"Because a leader knows, it's not so hard to die for your people. It's hard to order your people to die for you. And leading with certainty into an uncertain future doesn't require sight. It requires vision. It requires holding on. And no matter what happens, never letting go."The very first X-Man
and deputy leader of the X-Men
turned General of Mutantkind
. He first appeared in The X-Men #1
(September 1963), created by writer Stan Lee
and artist Jack Kirby
Leader of the X-Men
and Xavier's top student, Scott Summers is skilled at strategy
and managing people
, but fails at most attempts at personal interaction
. The years of pressure in being an example for other mutants and a combat field leader have wound him up into a tight-assed, stuffed shirt: this brings him into conflict with just about any other mutant who doesn't have standards as high as Cyclops, which is nearly all of them. His powers are energy beams that shoot out of his eyes, uncontrollably unless filtered with ruby quartz, which are strong enough to level mountains; it's implied that his inability to control his powers has subconsciously driven him to have control and order in every other facet of his life.
For the longest time, Cyclops was defined by his role as leader
, his rivalry with Wolverine
, and his relationship with Jean Grey
. This changed Post-House of M
when 98% of all mutants lost their powers. With his race near extinction, Cyclops came to the conclusion that Xavier's vision was no longer going to cut it. Survival was the new primary objective. This saw Cyclops transition from the Field Leader and "Headmaster" of the X-Men, to the General of Mutants
.After personal differences and disagreements on how to deal with the oncoming threat of the Phoenix spiraled out of control and resulted in the death of Xavier and the return of the X-Gene
, Cyclops was held responsible for the mess and imprisoned, now considered a Fallen Hero
and a terrorist by his former allies. Plagued by guilt, he originally planned to let himself be killed in prison so that at least he could go down as a martyr, until he realized that the new mutants arising after this are going to be hounded and hunted. Escaping with the help of his former Extinction Team, Cyclops founded a new Xavier school using the former site of Weapon X, and has now began work on protecting the new mutants, despite being hated and feared.
As well as that, under the claim of trying to save Scott from himself, Beast went back in time and brought the original five X-Men to the present, Scott among them
. Teen!Scott originally is disgusted by what he sees of his adult self, but has since come to realize that a lot of what he's been told isn't quite the truth and, with the rest of the team, has jumped ship to join him after they find out they can't return to their home timeline because of reasons
. This version of Scott has his own ongoing series
Portrayed by James Marsden
in the X-Men
film trilogy, and by Tim Pocock
as a teenaged Scott in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Cyclops also provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: While he was not biologically Scott's father and instead a foster father (and an illegal one at that), Jack Winters treated him as more of a weapon than a child and physically abused him.
- To a lesser extent, Charles Xavier's treatment of him drifts into this, too, being emotionally distant, forcing multiple hard jobs on him from the age of 15–16, including killing his previous foster father, and being trigger happy with erasing his memories, although some people might argue his treatment was worse than Jack's because of the messing around in Scott's brain.
- The Ace: Scott is a great strategist, excellent leader and is the one who is willing to make the decisions for the best of his team and race (mutant kind). All in all, Scott is good at what he does. Even Magneto bowed to him due to respect.
- Action Hero: Duh. Scott is an X-Men, the leader of the X-Men to be exact. His role is defined by action.
- Adorkable: No Social Skills and When He Smiles combine on this one, meaning that any time Scott shows positive emotions, he is this trope.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Wolverine may not always like him personally, but as Joss Whedon reminded us, there's a very good reason Scott's the one in charge.
- Alliterative Name: Scott "Slim" Summers.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Alex (Havok) and Gabriel (Vulcan).
- Averted in his first meeting with Gabriel as Scott is entirely nice and friendly to him and completely breaks down at his apparent death. Then Xavier completely erases any memory of Vulcan's existence from his memory because he wasn't getting over it quickly enough for him.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Scott tends to be paranoid and has difficulty expressing emotions. It's clear that he has some type of disorder, but there has been no conformation of what in canon.
- Anti-Hero: Originally Classical Anti-Hero or Knight in Sour Armor, but recently briefly drifted to Unscrupulous Hero or Guile Hero when assembling X-Force, although he later reconsidered. Seems to have settled at Crazy-Prepared Badass under Warren Ellis and others.
- Arch-Enemy: Mr. Sinister
- Awesome by Analysis: He's able to get around relying on the smallest sensory details, similar to Daredevil, when missing his glasses. He's also able to remember every action he makes after losing his glasses so to retrace his steps and retrieve them.
- Badass: People may not always respect him, but damn, when he wants to he's the most dangerous man alive.
- When Magneto of all people accepts your authority of Leader of Mutants, you know you've reached this point.
- Brought Down to Badass: Has shown multiple times that he does not depend on his powers to win.
- Handicapped Badass: The simplest way to stop Cyclops from using his powers is to take away his visor, meaning that he's usually fighting blind as well as lacking his powers.
- Badass Boast
- Badass Family: His entire family, including his father Chris (Corsair), his brothers Alex (Havok) and Gabriel (Vulcan), and his two wives Madelyne Pryor and Jean Grey. This could also extend to Scott's other relatives.
- Badass In Charge: Scott is the leader of the X-Men and not only that, but the General or leader of the entire mutant race.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: He usually doesn't resort to lethal force unless you push him really, really far. Donald Pierce◊ learned this the hard way◊.
- Berserk Button: Harm an innocent Mutant. He dares ya.
