All 6 versions of Cyclops ranked from worst to best

Dive into our fun rundown from the X-Men universe, where we blast from each different portrayal of Cyclops and rank them.
Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2024 MARVEL.
Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2024 MARVEL. /

Cyclops, a.k.a. Scott Summers, is the kind of guy who makes an entrance with ruby-red glasses that are more than just a bold fashion statement - he shoots big, bad beams of energy from his eyes.

Scott can't just give you the stink eye - he could accidentally blast through walls if he’s not careful. It’s like having a superhero version of a laser pointer stuck on your face, which, let’s be honest, makes him the coolest person at any party - or the most dangerous.

As the often-appointed leader of the X-Men, Cyclops is the glue that holds this band of heroes together. He’s the usually super-serious, tactics-planning guy who’s always trying to keep his team safe and sound, especially from villains who are up to no good. Think of him as the big brother who’s got your back, only instead of yelling, he might just zap you with an eye beam to keep you in line. Cyclops is as noble as they come, but don't let those steely glares fool you - underneath, he's a total softie who’s just trying to do the right thing.

We've seen different faces and angles of Cyclops/Scott Summers when it comes to X-Men movies and animated shows, but which version is the best version?

Let's take a look and see how these 6 portrayals rank among each other.

X-MEN '97
(L-R): Morph (voiced by JP Karliak), Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith), Gambit (voiced by AJ LoCascio), Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase), Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann), Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd), Bishop (voiced by Isaac Robinson-Smith), Beast (voiced by George Buza) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

6. Tim Pocock in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Let’s just say this version of Cyclops didn’t exactly hit a home run. Imagine being super excited to see your favorite optic-blasting hero, but what you get is a quick hello and a speedy goodbye. Poor Tim was given such a teeny-weeny bit of screen time that if you blinked (or reached for more popcorn), you might have missed him completely. And the cherry on top? The movie itself wasn’t a crowd-pleaser, which didn’t help his case. So, despite Tim’s best efforts, his Cyclops ended up more like a background character in a movie that most fans would rather forget.

5. Tye Sheridan in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) and Dark Phoenix (2019)

Picture a fresh-faced Cyclops putting on the iconic visor and wearing the big shoes of leadership with all the awkward charm of a teen superhero. Sounds cool, right? Well, yes, but there was a catch - while Tye brought a neat twist to the young, shades-sporting mutant, the movies themselves never really became fan favorites. Fans and critics had their thumbs wiggling in the middle, unsure whether to cheer or snooze. So, despite Tye's solid attempt to laser-beam some life into Cyclops, the mixed movie vibes meant his portrayal didn't quite blast to the top of our Cyclops rankings. But hey, credit where it's due for bringing some new energy to our optic-blasting hero.

4. James Marsden in the Original X-Men Trilogy (2000, 2003, 2006)

James Marsden’s Cyclops in the original X-Men trilogy was like the poster boy of "could've been" in superhero movies. Marsden absolutely looked the part, rocking those ruby-quartz sunglasses like no one else could. His Cyclops was the quintessential leader: brave, serious, and always ready to zap something with his eye beams. But here's the kicker - despite being super important, it felt like he was always left on the bench when it came time to really dive into his character. The movies gave us a little taste, but they never quite let him off the leash, you know? So, while he's definitely got his fans for that calm, cool, collected vibe, he ranks lower than I wanted to rank him because we all wished we could’ve seen a bit more of what makes Mr. Summers tick.

3. Wolverine and the X-Men (2008-2009)

Wolverine and the X-Men took Cyclops on an emotional rollercoaster, and we were all strapped in for the ride. In this series, our laser-eyed hero wasn't just blasting away baddies; he was wrestling with some serious heartache over losing Jean Grey. This added a whole new layer to Cyclops, turning him from a just-the-facts leader to a deeply emotional guy trying to keep it together while his world was falling apart. Fans really dug this more complex and relatable side of Cyclops, making his portrayal in this series a standout. It wasn't just about the cool shades and power beams; it was about the man behind the visor dealing with real feelings and emotions, and that's why this version of Cyclops lands pretty high on this ranking.

2. X-Men: Evolution (2000-2003)

X-Men: Evolution takes us on a wild ride back to Cyclops' high school days, and let me tell you, it's a blast. This version of Cyclops isn't just shooting beams from his eyes - he's juggling homework, mutant powers, and all the drama you can expect from a teen leader. What makes this Cyclops so cool? He's figuring out how to be the boss while dealing with acne and voice cracks; talk about a multitasking superhero! This show digs deep into his struggles and triumphs, making us root for him as he grows from a shaky newbie into a confident leader. It’s like watching a superhero coming-of-age story unfold right before our eyes. As a huge fan of X-Men: Evolution myself, I'd love to see this show get an extra season or two as well, just likt X-Men: The Animated Series and X-Men '97.

Speaking of X-Men '97...

1. X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-1997) and X-Men '97 (2024)

The Cyclops from X-Men: The Animated Series and its continuation, X-Men '97, totally rocks the top spot. It's like he stepped right out of the comic pages with his cool visor and all that "leader of the X-Me"' swagger. He wasn't just blasting bad guys with his eye beams; he was all about making tough calls and juggling superhero duties with some pretty intense team drama. Whether he's strategizing against villains or sorting out his rocky love life, this Cyclops showed us all the layers - like an onion, but way cooler and less tear-inducing. He's like the ultimate Boy Scout but with laser eyes and way more emotional depth, making him the most memorable and relatable Cyclops we've seen. The continuation of his character in the revival of the X-Men: The Animated Series this year has also been an incredible thing to witness - none of his charm and character was lost in the "in between" years, and it's been a blast watching him, pun intended.

From the big screen's cool yet sometimes overlooked Cyclops to the animated world's ultimate leader, that's how these versions of Cyclops rank. Whether he's a young buck learning the ropes or a seasoned vet calling the shots, Cyclops proves he's more than just a pretty face with laser-shooting eyes, and next time you're kicking back for some X-Men action, keep an eye out for how Scott Summers steps up to the plate.