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Published February 4, 2019

Cyclops and Wolverine's 4 Most Crucial Moments

In advance of this week's 'Uncanny X-Men' #11, examine a few times when Scott and Logan had a reckoning.

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The X-Men have fallen apart. Disarray rules mutantkind. And the task of rebuilding falls to Scott Summers and Logan Howlett.

In this Wednesday's UNCANNY X-MEN #11, the two longtime heroes will give it their best shot. See, as long as Slim and Short Stuff have known each other, their relationship has been marked by conflict; they may be two of the greatest X-Men of all time, but they just cannot help getting under one another’s skin.

Uncanny X-Men (2018-) #11

In order to make things work, they’ll have to follow their own example and practice radical honesty with one another. Below, we've collected four recent times they cut through the nonsense and allowed their truth-telling to save the X-Men.

Breaking Up Hurts…A Lot

During X-MEN: SCHISM, the shadow of a seemingly unbeatable Sentinel, Wolverine and Cyclops’s fractious relationship completely shattered. Wolverine could no longer contain his anger and disappointment at how Cyclops let Idie kill several Hellfire Club members rather than direct her to simply take them in. When talking fails and threats did not seem to make a dent in Cyke’s “by any means necessary” attitude, the Cranky Canadian saw no other options but to pop his claws.

In time, the two managed to rally and, with the support of several other mutants, killed the looming Sentinel. However, it was the moment where the book lives up to SCHISM’s name, creating two distinct camps among our favorite merry mutants.

X-Men: Schism (2011) #1

X-Men: Schism (2011) #1

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Seems like a bad thing, yes? Wolverine and Cyclops as not just rivals, but literally at odds with one another?

However, if it wasn't for this moment, there would be no telling where Cyclops may have dragged the X-Men. Strange as it seems, Wolverine saved the concept of peaceful co-existence by popping his claws. By opposing Cyclops so publicly and so aggressively, he secured Xavier’s legacy and took the first steps towards revitalizing the concept of the X-Men not just being about fighting, but about education, protection, and flourishing. If he just went along with Cyclops, well, who knows how much worse AVENGERS VS. X-MEN might have gone.

Speaking of…

Prison Visiting Hours

Over the course of AvX, Cyclops evidently lost control of the Phoenix entity and slayed his mentor and father figure Professor Xavier. When the rubble settled and Slim finally let go of the entity, he grasped the full implications of what he had done. Allowing himself to be arrested, he went to jail to await trial.

Logan, near rage, decided to visit Scott in lockup. Struggling not to simply shred his former ally, Wolvie guzzled the suds and demanded answers.

Cyclops, meanwhile, played the part of unrepentant antagonist. Talking in ways designed to further anger Wolverine, Cyke brazenly refused to make amends. Inevitably, the Canucklehead lost his temper and decided to end his past teammate. 

Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences (2012) #2

Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences (2012) #2

    • publishedOct 17, 2012
    • added to marvel unlimitedJul 31, 2013
    • ratingRated T+
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Before he could land the killing swipe, however, Logan realized what Scott was up to; Scott wanted to die. Not to be a martyr, although he would be, but because he simply could not live with himself any longer.

Wolverine’s revelations, besides saving Cyclops’s life, laid the first tentative length of track towards redemption. If he left Summers dead or never showed up in the first place, he never would have seen Scott as anything but a monster. By seeing Cyke’s broken interior, though, he alerted himself, the larger mutant community, and us to there being a way back for the one we once thought of as Xavier’s greatest student.

Looking to the Past

Sometimes the best way forward comes from the past. So was the case when teen Scott Summers, plucked from the early days of the X-Men by the Beast of modern times, decided to take Wolverine’s motorcycle without permission. 

In an inversion of the classic Cyclops/Wolverine dynamic, Scott proved the reckless one who lashed out and would not listen to reason while Logan did his best to stay level-headed…with mixed results.

The real climax of their encounter came not when teen Scott went full optic blast on Wolverine, but later, when the conflict finally died down. Cyclops, still wrestling with what his future self has become, asked why Wolverine wouldn't just kill him; if teen Scott dies, adult Scott ever exists. And Xavier lives. The Schism never happens. And so on.

All-New X-Men (2012) #6

All-New X-Men (2012) #6

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Wolverine confessed that he knew this and has thought about it. However, ultimately, he believed too much in Xavier’s legacy to be that guy anymore.

Once again, this pointed a way home for the adult Scott—even Wolverine hadn't given up on him yet—while showcasing that the dream of Xavier may have lost one of its best soldiers, but Logan had more than stepped into the void.

In the Wreckage

Days before graduation, Sentinels paid a visit to the Institute and wreck shop. Thankfully, they meet their end as Sentinels so often do. However, the school was reduced to ash and rubble with only Cyclops and Wolverine left behind to take stock. Rather than get down to making a list for the insurance company, however, the two raided the cooler and hunkered down to work things out over a few drinks.

As the two grew more comfortable, they grew bolder. Then, Cyclops finally asked the big question of Wolverine: “Why do you hate me?”

Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #40

Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #40

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The answer flipped their relationship once again, expelling not just the bile that had been between them since SCHISM, but all that had preceded that event. Although it'd been years since this moment in our time, without it the X-Men would not stand a chance of beginning to rebuild this week in UNCANNY X-MEN #11.

Without this chat surrounded by brick and dirt and robot parts, Wolverine and Cyclops would not be capable of combining their efforts for a better mutant future. Without it, chances are they would have killed each other long ago.

Read the next chapter in the story of Slim and Logan with UNCANNY X-MEN #11 at your local comic shop on Wednesday, February 6!