CYCLOPS: Page 8 of 20

Publication Date: 14th Nov 2019
Image Work: sixhoursoflucy and Gremlin.


Scott tried to call Maddie from New York several times, but couldn't reach her. Though the five old friends worked together well, Jean felt that the others were keeping something from her. After Scott slipped and called her Maddie, she pressed the truth out of Beast, Angel and Iceman, only to learn that during the time she was believed dead, Scott had gotten married. During one of their missions, Jean confronted Scott about it and he showed her a picture of his wife and baby. Jean told him that his place was with his family and that he should find them. [X-Factor (1st series) #7-8]

A short while later, Cyclops indeed traveled to Anchorage, only Madelyne and the baby were no longer there. The house was empty and neither police nor the hospital had any records either of them ever existed. Even Scott's grandparents were missing, allegedly having sold their charter business for a large profit and gone on extended vacation. Scott returned to their cabin and suddenly saw a vision of Madelyne, changing into Phoenix, Jean and Dark Phoenix. He began to doubt himself once more—could they all have been the same woman the whole time, dying and being reborn time and again? Back in X-Factor's headquarters, he saw a similar vision, and was now convinced. He accused Jean of being Phoenix and, to prove his point, almost killed her by taking off his visor and staring her in the face. Phoenix would have been able to keep his eye beams in check but plain Jean couldn't. Fortunately, the young mutant Leech neutralized Scott's powers until he saw his error. It turned out that Scott's "visions" were actually holograms, created by X-Factor's public-relations manager Cameron Hodge. Their colleague was secretly a mutant-hater and knew where the members were the most vulnerable. He was deliberately trying to make Scott crack up from self-doubt. Hodge had been manipulating the mutant-hunter angle of X-Factor from the beginning to fuel the flames of intolerance, and so Cyclops and the others soon threw off that guise and revealed themselves as publically-known mutant super-heroes. [X-Factor (1st series) #13, 18, 26]

Over time, Scott and Jean grew closer again but, during the crisis known as the "Fall of the Mutants," Maddie and the X-Men appeared to die on a national TV broadcast coming out of Dallas. Madelyne's last words she spoke to the camera were to ask her husband to find their missing baby. Later, Scott and Jean tracked down little Nathan Christopher and found him in a secret lab below the same orphanage where Scott grew up, but they couldn't prevent demons from snatching him. [X-Factor (1st series) #27, 35] The baby was brought to Madelyne, who, with the help of N'astirh, had found a way to awaken her latent powers and was now called the Goblyn Queen. N'astirh was responsible for the hellish outbreak in New York City known as "Inferno" and wanted Madelyne to sacrifice her own son to gain even more power. Both the X-Men and X-Factor fought the demons while Jean and Madelyne were separated in a telekinetic bubble. Madelyne revealed the truth of her origin, which she just had learned herself from Mr. Sinister: she was actually a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister and empowered by a fraction of the Phoenix Force. This revelation drove her insane.

Madelyne hated Jean so much that she killed herself and forced Jean into a mental bond to die with her. Luckily, Jean survived, only to be attacked by Mr. Sinister. The X-teams tracked him down to his hiding place—Xavier’s mansion—and fought him. During the battle, Sinister's used his psychic abilities to block Scott's access to his powers. Cyclops remembered the manipulations the villain put him through in his time at the orphanage and, seeing his lover in his foe's arms, finally broke through his mental blocks. Empowered by his brother's plasma bursts, Scott hit Sinister with such a strong optic blast that it blew Sinister apart. [Inferno crossover]

Several weeks later, when things had calmed down and he and Jean were taking care of the baby, Scott asked Jean to marry him. She refused. She felt everyone took it for granted that they would eventually get married, and it did not help at all that she had just recently absorbed the memories from Phoenix and Maddie of Scott proposing to them as well. To defend her right to make her own decisions, Jean rejected Scott's proposal. [X-Factor (1st series) #53-54] The future again seemed set in stone, however, when they learned shortly afterward that Excalibur’s Rachel was actually their adult daughter from an alternate timeline. [X-Factor Annual #5]

Several months later, Apocalypse had his Riders of the Storm kidnap Nathan Christopher Summers. He infected the boy with a techno-organic virus that began destroying his body cell by cell. X-Factor followed Apocalypse to his lunar base and battled him and his forces. During the battle, a woman called Askani appeared through a time-portal, claiming to have come from nearly two millennia in the future to save Scott's baby. To that end, she stopped Beast from trying to remove Nate from the power drainer he had been left in, since his removal would have killed him instantly with a cosmic energy pulse. Instead, Askani took the pulse herself, shorting out the equipment she needed to safely use her time-portals. Askani told Cyclops and Marvel Girl that she had technology in her future that might be able to save Nathan, but her powers would most likely destroy her if she made another time-jump. Their choice was simple: let Nate die of the virus or never see him again. Cyclops chose to save him and sent his only son into the future, fully aware that he would never know if the cure was successful. [X-Factor (1st series) #66-68]

Some time later, it was discovered that the supreme telepath known as the Shadow King had taken over the minds of the residents of the Muir Island Research Facility. Most of the X-Men were captured by the Islanders when they tried to stop the Shadow King, so Professor Xavier enlisted the help of both X-Factor and SHIELD. After the villain was defeated, X-Factor decided to rejoin the X-Men. Because there were now fourteen X-Men, they split into two separate strike forces. Cyclops led the Blue Strike Force while Storm led the Gold Strike Force, for which Jean Grey served as resident telepath. [X-Factor (1st series) #70, X-Men (2nd series) #1]

The Blue Strike Force also included the stunning telepath Psylocke, who started heavily flirting with Cyclops. Scott seemed highly receptive to her advances, although Psylocke was also subtly using her telepathy to nudge him in her direction. Her seduction efforts caused trouble for Scott and Jean, but they resolved their issues without harming their relationship. Psylocke's actions were partly caused by her own identity issues, and when those were resolved she apologized to Jean and the three remained friends. [X-Men (2nd series) #8, 12, 17, 38, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #290, 294]

Shortly thereafter, Stryfe (the evil double of X-Force's leader Cable) made an assassination attempt on Charles Xavier and infected him with the same techno-organic virus that had infected young Nathan Christopher as an infant. Stryfe committed this act with his helmet deliberately off so it would appear to the public that Cable was the culprit. At the same time, Cyclops and Jean Grey were kidnapped from Harry's Hideaway. Captive in Stryfe's base, the villain teased them with bits of the truth and made it seem like he was the adult Nathan Christopher, having grown up in the far future and now returning to the present to get revenge on the parents who abandoned him. Cable, he claimed, was an imperfect clone, hence his need for bionic body parts. The X-teams found their missing comrades in an atmospheric base on the lunar surface, but only those who possessed Summers DNA were able to penetrate its pre-programmed force field. Cable and Havok battled Stryfe and managed to free Scott and Jean as well. As Nathan and Stryfe were locked in a life-and-death physical struggle, Cable activated an explosive device and temporal portal, sending them both tumbling into the timestream. The general consensus was that both had died as a result, meaning Cyclops had lost his son a second time to a fate unknown. [X-Cutioner’s Song crossover]