambiguous, Cyclops is viewed as an antihero and occasionally even a villain in the minds of his fellow superheroes. Kieron Gillen's run in Uncanny X-Men ended with an unrepentant Cyclops, who had become increasingly hardline during Gillen's run, in prison for his actions during Avengers vs. X-Men. Gillen wrote him openly suicidal in a five-part epilogue: AvX: Consequences.
As part of Marvel NOW!, there are two Cyclopes: the original Cyclops is featured in volume 3 of Uncanny X-Men, which was launched in February 2013, and a younger time-displaced version as part of the All-New X-Men team, both series are written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Chris Bachalo. Uncanny X-Men features the remnants of Cyclops' Extinction Team, who have taken up a revolutionary, and sometimes violent course to promote mutant rights, and started up a new school for new mutants, the New Charles Xavier School for the Gifted. The younger Cyclops tries to make sense with his future and find a place for himself, while deciding if he even wants to stay an X-Man.
Cyclops's history has undergone various revisions, both minor and major. The central fixed element is the character's origin story. As a young boy, Scott Summers is orphaned after watching his parents die in a plane crash. Scott and his brother, Alex, are the only survivors. Their parents placed the two boys in the only available parachute and forced them to jump from the plane just prior to crashing. The boys become wards of the state and are separated. When Scott's powers manifest uncontrollably he runs away from the orphanage and wanders before being taken in as ward by Charles Xavier.
When Scott was a boy growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, his father, USAF Major Christopher Summers, took the family for a flight in their de Havilland Mosquito. It came under attack by an alien Shi'ar spaceship. As the plane went down in flames, Scott's parents fastened him and his younger brother Alex into a parachute and pushed them off the plane, hoping that they would survive.
In Cyclops's first appearance in X-Men #1, he is already leading the X-Men under tutelage of Professor X. Later, Scott's origin is first presented in Uncanny X-Men #38–42 and later refined in Uncanny X-Men #144 and Uncanny X-Men #156. In 2010, Marvel released X-Men Origins: Cyclops #1 that describes the character's childhood through his joining the X-Men.
The early accounts in the X-Men comics use flashbacks to tell the origin story of Scott parachuting from his parents' plane. The flashbacks are often told from various narrative perspectives and place different emphasis on the events of this period. Scott's poor control over his power have been attributed to events in his childhood. In Uncanny X-Men #156, Scott's parachute caught fire and Scott struck his head upon landing. This caused brain damage to Scott which is responsible for his poor control over his optic blasts. Several origin stories do not feature the head injury account with X-Men Origins: Cyclops #1 being the most recent. The head injury account has also been retconned in Astonishing X-Men Vol. 2 as being due to a self-imposed mental block he made as a child to deal with the traumatic events of his life. With the help of Emma Frost, Scott is able to briefly bypass his own mental block and control his powers, though he reveals that his control is waning and temporary.
For a time Scott had prolonged amnesia about his childhood. Parts of his memory returned when he was unexpectedly attacked by the demon D'Spayre while on a leave of absence after Jean Grey's perceived first death. Scott spent most of his childhood at the State Home for the Foundlings in Omaha, Nebraska and was subjected to batteries of tests and experiments by the orphanage's owner, Mr. Milbury, an alias for the geneticist Mister Sinister, who also placed mental blocks on Scott.
In The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix limited series, both Scott and Jean were sent back in time to 19th century England by Madame Sanctity, a surviving member of the Askani sisterhood. In 1860, prior to the epilogue of the story, a young English orphan named Daniel (who was freed, one year ago, from the clutches of Nathaniel Essex by Scott and Jean) is shown arriving in New York Harbor from London. As a form of reverence toward the couple who recently showed him great kindness, when urged by his apparent guardian to adopt a new surname at the immigration station, Daniel chooses Summers. Although Scott does not make the familial connection between Daniel and himself, he suspects that his presence in this time (along with Jean's) did something else to affect the course of history, aside from stopping Mister Sinister and Apocalypse.
When Scott is sixteen, he runs away from the orphanage, and while wandering the streets is taken in by Charles Xavier. On a trip to New York with his orphanage supervisor Scott walks across a construction site and his optic beam activates. The blast damages a metal crane causing it to fall towards an onlooking crowd. Scott thinks quickly unleashing a second blast that destroys the crane. The crowd thinks this is an act of violence, and forms a lynch mob. Scott hops onto a train and runs away. Wandering Scott 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.
