Comic Vine News

283 Comments

The Evolution of Cyclops—How the X-Men's Leader Lost His Heart

How did the X-Men's leader change from compassionate teammate to ruthless tactician?

Being a comic book fan can sometimes feel like an uphill battle; one where you, the reader, are so heavily invested in any given character, concept or title for years; but are virtually helpless in the direction of said character or concept. The direction of a character is left up to the creative team of the title or book—and when you have over fifty years of character history that has changed hands from one creative team to the next, the character is bound to evolve in one way or another.

Sometimes, characters change so much, that they are hardly recognizable when compared to their first appearance. One example of a very prominent character that has undergone drastic personality changes is Cyclops, the leader of the X-Men.

== TEASER ==

This observation sort of came out of left field for me since I had never really been invested in Cyclops as a character, and I hadn't really read many of Cyclops' past appearances, up until recently when I had to read some back issues of Chris Claremont's X-Men searching for Moira MacTaggert's first appearance. It was in the first few pages of X-Men #96 that I was completely caught by surprise.

Who the heck is this guy? He looks like Cyclops- blue suit, funny visor—but he's not acting like the Cyclops I'm familiar with. The first few panels in X-Men #96 take place after the death of one of Cyclops' former teammates, Thunderbird. It was Thunderbird's second mission, and he failed in his attempt at stopping Count Nefaria- a move that ultimately led to his death. It was a death that happened under Cyclops' watch and there was nothing Scott could do to stop it. In the first few panels of the issue, Scott is depicted walking through the woods, mourning the death of his teammate and the fact that there was nothing he could do to stop it. In fact, he is so overcome with emotion and grief, that he momentarily loses control of his powers.

Fast forward to the relaunch of X-Force by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost. In the very first issue of the series, and within the first few panels, Cyclops approaches Wolverine and tells him that not only does he want to relaunch X-Force to do the X-Men's dirty work- but that he had already sent Wolverine's "clone," X-23 into battle. X-23 who is a fragile, teenage girl; had been manipulated and used as a weapon to kill and was created as a result of the Weapon X project. Cast aside and treated like less than a person, X-23 falls victim to Cyclops's inability to acknowledge her as anything but a tool.

This Cyclops has a blatant disregard for a child's psychological instability and has no problem treating her like she's always been treated- a weapon. This Cyclops is pretty heartless. Why would he send a fragile X-23 off to join X-Force, a team of mutant killers that have to put their code of ethics to the side to get the job done? Rather than exhibiting the same concern that Xavier did for Scott as a young mutant trying to find himself, Scott has no concern for Laura. This is not the only time Cyclops has nonchalantly sacrificed a team member, either. Towards the end of Second Coming, Cyclops sent Cable along with X-Force forward into the future in order to shut down the Nimrod production line—knowing full well that there would be a good chance the group would not be able to return. The result? Hope is left helpless and without a father, with only Scott to blame. Essentially, Scott killed his own son.

When did Cyclops go from an emotional and caring team member, to a heartless team leader whose only concern is to get the job done? Cyclops' first real dramatic change in character occurred after X-Men: The Search For Cyclops in which Cyclops was consumed by Apocalypse. Even after Scott was saved by Nate and Jean Grey, Scott was permanently altered. His personality changed and he eventually has an affair with Emma Frost. Hand spirals even further into darkness following the death of Jean Grey.

The question is, must Scott sacrifice compassion for his teammates in order to be a powerful leader? Does this lack of compassion make him a better leader, anyway, or could it be hindering him in some way? What do you think of Scott Summers' evolution from then up until now, and do you think he's making the right decisions for the X-Men? Could his decisions be what cause the 'schism'?

283 Comments
Posted by Kid_Zombie

Wow very opinionated article.

First drastic different circumstances, he was young when thunderbird died, and he was not fighting in a war. You try fighting in a war and not become like he is now. Plus have apocalypse in your head messing around with it does not hurt either.

i hated Cyclops growing up, now since new x-men he has become my favorite character in x-men if not in Marvel he is pretty damn close. He is the best Leader X-men have had and the only one who could have brought them out of the war they have endured by also bringing together all mutanats in unitiy. He is the F--ing man!

