X-Men ‘97 Made The Lamest Mutant Awesome Again

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Thanks to X-Men ’97, many X-fans are discovering what the rest of us have known for years: Cyclops rules. Scott “Bad Mother” Summers is such a tough SOB in the new Marvel animated series he’s completely overshadowed Wolverine.

Cyclops Has Always Been Better Than Wolverine

That’s important because sometime in the ’90s, the comic book community arbitrarily decided that Wolverine was the shining star of the X-Men. Looking back, it’s hard to understand why. Why would a child choose the hairy, angry man who drinks all the time over the dude who shoots red beams out of his eyes?

Dear Santa, please bring me an action figure that looks like my Dad with really long fingernails.

Why Scott Summers Rules

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As a result of Wolverine’s meteoric—if somewhat perplexing—rise to stardom, he became the de-facto star of the original X-Men cartoon and the live-action films. That left Cyclops in the role of straight-edge rule-following nerd who’s only really there for the cool Wolverine to rebel against, AKA the boring, lame X-Man. Thankfully, X-Men ’97 rectifies that injustice by giving Cyclops a chance to show just how awesome he really is.

Cyclops isn’t just a wet blanket. He’s not just the kid in class who reminds the teacher that she forgot to assign homework. Scott Summers was taken in by Charles Xavier as a teen and trained to be a child soldier. He isn’t the boy scout who insists on a fair fight. He’s the revolutionary willing to do whatever it takes to protect his fellow mutants.

X-Men ’97 Gets Cyclopse Right

X-Men ’97 knows this, which is why it gives Cyclops the best fight scenes in the series so far. Whether he’s jumping out of a plane without a parachute, using an optic blast to slow himself down, or taking on a whole gang of MAGA stand-ins called The Friends of Humanity all by himself, animated Cyclops doesn’t play.

Fans who only know Cyclops from the live-action X-Men movies watched those scenes and wondered when Cyclops got cool. Meanwhile, those of us who have been reading the X-Men comics for decades watched X-Men ’97 and wondered what took them so long to finally get Cyclops right. Old Slim Summers has been kicking butt and taking names since 1963.

Cyclops Is A Great Leader

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As a leader, Cyclops is on par with Captain America. A brilliant tactician and strategist, no one is better at getting the X-Men to fight together as a well-oiled unit. And speaking of fighting, anyone watching X-Men ’97 knows that Cyclops would be a handful even without his powers.

That’s because he’s trained in several forms of martial arts specifically so that he doesn’t have to rely on his eye beams. Cyke has black belts in judo and aikido, and he’s so skilled in both that he can take down multiple combatants with his eyes closed. While his powers in no way bolster his strength or unarmed combat skills, he has stood toe to toe with more dangerous hand-to-hand combatants such as Ghostrider and Wolverine and held his own.

Cyclops’ Time To Shine

Basically, X-Men ’97‘s Cyclops is a certified grade-A butt-kicker, and it’s about time even casual fans knew it. Hopefully, as the X-Men ’97 season continues, the series will continue to showcase Scott as the fearless warrior and leader that he really is.