Cyclops' earliest memories were that of the death of his parents. He and his brother, Alex (Havok), were pushed from a doomed plane by their father, giving them the only parachute within the plane, effectively sacrificing their lives for their
children. The chute failed to open, and this is when Scott discovered his mutant ability for the first time; optic blasts of incredible strength. Using these blasts to slow their descent, he and Alex survived. Orphaned early, he spent much of his young life in an orphanage, Alex having been adopted shortly after their arrival there. His years at the orphanage were tough, made even harder by the constant heckling and bullying of another boy named Nathan. It was much later revealed that Mr. Sinister had posed as the boy, in an attempt to sway young Scott to his cause and learn more about him.
As time went on, Scott found himself still unable to control his mutant power. It was through the help of Professor Xavier that he discovered the only thing that would keep them in check: a ruby quartz visor. He wears this protection to this day, though sometimes in the form of glasses. Professor X made him leader of the newly formed teenage mutant team called the X-Men, a job Scott never felt he was truly worthy of. Unable to even control even his mutant power, how could he lead an entire team? Yet, he did so through many perils, and it was also here that he found his first love, Jean Grey (then Marvel Girl). The two fell in love almost at first sight.
His first major
upheaval with the team came when the group was captured by the living island known as Krakoa. Scott alone was spared to go and tell the world of the beings return. He returned to the X-Mansion and explained to the Professor what had happened. Xavier immediately employed Cerebro, his mutant seeking to device, to locate replacement mutants to go and save the team. Thus it was that Nightcrawler, Colossus, Thunderbird, Banshee, Storm, Wolverine and Sunfire were brought together for the first time. They rescued the team, and upon returning home, the previous X-Men, Havok, Polaris, Iceman, Beast, Marvel Girl (Phoenix), and Angel, decided to leave. Cyclops alone remained to lead this new team of mutants.
It was a troublesome time for the leader, as he found himself confronted with so many different people and personalities. He and Wolverine had many head-on clashes, and Thunderbird died on the teams second mission. It took many long months for them to form a cohesive team beneath his guidance, but eventually, things came together as much as they could for a group so diverse. During this time, he was reunited with Marvel Girl at a formal gathering. Alas, their time of peace together was brief as they were attacked by Sentinels. It was to be an unforgettable adventure as the X-Men were swept off into space, returning to earth in a spaceship that was burning up and disintegrating as it hit the earths atmosphere. Marvel Girl sent the others to the radiation shielding compartment, planning to fly the ship and
shield herself from the radiation with her telekinesis. Cyclops refused to let her sacrifice herself that way, and she used her telepathy to knock him unconscious. The ship crashed in Jamaica Bay on earth, with Marvel Girl nowhere to be seen. Moments later, she emerged from the bay very changed, now calling herself Phoenix. From the beginning, Cyclops was worried by the increase in her power, a fear that became realized when she manifested her darker side and went on a rampage as Dark Phoenix. She consumed a sun in an inhabited system and was judged by a space-faring race called the Shi'ar. The price they demanded was her death, and they swept the X-Men into space for the ensuing battle. In the end, she sacrificed herself, destroying her body right before Cyclops' eyes. Grief stricken by the loss of her, he left the team immediately upon returning to Earth, leaving the Professor in charge of the X-Men.
His retirement was brief, and all too soon he found himself in space again, this time with a group called the Starjammers. The leader of this rogue band was a
debonair man named Corsair, who revealed himself as Cyclops' father, believed deceased. The Starjammers had rescued him from the plane wreckage, and he had been with them ever since. It took Cyclops some time to come terms with it, but in the end he felt only joy at having rediscovered his father. He returned to Earth and decided to take leave from the team again, this time going to visit his grandparents (which he discovered existed after his time at the orphanage) in Alaska, leaving Storm in charge of the team as the Professor had remained with the Shi-ar in space. It was in Alaska that he met an exact duplicate of Marvel Girl, his former love. So exact to the last detail that it could have been her. Her name was Madelyne Pryor, and her past was filled with holes, but Cyclops fell in love with her anyway. The two were soon married, and shortly thereafter, had a child, which she named Nathan against Cyclops' wishes. With Cyclops' return to the X-Men, he found his all-time leadership of the team challenged by Storm, who felt a duel between them was necessary to decide who should lead, fairly. The two fought, he with his mutant powers and she only with her physical ability as her power had been stolen by Forge. She won against him, to his disbelief, and it was later suggested that Madelyne had used her innate power to influence the outcome. His mantle lost, he left the team to build a home in Alaska with Madelyne and remained there for some time before the phone call came. A phone call from Reed Richards saying that Marvel Girl had miraculously been returned to life.
He rushed off to see if it was indeed truly his former love come back to life, and found that it was. The original X-Men reunited with her resurrection, they formed a new team called X-Factor. It took some time for the two to
reconcile their love, but Madelyne was believed dead, and eventually, the two were reunited as if they had never been apart. Meanwhile, Madelyne found herself hunted by the Marauders, a timely entrance by the X-Men her only salvation. With no life to return to, she joined with them and shared several adventures before a demon named S'ym came calling. S'ym offered her power, and thinking it only a dream, she accepted. It was shortly after this that she discovered she was only a clone of Marvel girl, created by the man known as Sinister, given life by a portion of the Phoenix power. Her anger at Cyclops and Marvel Girl and her entire phony life twisted her soul, and she became the evil Goblyn Queen (see Inferno crossover). She planned to sacrifice their child to become even more powerful, but was stopped by the X-Men and X-Factor. Finally able to confront her estranged husband, Madelyne made him choose between she and Marvel Girls' lives. He saved Marvel Girl and the enraged Madelyne tried to destroy her, almost succeeding. In the end, Madelyne perished, and Cyclops regained the child.
His time with little Nathan Christopher was fleeting, however, as he soon discovered that the child had been infected with the Techmode virus. A virus that would completely consume the child, making him something of a robotic, though mallable lifeform. He was forced to give up the child to Askani, who took Nathan Christopher into the future where the virus could be cured. Shortly thereafter, the original X-factor team dissolved in favor of returning to the X-Men. Divided into two groups now, Cyclops took leadership of one, Storm of the other. Time passed, many battles were fought and won, and eventually, Cyclops and Marvel Girl (now just Jean Grey) were wed. Their
honeymoon was spent in the alternate timeline of Askani, where they spent several years raising Nathan Christopher, who would return to their world someday and become the man known as Cable.