- Betty and Veronica: Scott was Jean's Betty to Angel and Wolverine's Veronicas. Later had Madelyne as Betty and Jean as Veronica. Later had Jean as Betty and Emma as Veronica.
- For a short while, Psylocke was a Veronica herself, though this was apparently a side-effect of her "Freaky Friday" Flip (she said it was the other woman's personality pushing her to flirt).
- Big Bad: When the Phoenix Force had taken control of Scott, he became a deadly and dangerous being.
- Big Brother Instinct: He and Havok fight a fair amount, but Scott still treats him this way. Vulcan, not so much.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Iceman and some of the younger X-Men as well.
- Big Good: To his team and sympathizers. Before Schism, he was this to all of mutantkind.
- Bittersweet Ending: In AvX, Cyclops kills Charles Xavier, the closest thing he had to a father, and several of the X-Men are wanted criminals for their actions during the event. However, Hope and the Scarlet Witch were able to use their powers to get rid of the Phoenix Force, with the unexpected side effect of undoing the effects of M-Day and reactivating the mutant gene; Captain America admits that Cyclops was right when he accused the Avengers of not doing enough to help the mutant race after M-Day, and subsequently the X-Men are officially endorsed by the Avengers.
- Blessed with Suck: Scott's powers ought to be as controllable as any other energy blaster, but he suffered a concussion in his youth (his parents had pushed him out of a plane when they were attacked by the Shi'ar), which somehow lead to his inability to shut off his powers after they emerged. Emma Frost later removed a mental block to give him control of his powers, since he had apparently been subconsciously keeping his eyes on to ensure he'd never hurt anyone with his powers (her explanation).
- Blindfolded Vision: Scott has edged into this on occasion, usually after losing his visor in circumstances where "blast everything in sight" is not a viable option. Notable examples include the occasion when he beat up six men with his eyes shut... while counting every step he took so he could find his way back to his fallen glasses, and his first confrontation with Cassandra Nova.
- Blind Weapon Master: Cyclops of the X-Men has two options when he loses his glasses: Keep his eyes open and kill everything in sight, or keep them shut and beat the living hell out of his opponents while counting his footsteps so he can find his way back to where his glasses landed.
- Blind Without Them: Scott is seen as a special case. Though technically able to see without his ruby-quartz glasses, he cannot turn off the concussive beams that continually shoot from his eyes. He is thus forced to keep his eyes shut in order to keep from destroying everything around him. He can therefore be said to be "voluntarily blind" in the same way that the Inhuman's Black Bolt (whose voice is a similarly uncontrollable sonic weapon) is often said to be "voluntarily mute". They are contained because his body is immune to his own power: The beams which flow from his eyes flow right back in to his eyelids with no loss of energy.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Emma Frost (White Queen), Elisabeth Braddock (Psylocke) and Jean Grey and Madelyne Pryor were four well-known telepaths that were linked to Scott, but he only had serious relationships with Jean, Madelyne and Emma. Psylocke flirted shamelessly for a time, but it ended rather quickly.
- Blown Across the Room: Cyclops' eye beams knock bad guys back, but not Cyclops himself. It's one of the ways he's immune to his own power.
- Boring but Practical: In the early days of the comic, there were a lot of villains who could either resist or reflect his optic beams, so Cyclops usually had to resort to blasting the ground beneath them so they would lose their balance.
- Break the Cutie: Let's see: Parents die at a young age, sent to an Orphanage of Fear, has his younger brother taken away from him, almost kills several people when his power activates, taken in by an abusive criminal who he is forced to kill, his girefriend dies, then he meets a woman who looks just like his girlfriend, he marries her, then his girlfriend comes back from the dead, he leaves his first wife who then tries to cause hell on earth in revenge and then she dies, his second wife leaves him, he gets possessed by Apocalypse, his therapist takes advantage of his mental state to have an affair with him, and this isn't even the tip of the iceberg.
- Broken Ace: He's the leader of the X-Men and the leader of the mutant race, but oh boy, has Scott ever endured so much pain, chaos and tragedy throughout the course of his life. Underneath that stoic facade is most definitely an emotionally broken and fragile man.
- Broken Bird: He's honestly more of a male version of this than Troubled, but Cute.
- Brought To You By The Letter "X": He wears a X-button on his costume like all of the other X-Men members.
- Byronic Hero: As of lately, Scott is becoming more of this. He is serious, stoic and has a dark, tragic past.
- Cain and Abel: Kind of. Havok is occasionally evil and more usually just pissed off. Vulcan is a more obvious example, though not everyone accepts him as canon.
- Call Back: Once Cyclops had absorbed Emma's share of the Phoenix Force, he goes into the "I AM PHOENIX" gloating similar to Jean Grey during the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix sagas.
- After the apparent death of Professor X, he throws in with his ex and a number of former teammates to keep mutants safe and teach them how to command their powers while maintaining tactical/philosophical opposition to the people running his old alma mater. The original concept of X-Factor or his post-Avengers vs. X-Men status quo?
- The Captain: Scott has always been seen as the captain of the X-Men. Now, not only is he the captain of the X-Men team, but he is also seen as the captain of the entire mutant race.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Throws himself out of an alien spaceship, thousands of metres in the air, while falling he meets Iceman, who informs him of how much of a risky move that was, Scott's response? "Not really. I knew you'd be there. Hit the gas".
- The Chains of Commanding
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Not strength or speed or any such thing, Scott's ridiculous trick shots, the ones that rebound off multiple walls and around corners to hit the enemy in the back? Training.
