Cyclops’ Power Is So Confusing Even Marvel Just Forgot How It Works
Cyclops’ iconic optic blasts are a staple of the X-Men comics, but how they work is so confusing that Marvel writers got it wrong in Sabretooth #1.
Warning: spoilers for Sabretooth #1 are ahead!
From x-men, Cyclops has perhaps the most iconic power, but a recent “battle” with Saber tooth demonstrated how confusing they are in Marvel Comics. The X-Men’s iconic team leader has wielded powerful kinetic optic blasts since his debut in the ’60s, but time and time again the X-Men writers have misunderstood how these powers work. Often compared to Superman’s heat vision, Scott Summers was once again accidentally made more powerful by the X-Men writers.
After Victor Creed’s exile to the Pit of Krakoa, Sabertooth #1, by Victor LaValle and Leonard Kirk, shows that the savage villain has been left to rot. As his body has been condemned to endless torture, he has made a deal with Doug Ramsay to let his mind wander freely, where Sabretooth immediately imagines death and destruction for anyone who crosses his path. In a bloody and violent streak, he destroys many, many adversaries, including the group that doomed him, the Silent Council of Krakoa, his first comic book adversary Iron Fist, and his most frequent adversaries, the X-Men. When he confronts them, he quickly works on the team, cutting off Scott Summers’ head almost immediately and using his optic blasts to melt the remaining X-Men. Although their deaths were quick, bloody, and deliberate, some die-hard fans likely took umbrage at the battle.
Sabretooth melting the X-Men with Cyclops’ blasts is just the latest example of Scott Summers’ power confusion for Marvel writers. In its first issue, X-Men #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the duo establish that Cyclops delivers “concussive blasts”, not heat rays. In the very next issue, however, Summers is depicted melting ice from Angel’s wings. Since then, there have been countless instances of this exact contradiction, going all the way into the fantasies of a murderous rival to the X-Men. It’s easy to imagine that this frequent confusion comes from another hero with exploding eyes: Superman. Since their powers are so visually similar, it makes sense that writers often cross threads when showing another hero’s optic rays. For hardcore X-Men fans, however, that excuse just won’t work.
The X-Men have been a comic book staple for over 50 years, and Cyclops was part of the first team. In reality, his blasts should work like a really hard punch, not like a heat wave. While it’s easy to forgive early mistakes as the hero’s creators worked on his powers, seeing Scott melt things down with his explosions after nearly 60 years is a tough pill for fans to swallow. Of course, over the years these optical blasts have been given greater power, including being a gateway to another dimension, so it’s no exaggeration how writers might assume the blasts can emit heat . In this particular case, fans who want to give Marvel the benefit of the doubt might argue that this incident happened in Sabretooth’s mind, and he might assume that Cyclops has heat vision, even though the writers know better. .
Although the Sabretooth rampage is the most recent example of Cyclops’ powers being misunderstood, it’s unlikely to be the last. Since this classic misunderstanding goes back to X-Men #2, heat vision became part of Scott’s powers. Of course, hardcore fans are unlikely to accept this, and rightly so. the x-menThe powers of are part of what makes them so distinct, even though Saber tooth don’t fully understand them.
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