As soon as Wolverine joined the X-Men, he was set in contrast against Cyclops, with the latter representing authority and Logan representing rebellion. Heck, Wolverine’s first appearance as an X-Man in Giant-Size X-Men #1 was literally him telling off a government stooge who got mad when Wolverine quit working for the Canadian government to go join the X-Men. Then, Cyclops’ girlfriend, Jean Grey, became another source of contention between the two men. Wolverine lusted after her while Cyclops ultimately married her, but even that didn’t quench Logan’s desire for the literally fiery redhead, and did zero favors for the relationship between the two men. In fact, as you might imagine, it led to even more conflict between the two men.
This has been expressed beyond just the comics, as their relationship has made it to cartoons and to the films, with the arc being explored in somewhat surprisingly great depth in both mediums. It is such a ripe emotional conflict that it translates really well to savage memes discussing the problems between the two men. Here, then, are 15 savage memes depicting the conflict between Wolverine and Cyclops.
15. WOLVERINE PUNCHING CYCLOPS
In the early days of Wolverine, one of the major concerns for his teammates was the fact that Wolverine could seemingly snap at a minute’s notice. Even well into his tenure with the X-Men, there was a moment where Nightcrawler used his teleporting powers to sneak a kiss from Wolverine’s girlfriend under the mistletoe and Wolverine straight up tried to stab his good friend over the insult. That’s how tightly wound Wolverine has been for years.
So that’s the reasoning behind his odd moment from the X-Men animated series where Wolverine just walks up to Cyclops and sucker punches him. This meme is used in discussions when someone wants to denote that something came out of nowhere. If you want to see an animated version of the meme, click here.
14. WOLVERINE’S HEIGHT PROBLEMS
Something that has definitely not translated into the movies, where Wolverine has been portrayed by the 6′ 2″ Hugh Jackman for nearly two decades, is the fact that Wolverine in the comic books is supposed to be really short. This is based on the real life animal known as the wolverine, which is very small but is able to hold its own in fights with much bigger animals. So Wolverine is only supposed to be barely five feet tall.
The height difference between Wolverine and Cyclops rarely comes into play, but the above meme does a great job showing just how comical the disparity between the two heroes can be, when they’re standing right in front of each other having a big fight. Wolverine, of course, does not back down from any sort of fight because he’s, you know, Wolverine.
13. HEALING FACTOR
Almost as soon as Wolverine was introduced as a member of the X-Men, he was pining after Cyclops’ girlfriend, Jean Grey. The late, great Len Wein initially wrote Jean Grey out of X-Men after introducing the All-New, All-Different X-Men, but as soon as Chris Claremont took the title over, he made sure to get her right back into the series. For years, that relationship had been decidedly one-sided, but starting around 1986, Chris Claremont began to retroactively reveal that Jean Grey shared an attraction to Wolverine.
Still, it has been very difficult for Wolverine over the years to deal with the fact that Cyclops and Jean have been a steady couple throughout his infatuation with her. This is a pain, as this meme notes, that his healing power can’t help him with.
12. CYCLOPS’ VISUAL RESTRICTIONS
In the world of comic book logic, one of the oddest things is the idea that Cyclops’ eye beams (which are force beams, and thus are concussive, not reflective) are able to be restrained by, of all things, ruby quartz. Why ruby quartz? We supposed that the real question that Stan Lee posed back in 1963 was, “Why not ruby quartz?”
The downside, though, of having to constantly use ruby quartz lenses is that everything looks red to Cyclops. This is rarely discussed in the actual comic books, but in this meme, Wolverine gets a dig in at Cyclops by asking him the famous question about what color the dress that nearly broke the internet is, black and blue or white and gold (the rest of the population saw different colors depending on their specific color perception was). Obviously, all Cyclops sees is red.