- The Charmer: Scott has a lot of charisma and therefore ends up attracting many members of the opposite sex.
- He's unfortunately unable to maintain relationships with the ones he attracts though; Scott may attract the ladies easily but man, does he have a bad track record with women. Its not completely his fault though, after-all Maddy and him were having problems prior to him leaving (and he intended to and did eventually return to her, only to find her gone), while Jean was at the time of his 'psychic affair' contemplating cheating on him with Logan. He's dated other women too, but not nearly as seriously as these two (with exception of Emma, though their breakup has been far more amicable).
- The Chessmaster: They don't call him "The General of the Mutants" for nothing. The Curse Of The Mutants story arc exemplifies this beautifully.
- Chick Magnet: Telepaths in particular can't keep their hands off him.
- Child Soldiers: Scott went from being orphaned in a traumatic military action (Shi'ar) to being trained to lead a secret army, all before becoming an adult. His recent treatment of the remaining mutants (especially minors) drifts into this trope as well. Recent X-Men author Kieron Gillen even cited this characteristic as his central motivation for the character.
- His entire mentality is that of a soldier. He was raised to be a soldier, looks at life from a soldier's perspective, and acts like a military man at all times. In First Class, he even admits that had it not been for his power being uncontrollable, he would have likely enlisted once he was old enough. Its notable that his father was an air force pilot, and in the Film Universe, Alex (who may-or-may-not be his father in this continuity) was in a military prison when Xavier found him. It runs in the family.
- Cock Fight: With Wolverine over Jean Grey.
- Conflict Ball: With Captain America in AvX. The fighting started when Captain America turned up on Utopia and told Cyclops that, regardless of the X-Men's opposition, the Avengers were going to take Hope off-world in the event she couldn't control the Phoenix Force. Cyclops responded by optic blasting Captain America off Utopia, and prompting him to call in the rest of the Avengers to start fighting. The entire mess would've been avoided if the two leaders of the superhero and mutant communities had actually talked things over like adults.
- Cool Shades: A lot of times, if he has to wear red shades all the time, they might as well be stylish ones on his off-time.
- Crazy-Prepared: Should his team ever go rogue, Cyke has ways of dealing with them.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Cyke with Wolverine. Wolverine ends up being the one who is curb-stomped.
- Cyclops: Scott's superhero alter ego name. He's named Cyclops because of his large visor spanning his head. (Underneath the visor, he's actually got two eyes, though. Getting a look at them can be rather dangerous, however.)
- Cyclops did have one eye in the Age of Apocalypse timeline, since Weapon X gouged out his left eye. Cyke blasted off Logan's left hand in retaliation.
- Dandere: Scott in the beginning was known to be extremely reserved and shy.
- Dark Messiah: Magneto, of all people, considers him the most shining example of a mutant savior. Although, following AvX, Cyclops' actions did bring mutants back from the brink of extinction.
- Dark and Troubled Past: A pretty long and horrible one, as noted elsewhere in the page.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's not known to do it as much as other X-Characters, but if the situation is getting on his nerves, he'll pop off a smart ass comment. Especially in Joss Whedon's hands, and in stories set/written before his recent descent into full on leadership.
- Death Seeker: During AvX Consequences, Scott reveals that he's willing to die now that he's officially lost everything. He gets past it, though.
- Demoted to Extra: In the movies, to many fans' dismay. It's even worse that Scott is killed off in the third X-Men film.
- Determinator: It most cases, Scott isn't the type of person to just give up, especially when it's something that is important or life and death.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Scott's good at these, really good. He's played Norman Osborn, the Vampire Nation, Dracula (who he used in his plan to take down the vampire nation) and multiple commanders of invading alien races with no trouble whatsoever.
- Disability Superpower: Scott must always wear a special visor or pair of glasses to contain his optic blasts. When these devices are removed, he keeps his eyes shut, rendering him blind. Due to an important instance of this, he has since learned how to fight blind by using his hearing to pinpoint opponents and simply always scrutinizing his surroundings to know the lay of the land. One side story shows that he also counts his steps and memorizes which way he turns so that he can retrace his path and find his eyewear.
- Even with the visor/glasses, he's still colorblind, only able to see in shades of red. It's possible he shouldn't be able to pilot an aircraft such as the Blackbird, but there are custom control panels that have indicators based on number of lights, rather than color. Presumably, the Blackbird has one of them.
- Bonus points for the reason he can't control his optic blasts: at a young age he was in an accident and suffered severe head trauma, but fortunately there wasn't any damage to any "important" parts of the brain. This was before he developed the ability to obliterate everything in sight... Sadly, this actually plausible explanation (a rare sight in comic books) has been re-explained or outright removed several times, with many writers defaulting to "he just can't control it because that's how it is."
- Disappeared Dad: His father, Chris, wasn't in his life growing up. Instead, Scott has always seen Professor X as a father figure throughout his life.
- Dissonant Serenity: The entire building is exploding, there are giant killer robots all around, he's lost his glasses... and Cyclops is calmly walking towards the villain, warning her that if he hears her breathe wrong, he'll open his eyes.
- Doom Magnet: Scott has been through so many bad things throughout his life, that it is endless. See Trauma Conga Line.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Arguably a victim of this. Twice, actually.
- During the therapy sessions they had, Emma took advantage of his emotional vulnerability to sleep with him. Jean gets angry at Emma... because of the cheating, not the whole "questionable consent" thing. (In real life, therapists sleeping with their patients is considered highly unethical and illegal). Although, realistically, seeking "therapy" from an allegedly reformed super-villainess telepath who used to be a major enemy of yours, struts around in fetish wear, and has a fondness for putting people into bondage and committing Mind Rape on them pretty much qualifies as Too Dumb to Live.
