Cyclops Is Finally Getting the Portrayal He Deserves in X-Men 97

Disney+’s X-Men ’97 is doing everything right, from capturing the nostalgia that made fans fall in love with the 1992 animated series to their depiction of favourite characters like Magneto, Rogue, Professor Xavier, and Cyclops. For a long time, X-Men fans have had to accept that adaptations may never get right what fans loved about these comic book characters with a slew of disappointing live-action movies from Fox. While Wolverine’s focus and depiction of the bad-ass anti-hero have worked for the past two decades, some characters, like Cyclops, didn’t fare well. 

Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, is a mutant with the power to fire optic blasts from his eyes. And as cool as this sounds, he is also the leader of the mutant superhero team, the X-Men, but that has hardly been showcased in recent years. X-Men ’97 gets right that this no-nonsense version of Cyclops is more enjoyable, with a depth that fans have always wanted to see on screen. That and many other reasons are why X-Men 97’s depiction of Cyclops works. 

Cyclops Portrayal in Previous X-Men Projects

Cyclops in X-Men movies

The 20th Century Fox movies are the primary culprits in portraying Cyclops as an afterthought. These movies were more focused on Wolverine as the main character, but that was to the detriment of Cyclops. Yes, he is still the team leader but is often portrayed as stiff and winy sometimes because of his troubled love life. James Marsden played the first live-action Scott Summers and helped fans fall in love with them in 2000’s X-Men. In this first film, the central focus is on Magneto, Wolverine, and the professor, and Cyclops never gets the time to shine outside of his love triangle with Jean. In the second film, X2: X-Men United, he is missing after being taken prisoner by Stryker, and when he does come back on screen, he is brainwashed through most of the runtime until he has to witness Jean die. It gets even worse in the third movie, X-Men: The Last Standbecause he is one of the first characters to die at the hands of Jean Grey. While Marsden was killed off because he was working on another film at the time, the damage the franchise did to his character was almost irreparable. His portrayal in these films could be bogged down to the fact that Wolverine was always going to be the star of this franchise, which meant that Cyclops would be a supporting character. 

This portrayal was disappointing because his character has always been a fan favorite in the comics and specific animated series. While his personality in the comics changes from responsible Boy Scout to unstable after the birth of Hope Summers, Cyclops has always been a champion for mutants who wants to keep Xavier’s dream of peace alive. He is a complicated character, but that is part of his appeal to readers. An exception compared to previous X-Men projects is his portrayal in X-Men: Evolution, where he stands as a capable leader who can lead trainees of mutants. In X-Men Evolution, Cyclops is also skilled at hand-to-hand combat while showing fans a more human side of the character. In the animated series, fans see more of his insecurities while working on his self-esteem issues due to the pressure of being a leader. While he has a no-nonsense vibe in this animated series, he still jokes around sometimes with Kurt. Cyclops is caring and acts as the responsible big brother to the other mutants, a personality trait often overlooked in the X-Men films. 

Cyclops Finally Gets the Portrayal He Deserves in X-Men 97

X-Men 97

When the first episode of X-Men 97 rolled around, it was evident that Cyclops wasn’t the young, hopeless romantic fans have seen in TV and films in the last two decades. This Cyclops is a respectable leader through and through. After the death of Professor Xavier, he and Storm take charge of the school and the team of superheroes in hopes of maintaining peace between the humans and mutants. Gone are the days when he was just a supporting character in the franchise. In this reboot of the beloved 90s series, he is a leading man, and Wolverine is more in the background this time. 

There is still a romantic triangle between Jean, Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jean’s clone, which causes a problem for the X-Men’s favorite couple. Despite all this drama, their relationship isn’t the story’s main plot; it primarily exists to boost each individual’s story arc. Nonetheless, Cyclops is dealing with a lot of issues. Having lost the professor, he discovers he has a child with Jean’s clone, and he has to send his son to the future to save him. With all this internal turmoil, he still manages to hold himself up and lead the team looking up to him. But he is still human with human emotions, which he realizes during a TV interview, and erupts. He loses his cool after trying so hard to hold himself together, but his reaction is necessary because humans don’t see mutants as capable of feeling the same way.

This series also doesn’t shy away from showing fans just how powerful Cyclops is. His display of power in the first episode shows precisely why he is the team leader. Even when Storm has to leave the team, hoping to find her power again, she isn’t distraught because she knows Cyclops will handle everything. The subsequent episodes also do a great job of giving his character more depth than previous adaptations. With only a few episodes left, there is plenty more for fans to look forward to in the Cyclops story. Here are the top 5 moments of Marvel’s X-Men ’97 trailer.

Watch X-Men 97 on Disney Plus

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