Will X-MEN ’97 Give Us Cyclops as Mutant Revolutionary?

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The world of Marvel's mutants has been changed forever thanks to the genocidal attack on genosha in episode five of X-Men '97. So much so, we theorize that it will cause a rift in the team that doesn't remember one, though two major events in comics. The first is the appearance of the more militant and revolutionary version of Cyclops. For a time in the comics in the late 2000s, Scott Summers had a “take no prisoners” attitude that rivaled that of Magneto. The other is the formation of X-Factor, a team led by Cyclops made up of the original X-Men. These are the clues provided by the classic Marvel Comics that lead us here X-Men '97 is going

Post-Avengers vs. X-Men Cyclops as a mutant revolutionary.
Marvel Comics

Cyclops is getting angrier with each episode of X-MEN '97

Cyclops gives an angry television interview at the X-Mansion in X-Men '97 episode five, Remember It.
Marvel animation

Even before the attack on Genosha, in the TV interview, Scott Summers seemed very done with everything. He loses control and becomes brutally honest, having an outburst where he mentions how sick he is of human prejudice and ungratefulness. All the recent trauma of the series seems to have gotten to Scott, including the loss of his young son Nathan to an unknown future. Added with the genocide in Genosha, which killed the mother of his son, Madelyne Pryor, that might be enough to make Scott harden his heart and become a hardened revolutionary. He might even adopt Magneto's approach to mutant rights and break with Xavier's more peaceful method.

In the wake of the mutants' destruction, Cyclops becomes more militant

Cyclops leads the mutant nation of Utopia in the X-Men comics of the late 2000s.
Marvel Comics

In the comics, the genocide on Genosha, followed by the The Scarlet Witch removes the power of almost all mutants on Earth in 2005 House of M, led to a near annihilation of mutants as a race. This changed the rest of the fed mutants in both good and bad ways. For Scott Summers, this time was especially tough. He had recently lost his wife Jean Gray (again) and found out that his mentor, Professor X, had lied to him and the team about various things. Dating former villain Emma Frost, Cyclops became increasingly militant in his belief that mutants must do anything to survive, no matter the cost. It was during this time that he secretly formed a new version of X-Force, designated as a black ops team sent on missions to kill their deadliest enemies.

Cyclops gives his revolutionary manifesto.
Marvel Comics

During this time, Cyclops led what was left of the motorized mutants to an island near San Francisco called Utopia. There, he formed the X-Men's “Extinction Team”, which was designed to flex the power of the world's mutants, and was created to thwart extinction-level events for humans and mutants. In this powerful lineup were X-Men such as Emma Frost, Colossus, Namor, Magick, Storm and Magneto. The Master of Magnetism he had relinquished his role as revolutionary leader to Scott, a man Magneto had tried to kill in battle many times as a child.

Cíclope, director of the New Xavier Proactive School

The militant version of Cyclops that emerged in the mid-2000s.
Marvel Comics

It didn't end there. Believing that mutants must do whatever it takes to survive, Cyclops began training the few remaining younger mutants as soldiers. This led to a schism with Wolverine. Logan believed that mutant children must learn to control their powers first, leaving the soldiering to the adults. From there, the team split into two X-Men factions, with Cyclops leading an aggressively proactive team and Logan leading another. Cyclops opened the New Xavier School at the old Weapon X base, militarizing a new generation of teenage mutants. This act raised eyebrows among the mutant community as well as teams like the Avengers.

“Cyclops was right”

The Cyclops Was Right Banner for 1920s Marvel Comics Mutant Rights..
Marvel Comics

Things really got out of hand for Cyclops when the Phoenix Force returned to Earth. This led to a war with the Avengers, and Cyclops (and four other mutants) became the new hosts of the Phoenix. The Phoenix pushed Cyclops into a darker mindset, eventually leading to the killing of his mentor Charles Xavier. Of course Xavier eventually came back. That didn't stop his fellow X-Men from blaming Scott for what he did under the Phoenix's influence. However, when Scott died (temporarily of course) many changed their views on Scott Summers, seeing him as a mutant martyr. The mutants of the Marvel Universe began to boast of the phrase “Cyclops Was Right”. Although his stance has softened quite a bit since his return to life, this militant Cyclops lasted several years of comics.

Could Cyclops Form X-Factor As Team X-Men Splinter?

The original five X-Men in X-Men ;97, and the original 1987 Marvel Comics X-Factor by Walter Simonson.
Marvel Animation/Marvel Comics

We think that if proactive Cyclops breaks up a divided X-Men team, the producers could go further into the comic book past for their roster. From the first episode X-Men '97, they continue to show a photo of the first class of Xavier's students hanging in Charles' office. Like the comics, the original X-Men were Cyclops, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Beast, Iceman, and Angel. The original series casually mentioned an original team before, most notably in the Iceman-centric episode “Cold Comfort”. They never drew attention to the fact that there was an “original five” team as much as they did X-Men '97. We think they are reminding us for a reason. It's because when Scott forms his own team, he'll call his old classmates, and they'll be called X-Factor.

Cyclops takes on Storm from the right to lead the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #201, art by Michael Golden.
Marvel Comics

In the comics, Cyclops lost leadership of the X-Men to Storm, trying to settle down with his wife and son. But circumstances forced him to form his own team with his oldest friends. The original X-Factor's mission statement was to use humanity's paranoia and fear of mutants against them. Posing as the X-Factor, the original five X-Men were like the Ghostbusters to mutants. People would call them on a toll free line and they would show up and deal with the local “mutant problem”. Since they were all secretly mutants themselves, they would train these younger mutants as Xavier taught them.

The original X-Men disguised themselves as mutant hunters, in order to save mutants.
Marvel Comics

The mutants wore different costumes like the X-Terminators, a public team of mutant superheroes made up of former X-Men. The unsuspecting audience didn't realize they were the same group. X-Factor thought they could use humanity's fear of mutants to their own advantage and save the children with active X genes. The plan ultimately backfired and did more harm than good. Still we could see it X-Men '97 have Cyclops lead a new charge with his oldest friends in tow. As the series continues to unfold, we will discover how far Cyclops has been driven to extremism. We believe that much of the character's future trajectory was laid out for Scott Summers decades ago in some classic Marvel titles.



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