- The second one is done by his ex-wife Madelyne Pryor (and a clone of Jean Grey) when Scott is in relationship with Emma after Jean's death in New X-Men. Maddie psionically impersonates Emma and has virtual sex with Scott, without him realizing the deception at first.
- The Dreaded: During Gillen's run, he wanted him as his team to be this, because he knows mutants will never be accepted so he might as well scare the racists from assaulting them.
- Embarrassing Nickname: A common nickname for Scott is Slim, dating back to the first issue of the comic.
- Enemy Mine: Now that they all hate his guts, he's found himself forced to team up with Captain America, Wolverine, and the rest of his former allies quite a lot.
- Energy Absorption: Early X-Men issues imply that Scott's body absorbs solar energy that powers up his optic blasts, the same way his brother Alex absorbs cosmic radiation. Cyclops and Havok are also immune to each other's power beams. Scott also has some degree of absorbing energy from his opponent's attacks like solar power, but is not invulnerable from the pain.
- Eye Beams, with Power Incontinence, resulting in Sunglasses at Night.
- Father to His Men: While not played up by some writers, especially ones who don't write him well at all, Cyclops tends to have a very good relationship with the younger X-Men, primarily because he treats them like adults while still nurturing them. Notably, he has a relationship with Pixie that's not too unlike that of Wolverine and his many young female sidekicks.
- Fights Like a Normal: Since his power causes way too much collateral damage for most situations.
- Generation Xerox: Subverted with Cyclops and Surge in that they're not related in any way. Other than that however, Surge is effectively a younger Cyclops, complete with crippling self doubt and a power that needs to be kept in check by an external device (in this case, her gauntlets). Her relationship with X-23 is also starting to mirror that between Scott and Logan, right down to the love triangle.
- Genre Blindness: Pointed out to him by Jamie Madrox when the latter and his team visited Utopia. It was Jamie's contention that humanity at large feared mutants because they could not tell good mutants from evil ones. Scott insisted that was ridiculous, just as Magneto, Emma Frost and Namor came into the room to greet Jamie.
- Glass Cannon: He may be able to melt a mountain if he wants to, but he's still just as fragile as any other human.
- The Glasses Come Off: Given that the glasses used to hold back his Eye Beams, taking them all the way off usually meant something was gonna get broke in a hurry.
- Cyke's visor, and shades as Scott Summers, are used to control the shape and strength of the blast even when he's actively using his powers. You don't fully understand until you see him take them off all the way and open his eyes fully. When that happens, "something" isn't gonna get broke - everything will get broke. For this reason, it's a weapon of last resort. However, if you absolutely have to get a Sentinel off your lawn, it'll get vaporized. And if Juggernaut's trying to destroy a dam, you'll actually push him back a little... but eventually get your ass kicked anyway. Still, it looked awesome.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When a villain (or Wolverine) is really getting on Cyclops' nerves, a glow can be seen through/around his shades or visor. As his Eye Beams are always on, this probably indicates that their blast is becoming far more intense.
- Good Is Not Nice: Its not that he's a mean person, but he's very serious and finds it hard to relax. Considering his childhood, it's no surprise. However, he's not above fighting dirty when the situation calls.
- Grand Theft Me: Was possessed by Apocalypse ("Cyclopalypse") at one point, but he got better. Was recently taken over by the Phoenix. Bad things happened. Also attempted by The Void, but Cyke simply repressed the entity inside his mind.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Scott is rather extreme in his leadership and often makes controversial decisions on behalf of the team and the mutant race, but he only does so to preserve the mutant race and also, to protect the well-being of his team. Scott admits that he doesn't take killing lightly, but that sometimes, tough and controversial decisions need to be made in order to achieve things.
- Guile Hero: He's willing to resort to manipulating others in order to achieve his endgame. Although there are some who will disapprove of his actions or decisions, Scott does what he feels is best for his team and for mutant kind, even if the decisions he makes are unpopular.
- Happily Married: To Madelyne and Jean. At least for almost 20 years. But then things happened and changed...
- Hazy Feel Turn: Was his murdering the Professor while possessed by The Phoenix in Avengers vs. X-Men his Moral Event Horizon? Frankly, the writers can't seem to make up their mind about it. Depending on the Writer Scott ranges from Reformed, but Rejected Atoner who's going about his own way of carrying on Xavier's legacy to a blame shifter who refuses to face up to his crimes. Either way, post Av X-storylines has seen him as being an outlaw.
- Heartbroken Badass: In regards to his love life and his tragic life.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Mutants are nearly all gone and there's an evil sentient robot out to destroy them all. Cyclops responds by assembling a black-ops unit to ensure that any threat they face that can't be beaten the traditional way is taken care of, and moving the X-Men into a more paramilitary setting. However, he specifically did so with the plan of these being temporary measures until mutants are at a safe number again and no longer relying solely on his intervention to survive.
- However and this is somewhat ignored, as well as taking more action to ensure the safety of the remaining mutants, he did considerable amounts of work for human-mutant relations, such as accepting help from non-mutant sources, working closely with San Francisco's mayor to bring peace, and hired a PR agent to help turn public opinion on untrusted individuals such as Magneto around.
- The Hero
- Hero Antagonist: He is this himself and he sees the Avengers and the Fantastic Four as his, as he even urges his supporters not to hate them.