@JoseDRiveraTCR7 said:

 "When did Cyclops go from an emotional and caring team member, to a heartless team leader whose only concern is to get the job done?"When the mutant race was getting attacked from every f-ing direction and he needed to get the job then. Personally, as much as I liked the Cyclops of old, the caring, but somewhat repressed leader, the emotionless, prick general that he has become is a lot more interesting. He does what it takes. And I don't think Scott has sacrificed his compassion. I think he doesn't show it because he can't, because he has a job to do in leading the mutant race in a time when Xavier's dream is too far to reach. I think it was in a issue of X-Men during Dark Reign that Scott and Emma shared their dark secrets and their regrets and Cyclops felt guilty for what he has done, though he said it had to be done.I'm positive that his problem with Wolverine will probably be about how he's been acting, but I'm surprised it's going in that direction since I would expect Wolverine to somewhat understand.  Wolverine has always had that paternal instinct of defending his friends, but I would still think he knows that Scott is just doing the best with the situations they are given.

@Overlander said:
You go to battle with the army you have.

Being the leader is no easy task. After the betrayals of Xavier and years of shouldering the burden of leading not only the X-Men but all of Mutantdom, Cyclops carries an awful responsibility.

His infidelity with Jean Grey and Madelyn were poor choices on his part. But surviving the precarious situations of being a Mutant after M Day are sure to be taxing. Wolverine has always been nipping at the heels of Cyclops. Whether it was jealousy for Jean choosing Scott or his lone wolf tendencies, or any myriad of other rivalry reasons, the two of them have long been at odds. 

Scott makes the hard decisions and could probably use more support and less rebellion or criticism from the faithful. At the same time, I would love to see him find again that sensitive side that allows him to really connect with people.

Well said both of you!
Posted by thegentlemanrogue

To me Cyclops' character development has always come off natural in the context of the storyline of the last couple decades. He is the leader of a critically endangered species on the brink of destruction, with a responsibility to all remaining mutants, and not just the ones who volunteer to put their lives on the line. Cyclops no longer has the luxury of being idealistic, he needs to be pragmatic. The situation the X-Men faced called for a certain type of leadership, he needed to step up or move aside, and he choose to step up. Scott isn't a peace time leader or a war time leader, he is a leader. Period. He made the chooses that had to be made.

The last decade or so of character development have made Cyclops and interesting character with interesting motivations. Before M Day Scott wasn't a character. He was a bland cardboard cut out with no personality. If someone liked his "character" it was because he was such a nothing character that a reader could impose there own personality on him. That's no longer the case.

Posted by _Sojourn_

FINALLY, I always recognized him as such a jerk... He's never been a true leader in my eyes...

Posted by stu

If you think that cyclops is hartless...you really didnt read x-men proprely. Hes doing what he most because its the only way to make sure mutant survive.He accepte the fact that he most be the one making the hard choices.  Hes the leader mutants need right now! i love the evolution of scott

Posted by waruikumo

He's one of the few characters that is a major player, and that Marvel has allowed to evolve.


I'm cool with it.  He's always sort of been my favorite character.
Posted by notageek

cyclops is awesome now

Posted by sithfrog


Sorry if this point has been brought up, I didn't look through all of the posts.

 

One thing that could have affected Scott could have also been all the "changes" his mentor and father figure Charles Xavier seemed to go through.  Granted, with the exception of Whedon's run on Astonishing I haven't read any X-books since they went looking for Scott after Apocalypse and the Twelve storyline back in the early 2000s, but from what I've seen and read, Xavier is the one that really changed.

 

We went from having this supportive figure for Scott and the others to look up to, to someone who was willing to send the Missing X-Men team to their deaths and cover it up, basically enslave the sentient Danger, and become as manipulative as many of their foes.

 

I would think that, especially combined with coming back from his ordeal, finding his role model so flawed had to have also hardened Scott as well.  In the end, the truly ironic thing is it sounds like Cyclops is becoming more and more like Charles. 

Posted by spiderguylll
@cattlebattle said:
Leave Cyclops Alone!!
Ageed...
Posted by maxicere

Cyclops is one of my favorite characters. With o Without heart

Posted by karrob
@Ferro Vida said:
I've been a big Scott Summers fan for years now. I have followed the growth of him as a character, and for someone who read his progression in chronological order (seeing his reaction to Thunderbird's death before seeing him reforming X-Force, and everything he experienced in between), I feel that Cyclops today has learned that sometimes death is unavoidable, that if you try to save all of the people then you will only end up killing all of the people, and that when ruthless tactics are well used (when they are used out of nececssity), they can be forgiven over time.

