Hello and welcome to another fantastic character spotlight in Marvel Snapshot! This week, in honor of the soon to be revamped X-titles (due to Schism), we’ll be taking a look at the long tenured X-Man and current leader Scott Summers! Love him or hate him, you’ve got to give him his due for being able to lead the X-Men for this long. Scott was the creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1963, and made his debut in X-Men #1.
Hopefully by now everyone knows the tragic upbringing of Scott. He and his brother Alex were on the family’s airplane when a Shi’ar ship attacked them. There was only one parachute, so Scott’s parents strapped Alex to Scott, fastened the parachute to them, and pushed them out of the plane. Scott and Alex became wards of the state and were separated. Scott grew up in an orphanage, but when his powers manifested, he ran away. He was eventually found wandering by Professor Charles Xavier. Professor Xavier took Scott under his wing and became not only a teacher to him, but also a father figure. Scott would be instrumental in Xavier recruiting other mutants to his school. Especially Jean Grey and Henry McCoy.
Once the original X-Men were formed, Xavier trained them in his Danger Room. Scott was chosen to be the leader from day one as he was a natural. He knew how to use the team’s strengths and exploit enemies’ weaknesses. In the beginning, villains like Magneto and his Brotherhood, the Sentinels, and so on challenged the X-Men, but it wasn’t until the love of his life Jean Grey died (Dark Phoenix Saga), that we saw Scott with no idea what to do. After Jean died, Scott eventually moved on when he met a woman who was strikingly similar to Jean named Madelyne Pryor (at this point he leaves the X-Men, and starts X-Factor). He conceived a child with her named Nathan. The child eventually became a target of Apocalypse. Scott eventually sent his child to the future to be healed from a virus that Apocalypse used to infect him. Scott and the X-Men soon learned that the reason Madelyne resembled Jean so much, was because Mister Sinister cloned Jean, and the result was Madelyne. Scott later discovered that Jean wasn’t dead, and basically dumped Madelyne.
Later, Scott and Jean traveled to the future to help raise Nathan. They also traveled to the past at a pivotal point in history for mutants. They arrived in London at the time when Apocalypse was trying to not only take over the planet, but also turn a scientist named Nathaniel Essex into pure evil. In the end, Apocalypse changed Essex into one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies, Mister Sinister, but they did succeed in showing Sinister that Apocalypse is a monster, and that he should follow his own path. Scott and Jean, along with the rest of X-Factor, joined back up with the X-Men, and two separate teams were formed. Another bout with Magneto, Omega Red, the list goes on and on, but the X-Men with Cyclops leading them stood tall.
Scott and Jean’s relationship eventually deteriorated to the point where Scott turned to Emma Frost for answers. She mentally counseled him, but also tried to subtly influence him into having an affair. When Jean found out, she was furious and confronted Emma. She gave Emma a tremendous mental beating, but soon after Jean was killed in a confrontation with Xorn. Scott moved on seemingly with ease, though, and began a fling with Emma. Their relationship is still going full speed to this day. Scott is now the leader of not only the X-Men, but all mutants. They all live on Utopia, and even the mighty Magneto has knelt before Scott Summers!
As usual, check out my recommended reading list, plus some of Scott’s best cover shots below. See you next week!
Essential X-Men vol. 1-4 – Tpb
Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix – Tpb
New X-Men vol. 1-3 – Tpb
X-Men vs. Apocalypse vol. 1& 2 – Tpb
X-Men Origins: Cyclops (one-shot)