- Big Good: After Xavier stepped down from this role, Scott took it up until AvX.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Jean Grey. And Madelyne Pryor. Oh, and Colleen Wing. Lee Forrester's blonde hair looked kind of reddish in some comics, too.
- Heroic BSOD: Cyclops, in Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run, has a severe one of these when Emma Frost reveals to him that his inability to control his powers is the result of a complex he developed about self-control as teenager, rather than a brain injury resulting from a concussion, as he had previously believed. He spends an issue or two in a completely catatonic state, his powers not functioning. He soon recovers enough to move around and lead the team (perhaps even more effectively than usual, with his self-control issues out of the way) and later surprises everyone by revealing (with a point blank blast in the face of his interrogator) that his powers still work, and that he now has full control over them. At the end of the arc, this control fades as the "clarity" he got from Emma's intervention wears off. See Status Quo Is God.
- He seems to be prone to hitting these when he fails to stop people being hurt. Even prior to joining the X-Men. When he was 12 years old he hit one because he couldn't stop another orphan jumping off of the roof of the orphanage. Seriously.
- Heroic Build: In some artists depictions, Scott is drawn much more muscular than others.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Has been described as hating himself so much that he can't imagine anyone else not hating him.
- Hero Insurance: Cyclops always advises the team to avoid collateral damage (ie, no throwing random cars at bad guys), or at least cut a check to affected parties afterwards, since a mere diversionary tactic could mean years of debt for a civilian.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: After AVX, also crossing with Reformed, but Rejected. He's not a bad guy by any means, and all he's concerned with now is protecting the new mutants from those who wish to harm them. He's yet to kill anyone doing so, and wants nothing more but to bury the hatchet with his former team and allies so they can work together to honor Xavier's memory. However, the fact that 'those who wish to harm them' often includes trigger-happy police officers who he's forced to fight to deal with them, along with many of his former team having personal grievances that clouds their judgement (and soils other people's perceptions of him when they tell others about it), he's became SHIELD's number one priority. Subverted though, as the public in general are actually rather supportive of him and see him as a freedom fighter opposing a corrupt institution, while its the superhero community who hate him.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Angel, he's close to Beast and Iceman too (or at least was) but Angel is the one consistently portrayed as his best friend. Also had something like this that majorly overlapped with Vitriolic Best Buds with Wolverine.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Yes, teenage Scott, it's a brilliant idea to go and live with a man who you randomly met in a forest while completely blind, oh wait, it wasn't. Given how his teen self, upon arriving to the future, ended up trusting Mystique, he definitely had a problem with this. He grows out of it, obviously.
- Hunk: Scott is depicted as an attractive, well-built, all-American, heroic superhero. He's tall, muscular and brawny with good looks.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Cyclops's glasses/goggles don't just let him control his powers, they also limit them. If he's willing to take his visor off for even a few seconds, you're in trouble.
- In Astonishing X-Men, Cyclops had his powers psychically de-activated by Emma Frost and had been captured and tortured by an alien warlord. When he finally tells the warlord that the X-Men's secret weapon "Leviathan", was completely fictional (thus throwing out any reason to keep him alive), he starts laughing. The warlord attacks him, demanding to know what else he's been lying about.
- Another instance of this is in the first volume of Ultimate X-Men. Cyclops is being restrained by a Sentinel because it has figured out that he operates his optic blasts by pressing a button on the side of his visor. Scott then reveals that he can also do it by snapping his fingers.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Ever since M-Day, Scott's been put in charge of the remaining mutants, and he's had to adapt to that. If he doesn't do everything within his power, no matter how questionable, every mutant will die. To his credit, however, he also took a more proactive approach to building relations between humans and mutants, and was working closely with the Mayor of San Francisco to ensure peace between mutants and the people of San Fran, including hiring a PR agent to help ensure the X-Men look heroic.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Cyclops can hit six fast-moving targets, some of them behind him, with a single shot. It's explained that part of his mutation is incredible spatial reasoning and intuition, allowing him to pull off stunts like this. It also makes him really good at pool.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The Askani (led by Rachel Summers), in a sense, since they helped Scott and Jean raise their "son" Nathan Summers to prevent Apocalypse's reign in the future.
- Interrupted Cooldown Hug: In The Dark Phoenix Saga. Near the climax, Scott is talking Dark Phoenix down, trying to appeal to Jean's better nature with The Power of Love, with her face getting noticeably less inhuman and softer... until Professor Xavier mind-blasts her from behind, and she returns to full-fledged psychosis.
- Ironic Nickname: Scott is nicknamed Slim by Wolverine possibly because he is slim built (especially during the old days when Scott was more lean and wiry in appearance; Scott became more muscular later on).
- Jerkass: Scott is highly capable of displaying not so nice behaviour towards others.
- Jerkass Façade: Scott has his moments when he's not the nicest guy in the world. He also reacts very poorly when his teammates get hurt (even with ones that are far higher on the Jerk Ass scale than him), proving that he does care after all.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Perhaps the true reason why others continue to follow his orders.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his sometimes jerky behaviour, his heart is ultimately in the right place.
- Karma Houdini: In AvX, this is averted by Cyclops. He is placed in SHIELD custody after the final battle, forcing him to live with the guilt of nearly destroying Earth and killing the closest thing he had to a father. He accepts this as he regrets what he did as the Dark Phoenix.
- When Ultimate Cyclops defects to the Brotherhood and takes part bombings of the British Parliament and MI6, nothing happens once he sees sense and returns to Xavier's side.
