Age of Apocalypse Saw a Very Different Version of Cyclops

credit: Marvel Comics

The history of the X-Men isn’t exactly a happy one since this group has been fraught with danger, prejudice, and a great deal of pain that is often underestimated since the general idea is that every hero has problems and comes from a background that deals with pain and hardship. Where the X-Men, and many other mutants, differ, however, is that while they’ve attempted to help humanity and have even helped to save the world on occasion, they’ve still been persecuted for being who they are. One of the strongest supporters of humanity as well as his own people, Charles Xavier, was unfortunately killed off in the Age of Apocalypse era that enveloped the X-Men at one time, meaning that Apocalypse had no further opposition when it came to doing what he wanted. Several mutants that had once been considered heroes became his servants, among them one of the most heroic mutants, Cyclops. Maybe it was due to the fact that it was the 90s and that Terminator 2 was still a popular story four years after it was released, but the similarity between the terminator movies and AoA was quite easy to point out, especially when it came to Cyclops. 

credit: Marvel Comics

Cyclops in AoA was a cross between the terminator and Kyle Reese. 

Many of the X-Men changed during this period of time in the comics, and while he became far more brutal in his methods, Cyclops didn’t fully relinquish the need to do the right thing at times. He was Apocalypse’s servant and did hunt down rogue humans and mutants at his leader’s bidding, but he was also the type to work against what he knew was wrong since the character he’s exuded for so long has been didn’t fade entirely during this era. It can be said that the 90s was kind of an awkward phase in Marvel since the outfits, the storylines, and the roles that were foisted upon several characters were cool at the time, but in retrospect, they ‘borrowed’ from other franchises in very noticeable ways. The effect this had wasn’t entirely negative, but looking back on it today leaves many people ready to laugh rather than be impressed by the developments that took place. In terms of the characters, it was easy to note that Cyclops had experienced the least amount of change to his overall temperament. 

This storyline was one of the darkest the X-Men had ever faced. 

This is saying something since the X-Men have faced just as many dark times as any other superhero group, given that their everyday lives are rather dark on average, thanks to the constant persecution they experience in the Marvel Universe. Some might point out that this is an excuse that is used too often, but the truth is that far more than any other group, the X-Men have had to hide who they are and find ways to adapt to the world around them in order to keep from being falsely accused due to their appearance, their powers, or being killed outright because they represent a danger that many humans don’t want to deal with. In a lot of ways, the Age of Apocalypse felt like a massive payback that saw the world suffer for the sins that so many human beings had committed against mutants over the course of time, no matter that it went above and beyond what Professor X and the X-Men would have the desire to see happen. 

credit: X-Men: Age of Apocalypse

The live-action adaptation left a lot to be desired. 

When AoA did manage to find its way to the big screen, it was, for lack of a better word, underwhelming. The sad fact is that Sony, with all the resources that were at its disposal, didn’t appear to understand what it had in the X-Men and proceeded to tell a story that was far too unlike the story that had come about in the 90s. While the common explanation for this is that the producers and director don’t wish to tell the same story that was used in the comics, the unfortunate truth is that fans would likely respect the decision to stick with the original story far more. The general idea is that while diehard fans have read and understood the comic book storylines, many others have not and would likely enjoy the original stories. 

Fans have been adamant that Cyclops hasn’t been portrayed correctly in live-action. 

The fact that he’s been portrayed by a couple of different actors since being brought to live-action isn’t really the problem. In fact, it could be stated that the outfits used by Cyclops have been the main issue since none of them have kept entirely to the vision given in the comic books. That might actually be a good thing since most of the outfits have been skin-tight and far more colorful than is really needed. But between various details of the costume and the look of his visor, it feels that many people would like to see a comics-accurate character. 

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