It is fair to say that he was using X-23 as a tool, but that is exactly what she was designed to be. It is the only life she knows, and after everything she has been through I don't think it is fair to call her a fragile little girl. She had the skills and powers necessary for the job that he needed to be done. What else could he do? Send one of the other students? Have someone who didn't have that experience kill enemies of the mutant race?

And Cable knew exactly what risks were associated with the mission. All of X-Force did. He wouldn't have accepted it if he wasn't fully aware of them.

Scott Summers has suffered through a lot of crap. More than most characters have. And he has grown accordingly.
agreed! Well said
Posted by JonesDeini
@SC: Don't know if I ever told you this but I've never been a fan of Scott actually lol. He was always the reliable straight man who I respected. But has done some plain ol' douchey stuff over the years. I especially hated when writers wrote him as all emo and "Jean's dead dammit!!!" basically Wolverine and the X-Men is the Cyclops I'd came to see him as. And I hate that Cyclops I've watched him grow past that and rise to the occasion on the challenges he and his people face and that respect has now grown into a genuine liking of the character. As far as my stance goes, I'd stand behind any leader in his position who's had to make the tough decisions he made. Whether it was Storm, Chuck, Emma, whoever. 

@Wingfoot: LMAO. Oh no doubt Namor's an ass, but I love how seriously he takes himself. he's just fun as hell to read. 

@hitechlolife: HA! LMAO @ Electric Boogaloo!!!
Posted by CATPANEXE

he's definitely become more callous and withdrawn over the years, but I think that's only realistic given his life, the wars he's been through, and the position he currently
finds himself in.

Posted by The Impersonator

Great Leadership Comes With Great Responsibility.

Posted by frogjitsu
 @SleepyDrug said:

He is no longer worthy of being the guardian of Xavier's dream.


Which is something even Cyclops relizes.  That's why he alowed the New Mutants to get back together, because he believes one of them can safe gaurd Xaviers dream when all this fighting for survival is over.  Even if you don't like how heartless Scott has become, you have to give him props for knowing his faults.  Besides, Cyclops relizes that with less than 200 mutants left, that they were in a full blown war with there enemies, who would stop at nothing to see them all anihilated.  Sometimes a general has to make the tough choices.

 Cyclops isn't a little boy anymore.  He's a grown man, capable of making adult decisions.  This is war people.  Sometimes you have to make the choices just to survive.  Cyclops understands this.

 
@SleepyDrug said:   

Cyclops has unquestionably lost his heart.  He is totally ruthless in team decisions.  He cheated on his wife with Emma Frost (who dispite a noble attempt to whitewash her past actions is someone who had less morals than anyone in the MU except maybe the Red Skull). 

I don't get the accusations that Scott's decisions are heartless.  He wouldn't be doing the job if he didn't care!  He just has just being rational.  Se cares so much that he's willing to make sacrifices to ensure the safety of all his friends.  The X-men know the risks of doing their job.

On another note, do you know what will be nice?  For Scott to reach a point where he is able to step away fro a while, and take a much need vacation, so he can take some time to process all he's gone through this past decade, and hopefull comeback a stronger character than ever.

But to do this, Scott needs to have someone he can entrust the whole of mutant kind to.  Who could step up and be the new leader, if Scott leaves for a while?  I don't think any one can.

The best choice would to be to split up the mutants into a couple of teams, in different locations.  Spread out the responsiblities of leading muntantkind to a few his most trusted, and qualified freinds.  This would have the benefit of taking the load off of one person, and moving to different locations won't make them such a big target.  Cyclops doesn't really need to be the dicatator general anymore, because the war is over (well at the moment, they don't have everyone gunning for them at least).

The Marvel editorial has developed Scott long enough now, at the expense of other characters.  We have like a dozen X-books now.  They should really devote certain books to certain characters.  Cyclops, Emma, and Wolvie don't have to be regular characters in every X-book.  It's time to give other characters the spotlight again. 
Posted by seanboir83

i do feel a little sad for the cyclops i am familiar with... but i have to say that the new cyke' way more of a badass, something i always considered him to be but was overshadowed by wolverine.  i do believe that he has become a MUCH better leader now since the change though.  cyclops always has been the good lil soldier type.

