Cyclops was the first X-Man. He was Charles Xavier’s favorite student. He led the X-Men into countless battles. He has laser eyes.
Scott “Slim” Summers was the X-Man that all the others wanted to be. He eventually became the headmaster of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. He made all the decisions – tough decisions, but usually the right ones.
If you read Avengers vs. X-Men, you know he eventually went, well, a little crazy. (Spoilers ahead!) First, he got in a fight with Captain America and the Avengers (a fight totally started by Cap) and then he merged with a piece of the Phoenix Force (the fault of Tony Stark). Eventually, he killed Charles Xavier. (Um, that was his fault. You could blame the Phoenix, I guess, but that doesn’t bring Chuckles back from the dead.)
All that said, he didn’t always used to be nutso. In fact, he was the consumate leader, and every X-Man (including Xavier) said Cyke was the one they wanted to follow into battle. He was the leader of mutantkind.
(Full disclosure: Cyclops is my favorite comic book character. That’s probably uncommon, but come on. I grew up reading X-Men and the dude can shoot lasers from his eyes. Who wouldn’t want to shoot lasers from their eyes?)
Anyway, all of that started to wear on him. Bad (or at least questionable) decisions came from the X-Men’s head office and everything eventually unraveled. Here’s a look at Cyclops’ descent into madness – his journey from fearless leader to complete nutbar.
Cyclops’ madness started here. Ahile after Cyclops merged with the evil Apocalypse (read “The Twelve” storyline if you wan the full story on that), he eventually returned to the X-Men. He promptly starts pushing his wife away and then, um, cheats on her. Shortly thereafter, she dies. Good going, Slim.
In a return to leadership, Cyclops takes control of the X-Men and the Xavier School. In the most badass Scott Summers moment of all time, he clears a Sentinel off the school’s property by removing his visor and throwing his full-force optic blasts at the thing. ( “I want this thing off my lawn.” Awesome.)
Later on, he’s left completely powerless, but still leads the X-Men to the alien Breakworld after an alien called Ord. He may not have his powers, but Cyke’s amazing plan allows him to take out Ord and save the Breakworld. Of course, part of his plan is that he actually had control of his optic blasts the entire time.
I love it when a plan comes together. (Seriously, I got chills when I read “To me, my X-Men.”)
After “House of M,” there aren’t very many mutants left. When the first new mutant baby is born and then is kidnapped by Cable, Cyclops jumps into action. First, Cyke tells Xavier that he’s no longer the leader of the X-Men. Then, he follows by reestablishing X-Force and tells them to go after Cable.
What he doesn’t tell everyone is that X-Force is his new kill squad. Cyke knows they’re needed, but the moral implications of having his own kill list and a death squad led by Wolverine is murky at best.
Wolverine and Cyclops seem to finally be getting along until they don’t any more… for some reason that seems completely trivial now. Anyway, they duke it out on the island of Utopia until Scott tells Logan that Jean never loved him and was frightened of him.
Maybe that was true. I mean, Wolverine is extremely hairy, has unbreakable razors coming out of his hands and occasionally delves into inexplicable fits of blackout rage. Still, Wolverine loved her. Seriously, he kept a lock of the woman’s hair for a long time until Madeline Pryor came back from… never mind. Anyway, he loved her a lot and Cyke’s comment was a total dick move.
Anyway, the whole thing ends with them fighting off some giant Sentinel, I guess, and Wolverine got another comic book for Marvel to sell.
(Note: Did “Schism” make any sort of sense to anyone? … Yeah, thought not.)
Avengers vs. X-Men
What happened to finally break the X-Men’s fearless leader? He, uh, inherited the Phoenix Force, which as we know can’t be controlled by anyone even if they try really, really hard. (It killed Jean Grey at least a dozen times over the years, right?)
Instead of accepting this and trying to figure out a way to separate Cyclops from the Phoenix, Captain America and Wolverine tried to headbutt him into submission. That didn’t do anything but enrage Scott, which led to him kicking the crap out of the other X-Men/Phoenix Squad and then killing Professor X. (Bad day for Scott Summers.)
Now, Cyclops is locked up in some prison with some crazy headgear and giant, red goggles for, presumably, the rest of eternity like the crazy person he is. (Until someone inevitably frees him from this prison… Marvel, you looking for someone to write the story? I know a guy.)
So far, it hasn’t stopped Captain America from showing up to berate him for… something he did wrong. Starting the fight? He didn’t do that… Taking over the Phoenix? Not his fault… Not doing what Cap told him to? That’s the one.
By night, Kevin Coffey fights crime as a masked vigilante. By day, he’s the music critic for the Omaha World-Herald, a comic book guy, interviewer of famous people and husband. His interests include Dungeons & Dragons, pancakes, the Muppets and making snide comments during movies (his wife has asked that he stop, but he refuses). Read his observations on music and flapjacks on Twitter (@owhmusicguy), music reviews and previews at Omaha.com, and bloggy stuff at his blog, Rock Candy.