A Brief Character Summary of Cyclops

Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

One of the downfalls characters (and teams, for that matter) that have been steadily seen in many different titles for many years is that said characters eventually get somewhat hard to properly understand; the large volume of reading material is daunting, to the point where most people don't bother to do enough research before forming an opinion about a character.

At least, I imagine that's what causes people to sometimes get a ridiculously incorrect understanding of X-men characters. I mean, yes, depending on the character one's opinion could be based on any number of non-canon things- for example, there's many people who like Jubilee that only really know her from the 90s cartoon in which she was a fairly important character (you know, the cartoon with the catchy opening music, where Rogue's voice actress sounded like a banshee) and haven't really seen anything of her in comics (wherein she has been, over the years, very much a different person); or the odd little group of people that adamantly insist that Shadowcat isn't very intelligent because of X-men Evolutions.

Today I seek to improve the reader's understanding of Cyclops. As a member of the original team of five (actually, he's on the record as being the first x-man), he's shown up a lot in comics, and his history is pretty long and sometimes convoluted. So I'll make an attempt to explain some of the more fundamental aspects of his character.

Scott Summers, the mutant known as Cyclops, has been many things over the years. He's the eldest of the three sons of Katherine and Christopher Summers, spent much of his childhood in an orphanage being run by Mister Sinister, shoots reddish 'force beams' out of his eyes that he keeps shielded by ruby quartz eyewear, was trained to be and has been the leader of the X-men for most of their existance, has been married two times and is the father of one child (Nathan Summers, better known as Cable) in mainstream reality (Earth-616), is a skilled tactician and extremely capable combatant, and has been romantically linked to two highly powerful telepaths. He is mature, serious, methodical, emotionally distant (but horribly vulnerable when it comes to the people he loves), level-headed, generally responsible, caring, and can be ruthless and harsh if he has to.

He has brown hair, a light complexion and a tall, slender build (his nickname, for years, was 'Slim'. For YEARS). It's unsure what colour his eyes are, but it's been stated they're not red. Like his brothers, Cyclops is an energy manipulator- he absorbs solar energy and produces his eye-beams (note that Havok's ability also uses solar energy).

He is a 30-something American mutant widower who, for the past 20-ish years (remember, it's Marvel, time passes oddly in the MU) has been the leader of a group of powerful mutants that seeks to co-exist peacefully with the human race while protecting itself from a wide variety of threats. Doing so has cost him his (second, and most significant) wife - a woman he'd loved since the moment he'd laid eyes on her way back in the first ever issue of X-men, many friends and family, his safety, his happiness, and his life (he's a Summers, he got better). Any hopes and/or dreams he had were taken away from him the moment he met Professor Xavier- a man who treated him more like a subordinate than a son, secretly lusted after the woman he loved (probably still has a thing for her, actually...), subjected him to verbal and physical abuse, and would on occasion fake his own death for a variety of (rather unnecessary) reasons. Ever since Xavier handed the metaphorical reins to him, Cyclops has dedicated his entire life to protecting mutants from many different forces who would seek to destroy them simply for being mutants; over the years the amount of mutants he's sought to protect has grown exponentially, even when taking M-day into account.

It's not as though it's an easy task for him- he has, for the majority of his life, had issues with stress, overworking, grief, and a variety of other problems. Despite all that, he rarely (if ever) complains- he views what he does as a responsibility and constantly tries to do his absolute best.

He may not be a (quote-unquote) 'badass', or particularly charismatic, or funny, or a host of other things people love in other characters. Hell, sometimes he can be kinda boring. But Scott Summers is someone who constantly works his ass off to protect others- not just the people he cares about, or only other mutants, but anyone he can help. He's not some crazed dictator building an army of child soldiers (for the record, that's usually Xavier's thing), or a 'stupid quarterback', or any of that nonsense that people keep spouting.

#1 Posted by PhoenixoftheTides (3562 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the character, and I see him more as a general. He is very good at accomplishing a given task and clearly has an extremely high degree of strategic acumen, to the point that he is considered almost as capable at leading as Captain America. But inspiring other people to go above and beyond for him based on shared beliefs is not his strong suit. He lacks emotional intelligence, and whereas Jean or Ororo are able to inspire confidence and loyalty from others, with Jean being superior at communicating the X-Men's mission while Ororo combines tactical knowledge with being respected, Scott struggles to really take a position analogous to Professor X.

He's a general, not a leader, and it is very hard for him to form political alliances because he really approaches the world in a simplistic way - it's almost as if he either sees red, white or black, with the intellectual ability to distinguish shades of grey but needing help for someone to point those grey shades out to him.

#2 Posted by cbnnexus (77 posts) - - Show Bio

Agree with both posts above, on all counts. Great job!

#3 Posted by lykopis (10746 posts) - - Show Bio

The OP had me agreeing with him until he branched off into Xavier hating. Interesting viewpoints -- a bit selective but insightful.

Oh -- Scott's eyes are brown. :)

#4 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@PhoenixoftheTides:Well said!

I've always thought of Cyclops' relatively unemotional way of dealing with things to be rather refreshing, especially in contrast to his late wife's violent emotional outbreaks.