Posted by DKing_CiCADA

Could any of you be a representative of 200 special people and try to run a school and figure out what their best interests are and keeping them alive? hell I couldn't do it

Posted by Tempest55

So from reading a few of these and glancing over most of these replies, it appears that the majority are defending Cyclops :)

He is - "Winning"

Posted by Blood1991

Cyclops has major psychological scarring, seeing the women you love die that many times can't be healthy. Plus all of the telepathy his psychic gf's use may have negative affects on his brain. If the writers want to they can bring the old cyclops back, but they would have to make it so that Emma Frost had been manipulating his mind for years. Since Ms. Frost has such a large fan base I doubt they will do that. I hate what has happened to the X-Men over the last five years :( where did morals go?
Posted by Rogan2112


The evolution of Cyclops pretty much mirrors the evolution of the Marvel Universe and the comics industry in general.  Cyclops has for a LONG time been my second favorite comic character, (Nightcrawler being my favorite...his death was cheap, underplayed, and just stupid...not saying Nightcrawler or anyone should be inviolate...but it was just handled horribly).  Comics have, by and large, become less fun and more "grim and realistic".  Yeah...that last part is a little odd to attatch to stories about people who go to work in spandex...but Ithink most of you get the point.

 

Further, Cyclops has gone from leading a small super hero team of a dozen at MOST to a small ARMY for a race who's future is on the line in a very real way now.  In the past there was always the nebulous "oh humans hate us and will eventually one day wipe us out".  Well, through a serious of events...that day is pretty much happening.  Cyclops is doing what he's pretty much always done, screwing himself over for the sake of the "team".  As for the Xavier's Dream people (and I love the idea of Xavier's Dream btw)  there's also a saying a like to apply to ideological situations...."That grinding sound you're hearing is theory meeting reality".  Do I want to hang out with Scott Summers anymore (yes, assuming he was a real live person)...no probably not.  Would I want him making the tough calls  for my unit? (Yes, I was in a combat unit in the military for a LONG time ...no I wasn't special forces or anything).  Damn straight I would.  Because I know that every time he orders a 16 year old clone killing machine in to do dirty work, that could screw her up even worse, he'll lose sleep about it, second guess himself til the day he dies, but STILL make the call, and take the responsibility for it.. THere...said my piece.:)

Posted by Rogan2112

While I agree that Captain America is pretty much the ultimate soldier and leader, if you think he was able to make it through all of World War 2 and not have to make sacrifices involving his own troops, (while of course I have nothing but military history to back this up) I think you'd find you'd be mistaken.
Posted by Bestostero

I think the women in his life at the current time has a big influence on that...more likable when with Jean, pretty distasteful when with Emma.

Edited by BlackDove

Cyclops is so irritating. He always was, and will be, a know-it-all little jerk.
Posted by DEGRAAF

i like him better this way and i hope this is part of the reasoning to schism. 
 
I think it will be about Logan feeling like he is doing exactly what Cyclops is doing with out all the lies and hiding and Cyclops will see it as Wolverine going to far for the final time. I wonder if it will all come to head bc X-Force fails to save Archangel so they have to kill him
Posted by Wingfoot
@BlackDove
 
And Wolverine is soooooo cool...
Posted by Xaviersx

When his universe kept dumping on him and his kind.
 
Also when comic fans kept dumping on him and doting on antiheroes, like Wolverine.  So many appearances in so many books . . .

Posted by Lokheit
@HexThis said:
I find it interesting people are saying he "makes the hard decisions" and cite the recent mutant genocide as reasoning for his behavior.

Well, can I just say that it Scott's brilliant idea to lead everyone into the House of M using a sentinel as a trojan horse to directly attack Wanda while she was essentially the nexus of reality?

So, in other words, rather than exploit the various trained field agents in the group to infiltrate the palace or use more complex tactics, Scott told everyone to just come toppling down on the House of Magnus....which caused Magneto to awaken....which caused Magneto to kill Pietro....which caused Wanda to panic and lose what was left of her mind....which caused M-day ultimately. Wanda could've been easily neutralized some other way but Scott chose the battle and the battle bit back.

