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Off My Mind: The Mysterious Contents of Cyclops' Security Deposit Box

In ALL-NEW X-MEN #7, we see what Cyclops has been keeping. The question is, where did it all come from?

If you're reading ALL-NEW X-MEN, you know we're seeing two sides of the same coin with the young and old X-Men. The young versions from the past are learning just how much their world will change as time goes by.

For Cyclops, it's been the worst. As dedicated and committed he was in his brief time as an X-Man, he finds out that he will go down a path he never could have imagined possible.

In ALL-NEW X-MEN #7, Cyclops had to get away from the school. Even though he wasn't responsible for what his older version did, he feels completely separated from everyone else. He makes a trip to Manhattan to see if he still has a security deposit box he must have set up in his own time. Thankfully he discovers that he did keep the box all these years and he clearly added several items over the years. The question is why did he keep these items locked up?

== TEASER ==

The first thing he discovers, which is a relief, is a pair of ruby quartz glasses. They appear to be an older version but they still allow him the freedom of removing his mask and visor. Why would Cyclops keep a pair of glasses in his safety deposit box? It makes sense to have pairs in different strategic locations just in case something did happen to his visor. Keeping on in a safety deposit box is trickier in that situation. If he visor was damaged, he wouldn't be able to waltz in the front door to retrieve them.

He also has a passport in the box. The question here is whether or not that's his actual passport or a fake one. If it was his actual one, why would he keep it locked up in Manhattan when he's been living off the coast of San Francisco when they moved to Utopia? If it's a fake passport, why would Scott Summers feel the need to have a fake one? With access to the blackbird, Cyclops could pretty much fly to any country in the world. He should have a valid passport but in the middle of a mission, you don't take time going through customs and immigration.

There was a large amount of cash. Cyclops has been pretty much a straight and narrow fellow. If he was going to have money put away, he would do it through a regular bank account. That way he'd be able to access it form wherever he was. Keeping a big chunk of change is a little suspicious. There's also the question of where the money came from. He never really had a job. He didn't get an income for being an X-Man. Maybe Xavier allowed for some sort of salary aside from room and board when they taught at the Xavier Institute. But then again, you never really see mention of the school asking for tuition from the family of newly discovered mutants. The X-Men aren't like the Punisher in dealing with gang members that have mounds of cash lying around.

Finally there was his wedding invitation. It's believable that a married couple would keep an invitation or two as a keepsake of their momentous day. Maybe he kept it locked up in a bank in Manhattan since the school would get destroyed from time to time. You can't really expect to keep any personal possessions if that's known to happen.

Besides the massive amount of cash, other items include several photographs, some computer floppy discs, a necklace, a lock of Jean's hair, their wedding rings and two small cylindrical objects.

With all of these, there's also the question of when did Scott Summers deposit all these? Did he put the invitation there after the wedding to keep it safe or did he lock it up after he and Emma got together. It could be that keeping it in a secret security deposit box would be a way Emma wouldn't get ticked at him for hanging onto the memory of his time with Jean.

It makes sense he'd have keepsakes of Jean locked up away from the school (away from Emma or Wolverine). It is a little strange that Cyclops would have so much cash. Why would he keep a lock of Jean's hair if he wouldn't have many opportunities to 'visit' with it? Is knowing that the mementos exist and are safely tucked away enough to keep him going? Did he manage to keep this hidden from Emma and her telepathy? But where did he get all that cash?

Hopefully we'll find out when and why these items were there. It's one thing to be prepared when you're a great leader. But this looks like Scott was prepared to go on the run, which doesn't make a lot of sense. ALL-NEW X-MEN continues to be a surprise month after month but let's hope this moment is addressed in future issues.

Posted by JonSmith

@ApatheticAvenger said:

I commented on this on another thread, but I definitely think the box was originally meant as a survival tool should things go bad at the school. Cash to live on and some spare shades (explains why they're the old-school model).

