April 5, 2010

X-Men Power Rankings #1

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Written by: Andy
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Here we are, the #1 X-Men Power Ranking! It took us long enough but we’re about to rank the best of the absolute best the X-Men have to offer. So brace yourself. Things are about to get intense!

So what are power rankings? Mostly used to rank sports teams on how well they are playing now, my power rankings are a list of X-Men based on what their power set is in current continuity (or most recent appearance). Other factors that determined a character’s ranking are: what their power potential is, what they’ve already proven they can do (so long as it is still relevant in current continuity), and their over all level of badassness. If you disagree with me that’s totally cool- please leave a civilized comment explaining why. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and while I believe this list to be very solid in it’s numbering, I want to hear your thoughts! So anyway, here is number 1:

#1. Cyclops: Think back to the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s when Scott Summers was Professor Xavier’s ‘yes man’ boy scout. A time when he was the hall monitor of the X-Men, the goody-two-shoes of mutantkind. Well, picture that time and then forget about it because in 2010 Cyclops is hands down the most bad ass X-Man on the roster. He has stones of steel and only one thing on his mind; preserving mutantkind as a race and going to whatever lengths necessary to do so. He has readily become the lighthouse for mutants everywhere, and is unofficially the new leader of everyone with the X-gene. Since Messiah Complex Scott has acquired 3 eye popping feats on his hero resume that make him deserving of this #1 ranking of all the active X-Men in current continuity. And here they are:

Suck it Osborn.

1) He defeated Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers. If you haven’t read the Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia story arc from last summer, read it. In that event Cyclops displays a complete understanding of the mutants under his command, dividing them up into different strike teams to perform specific tasks according to their powers, all crucial in the defense of their very lives and in summation, mutantkind. Norman Osborn wanted to “wipe the mutant menace” from the face of the Earth, and Cyclops gallantly, bravely, and boldly led the X-Men in preventing him from doing so. What’s more is that no other hero team in the Marvel Universe managed to defeat Osborn during the Dark Reign; but a Cyclops-led army of mutants accomplished this feat.

2) Cyclops outwitted The Void. Yes, you read that correctly- Cyclops managed to conquer the entity that during Siege has tore Ares in half, shredded through Asgardians like toilet paper, and literally brought Asgard crashing down to Earth. Wow. After the Utopia story, Emma Frost had a sliver of The Void stuck in her mind following a failed attempt to reign in Bob Reynolds, the human alter ego of The Sentry. Frost knew that eventually this small sliver would attempt to take her over, thus gaining her telepathy, and she feared she would not have the power to fight it off. So as a preemptive strike against it, Cyclops went into Emma’s mind and faced off against The Void in a battle of wits and deception. Cyclops, a mere mutant without any psi powers or the ability to destroy a god, won. That’s hardcore.

Cyclops puts The Void in its place.

Magneto does the unexpected.

3) Cyclops has accomplished what Xavier and Magneto couldn’t do for decades: unite mutantkind. In today’s world of mutant paranoia, heightened mis-trust of super powered people, and a post M-Day mentality, Cyclops has realized that Xavier’s dream of peaceful co-existence between man and mutant is all but lost. However, peaceful co-existence amongst mutants has become a very attainable reality, and with Asteroid M being resurrected from the depths and re-dubbed Utopia, Cyclops has accomplished that very goal. You saw it during Nation X: Magneto bowing down to Scott, stating that he has been able to achieve something that he and Xavier only dreamed of. Let me state that again, Magneto BOWED DOWN to Scott Summers. What’s more is that Cyclops was also able to recruit Namor to the X-Men. Namor being the man who hates anything that walks on two legs and breathes air. Now that’s power.

For some more reasons why Cyclops is deserving of the #1 power ranking, check out this article written about him a few months back that goes into more detail. There’s no denying it ladies and gentlemen, Scott Summers is the man.