- Knight in Sour Armor
- The Law of Power Proportionate to Effort: Invoked. He has Eye Beams with the power to destroy mountains that appear whenever he opens his eyes. Using this power is based on a gesture (opening his eyes), but to stop that from becoming broken, he not only has Power Incontinence, but two different energy sources for these beams are introduced to provide limits.
- One energy source says that Cyclops absorbs sunlight and metabolizes it. Therefore, using his stored up energy fatigues him very quickly, which explains why he always looks as if he's straining to use his abilities.
- The other energy source says that his energy comes from "a non-Euclidean dimension of limitless energy", and that his eyes are portals to this dimension. The energy passing through his body causes him a great deal of stress, and that also explains why he seems to visibly struggle to use his powers.
- The Leader: Scott is the leader of the Original X-Men team.
- Scott categorizes as Type I, II, III, and IV.
- More than just the original team, Scott is, with the possible exception of Captain America, the most capable team leader in the Marvel 616 Universe, and probably more closely associated with team leadership than anyone in Marvel or DC comics.
- This is demonstrated in House of M when the heroes who have received their memory back (including several non-X-Men) all turn to Scott for orders.
- Literally Shattered Lives: What Scott did to the abusive criminal mentioned earlier in the page when he tried to make him kill a security guard, at the age of about 16. No. He didn't get therapy for this, either.
- Love Interest: To many different women, but his main love interests are Jean Grey and Emma Frost.
- Love Triangle: Scott has been in a few love triangles, but the main ones are between himself, Jean, and Wolverine, and himself, Jean and Madelyne, and himself, Jean and Emma.
- Luckily My Powers Will Protect Me: One of the better known examples - "Only my ruby-quartz visor can contain my optic blasts!"
- Messiah Creep / Dark Messiah: After House of M, Cyclops took it upon himself to be the guardian for all the remaining mutants. Eventually this grew into Cyclops doing whatever it took to protect mutant kind. This all comes to a head in AvX, where once he's possessed by the Phoenix, his dedication to making the world safe for mutants causes him to develop A God Am I-like behavior, and repeated attacks by the Avengers drive him off the wall.
- Mental Affair: With Emma. Unfortunately, Jean catches them in the act.
- Mind Link Mates: Scott had a form of this with his wife Jean Grey, while their marriage was happy and blissful, of course.
- More Hero Than Thou: With Wolverine. This was a constant in their dynamic.
- Mr. Fanservice: Scott is a physically attractive male and he has attributes and appeal that magnetize the opposite sex. In later issues, he'll often find a reason to be topless to show the scars Wolverine left, to the point of once having half his costume burned off.
- Mundane Utility: Do not ever challenge him at pool. As noted, he has an incredible grasp of spatial geometry.
- Nerves of Steel: Scott rarely shows any emotion, weakness or vulnerability. He pushes his emotions aside in order to achieve his goals.
- Nineties Anti-Hero: Cyclops had his personality largely unchanged, but despite having been nicknamed "Slim" his whole life suddenly developed a chest that pro wrestlers would find intimidating.
- His personality has changed later though. During Grant Morrison's New X-Men and especially after he became pretty much Nineties Anti-Hero despite the fact that it started in 2003.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: Scott is the Noble to Wolverine's Roguish.
- No Social Skills: Scott is known to be shy, reserved and stoic. His social skills aren't the strongest.
- Not Good with People: Although Scott is the leader, he isn't the best people person socially.
- Not So Different: Although he was always Xavier's top student, over time his personality and methods actually came more and more to align with Magneto's. Following the Schism, Xavier remained teaching under Wolverine's leadership while Magneto allied with Cyclops' team. Even the "Cyclops Was Right" meme is a derivative of "Magneto was Right."
- Oh, Crap: Cyclops has one after optic blasting Captain America off Utopia, only for the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier to decloak above him, with the Avengers assembled.
- One-Way Visor: Cyclops wears one of these with his costume.
- Papa Wolf: To Cable and X-Man.
- Also to Mutantkind as a whole, especially since Marvel NOW. Harm just one of his kind, and he'll track you down.
- Person of Mass Destruction: When he opens his eyes while not wearing shades or a visor... it's not pretty to put it mildly.
- Phlebotinum Battery: Cyclops' red optic blasts are charged by solar power. In a pinch they can be charged by Storm's lightning (which turns them white) but it is not at all pleasant for him.
- This goes back-and-forth. It's also established that Cyclops's eyes are a portal to a non-Euclidean dimension of pure energy, and that he has limitless amounts of energy to tap into when he opens them, so long as his body withstands it. This has also been combined with the aforementioned solar power in some stories.
- Pinball Projectile: Cyclops' optic blasts have a habit of doing this.
- Poor Communication Kills: Cyclops with Captain America. See Conflict Ball for more info.
- Power Incontinence: Cyclops, without his trademark visor he wears as part of his costume, or a pair of ruby quartz glasses out of costume, would be firing his Eye Beams 24/7. (In fact, he is firing them 24/7, they're just being blocked.)
- This limitation was recently revealed to be a mental block, and was fixed by Emma Frost.
- Used to be from having hit his head in the accident that killed his parents.
- There was a throwaway scene in one of the comics shortly after Wolverine lost his Adamantium (and briefly regressed to a neanderthallic state) where Cyclops hit his head in some kind of rune-covered pit, and a caption stated, "A subtle change is worked in an area of his brain damaged so long ago", so it's possible both explanations are correct.