There was a "hard decision" fail. He's good at assembling troops, he's good at being somewhat decisive but simply because he has to make hard choices that doesn't entitle him to make bad choices.
The USA government tried this during HoM Civil War series, they sent Mimic, Bucky and Nuke. Nuke managed to be close enough to kill her, then she revealed that she was fully aware of all that was happening on that reality, that she gave him intelligence (what he always lacked and most desired, the same that she did for every other character) and that even with that he didn't deserve to die and completly destroyed him. 
 
Hawkeye tried to infiltrate her room too and suffered the consecuences. And Magneto killing Pietro was indeed good for the good guys side as they were the 2 major threats for them if working together.
Posted by goldenkey

growing up where I did, and how I did, it makes me laugh when people see violence does not solve problems.  BULLSHIT!!! it sure the hell does.  I'm not talking about being violent for the sake of violence.  When peace can astablished by all means take the peacful side of things, but when push comes to shove then by all means push back and do it a lot harder then the guy who pushed you.  I think Scott is being written as a character who is fed up with taking the approach he has.  Finally realizing that somethings have to be solved drastically.  It's strange to see him play the puppetmaster, but if he sees it as the only way to come to a conclusion, then as leader he should do just that.  He shouldn't just order people to do things without a choice of course.  Saying he sent Cable off to die is absurd.  Cable would have gone and done it anyway if it meant winning.  Cable sacrificed himself before.  I like the new ball out Cyclops.  He makes a lot of sense to me, but I can understand why he doesn't to others.  Schism will tell us what he's really like now tho.
Posted by tiger26

Cyclops has never been my faorite x-man but who gave cared about his teammates i used to see wolverine as a hawk and Cyclops as dove but it seems now cyclops is the hawk he has done things that i would never think he would do well just have to see what happens in schism after beast left i know somthing was bound to happen
Posted by AskaniSon295

they should give him some white hair to make him more ditistigquised  and If someone your teaching doesn't call you jerk than you ain't doing your job right remember when Boom-Boom called Cable a Jerk.

Posted by doomsummers

These are character inconsistencies. Why would you make an entire article about that?

Posted by Enoch

While cyclops was never a favorite of mine, I have read all the x men issues and most of their spin-offs and I think creative teams have truly captured the evolution of cyclops as a leader. Looking back its easy to see how he became how he is today. The events of M-day I think are what really pushed him over the edge, but there is a logical progression from being the compassionate, self conscious leader to ruthless tactician. Professor X saw scotts potential but I don't ever think he foresaw what a full on mutant struggle for survival would do to cyclops. While I personally dont like this new edgier cyclops, it makes complete sense for him to be the douchebag he is... : /

Posted by ShadowDemon

The article leaves out I think some other key examples of Cyke's mental and emotional instability and/or his poor character, two old ones and one relatively recent one:.
 
Example: In the aftermath of Dark Phoenix, Cyke goes all emo and quits the team after dueling with Storm over leadership.
 
Example: Cyke punks Maddie and little Nathan by running off after Jean upon her resurrection.
 
Example: in the whole run-up to Baby Hope, Cyke (true to form) obsesses about her to the point where he is too blind to catch Emma all bout taking out a full-page newspaper ad to the effect that she would like to have a baby of her OWN with him.
 
Cyke has a reputation as being a bit of a Boy Scout (or at least he USED to have one), and the exemplar of the New Mutant Man, but he's really never been much more than a whiny-a** punk and a self-righteous one to boot.

Edited by Massagingmytemples

To the ADORABLE Sarah,
 
  what happened to Xavier's dream of mutants and humans living in co-existence? I know it seems like we're getting that in San Francisco, but the struggle for that dream and Xavier's role has diminished in lieu of Cyclop's militant leadership.
 
  As an X-men fan, I haven't been all that satisfied with Cyclops being the center of everything, having every mission planned out to the end and all because he takes the risks that we usually expect from Wolverine.
 
  I just started reading the X-titles this year, and some of the surprises I found included the School for Gifted Youngsters blown up, Jean dead (sigh, yet again), and the story lines spidering into space aliens, corporate PR and another bloody virus. Oh, and of course Scott Summers is the brooding mutant with world on his shoulders and a hot telepath for a girlfriend.
 