@lykopis: Thanks!

#5 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked the blog until the Xavier thing.

#6 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAnnihilator said:

I liked the blog until the Xavier thing.

Xavier thing?

#7 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Your rant on Xavier. I just didn't agree with it.

#8 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAnnihilator: Which part did you not agree with?

#9 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: All of it. I'm not sure how that isn't clear.

#10 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAnnihilator: Whether you agree with it or not, it's been stated that Xavier:

- Want(ed/s?) in Jean's pants from the start

- Didn't treat Cyclops like a son/friend

- Faked his death on multiple occasions, often unecessarily

#11 Edited by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares said:

@TheAnnihilator: Whether you agree with it or not, it's been stated that Xavier:

- Want(ed/s?) in Jean's pants from the start

- Didn't treat Cyclops like a son/friend

- Faked his death on multiple occasions, often unecessarily

I find all of to be complete crap and mis-characterization. Heavy mis-characterization. It's ok for Ulitmate Xavier to be like this, but not 616. When did it state he wanted in Jean's pants in 616? Writers wrecked him. Magneto and Xavier were created as allegories of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., not pedophiles and manipulative aholes. At least not Xavier anyway.

#12 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAnnihilator said:

@Squares said:

@TheAnnihilator: Whether you agree with it or not, it's been stated that Xavier:

- Want(ed/s?) in Jean's pants from the start

- Didn't treat Cyclops like a son/friend

- Faked his death on multiple occasions, often unecessarily

I find all of to be complete crap and mis-characterization. Heavy mis-characterization.

Mis-characterization? The first two happen within the first issue of the first run of the X-men title! Have you ever even HEARD of Onslaught?!

#13 Edited by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares said:

@TheAnnihilator said:

@Squares said:

@TheAnnihilator: Whether you agree with it or not, it's been stated that Xavier:

- Want(ed/s?) in Jean's pants from the start

- Didn't treat Cyclops like a son/friend

- Faked his death on multiple occasions, often unecessarily

I find all of to be complete crap and mis-characterization. Heavy mis-characterization.

Mis-characterization? The first two happen within the first issue of the first run of the X-men title! Have you ever even HEARD of Onslaught?!

I know what Onslaught is. Check my edited post.

He had slight romantic interest in Jean, and decided then and there it wouldn't work. He didn't want "in her pants."

#14 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Meh. I argued more about my vision of Xavier. I felt like recently they exploited his dark side too much and took away his care for the safety of mutants. Things like him employing Sage and Mystique as spies was stupid. And I also recall him being a good, but stern mentor to Cyclops, but that could be in interpretation. He pushed Cyclops to achieve new levels of power and become a better leader because he had to.

#15 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares said:

@TheAnnihilator said:

Writers wrecked him. Magneto and Xavier were created as allegories of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., not pedophiles and manipulative aholes. At least not Xavier anyway.

Regardless of what he was 'created' to be, that's what he is.

He had slight romantic interest in Jean, and decided then and there it wouldn't work. He didn't want "in her pants."

Slight romantic interest? He LOVED her. That's not slight.

He never said loved. He wasn't infatuated. Anyway, agree to disagree. I don't really want to argue about the same two things. My disagreements on Xavier aside, I liked this. I checked out your one on Kitty too, which was good. I didn't read the Jubilee one because nothing will ever convince me to like her haha.

#16 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAnnihilator: His exact words were 'the woman I love', but you're right, best to drop it.

Yeah, I've never fully understood why people Jubilee in the first place.

#17 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Hate or like Jubilee?

#18 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheAnnihilator: Oh crap, that was an embarrassing typo. I meant like.

#19 Posted by TheAnnihilator (1056 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Haha, no worries. I just wasn't sure.

#20 Posted by ApatheticAvenger (1636 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice article, although Cyclops has NEVER been a member of the Avengers.

#21 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@ApatheticAvenger: Oh, hey, you're right. Thanks for catching that!

#22 Edited by ApatheticAvenger (1636 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: While it would certainly be interesting to see Cyclops as an Avenger, he's always been the quintessential X-Man so it would be kind of an odd fit. Plus, that whole "going to war with the Avengers" thing has probably decreased his chances of being a card-carrying Avenger drastically.

He was actually included in an article recently by Newsarama of major Marvel heroes who have never been members of the Avengers: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-marvel-characters-never-avengers.html

#23 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@ApatheticAvenger: Cyclops doesn't seem like he's had the time necessary to be part of two teams, now and in the past, so it certainly makes sense that he's not an Avenger. I do seem to recall him working with the Avengers on multiple occasions, but that was a very long time ago.

That looks really interesting, thanks for the link!

#24 Posted by ApatheticAvenger (1636 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Cheers.

#25 Posted by BlackArmor (6141 posts) - - Show Bio

eloquent summation, the idiots at Marvel (Gillen aside) need to read this

#26 Posted by One_Eye (783 posts) - - Show Bio

@ApatheticAvenger: @Squares: @ApatheticAvenger: I was thinking about that while at work the other day myself, actually. While Both Captain America and Cyclops respect one another, I could never see Cyykes joining The Avengers even on a a good day.