11. A DEFENSE OF YELLOW SPANDEX
Before X-Men was a huge hit in 2000, it was an open question as to whether movie audiences would ever go for superhero movies again, as it had been years since the last major superhero motion picture success. One of the things that worried movie makers for years is the idea that movie goers just won’t buy into the colorful costumes that superheroes typically wear.
This was demonstrated in X-Men when the team just wore black leather outfits. They joked about it when Wolverine still made fun of their outfits and Cyclops asked him if he would have preferred yellow spandex, which is what Wolverine’s original costume was made out of. Then the joke goes an extra step further when you realize that The Wolverine originally ended with Logan finally gaining that famous yellow costume. Unfortunately, for many fans, the scene was deleted.
10. THE DRINK MAKES THE PERSON
A strange thing that you often see in popular culture is the way that being able to drink a lot is deified. A high alcohol tolerance is seen as a point of pride and of proof of ones “manliness.” Similarly, there are gendered value judgment about what kind of drinks that people drink. “Real” men drink whiskey while “girly” men drink Cosmopolitans.
It’s a very problematic area of thought, and it is the basis of this meme that takes the famous Alan Davis designed poster for Fall of the Mutants showing a bunch of “dead” mutants and instead making it to be passed out mutants who drank too much. Of course, Wolverine “out drank” Cyclops, who passed out from drinking two Cosmopolitans, as opposed to 74 bottles of whiskey. Of course, with his healing factor, that number is probably legit.
9. NOT AN IMPOSTOR
Before he was the world famous writer and director of the first two Avengers movies and even before he was the world famous creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television franchise, Joss Whedon was one of the most in-demand script doctors in Hollywood. A script doctor is someone who comes on to a project and fixes the script (hence, doctor), often by adding catchy pieces of dialogue. Quentin Tarantino was a well-known script doctor before he blew up with his own work.
Toy Story is one of Whedon’s most famous movies that he worked on, but another one is X-Men, where he contributed the iconic sequence in which Cyclops and Jean wonder whether Wolverine is the real Wolverine or Mystique in disguise. He proves he is the real deal by telling Cyclops that he is a “dick,” which Cyclops accepts, since he knows it proves this is the real Wolverine.
8. SLICING AND DICING
Despite being much older than the rest of the X-Men, Wolverine often stands out by how immature he acts at times. He is certainly prone to acting out when things get rough for him, although it is possible that some of this just happens due to the instability that comes from his mind being put through the wringer a number of times by various secret government agencies.
Whatever the reason, Wolverine has thrown enough tantrums that it is completely in character for him to slice open Cyclops’ car in a fit of anger, although obviously this meme is a case of taking an unrelated scene from an X-Men cartoon episode and turning it into a case of Wolverine messing with Cyclops’ stuff just to be a jerk.
7. THE WEDDING OF THE CENTURY
Cyclops and Jean Grey have had one of the stranger romances in comic book history. They dated for years, starting when they were just teenagers, and then Jean Grey died. Cyclops moved on by marrying a woman who looked exactly like Jean Grey and then had a child with that woman. When Jean Grey turned out to not be dead, Cyclops quickly ditched his wife and kid. Then it turned out that his wife was an evil clone of Jean and she died, freeing Cyclops up to date Jean again.
When his kid was sent to the future to save his life, things were all clear for Cyclops to marry Jean. Wolverine, unsurprisingly, skipped the wedding (to be fair, he was still recovering from the wounds he suffered when Magneto pulled the adamantium out of his body). Here, though, the meme taunts Wolverine with the wedding.
6. THE REAL WESTCHESTER INCIDENT
In the hit film, Logan, Wolverine has retired his Wolverine identity ever since a mysterious “Westchester Incident” that apparently involved Professor X having a seizure and the resulting seizure unleashing his telepathic powers and killing some (if not all) of the rest of the X-Men (with Wolverine surviving due to his healing powers).
So now Professor X lives on the run and Logan works as a limo driver to help pay for drugs to help control Xavier’s powers. Logan is haunted by his past, but in this humorous meme, what he is haunted by the most is, of course, sexy Cyclops. Scott was a meme in and of himself based on some stills from the X-Men cartoon where he was contorted into a strange pose.