  I say, much like Xavier's school in Winchester and Jean Grey, lets blow Cyclops's iron fist wide open. Maybe with the return of Jean Grey, Cyclops losing it some way (turning villainously authoritarian or some experiencing some meltdown), have Xavier open the school again and make Scott Summers the least important part of mutant history for a while. 
 
  I know it's simplistic, but sometimes readers love to see things come back to a circle. Like Uncanny X-force visiting The Age of Apocalypse next month. :D

Posted by DeadpoolvIronFist
@cattlebattle said:
Leave Cyclops Alone!!
Posted by mrmisanthrope

Where does someone who opens by admitting they've never been invested in a character, and hadn't previously read much with them in it get off evaluating the character's evolution?
 
You paint with some pretty broad freaking strokes there. Cyclops has always been a brilliant tactician. Issue one had him defeating his entire team in a training exercise, and then knocking out Magneto's force field. Up against the Sentinels, he defeated all of them by convincing them the only way to stop mutants from being born was to fly straight into the sun.  There are a multitude of other examples.
 
What happened was frankly, crappy writers responding to people who knew nothing about the character calling him a "boyscout".  "He's too goody-goody." The rest of the usual complaints are the kind that are hilarious when leveled as a criticism of any comic book character. "He's too handsome." "He's in perfect shape." "He's rich." Isn't that like, everybody?
 
Marvel responded by trying to darken his image. Immediately after the Apocalypse possession fiasco he switches to a black costume. However somewhat unevenly, in the first issue that new costume appears, he has a heart-to-heart with his father which concludes with them hugging. Not really the dark, heartless edge you're describing, eh?
 
As for the affair, I wouldn't describe it so much as "an affair" as "psychic manipulation bordering on male rape"? Emma entered his mind without his permission dressed up as his wife. It's a notch or so above sexting and certainly cheating, but let's not forget Emma's main application of her psychic powers is essentially mind control and manipulation.
 
The next gripe is typically that he started a relationship with Emma after Jean died. This criticism is usually not leveled at Emma for some reason, as if her history of being legitimately evil (murdering a girl's childhood pet in front of her, and making her think it's her fault just to give her a traumatic memory ring a bell?) somehow absolves her from blame. Cyclops however was specifically told by Jean in an... admittedly convoluted way from the future to get with her. Or else the world would end and stuff. Something something Grant Morrison something.
 
Is it really that heartless for him to put a trained killer on a team of trained killers? And blaming him for Cable's death? I thought that was just bad writing. I didn't think real people could be as infantile as Hope was. Cable's a grown ass man, makes his own decisions. Does what he wants.
 
Anyway, I find it as hard to blame Cyclops for his actions these days as I do to blame Bishop, Forge, Spider-Man or Speedball for their actions. At least until Quesada retires, and takes Bendis with him.

Posted by GREGalicious

Scott was never a fav of mine by any means but his trip down the road to a-hole status pretty much came when he completely abandoned MADELYNE PRYOR and his son, NATHAN. Thats was the cause of her mental breakdown and descent into evil.
The APOCALYPSE possession was a big turning point but then when JEAN was killed by XORN, that seemed to be the final straw.
Its been downhill from there.

Posted by TheThe
@Slight said:
FINALLY, I always recognized him as such a jerk... He's never been a true leader in my eyes...
Posted by Sekele

Wolverine happened, so Marvel made him a bigger asshole to either be a foil to him, or compete on equal terms 

Posted by Alch21

Can't get enough of this character damn. Hes not a jerk thou he just cant be sensitive anymore, he can't please everyone and decided to have his people survive and look like a bad guy and a jerk then see innocents die because he couldn't make the hard choices.

Posted by Wolverine0628

Scott should be a strategist and leader, but the jerk part always belongs to Logan.
Posted by xmanaker

I think Scott has done what he's HAD to do.  Had he not got tuff and strict in his decisions, the whole mutuant population would probably have been wiped out during the "Second Coming", story arc.  Also, I do not believe his actions/decisions recently, is what will cause the "schism", between him and Wolverine...mainly because Wolverine has agreed w/Scott's new actions..heck..Scott is finally thinking more like Wolverine than ever..hence the whole X-Force decision.(Although Scott did disban them..so far as he knows...ahhh..could THIS be the cause of the "schism"?  Scott finds out about X-Force STILL existing??)  Either way, I can't wait to find out!
Posted by TOMBSTONE999

I like Cyke.  The whole boy scout routine was getting old.  And with all of the horrible things that he has had to endure it makes sense that his personality would change.  He's seen death, prejudice, betrayal, etc.  He's been manipulated, lied to, and made to make some really messed up decisions. Why would anyone think he'd stay the same.  After all....he's not Superman or anything.

