X-Men ’97 Delivers Cyclops’ Power Upgrade After 6 Decades!

X-Men ’97 has finally proffered an accurate portrayal of Cyclops and his powers, which has been notably absent since his creation in 1963.

split image of Cyclops from X-Men 97, scowling and talking

X-Men ’97 has properly depicted the true nature of Cyclops’ powers for the first time since his creation in 1963. Marvel’s X-Men ’97 masterfully revived the beloved 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series, continuing the story just months after it originally concluded in 1997. In X-Men ’97, Cyclops has an even larger leadership role, and was featured prominently throughout the debut episodes. Throughout these, Cyclops displayed a startling degree of control and variety in deploying his iconic optic blasts, which have finally been depicted in their most accurate form.

Cyclops first appeared in Marvel Comics’ The X-Men #1, featuring prominently in the original X-Men line-up as the X-Men team leader. Since then, Cyclops has been a central character throughout many X-Men projects, including X-Men: The Animated Series, and Fox’s X-Men movies. It’s therefore likely that Cyclops will also appear in the MCU’s X-Men movie – which will hopefully maintain the power precedent set by X-Men ’97.

Cyclops’ Optic Blasts Are Kinetic Force NOT Heat Vision

Cyclops’ Optic Blasts Are Commonly Misinterpreted

cyclops using his optic blasts in x-men 97

In the X-Men universe, Cyclops possesses the mutant ability to emit powerful optic blasts from his eyes. However, contrary to popular misconception and several cinematic portrayals, these optic blasts are not a form of heat vision but rather a manifestation of kinetic force. Cyclops’ eyes act as apertures for a non-thermal form of energy, which he releases as concussive blasts. This energy does not generate heat but instead delivers powerful impacts upon contact, capable of shattering objects and repelling adversaries with tremendous force, as seen in X-Men ’97.

In Marvel Comics, these optic blasts were explained as emanating from an alternative universe, for which Cyclops’ eyes act as a portal. Cyclops must wear special ruby-quartz visors or glasses to control his optic blasts, as his powers are constantly active and can be dangerous if left unchecked. X-Men ’97 has depicted this accurately for the first time, properly demonstrating the versatility in these concussive blasts.

In X-Men ’97 season 1, episode 1 “To Me, My X-Men,” Cyclops aims his optic blasts at the ground, to push himself backwards and propel across the battleground. In X-Men ’97 episode 2, “Mutant Liberation Begins” Cyclops uses these blasts to slow his descent as he falls through the air, using the force to push himself back upwards and cushion his fall. These scenes were presented very deliberately and centered on this dynamic use of Cyclops’ power, as if Marvel wanted to highlight this more accurate depiction.

Even Marvel Comics Don’t Accurately Show Cyclops’ Powers Correctly

Cyclops teasing his power in Marvel Comics

In Marvel Comics, Cyclops’ powers have occasionally been depicted with inconsistencies or inaccuracies, deviating from their established nature as kinetic force rather than heat-based energy. For instance, there have been instances where his optic blasts were mistakenly hinted to possess heat-related properties, contrary to their true concussive nature. Additionally, his abilities have sometimes been limited or portrayed in ways that overlook their full potential, rarely deployed as dynamically as in X-Men ’97 – where he is able to astutely manage the physics related to his optic blasts.

One notable example is in an early X-Men comic where Cyclops expresses concern about using his optic blasts to propel himself into the air, fearing his landing. However, this overlooks the fact that he could control the intensity and direction of his blasts to soften his landing, as seen in X-Men ’97. These inconsistencies highlight the occasional oversight or misinterpretation of Cyclops’ powers, even within the Marvel Comics universe.

The MCU’s X-Men Movie Must Continue To Portray Cyclops Accurately

Jams Marsden as Cyclops Staring Past The Camera In X2

In Fox’s X-Men movie franchise, Cyclops never quite received the cinematic treatment deserving of his character’s complexity and significance. One notable issue lies in the depiction of his optic blasts, which were often presented ambiguously regarding their true nature, and lacked the depth of their comic book counterpart. Instead of showcasing the full range and power of his abilities, Cyclops’ optic blasts were frequently portrayed in a rather basic manner, devoid of the nuanced control and tactical application seen in the comics.

Additionally, the design of Cyclops’ visor in the X-Men movies often left much to be desired, lacking the elegance and functionality of its comic book counterpart. Moreover, Cyclops was frequently depicted as being restricted in some way, often focusing on rescuing Jean rather than engaging with enemies. As such, Cyclops never truly unleashed the full extent of his power.

Furthermore, the cinematic portrayal of Cyclops often relegated him to a brooding and secondary role, rather than highlighting his true essence as a strong and capable leader of the X-Men. This deviation from his comic book characterization not only diminished Cyclops’ importance within the team but also overlooked the depth and complexity of his character arc. Overall, Cyclops’ depiction in Fox’s X-Men franchise fell short of capturing the essence of the iconic X-Men leader. Thankfully, X-Men ’97 is also making bold steps to properly depict this aspect of Cyclops too.

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