5. SHE’S SINGLE IF SHE RETURNS FROM THE DEAD
The strange romance between Cyclops and Jean Grey continued in its oddity when Cyclops began to cheat on Jean with their teammate (and former enemy), Emma Frost, who was also a telepath and thus allowed Cyclops to cheat purely in their minds (even dressing up as Dark Phoenix for some of their sessions). Soon after, though, Jean tragically was killed by Magneto and after being resurrected 150 yeas in the future, she used her powers to go back in time to push Cyclops to pursue a relationship with Emma.
However, Jean Grey is known to come back from the dead, so this amusing meme shows the conflict that might arise between Cyclops and Wolverine if Jean were to return, considering that “till death do us part” typically would mean that she wouldn’t still be married after coming back from death, right?
4. A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION
Texts From Superheroes is a delightful website operated by comedians Andrew Ivimey and Diana McCallum. The concept of the site is simple, they come up with text conversations between superheroes. As you might imagine, a great deal of these texts end up tying into the X-Men and, more specifically, the famous Wolverine/Cyclops conflict.
A number of these text conversations have gone viral, but the one we have chosen to spotlight shows Wolverine and Cyclops having an argument where Wolverine brings up the fact that he is named Wolverine. So, of course it’s only natural that he exhibit some of the traits of actual wolverines, even if that means that he does some rather gross stuff involving Cyclops’ mini-fridge. So many of these texts involve Cyclops (and sometimes Professor X) just having to shake their heads and bear Wolverine’s poor behavior.
3. PROPER CLASSIFICATION IS IMPORTANT
Ever since John Byrne took over drawing X-Men, Wolverine has slowly moved from being the sort of annoying short guy in the background who fans would write in asking for him to be killed off a la Thunderbird (the X-Men member with a personality similar to early Wolverine who died on their second mission) to becoming the star of the team, soon becoming a breakout solo hero, as well.
That is the basic concept behind this cute meme using Spongebob Squarepants (and some of Spongebob’s friends) to depict various members of the X-Men, which, of course, shows that the other X-Men all pale in comparison to how cool Wolverine is, with Cyclops, naturally, getting depicted as the worst of the bunch (he’s just pathetically crying into his hands).
2. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT TILL IT’S GONE
In the first two X-Men films, the rivalry between Wolverine and Cyclops was a highlight, with the aforementioned impostor sequence and the yellow spandex line being two of the most memorable bits in either film. Cyclops, though, sadly died in the third X-Men movie. When Wolverine helped to change the future by traveling to the past in X-Men: Days of Future Past, it was sort of adorable to see how happy he was to see Cyclops now alive in the changed timeline.
Well, time passes, and characters get recast, so Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse is played by a different actor (playing a younger version of Cyclops during the 1980s). A famous meme uses Wolverine’s pining over Jean Grey’s photograph to show Wolverine instead pining over surprising other things (like, say, Nicolas Cage). This time, with a new Cyclops in tow, Wolverine misses the James Marsden Cyclops.
1. SCHISM, IN A NUTSHELL
One of the biggest X-Men storylines of the past decade was “Schism,” which saw Wolverine and Cyclops have such a major disagreement about the future of the X-Men that all of the X-Men found themselves torn between the two heroes. At the heart of the matter was Wolverine believing that the X-Men should go back to teaching young mutants in a school setting, while Cyclops was preparing kids to be soldiers in the new “war” between humans and mutants.
So Wolverine started up a new school while Cyclops got more proactive in protecting mutants. Fan-wise, Wolverine was viewed more sympathetically, but this popular meme calls that into question by noting that Mister “Kids shouldn’t have to kill” Wolverine is a huge killer himself, while Cyclops just continues to do heroic acts despite his bad publicity.
Who do you like better, Wolverine or Cyclops? Let us know in the comments section!
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