Later, Scott turned it into a keepsake treasury. He kept the old glasses from his youth, put in some pics of him an Jean/Maddie, the wedding invites, and a lock of Jean's hair (the same one Logan once kept?).

I honestly think modern Scott put those things in a while ago and just left them, the same way he packed away his old pictures of the school after the schism. I doubt he would even need to keep it a secret from Emma.

I don't think we'll see or hear more about this deposit box, it's a bit more fun to speculate and I don't see Bendis as focusing any time on it.

I had slightly similar thoughts: Given the general dislike and discrimination of mutants back in the day (not that things have changed much), it would make sense for the kids to have a panic plan. Charles may be hopeful, but he's not stupid. In the event things at the manor went bad in such a way everyone has to scatter, everyone probably has their own safety deposit boxes scattered around the world, with some cash, various requirements, and something very important to them for them to hang onto.

That way, if the manor was destroyed or attacked by sentinels, everyone wouldn't be left homeless. In the event their assets (whatever they may be) being frozen, they'd still have resources, even if getting to them is a bit tricky. A standby in the event of a worst case scenario.

So Scott kept the few things he needed along with the cash: His glasses (to help blend in, no matter how marginally) and a few things of Jean's.

Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf

The box represents the past which Scott left behind.

Edited by Lokheit

Tony I think you're thinking too much about something that I think is pretty simple:

- The passport and money are emergency plans (probably the spare ruby glasses too). He's a mutant, feared and hated by mosts. Probably Charlie himself told his students to have emergency plans (probably there are more safeboxes around the country) in case something big happened (the school has been destroyed many times after all).

- The wedding invitation is a memory of something beatiful that happened in his life. He married, it was important, so he keeps it as a precious memory. There is a photo of him with Madelyne too (I'm 98.8% sure that's Paul Smith's art, and he drew most of Scott and Madelyne relationship before the baby), his other wife. They're precious memories that he wants to keep and have in a special place and some day maybe go there and remember the old times (he has been to bussy during the last many years to do too much of that stuff, but he wants to keep them). The hair lock is probably there for similar reasons, I think it was from a time when he was younger long before his relationship with Emma. Probably he didn't though too much about that place after starting dating Emma or simply kept it there because Jean was dead.

Posted by skyjumpermike

I think they are pieces to a crappy version of Monopoly that he was creating just in case being a X-Man didn't work out.

Posted by hqn

I too think this is too much speculation on what is just a trope functional to the story. Scott just kept some stuff in a safe deposit and the caveau of a Manhatthan bank looks like a good, safe place as any even for some one who has access to some remote locations. In a sense the normality of this might even be reassuring for someone living a wild unpredictable life like a comic book character. It's a sort of everyman's Fortress of Solitude and, being the action type character it fits the spy-movie trope to keep passports (even fake ones) and cash handy for worst case scenarios. I don't think the vials and floppys' content will ever turn out to be important story-wise (you never know though). Probably the floppys are a cue to the fact he's been adding to the stash during various times.

Also i don't think he needs to keep tokens of his past love(s) away from Emma, or Logan. I can't really think of Logan's stealing a lock of hair belonging to Jean, i mean that would be below a decent man and creepy too. And Scott can't really hide anything from Emma because she can read him literally like an open book. It's funny tho that she doesn't need to probe Scott's mind, Uncanny X-Men #2 (the current one) just proved she still feels a bit of competition from Jean but she's confident and in the end she is the strongest one in her relationship with Scott, just like Jean was btw.

