Powers and Abilities
Cyclops has the power to emit beams of energy from his eyes described as an "optic blast." The beams have the appearance of red light (i.e., electromagnetic radiation in a red wavelength); however, they do not give off heat and instead deliver concussive force without recoil. The beams are tremendously powerful and can be used to rupture steel plates and pulverize rock.
In addition varying the beam width, height, and intensity, Cyclops has demonstrated a high degree of skill and accuracy in manipulating his optic blast. Cyclops is able to reflect the beam off hard and shiny surfaces. This feat also demonstrates his intuitive sense of spatial geometry between objects. The reflective qualities of the beams allows him to bounce the beam off many different surfaces in rapid succession. The effective range of his optic beam is approximately 2,000 ft. It has been observed to be focused tight enough to punch a pin hole through a coin, drill through the trunk of a log, and pierce the skin of the Blob. Cyclops has shown the power of his optic blast by blasting through the walls of a hardened building, tunneling through solid rock, and blowing the top off a mountain. Cyclops' force beams were measured by Iron Man to be almost 2 Gigawatts. Two Gigawatts is about half the peak power output of the Doel Nuclear Power Plant and when Cyclops released this much energy he exceeded his control over his optic beam. With Cyclops unable to shut off his optic beam, Leech came to his aid and negated his mutant power. Against other Marvel characters, Cyclops has been able to use his optic beam to knock Thor's Hammer from his hand. He is known to be able to overload Bishop's energy absorption power and is revealed to never have willingly used more than a small fraction of his full potential due to his anxiety regarding his optic blast.
Early accounts describe Cyclops' optic beams as the product of his body metabolizing sunlight and other ambient energy. This is similar to his brother Alex (alias Havok) who metabolizes cosmic radiation. This metabolized energy is then released in the form of the beam from his eyes. In some stories Cyclops depletes his body's energy reserves and needs to recharge through exposure to sunlight. When depleted Cyclops continued to emit the beams; however, their intensity was greatly diminished. One story showed him able to safely open his eyes when in complete darkness-without any ambient light to absorb, his power diminished to the point that he did not need his visor.
Modern accounts state that Cyclops' eyes contain inter-dimensional apertures, releasing powerful energies from another dimension into his own via the beams. These later accounts state that his body naturally metabolizes ambient energy that is used to open and focus the apertures in his eyes. The energy of the beam itself originates from this other dimension.
Cyclops' body is naturally immune to the beams' force. His mind projects a psionic field that envelops his body rendering it immune to his optic beam, allowing him to shut it off by simply closing his eyes. Scott is also immune to the power of his brother Alex (Havok) who has the ability to emit waves of energy that heat the air into plasma. Likewise Havok has demonstrated immunity to Cyclops' optic beam. Scott has been shown as being able to absorb Storm's lightning bolt, although this act caused Cyclops a great deal of pain. The ruby quartz used in his battle visor has been said to be resonate with his body's psionic field. Scott has only a limited resistance to his brother Vulcan's powers.
For all Cyclops' skill in manipulating his optic beam, it continuously projects from his eyes whenever they are open and unprotected. To prevent the destruction of any objects in his field of view, Cyclops uses a pair of ruby quartz eye glasses developed by Professor X to contain the devastating rays. In his X-Men uniform he uses a ruby quartz battle visor in place of the glasses. His uniform has firing studs incorporated into his gloves and on the sides of the battle visor that control the visor's aperture. In the event that the visor has a power failure, the apertures are spring loaded to automatically close so Cyclops can at least see normally. He has also been observed using casual sunglasses and contact lenses made from the same ruby quartz as his visor lens. Scott's poor control over his power is attributed to events in his childhood. His lack of control is initially described as being due to a head wound during his childhood, disabling his brain's ability to turn off his optic blasts. Later depictions explained that his lack of control is psychosomatic and due to the emotionally traumatic events of his childhood. This later explanation allowed Cyclops to finally control his optic blasts for a short time during a mission on the Breakworld, though at the conclusion of these events, he revealed that he was beginning to lose control again and reverted to using his visor and lenses.
Read more about this topic: Cyclops (comics)
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