Cyclops is the long time leader of the X-Men and one of the team’s most important members. He was one of Professor Xavier’s first students and helped found the X-Men. He’s been leading the team almost from the becoming and it defined him more than it did other members of the group. Without Cyclops’s expert leadership, the team would have fallen in battle with one of their dangerous foes.

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However, that’s not to say he’s always the best choice for the leader of the X-Men. Cyclops has a lot of personal problems and issues which can affect the team in adverse ways.

10 His Complicated Love Life Has Caused Problems For The Team

a collage of four images: cyclops and storm kissing, psylocke, vileena, and x-23

Cyclops’s first love was his teammate Jean Grey and things just kept getting more complicated from there. After her “death” as Dark Phoenix, Cyclops would fall in love with Madelyne Pryor, a Jean Grey clone. They’d have a son, he’d spurn her for a returned Jean Grey, and she would become a demon queen. Standard stuff.

After Jean’s next death, he then got with Emma Frost, a move that would make waves with the X-Men. And that doesn’t even address various entanglements with Storm, Psylocke, and other X-Men over the years. It’s an unspoken rule that team leaders shouldn’t get romantically involved with members of their team because it causes a conflict of interest, but Cyclops just can’t seem to help himself.

9 He’s Been Known To Rub People The Wrong Way

While Cyclops has a lot of stalwart allies in the X-Men, he doesn’t always get along very well with a lot of people. Even among the X-Men, the way he does things can sour people on him. Take Wolverine— the relationship between the two has had a whole lot of dangerous ups and downs and much of that is because of how Cyclops is.

Cyclops has a way about him that a lot of people don’t like. He’s an acquired taste and as such, isn’t the best ambassador for the X-Men, which can be a problem when they need to work with other heroes.

8 He Can Be Unrelenting In A Bad Way

Cyclops Havok feature

Heroes should all be a bit unrelenting, as quitting is the surest way to lose a fight a lot of the times when dealing with supervillains. While Cyclops has that sort of attitude in battle, he’s also rather unrelenting in other ways and that isn’t always a good thing. The fact that he doesn’t compromise can be very bad for the team.

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As a leader, compromise can be rather important and Cyclops has never learned that lesson, even when it was in his face the whole time. This has made life harder for the X-Men.

7 His Surety In Himself Can Be His Downfall

A leader needs to be sure of themselves but Cyclops can take that concept to ridiculous levels. There was a time when Cyclops was the leader of the remnant of mutantkind after M-Day and he made a lot of decisions that weren’t exactly the best for mutantkind. However, he believed wholeheartedly in every single decision he made, no matter the consequences.

Cyclops has been known to double down on his decisions, even when they aren’t the best. It’s bitten him several times over the years and by extension, the X-Men as well.

6 He Can Have A Very Bad Temper

Astonishing X-Men Cyclops Optic Blast X-Men Marvel

Cyclops is kind of a repressed individual. After his mutant powers manifested, he became shy and withdrawn, always afraid of injuring someone. This attitude became a huge part of who he was; self control was paramount to his personality. However, he has emotions just like anyone else, and that means having a temper.

The X-Men is full of members with bad tempers but Cyclops kind of takes it to the next level. All of those years of repression have made it so when he does cut loose, things can get out of hand and with powers like Cyclops, that can be bad news. On top of that, he’s been known to take his anger out on others under his command at times as well, which is never good.

5 His Powers Aren’t Very Multi-Faceted

Cyclops’s powers can be quite devastating but they also sort of pigeonhole him. His abilities are almost entirely offensive— while they have defensive uses, in the end, they are just energy blasts. Cyclops is a weapon and while that’s fine, a leader should be able to do more than just blast whatever is directly in front of him.

There are situations where Cyclops is kind of useless to the team, which is never good for a leader. He tries to lead from the front but unless it’s a fight, he’s mostly just telling people what to do.

4 He’s A Bit Of A Control Freak

Cyclops Jean Grey

Spending so many years with such strict self control had an affect on Cyclops. It led him to trying to control things as much as possible in his personal life and as a leader of the X-Men, which has caused a lot of interpersonal conflict on the team. While this approach can pay off at times— Cyclops is a pretty good leader overall— it’s also been detrimental.

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The X-Men are a varied lot and each member brings unique skills and experiences to the team. Cyclops doesn’t always trust his fellows, preferring to be in control of the minutiae and this has hurt the team in battle when Cyclops thinks he knows better than an expert.

3 He Comes Off As Unapproachable & Doesn’t Do Much To Disprove That

A leader should be someone that members of their team can go to with their problems but it takes a while before people can get to that level with Cyclops. He can be quite imperious and hard to approach when people first meet him and it takes time for him to open up and vice versa.

While a leader shouldn’t be bogged down by their underlings’ problems, they need to be there for them and that’s always been hard for Cyclops. He’s so obsessed with the job and so hard to approach at times that his teammates just don’t go to him.

2 Storm Proved She Was A Better Leader Than Him

Storm joined the X-Men and rose through the ranks, eventually challenging Cyclops for leadership of the team. The two fought it out in the Danger Room and Storm won. What was most impressive about it was that she won when she didn’t have any powers at all. From there, she would lead the team for years, proving that she was just as good, if not better, than Cyclops.

In all of the places where Cyclops was weak, she was strong and the X-Men grew precipitously under her command, overcoming some of the most difficult threats and becoming the A-list team they were always destined to be. Cyclops may have been the team’s first leader but Storm was the best and did more for the team in the long run.

1 His Past Actions Have Colored The Way The World Looks At Him

Cyclops’s time as leader of the mutant race ended very badly, battling the Avengers over possession of the Phoenix Force in Avengers Vs X-Men. This fight would end with Cyclops as Dark Phoenix killing Professor X and being imprisoned. He would escape and become a revolutionary, his actions on the terrorist side of things at times. This changed the way everyone looked at him.

With the mutant race needing as much good PR as they can get with the establishment of the mutant nation of Krakoa, Cyclops’s recent wrongdoings paint the X-Men and the mutant race negatively at a time when they need as much positivity as they can get.

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