A while back, I did a “Top 3 Wolverine Moments” list looking at some of the defining moments for easily the most popular member of the X-Men. This week, I’m going to do it for one of the least popular: Cyclops.
Cyclops might not be the worst X-Man around, but he’s just popular enough to be hated by probably more people than any other character on the team. Quite how justified that is, we could argue about forever. Perhaps, it’s because, like Leonardo from the Turtles, he was just saddled with the unpopular position of leading the term and representing the voice of authority. Perhaps it’s just because his powers aren’t especially cool. Either way, Cyclops isn’t quite as square as people might think, and here are three moments that prove it, complete with issue references so you can track them down yourself.
Cyclops and Family take down Apocalypse
The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #4
After finally marrying long-term girlfriend Jean Grey, Cyclops and his new wife found themselves honeymooning several thousand years in the future due to the actions of their descendants, the Clan Askani. Their task? To raise Cyclops’ infant son, Nathan “Cable” Summers, who was being kept safe by the Askani in the hope that he would one day help overthrow Apocalypse. After Cable grew up, he, Jean and Scott (who called themselves Redd and Slym for anonymity) finally faced off against the world’s oppressive ruler, Apocalypse, as he attempted to switch into a new host body. It took a combined strike from all three members of the family, but they managed to kill Apocalypse for good, saving the future.
Cyclops sends his son, Nathan, into the future to save his life.
During the period where Jean Grey was thought to be dead, Cyclops shacked up with Madelyne Pryor (a women who eventually turned out to be a clone of Jean) and settled down into a normal life, away from the X-Men. During this period, the two had a son that they named Nathan. Jean eventually returned to the land of the living, and Pryor became the demonic Goblin Queen, but through it all Cyclops still had his son, who he protected with his life. Unfortunately, Apocalypse managed to infect Nathan with a techno-organic virus that would’ve killed him, and when the Clan Askani turned up offering to take the baby Nathan into the future to cure him, Cyclops eventually made the difficult and selfless decision to send Nathan away, unsure whether they would ever meet again.
Cyclops kicks Xavier out of the X-Men
X-Men: Deadly Genesis #6
Cyclops has put up with a lot of crap off the Professor before, but it all surely paled in comparison to the revelation that the Professor had erased the memory of his brother, Vulcan, from his mind in order to “spare him the pain” of knowing that the Professor sent Vulcan to his death. After the truth comes out, Cyclops tells a now-powerless Xavier that “You’re not welcome at the Institute anymore, Charles. You’re not even a mutant anymore. You don’t belong here.” – a damning indictment of the man who was once like a father to him, made doubly badass by the fact that Xavier’s school is run out of his own house. That’s right! Cyclops not only kicked the Professor out of his own team, but out of his own house too. I’d like to see Wolverine try that!
Now, next time Wolverine calls Cyclops a “dick” in an X-Men film, take a second thought as to whether you should really be laughing…
James writes Alternate Cover every Monday at Den Of Geek. His previous column can be found here.