X-Men: 10 Things Fans Never Knew About Cyclops’ Optic Blasts

Cyclops was one of the first mutants that Marvel Comics ever introduced. He might even be the first member of the X-Men in comic books, a member of the first team, and arguably the field leader from the start. Through the years, Scott Summers has proven himself to be the heart and soul of the X-Men while also proving to be polarizing at best when it comes to fans of the comics.

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However, one thing that leaves no doubt in anyone's mind is the extent of Cyclops' powers. At one time, his optic blasts seemed like an unimpressive power, but as the years go on, there might not be a stronger blunt force weapon than the beams that Cyclops shoots out of his eyes. Here is a look at 10 things many fans never knew about Cyclops' optic blasts.


The source of Cyclops' optic blasts has changed more than once over the years. In the early days of the X-Men comics, Cyclops was able to absorb energy from ambient energy and then discharge it from his eyes. At one point, the sun was the most obvious source of his powers.

Marvel changed that and had the optical blasts come not from energy absorbed from the sun but from a different universe with infinite and unlimited firepower. That seemed overly complicated for a mutant, and these days, it is just basically Scott absorbing whatever energy is around and turning it into his optical blasts, whether that is solar, photos, or cosmic rays.


Scott Summers is one of three brothers who have similar powers but on different levels. Every one of them does the same thing — they absorb energy and project it in their own way. Cyclops takes the energy he absorbs and shoots it out of his eyes in optic blasts.

His brother Havok also absorbs ambient cosmic energy, but he releases it from his body as waves of energy. While Cyclops shoots out concentrated blasts, Havok unleashes energy blasts that will destroy what it hits. The third brother, Vulcan, can control energy in every form and is an Omega level mutant.


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If you wonder how Cyclops can shoot such powerful optic blasts from his eyes and not suffer any damage himself, the reason is simple. Scott and both his brothers are impervious to their energy blasts. If Havok aims his energy at a mountain, he can blow a hole in it. If he aims it at Cyclops, it does no real damage.

This fact is also why Cyclops can shoot these energy blasts out of his eyes and not destroy his retinas or eyelids. The science is a little complicated, as Scott has a psionic field that surrounds his body and protects him from the kinetic energy. Even if his optic blasts are diverted back at him, it won't harm him one bit.

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Cyclops Avengers vs X-Men header

The biggest problem is that Cyclops can't control his optic blasts. This lack of control is the result of childhood trauma and a brain injury when he was young. Scott and Alex were on a plane with their parents when it exploded. His parents pushed both Scott and Alex from the plane to save them.

However, Scott had suffered a severe brain injury, and the portion of the brain-damaged was what could have helped him control his optic blasts. However, there was more. Scott was taken into an orphanage ran by Mr. Sinister, who placed blocks in Cyclops' mind to prevent him from controlling his optic blasts, and they remain in place to this day.


1602 Cyclops

While Cyclops can't control his optic blasts when he loses his protective visor, that does not mean he can't control them at all. Scott can completely control the power of the blasts as they shoot from his eyes. Cyclops has shown on more than one occasion that he can do just about anything with the optic blasts.

He can blow the top off a mountain. He can aim them to hit a pool ball in a game of billiards and use them to cut a hole into something. At one point, Cyclops proved to Wolverine why he is one of the most powerful members of the X-Men when he took off his glasses and destroyed an attacking Sentinel.


One inaccurate comparison that fans made over the years is that Cyclops' optical blasts are similar to Superman's heat vision. This is completely wrong. Yes, Cyclops initially used solar energy to power his blasts, but they were not heated like the sun. While Superman uses his heat vision to burn through something, that is not how Cyclops' optic blasts work.

Instead, consider Cyclops' optic blasts to be more like a blunt force battering ram. It can slam into the side of a building and blow a hole right through it. It can slice through a wall like a laser. However, there is nothing about his blasts that emits any heat.


During Marvel's Civil War event, a mutant named Johnny Dee took control of Cyclops and made his attack Bishop. He aimed enough power at his fellow X-Men member to overload Bishop's powers, forcing him to unload all the energy into the sky to take down a Sentinel.

In Civil War: X-Men #4, Cyclops and Bishop then teamed up to try to blow down a door to save some of the only mutants left with powers at that time. When Iron Man showed up, he said there were two gigawatts of power in that blast, which is half the power of an entire nuclear power plant.

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Cyclops has what is known as spatial awareness, and he has this thanks to his mastery of trigonometry. In this sense, Scott can look around and see the objects and angles connecting them. This knowledge allows him the ability to aim his optic blast at something and then have it reflect around the room to hit its target.

Honestly, the only comparison to this skill is Hawkeye and Bullseye when it comes to hitting a target perfectly. Cyclops can bounce his optic blasts all over the place before it hits something, putting him on another level. He has, at times, bounced a blast off up to a dozen items before it hits his intended target.


If there are not enough objects for Cyclops to use his advanced trigonometry skills on, he can always rely on the fact that he can shoot curved optic blasts as well. This change took effect following the events in Avengers Vs. X-Men, when the Phoenix Force altered his powers.

An excellent example of this was shown in All-New X-Men #4 when the teenage versions of Jean Grey attacked him, and he had multiple curving blasts spiraling around the area in the fight. Now that he can curve a blast, on top of bouncing them around, there might be nothing he can't hit.


How powerful are Cyclops' optic blasts? They can blow the peak off a mountain. They can destroy a Sentinel. They have the power of a nuclear explosion. However, even more impressive is the fact that they can penetrate Adamantium. This fact was shown in the storyline Age of Apocalypse.

In that story, Wolverine and Cyclops battled. Wolverine took one of Scott's eyes, and Cyclope blew off one of Wolverine's hands. Through most of his career as a superhero, Cyclops only used a fraction of his available power, and when turned up to the max, there is little he can't destroy with his optic blasts.

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