We all know that Cyclops is drastically far from a perfect character. Throughout his life, he has consistently made poor choices that reflect the negative aspects of his personality. Even as a fan of the character, I am fully aware that he can be a douche. Cyclops is not an easy character to like. He has often put down others down around him and betrayed the people closest to him. While we understand the events that shape him, it does not change the fact that he has been a complete jerk at times. His decisions typically come from his desire to do best by mutants in general and the X-Men in particular. Alas, his good intentions frequently get obscured by how he executes those choices.

At times, Cyclops’ actions go awry and people around his suffer. At others though…at others, he ends up getting it worst then anyone. Here are the five that really ended up exploding in his face.

1. Marrying and Abandoning an Exact Clone of His Dead Ex

Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Although Cyclops did not know that Madelyne Pryor was a clone of Jean Grey, this was still a terrible decision. First of all, I will never comprehend how he didn’t know Madelyne was a clone of Jean. They looked, LITERALLY identical. Second, Cyclops only fell in love with Madelyne because he consciously decided that she would be the closest he would ever get to being with Jean again.

The comeuppance? Jean Grey soon ends up revealed as not being dead and Cyclops has gotten himself married to a woman he does not truly love and had a child with her. He had no choice but to just deal with his new lot. Sure, the love of his life had returned from the dead, but as a husband and father, he would never be able to be with Jean again.

2. Cyclops Attempts to Leave His Wife and Child, Again and Again

Cyclops fights Storm
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Just kidding.

First, Cyclops attempted to abandon Madelyne and their child to rejoin his old X-Men team. However, things went rapidly awry when he decided that not only would he rejoin his former team, he would also be their leader once more. Storm, understandably, objected.

To settle the argument, they duel to be recognized as leader. Contrary to Cyclops’ cocky expectations, Storm bested him in battle. Cyclops shuffled off, humiliated, to try domesticity once more. There he moped over his fate and mentally prepared for a lifetime of disappointment. While this appeared to be the perfect punishment for attempting to desert his family, it didn’t last.

If he stayed loyal to Madelyne and stayed with his family, he could have made the most of the situation. However, like usual, Cyclops ruins any chance of salvaging the situation. He abandoned Madelyne and their son once more to lead X-Factor and hang out with his ex. The choice sparked Pryor’s unraveling culimating in her becoming the Goblin Queen. He abandoned his wife and child for an old girlfriend and a chance to be a superhero again. As a result, he created a supervillain who nearly sacrificed their child as a means of turning New York City into hell on Earth. Moreover, he completely sunk his likability with fans by revealing himself to a self-involved jerk.

3. Cheating on Jean Grey with Emma Frost

Cyclops Gets Caught
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Cyclops not only made poor choices, but he has made some completely void of common sense. For example, there was that time he cheated on somebody that can read his mind.

In Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN, Emma Frost seduced Cyclops via psychic link. Scott was married to Jean at the time, but Emma certainly did not care and Slim quickly seemed to forget his vows as well. For homo sapiens like you and I, thoughts can hardly be considered cheating. When you have established a mental connection with a seductive woman who is not your wife, though? A very different situation entirely. No way to argue against Cyclops being adulterous there.

What logical part of Cyclops’ brain ever thought that Jean wouldn’t find out..? Earth to Cyclops: Jean can read your mind!

When Jean inevitably discovered the affair, her marriage to Scott did not survive the experience. That would be blowback enough. However, if one wanted to take the long view, you could point to this moment as the first step towards a decade’s worth of misery for Scott Summers.

4. Killing Charles Xavier

Cyclops Kills Xavier
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Speaking of misery…

In the events of AVENGERS V.S. X-MEN, Cyclops and four other mutants are granted the power of the Phoenix Force. Known as The Phoenix Five, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik, and Namor attempted to use their powers to save both the mutant and human race. Unfortunately, the power went rapidly to their heads and their mission quickly curdled. As a result the Avengers felt forced to take on the five. One by one, the Avengers defeated them until only Cyclops and Emma Frost remained.

With their backs against the wall, Cyclops turned on Emma and took her half of the Phoenix Force for himself. As Cyclops completed his full transformation into Dark Phoenix, he lost all grip on his sanity. Simultaneously, Cyclops took on the Avengers and the X-Men until his father figure, Charles Xavier attempted to bring his protege to his senses. With the Phoenix Force clouding his judgment, Professor X’s efforts proved doomed to fail. Rather than stopping his rampage, Cyclops killed his mentor.

The entire AVENGERS V.S. X-MEN story is one big mistake that turned on Cyclops. Had he never fought back against the Avengers, most of this probably could have been avoided. If he had faced the fact that the Phoenix Force is an all-powerful corrupting force, they could have solved the issue before he became Dark Phoenix. However, he made poor choice after poor choice, leading to the murder of the closest person he ever had to a real father.

5. Cyclops Becomes The Phoenix AGAIN

Cyclops Becomes Phoenix
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Any typical person would learn their lesson after one go round with the Phoenix Force. Toss in the murder their father figure and many atypical people would as well. Not Cyclops.

Only three years later in our time–so like a month in Marvel time–Cyclops returned to the Phoenix will during SECRET WARS. With the multiverse on the brink of destruction, Dr. Doom and Dr. Strange managed to salvage as much as they could and create a new world from the remnants of the multiverse. However, Dr. Doom became an all-powerful tyrant and the remaining super powered beings of the world attempted to overthrow him. As their world crumbles around them, Cyclops ignored the proverb “past behaviors predict future events” and reunited with the Phoenix Force.

Cyclops did not technically become the Dark Phoenix this time out. That mattered very little ultimately. Wielding immense power, Cyclops seemed to be gaining the upper hand on Doom…until he didn’t. Doom quickly turned the tables and snaps Cyclops’ neck. His death might have been erased durign the universe reset, but it cannot erase how poorly that choice turned on him.

If his past is any indication of his future, we can count on Cyclops not only repeats these mistakes again but them utterly ruining his day.

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