In the X-Men's first field mission, he battles Magneto. With the X-Men, he battles the Blob. He also becomes romantically attracted to Jean Grey. With the X-Men, he then clashes with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants for the first time. Xavier would soon choose him to be deputy leader of the team and act as field leader whenever he was absent.
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 18th birthday, they reveal their passion for each other and become lovers.
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, Banshee, Thunderbird, Sunfire and Wolverine to rescue the others. When the other original X-Men (Angel, Beast, Iceman, Jean Grey, and later additions Havok (his own brother Alex) 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.
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. Jean learns of Corsair's identity but keeps it from Scott and several more years pass before he learns his father's true identity. 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. Yet 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. 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. 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, Cyclops and the Man-Thing must fight D'Spayre, 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. He then discovers that Corsair is actually his father. Eventually, Scott marries Madelyne Pryor, a woman who bears a strong resemblance to Jean and he retires from the X-Men. Scott has a difficult time adjusting to life outside of the X-Men and, to his wife's dismay, he later challenges Storm to a battle in the Danger Room for leadership of the X-Men. Despite Storm no longer possessing her mutant powers, she defeats Cyclops. Madelyne gives birth to their son, Nathan, and Scott returns to retirement from the X-Men.
Shortly after the birth of Nathan, it is revealed that Jean Grey was alive and had never been The Phoenix. The Phoenix is revealed to have been a cosmic entity who placed an injured Jean Grey in a healing pod at the bottom of Jamaica Bay and replaced her taking on her appearance and memories, not realizing that "she" herself was not the real Jean Grey. Years after Phoenix died, the real Jean Grey is eventually discovered and revived by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. After hearing that Jean is alive, Cyclops leaves his wife and son and rejoins the other original X-Men as X-Factor, who pose as mutant hunters but in reality are trying to help their genetic brethren. 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, who felt bad himself over the way he had handled the situation.
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 Mister Sinister, essentially for the purpose of becoming a brood mare, Madelyne can't take it any more and kills herself. Scott seemingly kills Sinister with an optic blast, and pursues a romance with Jean, reclaiming his son. Scott soon learns that Mister Sinister ran the orphanage in which Scott was raised, and battled Sinister over this.
Shortly after the X-Tinction Agenda, Scott reencounters Apocalypse, who infects Nathan with a techno-organic virus. Although Scott saves his son with the help of his teammates and through the combined strength of Nathan, Jean, and himself 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.
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".
After Cyclops's 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 teammate and telepath Psylocke tries to lure Cyclops into an affair behind Jean's back. Ultimately, however, Cyclops remains with Jean. Cable returns as well and reveals to Cyclops that he is the real Nathan Christopher Summers, while Stryfe is a clone of Nathan created in the event of his death who was stolen and raised by Apocalypse.
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 his recent attempt to wipe Magneto's mind causing Magneto's darker impulses to merge with Xavier's own subconscious darkness and manifest as a new personality. 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 Operation: Zero Tolerance, in which Cyclops is gravely injured when a bomb is placed in his chest.
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 plans to use a machine to steal the powers of twelve select mutants and the body of Nate Grey which will make him virtually omnipotent. In order to save Nate, Cyclops willingly merges with the villain Apocalypse. He is believed dead until Jean and Cable track him down to Egypt and separate him from Apocalypse, killing Apocalypse's spirit in the process.
Upon Cyclops's return to the X-Men following his possession, his personality has been altered as a result of being bonded with Apocalypse. This change causes a rift between him and Jean; he claims that 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. The two establish a close friendship; 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 abstaining from sex with Jean for the five months. 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. Jean, confused by the change in their relationship, confides in Logan and the two kiss in the woods outside the school, but Logan walks away telling her that she should remain with Scott. Xavier leaves Earth while under the control of Cassandra Nova and 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 and his trauma from being possessed trivialized. Instead of attempting to reconcile with her, Scott turns to Emma Frost for consolation, feeling that he can talk to Emma about his problems. 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, using the full-power of the Phoenix Force to 'burn through lies'. She forces Emma to admit her true feelings for Scott, and to face her many failures, sins, and personal demons. Furious at both himself and Jean, Scott confronts Jean and demands that she read his mind; Jean finally complies, only to discover that Scott and Emma never engaged in any physical contact, though Emma had offered it. After confronting Jean with the truth, Scott leaves the Xavier Institute, and a short time later Emma is found shattered in her diamond form and believed killed.
Scott soon finds himself at the Hellfire Club which had been turned into a sleazy strip club and tries to get drunk, attempting to escape the responsibilities, expectations, and demands which 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 the two 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 apologizes for hurting her, but Jean instead tells him that she understands and has never seen him more alive and urges him to live on.