Today’s X-Man of the Day is… The Man called Cyclops!
Those of you following my posts on Facebook and Instagram know that last year I was doing what I called the Legionnaire of the Day whereby I… not quite daily… posted a color full body illustration of a different member of the Legion of Super Heroes each day. I went through just about most of the team and quite a few of their allies but I stopped myself before going too far out into the 31st Century weeds!
I’ve been looking for a new super team to tackle. I’ve dabbled with DC Comics’ Justice Society of America a bit. I may still go back to them. I’ve always loved the Golden Age design aesthetic. Now THOSE were super hero costumes that made no apologies whatsoever!
With this post, however, I’m kicking off a new feature… The X-Man of the Day. And yeah. This probably won’t be a daily thing. It’ll most likely be the X-Man Of The Week. I certainly won’t go as deep as I did with the Legion simply because there comes a point where the X-Men become unreadable and I don’t care about any subsequent members. I’ve always felt that Rogue was the last interesting X-Man to join the team and the membership should’ve just closed after she came on board. Don’t get me started on Gambit and Jubilee!
This is about Cyclops! Professor Xavier’s first recruit and the X-Men’s field leader, Cyclops is my favorite X-Man right up there with Iceman. Poor Cyclops catches a lot of flak as “boring” or for being “a jerk.” I’m often in the position of having to defend Cyclops.
Cyclops is actually the quintessential X-Man. He has a highly dangerous and effective power which comes at a personal cost to him and yet he uses this power to do the right thing. Unfortunately, the character has been buried by thirty-plus years of horrible, horrible writing, editorial mismanagement, and arbitrary creative choices! Chances are if your knowledge of Cyclops comes from the post-mid eighties comic books, you don’t know the GOOD Cyclops!
Like most characters… especially the X-Men… Cyclops has undergone many costume changes. I’ve drawn him here in the design I like best for the character. This is largely the suit he wore since the original X-Men received their distinct individual costumes way back in The X-Men #39 but with a more streamlined version of the visor that Dave Cockrum would give him in Giant Sized-X-Men #1 and less “buccaneer-ish” boots.
I know the Jim Lee Cyclops of the 1990’s defines the character for a whole generation, but while that costume could certainly be worse… and poor Scott Summers certainly has worn worse… it’s overdone with the straps and pouches which seem random and unnecessarily clutter the design. Cyclops is a low-key character despite his position as team leader and his flashy, destructive optic blasts. He is not one to wear lightning bolts, armor and garish colors, His simple, mostly black outfit suits him. For my money, X-Men artist Paul Smith drew my favorite version of “Slim” Summers… Simple, sleek, elegant…
How do you feel about Cyclops? Is he a favorite or does he actually deserve all of the hate he often receives? Please let me know in the Comments below!
If you want to watch Cyclops get his inks, check out the video on my Youtube channel linked below:
That’s it, Everybody! See you next time!