Meanwhile, thanks for posting this Squares! I'm suddenly asking myself why I haven't been following you before!

#27 Posted by One_Eye (783 posts) - - Show Bio

@BlackArmor: Well, at least AvX should be over with soon enough and things should be back to"normal". If nothing else Scott has a leg-up on the Avengers and Logan thanks to Cable's tip from the future and so hopefully that will prove viable in this..."war.."

#28 Posted by BlackArmor (6141 posts) - - Show Bio

@One_Eye: Yeah, I hope Cable and the X-men's other big guns will give the win to the X-men but I don't know if I can trust Marvel enough to write them effectively

#29 Posted by oraclefyre (936 posts) - - Show Bio

True. He's a brilliant leader, it's just he's personal life that can be his downfall. He frequently gets emotionally confused, hence he's hardened himself to be a good leader to his people. Though Xavier did a lot of good too. Xavier made a family of the X-Men and I'm just rather concerned about the path Scott is taking them, with him becoming a bit more militant lately.

#30 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@One_Eye said:

Meanwhile, thanks for posting this Squares! I'm suddenly asking myself why I haven't been following you before!

Thank you, that's so sweet!

@BlackArmor: In the past Cable's proved himself to be rather unhelpful when fighting with the X-men- he seems prone to distraction and ends up going off on his own.

@oraclefyre: I'm rather confused as to why people keep on saying Scott's so militant. He doesn't seem to be doing things much differently than Xavier or Magneto (during his stay as Headmaster at Xavier's) did.

#31 Posted by Protoon (99 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article!!! I am about to go and find your Kitty Pryde one too! :-)

I think Cyclops is a great character. If you don't mind me asking, what did you think of his portrayal in the films? Besides killing him off screen I mean...

I liked him in the first film. I thought the dynamic between him and Wolverine was really good, and a smart way of showing the total contrast between the two characters. Wolverine is volatile and readily flies off at the horn because his whole thing is that nobody messes with him, nobody tells him what to do etc, but Cyclops has to be calm and self-controlled all the time given the immense power he has. Come to think of it, Scott should have been the main character in the X-Men movies!

Thanks very much for your blog! :-)

#32 Posted by oraclefyre (936 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Just most recently "militant" though. It's just lately he's been treating the X-Men like soldiers, as Magneto treated his Brotherhood mostly. Xavier treated the X-Men like a big family. It's just Scott has been in I'm Always Right mode lately that's irritating to me and adds nothing to his character. And it's affecting his relationships. His detachment is driving Emma away and Namor is ready to pounce and Scott's got basically no friends.

A year ago I wouldn't have said this.

Minus the last year, he's one of my favourite characters.

#33 Edited by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@oraclefyre: I think the sheer number of people Cyclops has to look after make it hard to create a 'family' atmosphere, the teams Xavier had to deal with were considerably smaller.

What I find rather silly is the fact that Wolverine, who condemned Cyclops for allowing the 'children' (who are, for the large part, over the age of 16) to fight, still makes his students use the Danger Room. I seem to recall him stating that it was wrong for them to be exposed to combat...

@Protoon: I haven't done a Kitty Pryde one yet, actually. I'll work on it :)

To put it mildly, I didn't like the films. Any of them. So I usually just try and pretend they don't exist. Out of the two I've seen, I don't recall Cyclops really getting enough attention to properly depict his character, and he ended up coming across as some sort of dumb jock. Well, that's my take, at least. What did you think of them?

#34 Edited by oraclefyre (936 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: What I interpret from Logan is that he doesn't want the kids to be soldiers but have a safe life, but also be able to defend themselves if trouble arises. Scott seems to be training them to be his soldiers, at the rate its going, they only will fight for his purposes. I understand that a lot of people would disagree but I'm looking think this could escalate in the future. I'm not saying he'll be a dictator at all but I wish he would ease up a bit. But I really hope Scott just gets his act together. I miss him.

Joss established Scott as a character for great potential, but it's been slowly declining depending on the writer.

#35 Posted by Squares (6561 posts) - - Show Bio

@oraclefyre: How very noble of Wolverine- taking it upon himself to make sure that the 'kids' in question (many of whom aren't actually kids anymore) don't have the right to participate in events that will shape their future. Yes, the events in question are battles, and they're dangerous, but don't the 'kids' have the right to do something?

#36 Posted by jrock85 (2874 posts) - - Show Bio

Why would anyone want him to be an Avenger? I mean, doesn't Bendis have enough characters to ruin?

#37 Edited by oraclefyre (936 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: It's all up to interpretation. I'm not taking sides. I just really think it was an idiot move for both of them to have the X-Men split up when there aren't many Mutants left. They need unity not more division. Scott and Logan are both respected and established members of the remaining Mutants so of course they have influence over the adults and kids. They should stop letting their rivalry getting in the way.

#38 Posted by Protoon (99 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: I liked both of Bryan Singer's films.

But since you say you like to pretend they don't exist, I will refrain from talking about them on your blog. :-)

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