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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Can Cyclops Not Control His Powers Because of a Head Injury?

by  in Comic News Comment
The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Can Cyclops Not Control His Powers Because of a Head Injury?

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at the odd history of Cyclops’ head injury and its affect on his powers.

Here’s the thing. The whole “Cyclops can’t control his eye beams because of a head injury” thing was, itself, a late addition to the X-Men mythos. It wasn’t revealed until X-Men #138 (thanks to Michael F. for the issue number).

Uncanny X-Men #144 was the first to show HOW it happened…

Classic X-Men #41 and 42 (the back-up stories) by Claremont dealt more with the concept…

And this was designed to tie in with X-Factor #39 by the Simonsons (although I would imagine Louise Simonson was coordinating with Claremont here)…

This was the status quo for years. Cyclops’ head injury caused him to keep himself from controlling his powers. This led to one of the odder retcons you’ll see in the pages of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men, not for the idea itself but for HOW it was handled.

In Astonishing X-Men #14, Emma Frost (under the subliminal control of Cassandra Nova) messes with Scott’s brain, but in doing so she reveals that HE is the one who did not allow himself to control his powers…

Here, Emma has given him total clarity with her powers, so he is thinking clearly and is not affected by his mental blocks anymore, but obviously the experience overwhelmed him…

He explains as much when he comes to a few issues later and helps stop Emma/Cassandra…

His powers eventually came back but he didn’t tell anyone. He was now in control. He revealed that they were back (and he was in control of them) in spectacular fashion in the last story arc in Astonishing X-Men…

And then used them in Astonishing X-Men #24 with full control…

But that issue also gave us the first hint that this was temporary…

And then, in the final issue of Whedon/Cassaday’s run, we have it confirmed that Scott’s control of his powers was temporary for…reasons? Obviously, it was due to the clarity Emma gave him wearing off, but it’s never really explained WHY it wasted away…

So he was back to not being able to control them, but it was not because of the head injury anymore. It was just because of his mental blocks. Mental blocks that are still there for…reasons?

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