Powers: Cyke’s power, as I’m sure we all know, is to emit a concussive ruby colored energy blast (or optic beam) from his eyes. As the result of a childhood injury, his control over the beams is very limited, which is why he has to wear a visor (or sunglasses) made of ruby quartz to prevent them from escaping while his eyes are opened. However, in Joss Whedon’s run of Astonishing X-Men, there was a brief time where Cyclops had control of his beams which allowed him to fully open his eyes without them escaping. Since the conclusion of that story arc though, this idea has not been touched upon. The blasts do not harm him, and the thin membrane of his eyelids is enough to stop the emission of energy (of course, with his eyes closed he cannot see) from busting loose. Scott’s eyes act as a valve control for the width of his beams, meaning if he squints they will be more finely tuned than if his eyes are wide open. The visor he wears makes this job easier for him. The narrowest beam he can generate is the width of a pencil that can travel 4 feet with the concussive force of 2 pounds per square inch. His broadest beam is about 90 feet which can travel 50 feet with the force of 10 pounds per square inch. Cyclops’ most powerful optic blast is 4 feet across which from 50 feet away has a concussive impact of 500 pounds per square inch! After the distance of 2,000 feet his beam becomes ineffective. Also, if he were to blast away for a solid 15 minutes, he would become fatigued, causing the beam to be temporarily non-functional and forcing him to ‘recharge’ his power. There is speculation that Scott has yet to use his optic beams at their full potential- partly because of how dangerous it could be, and partly because he doesn’t have full control over them. Tony Stark once recorded that his energy output is well over 2 giga-watts- more powerful than a nuclear reactor. When in combat, Scott is attuned to his environment in such a way that he can see angles clearly with which to blast an opponent or have his beams ricochet in his favor. He is also a natural leader, stand out pilot, master tactician, and a very capable hand to hand fighter- in the past he’s stood toe to toe with the likes of Wolverine and Ghost Rider. Cyclops is also Havok and Vulcan’s brother.

First Appearance: X-Men #1, 1963.

And there you have it! A power ranking of all the active X-Men since Messiah Complex. I hope you enjoyed our analysis of comicdom’s mightiest mutants and stay tuned to for more X-mayhem!

Click here to view all 75 X-Men Power Rankings.

Andy Liegl



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: THE #1 X-MEN POWER RANKING is here!! #comics #xmen #marvel @MattFraction […]

  2. Billy

    Nice write up dude! I do agree that Cyke is closer to being top of the food chain than ever before. I also think if this was rating his ability to lead he would also be #1, but to me this should be more of a power ranking as far as raw power or power in a one on one fight. In those instances he wouldn’t be #1. 🙂

  3. Kristin

    Cyclops? Really, Andy? 🙁 He will always be one of the ultimlate lame-o characters to me.

  4. Eli

    What have you done Andy??? Cyclops…

    I’m with Kristin about Scott being lame. Granted, he’s at his all-time lowest lame-o levels, but still not #1 material.

  5. Billy

    @Kris & Eli- I guess we should thank our lucky stars Iceman isn’t #1. lol

  6. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ComicAttack: THE #1 X-MEN POWER RANKING is here!! #comics #xmen #marvel @MattFraction…

  7. Eli

    Actually Andy, I’d take Iceman over Cyclops. Who knows, maybe this was your big chance to put Bobby at the top, while appeasing your readers with a Cyclops dis??

  8. Yes, Cyclops.

    If you detest it that strongly, I have to assume you haven’t been reading the X-books over the last three years! There is no x-character who has evolved greater than Cyke in that time and for the reasons mentioned above, no one is more bad ass than he.

  9. I have only started reading UXM from about issue 490. And I have to say that the Summers’ brothers are what have kept me reading. Between Alex in the Starjammers, Gabe in WoK, and especially Scott in UXM, I totally agree with Cyke as #1.

  10. Though Cyke has never been my fav X-Man he has definitely stepped his game up the past couple of years and the writers have finally developed his character to someone that doesn’t make me want to skim past his parts in the book. As Andy said this isn’t the Cyclops of old and after everything that he’s accomplished recently I’ll give the jerk his props…this time lol

    That issue where Emma describes to Shanna how Cyclops’ powers work and his ability to see and analyize angles and battle trajectory really brings his powers to another level as this is a part of mutation and his years of training.

