Scarlet Witch’s decimation of mutantkind put the X-Men in a precarious situation, but Cyclops led them past it and everything that came after.

The recent “Reign of X” era portrays Cyclops as Krakoa’s finest leader. Scott Summers is ushering in a new team of X-Men, returning Marvel’s mutants to their heroic roots. Although Cyclops is thriving in this golden age of mutantkind, he wouldn’t be such a strong leader if not for the mutant decimation. Before the Scarlet Witch wiped out 98% of mutantkind, Cyclops was already a strong leader. Scott was the new headmaster of the Xavier Institute, remaining an impeccable strategist and field leader of the X-Men. After M-Day, however, Cyclops had to become more than a leader, he had to become a champion for mutants everywhere.

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In X-Men: Messiah Complex #1 by Ed Brubaker and Marc Silvestri, the first mutant since M-Day was born, leading several interested parties on the hunt for this “mutant messiah.” Cyclops took charge of the X-Men’s search, directing several teams on their mission to find this miraculous baby. In desperate times, Cyclops took some desperate measures to preserve his species. Scott told Wolverine to reform X-Force, so they could retrieve the baby by any means necessary.

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X-Men Messiah Complex

By the end of “Messiah Complex,” in X-Men #207 by Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo, Cyclops made a tough decision, entrusting Cable with the mutant messiah. Cable took the baby to the future, right before Professor X was mistakenly shot in the head by Bishop. While this led Cyclops to disband the X-Men, Scott was also the one to reunite the team. Moving to San Francisco, Cyclops established a haven for mutantkind and the X-Men’s new headquarters. Reuniting his race, Cyclops became the new champion of mutants everywhere. Scott’s battle for survival intensified when Norman Osborn began persecuting San Francisco’s mutants. To save his kind, Cyclops had the X-Club unearth a chunk of Asteroid M, which he dubbed Utopia. This island-nation was declared a home for all mutants. During his time on Utopia, Cyclops continued to fight fought for humanity, but he also focused on protecting mutantkind from extinction. This survivalist approach became so extreme that he even allowed Magneto on Utopia.

In X-Men: Second Coming #1 by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, and David Finch, Cable returned with Hope Summers, the mutant messiah, from the future. Cyclops made it the top priority to safely retrieve Cable and Hope and bring them to Utopia. Along the way, Scott tasked his X-Men with stopping Bastion, who was after Hope. When Utopia was trapped in an impenetrable dome, Cyclops sent Cable and X-Force on a suicide mission to stop an army of Nimrod Sentinels. Unfortunately, Cable had to sacrifice himself to close the portal, costing Scott his son. Despite this tragic loss, Cyclops had successfully saved his people, leading the X-Men to victory against Bastion. Cyclops’ survivalist attitude even extended to children, leading him to clash with Wolverine in X-Men: Schism #5 by Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert. For once, Cyclops saw the world more pragmatically than Logan, believing that mutants needed to grow up quickly to survive. After Wolverine left Utopia with half of the X-Men, Scott fought on to protect a world that hated and feared mutants. Cyclops created his “Extinction Team” to show the world that mutants were not going anywhere.

In Avengers vs. X-Men #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, and John Romita Jr., the Phoenix Force headed for Earth, targeting Hope Summers. Scott saw this as an opportunity to reignite the mutant race, preparing Hope to become The Phoenix’s next host. Yet the Avengers disagreed, wishing to take Hope into custody. Cyclops fought Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, desperate to save mutantkind from extinction.

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While Cyclops’ intentions were noble, he became corrupted when The Phoenix was split between himself and four other mutants. The cosmic entity ultimately turned Scott into The Dark Phoenix, killing Charles Xavier. In the end, however, Hope worked with the Scarlet Witch to harness the power of The Phoenix, reigniting a spark for mutantkind. With this mutant revival, Cyclops felt vindicated for his actions.

Now, as mutants thrive on Krakoa, Cyclops is a stronger leader than ever before. Scott knows when to take charge and make the tough decisions, like when he took the X-Men to Otherworld in X of Swords: Destruction #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, and Pepe Larraz. During his fight for mutant survival, Cyclops experienced the harsh realities of war, turning into a battle-hardened commander. Even after everything he’s been through, Scott wants the X-Men to be heroes, asking Krakoa to elect a new team that will protect mutants and humans alike. After facing possible extinction, Cyclops is more than ready to lead a new team of X-Men.

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