- After the events of AvX, the visor can't block his eyebeams anymore. The only thing that can are his own eyelids.
- Power Limiter: Cyclops' goggles, which keep his uncontrollable Eye Beams under wraps. If he takes his glasses off completely and opens his eyes fully he can hold off even the Juggernaut (for a little while, anyway) and once atomized a Sentinel. The bad news is that it means destroying everything else in the area too, so he doesn't do it often.
- Promotion to Parent: Sort of. He didn't have to raise his younger brother, but it's been acknowledged that Havok wouldn't be so dependent on him (nor Cyclops so eager to save him from himself) if their parents hadn't been abducted by aliens.
- Following Xavier stepping down, he basically becomes this to the entire Mutant race. However, as its been revealed Xavier did some questionable things behind the scenes, its showed that Cyclops has done the same, only difference being that now we see first hand as he does them.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: To some extent; despite the fact he forgave and trusts former mass-murderers like Magneto or the White Queen just because they are currently on Scott's side of the Heel-Face Revolving Door, He was still furious at the Avengers for accepting that M-Day was not entirely the Scarlet Witch's fault and forgiving her for it and accepting her back into their ranks. In fairness, neither Magneto nor Emma ever did anything quite as bad as Wanda did when she decimated the mutant race, so its more understandable to some extent.
- Pure Energy: Scott releases blasts of "pure concussive force" from his eyes.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Attempted to be invoked by Cyclops, as at the end of the day the effects of M-Day have been undone and ties between the mutant and superhero communities have been strengthened. Captain America counters this in a What the Hell, Hero? moment.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he is able to control his power without ruby quartz.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Scott is the Blue to Wolverine's Red.
- Relative Error: Some readers, upon first reading X-Men: Deadly Genesis, assumed that the Marvel Girl depicted therein was Cyclops's new girlfriend instead of his daughter. This also happened canonically to Cyclops and Havok in an issue of X-Factor.
- Required Secondary Powers: Scott needs to wear a visor or he'll blast everything in front of him whenever he has his eyes open.
- The Rival / Shadow Archetype: With Wolverine. In damn near every medium expect the two to be polar opposites in terms of characterization. In more recent years, the two have actually reversed roles, with Cyclops now being the Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Say My Name: As Jean dies, Scott and Jean call each other's names.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Nathaniel Essex is Scott's childhood bully in the Nebraskan orphanage. Chris Claremont had the idea for this bully to become Mister Sinister, one of Scott's greatest arch-nemeses. Since Claremont's departure from Marvel, it turned up to be the orphanage's headmaster is the actual Sinister.
- Shirtless Scene: Scott has plenty of times when he's without a shirt.
- Shrinking Violet: A rare male version as a teenager. His self esteem is still definitely not the highest.
- Single-Power Superheroes: Probably the most known example in comics.
- The Smart Guy: Scott is quick, smart, and intelligent. He is good at strategizing.
- Depending on the Writer, he either has an innate knowledge of trigonometry from his powers or he is a mathematical genius whose skill comes from training.
- Sociopathic Hero: Kind of. To some, Scott is definitely falling into this territory as of lately. His decisions are rather extreme in nature. He doesn't seem to show an overwhelming amount of guilt or remorse for his extreme actions. Hell, Scott doesn't seem to show all that much emotion at all lately.
- The Spock: After taking on the reins as the leader, Cyclops becomes the cold and calculating variant. Wolverine and Beast typically played The McCoy to counter balance it. One thing that contributed to the schism was that there was no longer a Jean Grey or Professor Xavier to play the middle man.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In the last couple of years, some writers have found they just cannot get enough of this guy, to the point where he overshadows everyone else on the team. A refreshing change from the usual spotlight hog, but still not likely what the fanbase had in mind.
- Standardized Leader: The Other Wiki has noted that if Cyclops is in the field, he is The Captain, regardless of whose party it was before he arrived.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Arguably, Scott's relationship with Jean classifies as this. They have faced endless tragedy and something always manages to tear the two apart.
- Status Quo Is God: A very dark and deconstructed one, Cyke will NEVER be able to gain control over his power, no matter what, any time he finally does is met with a downer ending with him losing it again. He once gained it in the X-Men First Class two parter "Catalyst"", but was forced to give it up to because it was now godlike level of power.
- Stepford Snarker: He is cold and often sarcastic. He is also broken, probably beyond repair. He has been known to hide his hurt in situations behind sarcasm.
- Still The Leader: Storm challenged Cyclops to personal combat to determine who would lead the team, partly to force him to focus on his wife instead of bearing the responsibility of the X-Men. Storm won and took charge while Cyclops retired to lead a civilian life. However, he's always been in overall command since he rejoined the X-Men several years later. Technically, Storm outranked him for the better part of 20 years, until Xavier made Cyke and Emma Frost the co-headmasters while he was away for some time.
- The Stoic: Scott is always calm and composed; he doesn't show any emotion, well, not most of time at least.
- The Strategist: During Fear Itself, he noted that he was going to Plan 2. When asked why he didn't call it Plan B, he replied, "That would imply I only have twenty-six plans."
- Sugar and Ice Personality
- Sunglasses at Night: For a long time because he couldn't control his powers.
- Super Hero: Like all of his fellow X-Men.
- Super Weight: Level 3, bordering on Level 4 on his more powerful days (though always with the Glass Cannon disadvantage). During Avengers vs. X-Men, he became a Level 5 when he was first powered up by a 1/5 of the Phoenix and after he absorbed the whole Force he became a Level 6.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: 6'3", brunet and attractive.Yep.
