This is "Out of Sight," a feature where I explore notable comic book moments that occurred off-panel. When I say "off-panel," I'm mostly talking about a character not being around and then showing up and us learning that something dramatic happened to them off-panel. I'm flexible enough that I can deal with maybe something "in between panels," as well. You can hit me up at email@example.com if you have a suggestion for a future column!
Today, we look at the odd relationship between Cyclops and Havok.
What is interesting is how few superheroes actually have siblings. When you go beyond the superhero twins out there like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and Northstar and Aurora, actual superhero siblings are a relative rarity. What is even rarer is when superheroes have non-superhero siblings that are still alive, as one of the most dangerous things around is to be the relative of a superhero as writers LOVE to kill those types of characters off. Cyclops and Havok, then, are two of the most prominent superhero brothers around. They also have a younger brother named Gabriel that I will not be getting into now, as, well, come on, no one likes to talk about him.
However, Scott and Alex spent many years apart from each other. What happened was that they were flying with their parents in their father's personal plane (Christopher Summers was a pilot and he had his own small plane for recreational flying) when their plane was attacked by aliens (which probably happens more than you would imagine in the Marvel Universe) and young Scott and Alex had to use the Summers' only working parachute together. While they survived the descent, Scott was injured and that messed his brain up enough that when his powers then kicked in, he wasn't able to control his eye blasts.
The now-orphaned boys were split up. We learned in X-Factor #39 (by Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson and Al Milgrom) that Sinister specifically had Scott Summers and Alex Summers split up as kids so that Sinister could study Scott Summers closely...
Scott then was raised in an orphanage.
We know that he remained in the orphanage until he was a teenager because we actually saw how he was first recruited to join the X-Men. In X-Men #39 (by Roy Thomas and Werner Roth), we saw that Scott used his powers to save someone from a falling air conditioner unit and he had to do it publicly, so when people saw him, he went on the run from the orphanage...
He was initially recruited by a super-villain to be his assistant, but then he turned on the bad guy and met Professor X and became the first recruit of Xavier's new X-Men (except for the secret FIRST X-Man that Xavier did not tell him about, Jean Grey, or the OTHER secret X-Man that Xavier did not mention named Sage). So, when X-Men #1 came out, we have Cyclops' whole life pretty much accounted for.
That is why it is such a surprise when we meet his brother, Alex!