  11. Matt

    I have to agree with what Andy wrote about Cyclops and he even misses several previous moments of Cyclops being a badass. It was Cyclops that contained Apocalypse for a long while which made something like the Void the childsplay it was to him. It was Cyclops that brought Jean Grey back and stopped Dark Phoenix.
    But Andy did nail the one aspect of Cyclops that puts Cyclops above any other mutant and that is his ability to lead and unite. For years he was molded by two great mutants. Professor X and Magneto both seeked the same thing through different means but failed to do so again and again. But it was Cyclops that took the best of both and made it work.

    Cyclops learned from Professor X’s failings like his constant mind wiping when he thought it best the same as Magnetos failings of control and authority of all that were under him. Scott found a better way, offer them all sancutary and accept each one for their failings enemy or friend. Because Cyclops knows now he can be the hero or the villian and is willing to accept being either one. He understands it is better to be feared than loved and he treats each mutant as precious. Unlike Magneto and Professor X who just used mutants for their cause, for Cyclops Mutants are his cause.

  12. Soooo if Charles and Magneto had a baby it would be Scott?

  13. i totally agree with Andy here. and yes, forget how he was written circa Chris Claremont’s time – its way past the hour that he ascended as The Man. to add to the list, he got the hot redhead, he also managed to survive a merger with Apocalypse, and then didn’t break a stride when said redhead up and died the second time and hooked up with the blonde bombshell. say what you will about his ethics (he was cheating on Jean etc.), but he has Xavier’s, Magneto’s and Logan’s respect. admit it: you all wanna be Cyclops.

  14. Eli

    I’m not taking anything away from the glowing things that have been said about Cyclops. Though I do think that whole Magneto bow down thing is a joke, I mean, will we soon see Reed Richards acknowledging Peter Parker as the superior intellect??

    Magneto has brought the world to its kness, with nothing outside of his own power. Xavier has demonstrated about the same power level. Scott, for as much as he has accomplished, cannot, nor will he ever be able to do that without the aid of those he has united. Power Ranking makes me think of well… power. That’s not what Scott has an abundance of. If you pitted him against the #2 spot, Emma, she’d destroy him.

    The NFL team at the top of power rankings is the team that can statistically take out any other team. That ain’t how I see Scott. I see him as more of an MVP type of guy, not the powerhouse who can stand against all comers and put them down.

    I do like how he’s evolved, and he’s made great strides. I just don’t see him as #1 material on this list. I’ll leave it at that, and let all of the Scott lovers bask in his glory.

  15. Eli- The benchmark I set in these power rankings is not just how powerful their mutant ability is, rather it’s a collection of lots of different traits and attributes characters have demonstrated since Messiah Complex in 2007.

    Much like how a sports team is power ranked: not by who has the best players on the team, but by which team is playing the best NOW. And right now, at this moment, it’s Cyclops. He has accomplished what not other mutant could in their 40+ years of existence: unite mutant kind. Sure he had support, as every great leader does, but in the end it was all him.

  16. Eli

    Andy, I can’t argue with too much of what you’ve cited. I’m just gonna have to get used to Scott’s new stature/role; which is something I never would’ve seen him grow into. It’s good that some of us are being objective, and your list really does reflect it.

  17. […] honor of him being named #1 in the X-Men Power Rankings,’s Gotta Have It! Figure Edition proudly presents: X-Men Origins: […]

  18. john

    i’m sry but cyclops is garb, he later fights wovlerine and takes one of his hands but loses an eye in the process to only then be a yes man to apocalypse. yes cyclops becomes a villain and magneto(imo is #1) becomes leader of the x-men.

  19. …are you thinking of AOA and not 616 continuity? I think so.

    I agree, Magneto is badass. At the time of these rankings though, he wasn’t a member of the X-Men; he joined in the midst of the rankings being published.

  20. Cyclops's Twin

    There is no way in hell that my brother is that strong. I’ve seen him get his assed whoop’d on like a lil bitch. He can’t even see without his Oakley’s. *****Phoenix by far is the strongest mutant in the universe ever. fuck u nerds

  21. team cyclops

    I have to agree Andy!! not the biggest fan of cyclops, but he has def stepped it up!! Just wish they wouldn’t have made him such a small part puss in the movies… 🙁

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