This article contains spoilers for the X-Men annual.The X-Men‘s Cyclops is still choosing not to control his powers. Not every mutant power is a blessing. With rare exceptions, Scott Summers has been unable to look anyone in the eye since he was a teenager. His eyes project devastating blasts of force, capable of leveling entire buildings with a single shot. They can only be restrained by ruby quartz, explaining why Cyclops’ eyes are usually covered by his dinstinctive visor or glasses.
Cyclops has never had full control of his powers. Uncanny X-Men #138 explained this was due to brain damage, a consequence of Cyclops’ being left in a coma for a year when he was just a child. This was the accepted reason for decades, until Astonishing X-Men #24, in which Emma Frost entered Cyclops’ mind and revealed another reason. According to Emma, the truth was a little more complicated. “The world is a traumatic place for some children,” Emma explained. “That lack of control, that fear of abandon… It was always in you. The only way to be sure you would always, always hold yourself together… was to make it impossible not to.“
The X-Men’s Cyclops Now Chooses Not To Control His Powers
Marvel’s latest X-Men annual, by Steve Foxe and Andrea Di Vito, reveals Cyclops now makes a conscious choice not to control his powers. The X-Men’s Resurrection Protocols allow them to conquer death, and mutants can be subtly reprogrammed during the process – with biological and genetic issues resolved, and Cerebro technology used to remove unconscious blocks. It would be very easy indeed for Cyclops to gain control of his powers. And yet, according to this scene, he has never even needed to consider it.
This likely represents Cyclops’ security in his own mutant identity. The X-Men have often been criticized as being the “pretty” mutants, the ones whose mutations are subtle and easy to conceal, so they can operate among humans. Cyclops’ powers – which he has often considered a curse in the past – allow him to understand what it is like for those who cannot hide their powers. What’s more, by this point he is used to feeling as though he has a nuclear power generator behind his eyes at all times. It’s a long time since Cyclops has unwittingly unleashed an optic blast because he misplaced his glasses.
Foxe and Vito’s X-Men annual is an important moment in Cyclops’ development as a character. Cyclops is now comfortable with his powers, even with their limitations, and he has no need to even consider the idea of having his weaknesses removed. Indeed, it’s quite possible he no longer sees this as a weakness at all. It’s a real moment of character growth for the X-Men‘s greatest leader.