"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.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.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:
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.
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.
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 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 killeverything 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 were three well-known telepaths that were linked to Scott, but he only had serious relationships with Jean 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.
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.
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. Not only is he the captain of the X-Men team, but he is also seen as the captain of the entire mutant race.
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 and had been lusting after ol' Sniktbub for some time. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Generation Xerox: Subverted with Cyclops and Surge in that they're not related in anyway. 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.
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.
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.
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 Jean. At least for almost 20 years. But then things happened and changed...
Hazy Feel Turn: As of AvX, Scott arguably skydived off the slippery slope. However, all of the actions that would put him past the Moral Event Horizonwere due to being under the influence of the Phoenix Force, and he showed regret for each action. He admits that, if he could do things differently, the only change he would make would be that it was him who died, instead of Xavier, and is willing to take any punishment and accept full responsibility.
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 blackops 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's 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 Fransisco's mayor to bring peace, and hired a PR agent to help turn public opinion on untrusted indaviduals such as Magneto around.
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 and 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.
Heroic Build: In some artists depictions, Scott is drawn much more muscular than others.
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.
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.
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.
Scott's eyes in modern issues state that his eyes are dimensional portals that release the beam. Only his own eyelids or ruby-quartz visor/glasses will contain them.
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).
Jerk Ass: Scott is highly capable of displaying not so nice behaviour towards others.
Jerkass Fašade: Scott has his moments when he's not the nicest guy in the world.
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.
Cyclops defects to the Brotherhood and takes part bombings of the British Parliament and MI 6.
Martyr Without a Cause: In AvX, Wolverine discovers that Scott indeed wishes to die. The reason? So that Scott can become the martyr for the revived mutant race.
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 behaviour, and repeated attacks by the Avengers drives 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Smart Guy: Scott is quick, smart and intelligent. He is good at strategizing.
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.
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.
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 anti hero 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.
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, honourable 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.
Villainesses Want Heroes: See Scott's attraction to and relationship with Emma Frost. She wasn't the noblest female or had the best intentions.
What the Hell, Hero?: He recently assembled a black ops/wetwork team, over the objections of the homicidalAnti-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 erradicate 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.
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.
Wild Card: Post-Avengers vs. X-Men. He's not exactly a bad guy, but it's clear that he's no longer walking alongside the angels anymore either.
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.
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'.