The cash is another funny topic, i mean common issues like money, rents, debt, bureaucracy are usually left out of comics and for good reasons, they're not entertaining to read about and totally break the supension of disbelief necessary to enjoy fiction. Like, did Illyana Rasputin ever get an american citizenship? What's Cable social security number? Not really interesting stuff anyway. And where do they keep their documents, money and cellphones in the tight spandex? Liefeld poaches don't seem so silly now don't hey? Ok they still do. But anyway, in the Hawkguy series by Fraction one of the premises is that Clint has got quite a good amount of money and he basically owns the building where he lives, also the first issues of WatXM have various references to Xavier spending a huge amount of his fortune to build and rebuild (and rebuild...) the school and Wolvie's going almost bankrupt to set up the JG school. Also when young-Scott escapes from the school with Logan jacket and ride in a nod to Logan's borrowing Scott's bike in the movie, he finds a huge roll of banknotes in the pocket. So how comes all these full-day superheroes have access to big amounts of cash? Did Xavier and Stark provide monthly allowances for their associates? On a sad note, Peter Parker, one of the only heroes to have a day job has always been struggling with late rents and sparing a penny for aunt May's birthday present or to take MJ out to dinner. Sucks to be Parker.

Posted by BlueLantern1995


Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

Mmmh, I'm actually going to give this series a try.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

Or, he decided to set up the safety deposit box right then and there, and made sure he remembered to do it as soon as he retuned to his own time so he'd be able to get it when he was in the future.

Posted by Veitha

Emma is a telepath, you can't hide anything from her(and she knew that he still loved Jean a bit)

Posted by sora_thekey

@ApatheticAvenger said:

Later, Scott turned it into a keepsake treasury. He kept the old glasses from his youth, put in some pics of him an Jean/Maddie, the wedding invites, and a lock of Jean's hair (the same one Logan once kept?).

That would explain the lock pf Jean's hair... Makes it less creepy at least.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

@sora_thekey said:

@ApatheticAvenger said:

Later, Scott turned it into a keepsake treasury. He kept the old glasses from his youth, put in some pics of him an Jean/Maddie, the wedding invites, and a lock of Jean's hair (the same one Logan once kept?).

That would explain the lock pf Jean's hair... Makes it less creepy at least.

Knowing Marvel, he's kept the hair in order to clone her and create an ultimate weapon using her telekinetic power.

Posted by aaunderoath

As far as the money and passport goes I saw it as a back up plan if the various mutant hating groups had successfully beat the mutants, he'd then have money and a passport to go into hiding. If this is the case it also makes sense that he'd keep his important items so he'd still have a part of his old life while on the run.

Posted by DarkxSeraph

This really seems to be reading far too deeply into a safety deposit box. As said on a different thread about this, my family kept similar things in their box.

Do people truly just not understand the concept of what these things were used for, or is it some attempt to place more meaning on something that, really, is a mundane act?

Posted by Grey56

These aren't the students your looking for. And this book is a bad theoretical premise which has found creative light from a poor board room meeting behind Marvel doors. I can only hope it dies a quick death to be forgotten even more expediently.

Posted by The Sadhu

I think Cyclops will remember everything when he returns to the past and sets up the safety deposit box as areminder of who he used to be!

Posted by silentecko711

I honestly think its all stuff like for an emergency situation like a safe house and the point of a safe house is for nobody to know about it. And as far as keeping it from Emma he has no problem doing it. When Matt Fraction took over with issue 500 and on there was a whole issue about Scotts black box in his mind where he keeps all his secrets and certain memories and Emma could not get into it unless Scott let her. The mansion always getting destroyed makes a lot of sense maybe even it was Xavier's idea and all the X-men have a safety deposit box like safe house thingy. Scott is also very strategic I'm sure he has his reasons for keeping this box hidden and all that stuff in it.

Posted by Overlander

Other questions:

After all the destruction of Manhattan over the years, how is this bank still physically standing?

After all of the bank failures, savings & loan collapses over the last 30 years, how is that banks still in business?

Posted by Darkmount1

I think what we've got here is a bit of a time capsule, for Scott to never forget the good times from the early years of his life on the team.

Posted by AskaniSon295

Xavier died more than once and left Scott in charge of the school and oviously access to the xavier family fortune. Both Warren and Betsy have fortunes. The idea that they wouldn't at some point create a system where any X-men could get cash easily for whatever reason isn't that crazy. The reason for Jean's Hair and Pictures and there weddings rings is ovious, when your home gets destroyed once a year It's best not to keep things you cherish there.

