X-Men ’97’s Omega-Level Cameo Unravels Cyclops’ Family Secrets

X-Men ’97 just introduced an omega-level mutant in a cameo role, complicating Cyclops’ family dramas even more within the Marvel series.

Custom image of Cyclops looking concerned in X-Men '97 and Vulcan holding out an arm in Marvel Comics

Warning: This article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 episodes 5 and 6.

X-Men ’97 has focused heavily on Cyclops’ complicated family life so far, and an omega-level cameo appearing in episode 6 may have threatened even more drama for Cyclops’ Marvel Studios debut. X-Men ’97 episode 6 took place off-world for much of the runtime, reintroducing Professor X to the narrative after he was taken to the Shi’ar Empire’s home world in the final episode of X-Men: The Animated Series. Given he was taken there specifically to heal, his reappearance now isn’t surprising.

What is more surprising is some of the cameos that appear throughout the episode. Among these is Ronan, the Kree Accuser who has appeared as a villain in two live-action movies in the MCU timeline. His appearance in X-Men ’97 is decidedly less intimidating, however, as the Kree fighter finds himself effortlessly overcome by Shi’ar forces, including the Imperial Guard. Within this formidable group of super-powered individuals is one that shares a significant link to the X-Men.

X-Men ’97 Just Revealed Cyclops’ Forgotten Brother

Vulcan looks off-screen with glowing eyes and fist in X-Men '97

The Imperial Guard is a particularly powerful group of warriors whose goal is to enforce the interests of the Shi’ar empire. In X-Men ’97 episode 6, they can be seen trouncing a Kree ship for Deathbird, the warlike sister of Empress Lilandra. The group appeared in the original series, as they went toe-to-toe with the X-Men, only to be bested by the Phoenix Force in the Phoenix Saga. Most of the same members who appeared in this debut also appeared in X-Men ’97, with one notable exception: Cyclops’ brother, Vulcan.

Vulcan’s appearance is brief and relatively uneventful, but he can be seen bursting through the wall of the room containing Ronan and his minions before the Imperial Guard makes quick work of the resisting force. While Vulcan is not seen contributing to this brief skirmish, he is the one tasked with holding Ronan’s forces under threat of death should Ronan reject Deathbird’s demands to reveal the location of the Supreme Intelligence. The reasons for setting Vulcan on the troops are pretty clear, as he is one of Marvel’s most powerful mutants.

Who Is Vulcan: Powers & Marvel Comics Origin Explained

cyclops' brother vulcan commanding his space empire in marvel comics

Gabriel Summers is the younger brother of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Alex Summers (Havok) in Marvel Comics. He therefore shares a similar power set to his brothers, with his brand of energy blasts emanating from his hands and eyes. However, Vulcan has boasted far more raw power than his brothers through various comic runs, even earning the rank of “past omega-level” mutant at points. This involved seemingly no limit to the scale of his energy manipulation, which includes controlling the energy-based powers of others. He also boasts a typical bevy of other powers, like flight, super-strength, and super-durability.

The youngest Summers brother is directly tied to the Shi’ar Empire, having been born into slavery under the Shi’ar Emperor, D’ken, and rapidly aged into adulthood through Shi’ar technology. It wouldn’t be long before he would visit Earth and be recruited to the X-Men after being discovered by Xavier. This would later lead to his estrangement from his brothers once more, before he becomes embroiled again in Shi’ar politics as he aids in the deposition of Lilandra and becomes romantically involved with her usurper sister, Deathbird.

This appears to be the Vulcan storyline that X-Men ’97 could follow. X-Men ’97 episode 6 hinted at Deathbird’s designs against her sister, and Vulcan’s sudden involvement with the Imperial Guard is all the more conspicuous for it. Vulcan eventually reaches the peak of his power after becoming the new Shi’ar Emperor following Lilandra’s defeat, and though whether X-Men ’97 will go on to adapt this sprawling spaceborne run remains to be seen, this is unlikely to occur until much further down the line.

Could Cyclops & Vulcan Meet In X-Men ’97?

Cyclops awkward smile in X-Men '97

The fact that Vulcan has appeared now and not in the original series hints at the show’s intentions. His involvement with the Shi’ar Empire is unlikely to comprise one of the main arcs of the X-Men series any time soon, especially given Xavier now seems resolute about returning to Earth, but the fact that Vulcan appeared as a member of the Imperial Guard is telling. It is hard to see how Vulcan’s possible ascension to power would not result in him interacting with his Terran brother somewhere down the line.

With that being said, the current season already has a far more terrestrial plot thread to tie up. X-Men ’97 episode 6 ended with the reveal that Mr. Sinister had a hand in the cataclysmic Wild Sentinel attack on Genosha. With just four episodes remaining in X-Men ’97 season 1, and Xavier’s intentions to leave the Shi’ar Empire behind, it appears that this brotherly reunion may not happen for quite some time yet.

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