astonishing-x-men-cyclops-5-50kSince M Day, mutant kind has been on the run from an enemy that cannot be defeated by any mutant power: Extinction. Scott Summers, the leader of the X-Men, has matured immensely with the grim situation, moving the X-Men from Westchester, NY to San Francisco, CA, and changing his team’s mentality from one of spreading the message of peace between man and mutant to spreading the seed of mutant survival- at any cost. As an effect of this decision, Professor Charles Xavier’s long-time mission for peaceful coexistence between man and mutant is truly all but dead; Cyclops, Xavier’s most promising student, has turned his back on ‘The Dream.’ It would seem that nearly every other member of the X-Men has come to accept these new ground rules as fact; survival over peace and reality over dreams.

However, with the current crossover event between the X-Men and the Dark Avengers, the new Utopia story line is seriously testing the mettle of Scott Summers. Mutant hate groups like the Humanity Now! Coalition and The Purifiers make the Friends of Humanity look like a group of pre-school teachers. Cyclops’ fellow X-Men are looking to him to lead them through this tumultuous time for mutants across the globe, and Scott has shown that desperate times call for desperate measures. Lets take a look at some of the recent transpirings of Scott Summers, and see if they mirror those of a long time nemesis of the X-Men:

as1. Cyclops is creating his own private safe haven for mutants. When the X-Men moved to San Francisco, Cyclops revealed that he had purchased a bunch of old and unused military bases. He has converted these underground bases into places of refuge for all mutants (powered or de-powered) and their families to live. Under the watchful eye of the X-Men they will be protected from anti-mutant groups who would look to harm them. Sound familiar? Well it should as Magneto has already done this; do the locales Genosha and Asteroid M ring a bell?

2. For most of his career, Scott Summers has had a father/son relationship with Charles Xavier. Cyclops was his top student, and deservedly so. However, during Messiah Complex, Scott literally kicked Xavier out of the X-Men, claiming that his methods were out of date and that he needed to evolve with the times if mutant kind hoped to survive. Notice a trend here? At one time Magneto and Xavier were working together for mutant advancement, but their conflicting ideals forced Erik to walk away. Once again- The Dream is dead!

3. The creation of X-Force is probably the most glaring evidence that Cyclops has crossed a line- one that he never would have thought to cross when Xavier was leading the X-Men. Essentially, Scott has commissioned X-Force, a team of mutantkind’s best hunters, trackers, and killers, to eliminate any and all threats to mutant kind. Talk about tossing peaceful coexistence out the window! Cyclops wants his message to be clear- this fight is about preventing the extinction of the mutant race. We may as well call X-Force a more capable version of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Throw in the fact that Scott is keeping this team secret from the other X-Men (including Emma Frost), and it’s apparent that the ‘yes man’ Scott Summers is a thing of the past.

image459244. Not all of Cyclops’ teammates have gone along with his shift of philosophy without speaking up. In Astonishing X-Men #26, Storm, the present Queen of Wakanda and former Gold Team leader, does exactly this. Check out Scott’s pointed response:

“No one enjoys killing. Not even Logan, really. But my first responsibility is to keep mutants alive. Everything takes second place to there being enough adult mutants alive to protect the new generation… You’re Queen of Wakanda. If Wakanda declared war on Zimbabwe tomorrow, which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, I read the papers- you’d have to sign the declaration of war too. And that’s killing people.We grew up, Ororo. These are the jobs we got…. if you never want to be put in a situation where someone might have to be killed, go home now…  And don’t give me that ‘you’ve changed, Scott.’ I can see it in your eyes. I killed a man once. So did you. You killed in self-defense. I killed by accident. Neither of us will do it lightly again, that’s the way it goes.”

Like Magneto, Cyclops has become a total bad ass. Even Wolverine notices in X-Force #13, “Summers. He’s so hardcore lately, I’m starting to feel inadequate.” Coming from Logan, that’s not a remark to be taken lightly. He’s also sick of toying around with obnoxious villains who aren’t worth his time to fight. This is the verbal smack down he lays on Toad in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men Utopia #1:

“I’ve been beating you up since I was a teenager Toad. I’ll stop whenever you’re ready to stop being the most useless cretin on the face of the Earth.”

In Dark Avengers #7 (Utopia Part III) Scott comes face to face with Norman Osborn, the head of H.A.M.M.E.R. and leader of the Dark Avengers, where he warns Norman to leave San Francisco and stay out of the X-Men’s affairs:

“Surrender, withdraw, pull out, retreat, whatever you want to call it. You’ve got the rioters under control by now, or you soon will. Get the fires out and the curfew to run quietly tomorrow night, and then get the hell out of my town. Come out, say you and I met, say we came to terms and you believe the city is in good hands. Say whatever you have to say to save face and go. You and your army can go find some other war to fight somewhere- I don’t care. But you can’t stay here.” How ballsy is that?

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5. Sure, the argument could be made that Cyclops is nothing like Magneto, as the Master of Magnetism usually accompanied his troops in battle by leading the charge, whereas Cyclops rarely joins his team in combat. To that I say, sure, but unlike Magneto, Cyclops is more useful to mutantkind calling the shots from the safety of a war room. Plus, he doesn’t have the comfort of a magnetic shield to repel all sorts of attacks. Also unlike Magneto, Cyke has plenty of accomplished generals at his disposal to direct troops in battle. Who was Magneto going to have lead in his stead- The Blob? Avalanche?… Toad? Please, don’t make me laugh.

With these thoughts in mind, I leave you with a brief conversation between Hank McCoy and Scott at the end of Astonishing X-Men #30:

Beast: Do you remember when we were kids, Scott? When everyone called you Slim, and everyone called me Hank?

Cyclops: Honestly? Not so much anymore.

And neither should you. It’s a new era for our favorite mutants, and Cyclops is the man to lead the way.

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