Ms. Marvel & Cyclops' Friendship, Explained
As the Marvel Universe mourns Kamala Khan in 'Fallen Friend' #1, revisit Ms. Marvel's enduring friendship with X-Men leader Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops.
In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2022) #26 by Zeb Wells, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Erick Arciniega, Marcio Menyz, and VC's Joe Caramagna, Kamala Khan gave her life to save the Marvel Universe from the villainous Benjamin Rabin and his dark god Wayep. While trying to protect Rabin's true target, Mary Jane Watson, Ms. Marvel used her powers to deceive him by shapeshifting into her and taking a stab to the chest meant for her. Because of the Blade of Decay's mystical nature, Kamala's Inhuman abilities could not heal the wound, which ultimately took her life.
Now, the Marvel Universe mourns, including the X-Men's own Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops. An epilogue at the end of X-MEN (2021) #23 by Gerry Duggan, Joshua Cassara, Dee Cunniffe, and VC's Clayton Cowles shows Emma Frost informing Cyclops of Ms. Marvel's death—news he took hard. After all, Ms. Marvel and Cyclops go way back; in fact, they were once close friends and teammates. Here's everything you need to know about how the two heroes met and came to work together.
How Ms. Marvel Met Cyclops
Despite her eagerness to work wherever and with whoever would help her do the most good, Kamala Khan eventually became disillusioned with the Avengers' methods. Frustrated with infighting and the fact no one seemed to be looking out for everyday citizens, Ms. Marvel left the team to form her own: the Champions, consisting of Miles Morales, Viv Vision, Nova, and the "Totally Awesome Hulk" Amadeus Cho. Rather than focusing on defeating villains and saving the world—though they did plenty of both—the Champions dedicated themselves to doing the most good with the least amount of violence and destruction.
Nothing and no one was too small, and anyone who wanted to be a Champion only had to realize they already were. This mission statement resonated with a young, time-displaced Scott Summers, who—not long after the team formed—approached them to join. Although his adult self had recently died terrorizing the world as a mutant rights extremist in X-MEN BLACK, young Cyclops' strong heroic spirit quickly won the team over.
Under Ms. Marvel's leadership, Cyclops joined the Champions on plenty of adventures, splitting his time between his new team and the other time-displaced X-Men. Working together, Kamala and Scott quickly hit it off, thanks in part to the latter's respect for her role and style as a leader. In CHAMPIONS (2016) #4 by Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado, and VC's Clayton Cowles, an adventure left the team stranded at sea, where the two even admitted to liking each other as people, disproving the widely held belief at the time that Inhumans and mutants should hate each other.
Beyond missions, they also spent time just hanging out and watching movies, singing karaoke, playing games, and generally bonding as a team. Though "old soul" Cyclops was often too buttoned up to participate, he still enjoyed what was—as he would later confide in Ms. Marvel—the only time in his life he was ever able to relax.
During a searching for their fellow teammate Viv Vision, Cyclops explained to a curious Ms. Marvel why he was so tightly wound. Describing a time when—at eight years old—he saved his younger brother's school bus from crashing, Cyclops opened up to his friend about always having to step up and take responsibility in the absence of their father. While he downplayed the events, Ms. Marvel clearly gained even more respect for him as a hero.
This mutual respect came to define their friendship, with Ms. Marvel happy to have Cyclops around in general, as she often told him. His support also reaffirmed her faith in her own mission. For his part, Cyclops was proud to be a part of what Ms. Marvel had built and was happy to be somewhere where he could finally be a kid, despite some ribbing for his "grandpa-ish" tendencies.
It quickly became clear that Ms. Marvel was the Champion Cyclops was closest with and, when the time came for him to leave the team, she was the only one he had the strength to tell. Before he went, Cyclops let Ms. Marvel know he still believed in the Champions' movement and told her how much faith he had in her future… and although he soon returned to his own time, this wasn't the last time Ms. Marvel saw Cyclops.
During the War of the Realms, the Champions faced a dire situation when they protected Melbourne, Australia from wave after wave of Rock Troll soldiers trying to destroy the city. When they needed help the most, their teleporter Pinpoint brought in adult Cyclops from Queens, where he had just stabilized a similar situation with the X-Men. After helping the team beat back the trolls, Kamala reintroduced herself to Scott, only to find he had retained all the memories of his time-traveling youth.
For the first time in ages, the pair fought together as a team, easing what was a major rough patch for the young leader of the Champions. Confiding in Cyclops after the battle, Kamala was unsure whether she could keep the team going, as each of its original members were in such drastically different places now than when they started. Ever supportive, Cyclops related to Ms. Marvel as a fellow seasoned leader. He reminded her that the Champions' work was still important and reassured her she was doing well, even if she didn't feel like it.
This support continued even after the Krakoan era began and the Champions became outlaws due to the passing of Kamala's Law. Coming to their defense against C.R.A.D.L.E., Cyclops risked a diplomatic incident when he announced the young heroes were under Krakoa's protection. As it turned out, Scott lied, but he was still able to get the team onto the Marauder at sea, away from the authorities that were after them—and he even wore his old Champions costume for the occasion.
Clearly, Scott Summers' time as a Champion was important to him. Additionally, it's clear he still believes in Ms. Marvel, who has a friend in him even into his adulthood… and it may just be that enduring friendship that saves Kamala in the end.
Reflect on Ms. Marvel's enduring legacy with FALLEN FRIEND (2023) #1, on sale now, and don't miss Cyclops' critical post-issue scene with the Champions here.
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