Warning: SPOILERs for X-Men: Extermination #5
The X-Men's Cyclops is finally back from the dead in this week's X-Men: Extermination #5. Scott Summers' imminent return has hardly been a well-kept secret; it's been explicitly teased in the solicits, which have shown a resurrected Cyclops on the front cover of several key comics. Writer Matthew Rosenberg has already confirmed on social media that Cyclops will be leading his own new X-Men team.
Cyclops died in 2016's Death of X miniseries, learning too late that the Inhuman Terrigen Mist - which had been released into the Earth's atmosphere - was toxic to mutants. Scott Summers was one of the first to die, although his lover Emma Frost pretended he was still alive; she used her telepathic powers to pretend he launched a genocidal campaign against the Inhumans, attempting to give him the grand death she thought he deserved. That means the general public are probably still comparing Scott Summers to Adolf Hitler.
Marvel's Extermination event kicked off with the introduction of a new, younger version of Cable - whose first action was to kill off his future self. Over the course of the event, this new Cable has revealed that his entire focus was on getting the All-New X-Men to go back to their own time. He believed his future self had compromised the safety of the timeline by letting the past X-Men live in the present, and it soon turned out he was right. The final issue of Extermination ends with Young Cable succeeding in his mission, and then meeting with his co-conspirator; it turns out he's been working for, or perhaps with, the elder Cyclops.
The adult Cyclops of Extermination is wearing one of his older costumes, an outfit traditionally associated with the time he was fighting to save the entire mutant race on the island of Utopia. It's clearly meant to hint that this is the Cyclops Marvel is bringing back; a smart tactician, a Machiavellian figure who's able to dream up a dozen plans in an instant. During the "Fear Itself" event, Cyclops famously told the Mayor of San Francisco that he doesn't refer to "Plan B" because that implies he can only get up to 26 plans. No doubt the events of Extermination are in line with one of his strategies, but it will be fascinating to see what his goals are. Interestingly, the dialogue suggests that Cyclops has deliberately operated in the shadows until such a time as the All-New X-Men had gone home; it's unclear why.
That said, it's pretty staggering to see Cyclops working alongside Young Cable - not least because the first thing this version of Nate did was kill his future self. That means Cyclops is party to the killing of his own son, suggesting Summers is still willing to cross lines that others would refuse to cross. The world may well find the resurrected Cyclops to be a very dangerous, ruthless force.
Marvel has been amusingly open about Cyclops' resurrection, and Extermination #5 explains why. Readers aren't supposed to get excited about the fact of his return from the dead; rather, they're supposed to be curious about how he has returned, why he's been hiding from the rest of the X-Men, and just what he's currently up to.
Extermination #5 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.