Warning: This article contains spoilers for Champions #5, by Jim Zub, Juanan Ramirez, Marcio Menyz and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Thanks to his role as the X-Men's primary field leader in hundreds of comics, movies and cartoons, Cyclops has become one of Marvel's most iconic superheroes. However, for most of the past decade, Scott Summers has been more of a mutant hero than a full-on superhero for everyone.
In addition to leading the X-Men, Cyclops spent the last several years as the self-proclaimed leader of mutant-kind. During this time, he prioritized the survival of his people in a world that hates and fears them above all else -- and everyone noticed.
While that path effectively turned Cyclops into a villain shortly before his death, a resurrected Scott Summers has returned to his superhero roots as the leader of a rag-tag group of veteran mutants in Uncanny X-Men. Instead of the militaristic looks he's more recently sported, Scott has even returned to his Jim Lee-designed costume from the '90s, as a visual indicator of his return to heroism
As War of the Realms sends a mythical invasion force all around the world, Cyclops briefly turned his back on the X-Men, who set up a relatively secure camp in a stadium, to help Ms. Marvel and some of his other old teammates at their most desperate hour in Champions #5.
While that might not seem like an innately heroic act, it gives Cyclops the opportunity to be a superhero who helps anyone in need instead of someone who's only concerned with X-Men or mutant affairs.
While defending Melbourne, Australia from waves of Rock Troll attackers, Ms. Marvel is struggling to lead a group of teenage heroes that she's not entirely comfortable with. After the chi-wielding Power Man and the teleporter Pinpoint bring some medical supplies to the X-Men's camp, Cyclops hears Kamala Khan's cries for help and returns with them to Australia.
As he leads the Champions against another wave of Rock Trolls, Cyclops gets the chance to be his best self. In the chaos of battle, he boosts morale and reminds everyone that he's a superlative field commander with a keen tactical mind.
Although the adult Cyclops hadn't served with the Champions until now, a time-traveling version of his teenage self was a core member of the team when it first formed. As he explains to Kamala after the battle, the adult Cyclops absorbed all of his teenage self's memories when his younger incarnation returned to his proper place in the timeline.
Once Cyclops explained his somewhat convoluted time loop, Kamala embraced her old friend. This moment not only drives home how important the teenage X-Men's stories are to modern Marvel continuity, it humanizes Scott in a way we haven't seen in ages.
Following this exchange, Cyclops turns his attention to Sooraya Qadir, the young mutant known as Dust. As a member of a few New X-Men and Young X-Men teams, Dust was ostensibly a student under Cyclops at the Xavier's Institute. Even though he hasn't officially been a teacher in years, Cyclops firmly told her to stay away from the X-Men. He added that her place was with the Champions, especially given her aversion to violence.
Since most of the X-Men are trapped in the Age of X-Man right now, the team's roster is severely depleted, and it could use a relatively experienced recruit like Dust. Despite that, Cyclops prioritizes Sooraya's needs above his, telling her to stay away. While that might seem like a minor gesture, it's the kind of decision Cyclops probably wouldn't have made a few years ago.
Even though Cyclops and Ms. Marvel became friends as teenage peers, he mentored her in this issue, using his years of experience. After the Rock Trolls were beaten back for good, Scott gave Kamala a much-needed confidence boost by telling her that she was a good leader who did important work.
While Cyclops still returned to his rightful place as the X-Men's leader by the end of this issue, none of the things he did in this issue immediately helped the team. While his simple gestures of kindness and friendship might seem perfectly normal for friendly neighborhood heroes like Spider-Man or Superman, Cyclops wasn't that kind of hero for a long time. If his recent actions in Uncanny X-Men and this issue are any indication, Cyclops is already well on his way to turning over a new leaf.