Posted by akbogert

Apologies for being seemingly off-topic, but I was hoping for a reader's perspective and this is likely to get eyes on it: I'm reading Uncanny X-Men. I've not been reading this...but it looks very related. Are the two books meant to be seen as complementary? I know they don't assume people read both, but are they written in such a way that I kinda should be reading both?

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

i love this book.

Posted by xoptionm3

hqn that is freaking hysterical, Im starting to think Id enjoy a comic arc about cable getting audited by the IRS

Posted by G_I_R_L

@sora_thekey: @sora_thekey said:

@ApatheticAvenger said:

Later, Scott turned it into a keepsake treasury. He kept the old glasses from his youth, put in some pics of him an Jean/Maddie, the wedding invites, and a lock of Jean's hair (the same one Logan once kept?).

That would explain the lock pf Jean's hair... Makes it less creepy at least.

Creepy? He was married to her. What is creepy was the lock Wolverine had (he lusted her even after her "death").

Posted by Ramier

who the fuck doesn't have a safety or something stashed in case all the shit hit the fan. Its has all the things he needs in case he was on his own and pictures and stuff to remember what he holds dear or use to. Was this article needed

Posted by Loki2u

I think the intent of the SDB was to show where he is at emotionally and mentally, not a literal contents of the box itself. I think you are waaaaay over thinking things Tony. This scene never even crossed my mind until I read this rather lengthy and unnecessary article. IMO.

Posted by Perfect 10

i never and still dont think it has anything to do with a survival kit. i know of people that have a picture in safe deposit box so nothing strange or out of the ordinary here for me. a lot of the items are very personal which is what most people use safety deposit boxes for. the money? uhm BOTH his parents were declared dead ages ago and i do remember his grandfather mentioning once (back when scott retired to fly planes in alaska) that he was left money by his parents. plus as i mentioned he worked as a pilot for his grandfather, a family business. jean used to be a model and with scott being her husband mostly like he is her sole heir (legally). there are dozens of ways he could have gotten the money (who is most likely to inherent the xaiver fortune than scott?). one thing i did notice: there didnt seem to be any items connecting to emma. i wonder why? TRUE LOVE WINS! SCOTT AND JEAN FOREVER!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

From how Scott has made a complete 180 in just about every aspect of his life, I truly can say I don't know just why he would have any of those items in his safety deposit box. He just isn't the true blue boy scout whom he once was and as a result anything is up for grabs for why he has this stuff in that savings and loan box. Truly your guess is as good as mine really. Will be interesting to find out why he has those items though so I definitely look forward to a follow up of this...

Posted by sora_thekey

@G_I_R_L: Well... I wouldn't keep my dead wife's lock of hair. Wouldn't have a lock of hair of my wife even if she's alive.

Edited by Ballistic_z

Wow I guess people have forgotten the X-men were trained in spy tactic's. It was shown when they spied on gradon Creed before Mystique decided to waste her own kid. Ice man was the one who fully infiltrated and Jean and cannon ball were his field back up, during that event. Not to mention that time when gambit and jean went in disguise to see what was happening at the Pentagon during the event of Onslaught or when cyclops was in disguise when doing a sting op on dark beast's Brother hood on an air plane where Jay Joana Jameson was on Bord and found out Havok was with that version/ incarnation of the brother hood after being abducted , and doing his own personal/solo deep cover take down of the dark beast him self .

Half the contents in the deposit box aren't a surprise to me at all. some are personal and others are for emergence. and Bythe way scott's been an air line pilot and a radio announcer and fisher men and his grandfather owned an air line. and the X -books they have shown that Xavier did pay them money and they have had expensive credit cards given to them. shown in the Xbooks and gen X

Posted by snootchie_bootchies

Scott being on the run makes perfect sense. Every X-Man should have a back up plan if they need to split up for a long period of time.