Cyclops In Animation - A Retrospective

Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four

The opening of the second season sees Jean and Scott tie the knot as relations betweens humans and mutants are at an all time high as newly elected President Kelly urges his nation not to give into bigotry and welcome mutants as humanity’s brothers. In a twist absolutely no one saw coming, Morph came back from the dead and turned heel in the process! I remember being Gob smacked at this back in the day – I never thought we’d see Morph again. For all the BS resurrections Marvel and DC have done in the comics, this is one I don’t think anyone was really expecting and GASP! It even served a purpose beyond shocking people!

For reasons unknown, Mr. Sinister had taken a disturbing fascination with Cyclops and his bride to be and decided to use them as the basis of his experiments. I know a lot of people aren’t too keen on Mr. Sinister, but I thought this show did a great job with him. Brilliant casting and even a great design helped the character come across as one of the creepy characters I’ve seen on a Saturday morning cartoon. I hope he makes his way into the new Wolverine cartoon. Sinister would re-appear throughout the season as Morph became conflicted with his hatred of Cyclops for leaving him behind and trying to overcome the device which Sinister implanted in his brain to allow his hatred of Scott to overcome him. He finally overcomes this and defeats Mr. Sinister and forgives Scott in the second season finale, giving closure to the arc.

The various Phoenix Sagas would dominate season three of the show. I’ve never much cared for them – I thought they were dull back in the day and struggle to sit through them even now. I like my X-Men to fight for mutant rights – not some daft story about an alien entity being stolen by space pirates. I always enjoy The X-Men more when they ground it in reality – I don’t really care for Savage Lands, alternate dimensions and space stories, I was actually very pleased when X-Men: Evolution managed to pretty much ignore all of these – I think it helped the tone of the show more.

Cyclops spends most of the story mopping about Jean’s well being before ultimately being forced to say goodbye so she can guard the Emkron crystal. I thought the story could’ve been told in a lot less amount of time and ultimately, I think they hindered themselves by sticking too closely to the comics. Part five did have an awesome cameo by Spider-Man though! Thwipp!

No Mutant Is An Island sees Scott leave the group as he is simply distraught over the loss of Jean. It would be the first time that Scott would have a full episode devoted to him. The main problem comes from AKOM (what a surprise!) as there numerous animation errors and the majority of the show had to be reanimated causing a delay which meant the episode aired several years after it should have done and the audience wasn’t actually shown how Jean survived… she literally just appeared. The episode itself actually gives us a good look at how heartbroken Scott is but at the end of the day it was simply too little too late. Must be frustrating for the creative team to work so hard to have AKOM give the kiss of death to most of their work.

Scott would be reunited with his Father again in Orphan’s End as he learns that Corsair is actually his Dad and he wasn’t killed in the plane crash as Scott was originally told. Scott sure does have a complicated family tree doesn’t he?

Scott didn’t really get up to much for the rest of the show’s run. He finally married Jean in the fourth season saga Beyond Good And Evil but that was quickly overshadowed by the plethora of other characters in the story, who were more than plentiful. It seems that he and Gambit only really showed up in a handful of episodes towards the end of the show’s run and even then, he didn’t really get up to a great deal.

He did appear in the Spider-Man/X-Men team up, but again, played second fiddle to everyone else. I’m personally just glad they managed to get everyone over but Cyclops’ design obviously caused problems – every single shot had a colouring error of some kind.

When the revamped episodes of X-Men came along, Scott was given a new design which worked a hell of a lot better than his previous model. The blue on black looked much better than black on blue, resulting in a much sharper visual. Again, he didn’t really do much until the show’s finale as he carried on Xavier’s dream through his Death. Charles parting words to his son

Scott, were I your father, I would tell you that no truer son could ever be. I am proud, proud of you all, my...X-Men.

So in review, there was a lot of good and bad with Scott. It’s difficult to balance the leader of the group into a lot of episodes where he is not the main focus and the show tended to use Wolverine as it’s central character more – although the reasons for this are many – he is the fan favourite and he is actually able to carry his own episode, which one could argue Scott was not able to do.

Cyclops was one of the few X-Men to appear in the first movie. An apparent victim of FOX’s annoying short run time, he isn’t really given too much to do. Unfortunately, this would continue with both sequels as he is all but absent from X2 and is quickly killed in X-Men: The Last Stand, presumably because James Marsden was over in Australia filming the tedious Superman Returns.

From the looks of things, it sounds like Cyclops isn’t an interesting character to translate outside of the comics’ right? Fortunately, X-Men: Evolution was there to prove us very, very wrong!