- Tangled Family Tree: Formerly trope namer.
- The Extremist Was Right: Where do you think Cyclops was right comes from? In the end, he was entirely right about the Phoenix not intending to destroy the Earth (originally) and Hope being the harbinger of Mutantkind's rebirth. That doesn't mean however that he is fine with every hard descision he made.
- There Are No Therapists: Well, at least none that don't take advantage of his PTSD to have sex with him. In all honestly, Scott's descent down the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism could have been avoided if anybody could have been bothered to fork out to send him to a proper psychologist.
- They Do: Scott with Jean when they get married.
- Token Good Teammate: Scott is this of The Elite Mutant Force who serve as Co-Dragons to Sinister.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: It's debatable when exactly it happened, but the general consensus is that after Messiah Complex, no one wants to play for Cyke's team. Though, this is probably him just adapting to his current situation. Honestly, it's like the universe is telling him to be a jerk or let mutants die off horribly.
- Somewhat subverted. Every time he does do something truly questionable, he'll admit it's wrong and apologise... eventually. He may have used X-23 as a weapon, but she was completely there of her own free will, and he promised to never ask her to do that again when it was over.
- Totalitarian Utilitarian: Kinda subverted. Scott isn't a villain, but fits more of the antihero archetype. However, Scott often resorts to going to extremes and making tough decisions to preserve the life of the mutant race. He always wants the best possible for the mutants and wants the mutant race to be respected, not feared. In order for Scott to achieve his goals for the greater good of his race, he has had to resort to some morally questionable decisions and actions.
- Tragic Hero
- Trauma Conga Line: See Doom Magnet. The amount of chaos that Scott has gone through is absolutely endless.
- True Love Is Boring: No matter what, Scott and Jean are not allowed to have happy life. Or Scott and Madelyne. Or Scott and Emma. Or Scott—fuck it. Just Scott.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Depending on the Writer, Scott can be rather dictatorial in nature.
- Underwear of Power: His former costume◊. It's not even needed to have very sharp eyes to notice there's a bulge on it.
- Unlucky Everydude
- Unscrupulous Hero: Scott's intentions may be heroic, but Scott is not afraid to make the tough decisions which can be considered less than heroic, honorable or noble. He's also not afraid to kick your ass (or kill you) if you pose a threat to the entire race of mutants.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Literally for while, given the name of the mutant enclave he was running. Expanded globally during the time he and some of his teammates were vessels for the Phoenix Force. Also, the simple fact that he was willing to put his faith in the Phoenix providing salvation for mutantkind, despite the fact that it had previously and was currently destroying inhabited worlds.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: See Scott's attraction to and relationship with Emma Frost. She wasn't the noblest female or had the best intentions.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wants to secure a safe future for mutants and is ready to do things he wouldn't have done in the past for it.
- What Beautiful Eyes: Whenever he loses his powers, it's shown that his eyes are big, brown and make him look incredibly vulnerable. Several members of the fandom think his eyes are his most attractive feature, which is cruelly ironic.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He recently assembled a black ops/wetwork team, over the objections of the homicidal Anti-Hero he orders to lead it, and hides it from the X-Men at large because the "X-Men do not kill." Later Wolverine calls him out on his willingness to allow children to fight on the front lines (though in his defence, that's not that much different then how the X-Men have been since they were first formed. Logan's comments were also made with X-23 in mind, who he was trying to help find a normal life of not being a Living Weapon).
- This is pretty much how Scott reacts when ever somebody tells him he's acting like Magneto.
- Taken to extreme lengths with everyone's reaction to finding out Scott assembled the X-Force, a black ops team with the most dangerous mutants to go and kill the X-Men's most deadly enemies who could possibly eradicate the last of the mutants. What they (and sadly some fans) fail to notice is that that is exactly what has prevented every last mutant on earth from being eradicated. Note that the second that Bastion and the Purifiers are defeated, Scott disbands the team since they won't be up against anyone as dangerous as them in the meantime.
- When He Smiles: When Scott smiles his adorkability levels go through the roof.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: After Cyclops kills Xavier as the Dark Phoenix, he breaks down crying and blames Captain America and the Avengers for it. Whether his accusation has a point or if this was just further proof that Scott was just falling further off the edge is up to the reader.
- Will They or Won't They?: Scott and his relationship with Jean. They had faced so many obstacles together and had a hard time expressing their feelings for each other that one wondered if they would ever get to the next level in their relationship. Eventually, they do when they get married.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: When Scott is possessed by the Dark Phoenix, he goes completely dark side and insane.
- Your Cheating Heart: Scott had an affair with Emma Frost while he was still married to Jean. Technically she took advantage of him when he was in an unfit mental state to give consent, but this is what it is treated as in universe. He also had an affair with Jean Grey while he was still married to Madelyne (although to be fair, he thought that Madelyne was dead at that point).
- You Remind Me of X: After Cyclops says that Phoenix could be used to "put the world back on track", Magneto points that Cyclops is starting to sound like him.
- It turns out this is a Berserk Button for Cyclops when this happens one too many times. For a while, people have been saying this to him when he gets particularly protective of mutant kind, and this bit is essentially him spitting back. But, Scott was Phoenix powered and as such insane, he replies that the difference is "he's winning".
- You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: Some drunkards try to pick a fight with (civilian-dressed) Cyclops. He says the stock phrase, so one of them takes off his glasses.
And never forget, Cyclops was right!