Ten coolest Cyclops moments from X-Men comics

Christopher Baggett
Cyclops as he appears in Marvle Comics

If you think Cyclops was cool in X-Men ’97, these ten moments ripped from Marvel X-Men comics will prove that he’s been cool for decades.

A lot of jaded X-Men fans came away from X-Men ’97 thinking Cyclops was cool, but the reality is that Cyclops was always cool.

The problem is his powers. Cyclops has uncontrollable optic blasts that allow him to do some genuinely impressive things. Narratively, though, he has to be ever vigilant; otherwise, his blasts will potentially kill everyone within range.

If you’ve just watched X-Men ’97 and want to know more about just how awesome Cyclops has always been, here are ten of his coolest moments.

The coolest Cyclops moments in X-Men comics

From X-Men #1 to the upcoming From The Ashes reboot, these are the 10 coolest Cyclops moments in X-Men comics.

Cyclops destroys a sentinel
Cyclops’ optic blasts have a devastating potential for destruction when unchecked.

“I want that thing off my lawn. “

In what may be the single most staggering show of force for an X-Men character, Cyclops once laid waste to an entire Sentinel.

Sure, there’s some caveats. It’s a decrepit, damaged sentinel from an old X-Men fight. And Cyclops does spend a lot of the fight on the defensive as others try to get students to safety. But once the coast is clear, Cyclops’ visor comes off, and all that’s left is a smoking crater. 

Cyclops has seemingly unlimited plans
Cyclops, always thinking ahead, demonstrated his ability to plan ahead against Juggernaut.

“Plan B implies we only have 26.”

Cyclops’ earned his role as leader thanks to his tactical mind. That was put on full display during the Fear Itself event when he’s tasked with stopping a rampaging, magically enhanced Juggernaut. 

When told he needs a plan B, Cyclops is quick to shut down the notion, as that implies he only has 26 plans. We witness Cyclops put multiple plans into effect to stop the Juggernaut, though we never see him ready to concede in the face of failure. Thankfully, the day is saved by plan 13, although it is slightly modified thanks to the intervention of Colossus. 

Cyclops stands up to the Fantastic Four
During House of X, Cyclops became much more aggressive in how he stood up for mutants.

“Did you think we were just going to sit around and take it forever?”

With the shift in tone for House of X, the X-Men suddenly found themselves a world power. They offered a safe haven and amnesty to all mutants, good or bad, which led to a number of tense interactions and plenty of opportunities for Cyclops to reassert himself. 

Take, for example, the moment in House of X #1 where he’s confronted by the Fantastic Four. Though he allows the FF to take Sabretooth rather than fight, he very firmly asserts that the X-Men are no longer taking attacks against mutants lying down. 

Cyclops stands up to Norman Osborn
Even a Norman Osborn who ran the world proved to be a non-issue for Cyclops.

Cyclops is a proud jetpack owner

Dark Reign saw the rise of multiple teams who opposed Cyclops’ San Francisco-based Utopia team, including Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers and Emma Frost’s Dark X-Men. 

Cyclops isn’t even phased by the intimidating Osborn, though. Cyclops swoops in on a jetpack, demands to speak to Osborn, and promptly lays out a single demand: surrender. Osborn laughs, but the way the X-Men soundly defeat both the Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men over the following issues proves that laughter wasn’t earned. 

Cyclops' tactical prowess on display in the Savage Land
Cyclops has been revealed to be a master tactician who is always thinking of the next step.

A master tactician

In the wake of Messiah Complex, the X-Men were scattered with no active teams. Cyclops and Emma take time off to vacation in the Savage Land as he tries to decide the next steps. 

The Savage Land is fraught with dangers, though, and dinosaurs stalk every corner. Through Emma’s psychic feed of Scott’s brain, readers get a unique look into just how his mind works, seeing Cyclops not only studying how two dinosaurs fight but the way he deduces the best approach to defeat them singlehandedly. 

Cyclops vs Apocalypse
Proving he was fearless, Cyclops allowed himself to be possessed by Apocalypse to save the world.

A father’s sacrifice

During The Twelve, Apocalypse captured 12 mutants with the intent of being reborn in the energy of Nate Gray, an alternate timeline version of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor’s son, Nathan Summers. 

Cyclops still sees Nate as a version of his son regardless, and when the chips are down, a powerless Cyclops throws himself in the way, seeking to be possessed in Nate’s place. It’s a bold gambit that ultimately pays off. Cyclops, while still a match for Apocalypse, wasn’t as strong a host as Nate would have been, allowing the X-Men to save the day. 

Cyclops vs. the X-Men
While the X-Men were tricked by Mastermind, Cyclops was able to singlehandedly fend off the team.

Cyclops vs. the X-Men

For the X-Men’s 20th anniversary, Cyclops finds himself in a deadly fight when Mastermind manipulates reality. The other X-Men think Cyclops is a returned Dark Phoenix, leading him to fight against his teammates. 

It should have been a massacre, but Mastermind seriously underestimates Cyclops. He single-handedly takes it down on his own. Not only does he out-think his team on the field, but Mastermind as well, using Rogue’s powers to absorb the unconscious Xavier’s telepathy so Mastermind’s scheme can be undone. 

Cyclops trick shot
Cyclops is an expert marksman, able to fire his optic blasts with pinpoint precision.

An expert marksman

A fairly generic one, but Cyclops’ mastery of his optic blasts means he can pull off some genuinely sick trick shots. 

For one such example, look no further than Uncanny X-Men #124. With the X-Men trapped in Murderworld by Arcade, Cyclops finds himself trying to save his team. While Nightcrawler is outclassed by a rollerdome full of deadly bumper cars with razor blades, Cyclops is able to take them all out with a single trickshot around the room. 

Cyclops stands up to the Avengers
Even the Avengers were no match for Cyclops once he embraced his role as a revolutionary.

Standing up to the Avengers

Following Avengers vs X-Men, Cyclops becomes a mutant revolutionary. He’s an outcast, despised by mutants and feared by other heroes for his actions as the leader of the Phoenix Five, specifically the murder of Charles Xavier. 

Cyclops tries to make right by continuing to fight for the rights of mutants. His first trial by fire: the Avengers. Not only does he manage to bluff through the fight, given his powers aren’t working, but he boldly uses the victory to make it clear to all who are watching: he will not stand by while mutants are in danger, no matter who is in the way. 

Cyclops unleashes his power on Breakworld
Cyclops hid his powers against an alien race for days, then unleashed an optic blast that could be seen from space.

To me, my X-Men

Astonishing X-Men is a hell of a read that spends much of its early issues rebuilding Kitty Pryde for the modern era. The latter half of the Whedon/Cassady run makes Cyclops a legendary powerhouse, though. 

Stranded on Breakworld, a seemingly depowered Cyclops is held hostage and tortured. The X-Men are in dire straights, scattered, and all seems hopeless. That is until Cyclops’ bluff is called. Not only was being captured part of his plan, but his powers very much still work, with a massive optic blast signaling the X-Men back together as Cyclops stands tall over the smoking remains of his captors. 

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About The Author

Christopher Baggett started writing about comics on the Internet when he was 14 years old. Since then, he's written professionally for a host of sites, including ComicsBeat, Comic Book Resources, and The HomeWorld. He's most knowledgable about the legacy heroes of the '80s and '90s that he grew up with and believes Wally West is the best Flash - and he'll fight anyone over it. For tips, news, press and more, contact Christopher at christopher.baggett@dexerto.com