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by yo go re

Hey, looks can kill. Or at least hurt a lot.

Longtime leader of the X-Men, Scott Summers is cursed with optic blasts that fire whenever he opens his eyes. Cyclops must wear a protective ruby-quartz visor to hold these destructive beams in check - or risk destroying everyone and everything around him!

A lot of people (fanboys, mostly) complained about the way Cyclops was portrayed in the X-Men movie; he was too stiff, they said, too boring. I don't know what comics they've been reading, because that's exactly the Scott that the rest of us know.

Cyclops in the comics? A stern and reserved guy with a stick up his butt, who would do anything to please Professor X. Cyclops in the movies? A stern and reserved guy with a stick up his butt, who would do anything to please Professor X. Wow, what a difference!

Cyclops was one of the very first X-Men figures released back in 1990, and there have been several since. However, there were only two based on the costume designed by Jim Lee for the record-breaking release of his relaunched X-Men series, and they owed more to the early-90s cartoon than Lee's artwork. Now the new X-Men Classics line has finally given us the Scott we've been waiting for.

Standing slightly over 6" tall, Cyclops finally has an action figure worthy of his nickname, "Slim." He moves at all the places that good figures move these days: toes, ankles, boot tops, knees, hips, waist, torso, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists and fingers. His neck only allows his head to move side-to-side, but since most of the early Cyclops figures' heads were fully immobile, the balljoint isn't missed here.

You can recognize an early-90s X-Costume design by the proliferation of straps, buckles and tiny pouches all over the place, so Phil Ramirez's sculpt really had to step up and deliver a lot of detail, which it has done admirably. Rather than just being painted on, the cotume elements are all raised. Even the detail in his pretty-boy hairdo looks nice, spilling over the visor just like the drawings did.

The X-Men Classics line doesn't come with bases like Marvel Legends do - rather, they have play features. Well, actually, Cyclops does have a base - a nice pseudo-technical number with a ridiculous yellow Danger Room gun on one end and a weird prong on the other. The prong fits into two tiny holes on Cyclops' back and activates his light-up feature.

Move a lever on the base and Cyclops turns to face the gun, his eyes light up and the gun blasts apart. It's a well-conceived action feature, if still a bit goofy. It's nice that Cyke doesn't have a huge button jutting out of his back for a change, but ToyBiz needs to realize that we don't need his eyes to light up: collectors don't care and kids have imagination. Let the battery-powered force blasts go. Just let them go.

Scott has been a very consistent character over the years. Lately, some of the writers have been trying to spice him up, but he remains the dull, devoted geek he's always been.

-- 03/22/04

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