WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Uncanny X-Men Annual #1, by Ed Brisson, Carlos Gomez, Guru-eFX and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Over the years, fans have wrestled with the "Cyclops Was Right!" movement, pondering whether the famous X-Man's descent into madness was something that really deserved to see him labeled a villain. After all, Scott Summers became an extremist, usurping the role Magneto had for decades as the mutant who would do anything and everything to put mutants above humans. Unlike Magneto, though, Cyclops only turned to these tactics after (in his mind) following Professor X's lessons proved futile.
In Uncanny X-Men Annual #1, Scott finally addresses his past actions, and in the process gives us a definitive answer at to whether he was right or wrong for embarking on the path he did, a path the would ultimate lead to his death.
Now, before we dive into Scott's current perspective, we have to look at the philosophies that drove him over the edge. The ways his mentor, Charles Xavier, taught him to achieve peace, simply weren't working, and as the Professor's true character had come into question so many times, Scott decided the only person he could trust was himself. That's why Cyclops commissioned a lethal X-Force team, weaponized teens like X-23, and fell out once and for all with Wolverine. This all came to a head when he made it clear he didn't need the Avengers' help in saving his species in Avengers vs. X-Men, because deep down he felt even his longtime allies feared and hated mutants. Time and time again, history told Cyclops that mutant business should be handled by him, not the likes of Captain America and Iron Man.
Subsequently, during a time when he was empowered by the Phoenix Force, Cyclops ended up killing Xavier. While the Phoenix Force has been shown to corrupt people, even after it was extinguished from his mind and body, Scott remained undeterred in his mew path. He became an enemy of the state, a hard-edged leader, making the controversial tactics of allies like Emma Frost and Magneto pale in comparison. Cyclops got bitter and cynical; all that mattered was his mission to preserve the future of his fellow mutants at all costs. Once again, the X-Men found themselves at war, this time with the Inhumans, a clash which ultimately cost Scott Summers his life. While some fans were left mourning and sympathetic, others, perhaps even the majority, were relieved Scott's dark reign had come to an end.
Last week's annual sees Cyclops contemplating what went down in the final years of his life, and after some introspection, he admits to Kid Cable he was wrong. He lost sight of what he was really supposed to be as a father, a leader, a hero and a man. His job was to find a way to protect everyone, not just mutants, and that's why he can't differentiate his actions from a villain's. Cyclops admits he was conceited and, most importantly, selfish, traits which could never make him the man his people, and the world in general, need him to be.
Kid Cable puts this to the test, forcing Cyclops choose between joining the X-Men's current fight against Nate Grey's army or saving Paul Douek, an employee of Tony Stark who helped bring Cyclops back from the dead, and whose family comes under attack from a techno-terrorist. Cyclops chooses the latter, knowing that the X-Men were capable of winning their battle without him, whereas Paul had no one to protect his family. The old Cyclops would have ignored the human, but the reborn hero does the opposite.
This is more than a show of gratitude to Paul for helping Kid Cable resurrect him; Cyclops chose to save a human because he understands the concept of family once again. He's learned from his mistakes and is ready to make amends for becoming the very thing he hated -- someone who turned into a monster that everyone feared, including his own friends and allies. He has a second chance, and all Scott wants to do his unite with the X-Men and "set it right."