Posted by JohnDudebro

It's because he's now responsible for the survival of the entire mutant race. He can't afford to be idealistic anymore. Everything is on his shoulders.

Posted by newmutants45

I love Scott, and hopefully when mutants aren't facing extinction and when humans stop hating and fearing them, that he returns to the Cyclops I read growing up in the 90s
Posted by The Psyentist

I think Scott was "raised right" by Xavier, but he is actually not like him. I think everything has sculpted and shaped him into who he was always could have been... in this dark, harsh world. I think the presence of and the relationship with Emma Frost did bring this out more. Is Cyclops a jerk? I'm sure a lot think so. I might even say he is... but I sometimes hold jerks in high regard. :P With a race on your shoulders, it comes more naturally to think holistically rather than about individuals. It may seem cold and harsh, but the world becomes a chess board. And sometimes pawns get used. It's terribly Utilitarian admittedly. But he is trying. And I think Scott has given up some of himself in the process. I wonder if he ever lies awake at night examining how far he's "fallen."

Posted by GoldenStar66

Someone hates Cyclops....

Posted by Knightwraithe

Sadly I am very torn on this subject for Cyclops...Let me start by first saying the Scott has ALWAYS been one of my favorite characters in comics...that said...
 
What has sucked for Cyclops is that for many years most writers didn't know what to do with him (in Marvel's mini-statues book for Cyclops even Chris Claremont admits he didn't really know what to do with him, and that since he found Wolverine more interesting that's why he developed Logan's character more).  Scott for years was defined by his fear (of hurting someone with his beams), his compassion (the leader who looks out for everyone - but at the same time that made him seem like a wuss, which helped create the "love triangle" between Jean - Scott - Logan), and his relationship with Jean...in many ways Scott did not have much of a personality outside of his relationship with Jean.  Sadly it gave him very little depth and no strength of character (making it seem weird that the 
wimp who couldn't make a decision was the "field leader" of the X-men...hell his angst lost him the field leader role to a powerless Storm! How else does he look except as an incompetent wimp!)
 
Then along comes the "new" love mess of Jean - Scott - Emma - Logan...and all of a sudden Cyclops is no longer a wuss.  Logan actually starts to demonstrate some respect for Scott (I remember during Joss' run when Cyke takes out 3 sentinels in one shot Logan looks at him and says something like "every now and then I remember why you are the boss"...Logan should've ALWAYS had that kind of respect since Cyke really is that powerful, but until Emma came along Scott was to wimpy to be respected.
 
I do like that also during the "Emma" era of Cyclops...that his tactical abilities have come out...it's almost like he's developed another "secondary" mutant power of just a natural AWESOME tactician who can exploit his opponents weaknesses automatically (like in "Utopia" when he tells Archangel to remove Bullseye from the board). (Side note, I consider Cyclops instinctive understanding of spacial geometry - like when he saved Nightcrawler from Arcade's bladed bumper cars in just one shot that bounced between all the cars - to be a secondary mutant power for him as well).
 
Jean taught Scott how to love, Emma gave him strength...Scott needs to learn how to balance both and he could become one of the greatest team leaders in all of Marvel Comics!

Posted by HexThis
@AskaniSon295 said:
they should give him some white hair to make him more ditistigquised  and If someone your teaching doesn't call you jerk than you ain't doing your job right remember when Boom-Boom called Cable a Jerk.
Boom-Boom should be allowed to call Cyclops a jerk actually seeing as how he pretty much sacrificed her when he whisked X-force away from the Leper Queen while she was holding Tabitha hostage. 
 
When X-23 finally did save her it was on her own accord. Even though Scott was so intent on saving the mutant race he let her die and didn't really even intend on saving her. 
 
My poor Boom-Boom, you deserve so much better. God bless that Laura.
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I am sorry to say this but they should make Storm the leader

Posted by jezebel

I think Cyclops became this person when he became the leader of the X-men and then the defacto leader of the mutant world.  He needed to make the tough calls in order for his species to survive.  But yea, he is a jerk.