Scott Summers was the older of the two sons of Major Christopher Summers, a test pilot in the U.S. Air Force. When Scott was a child, Major Summers flew himself, his wife Katherine, and his sons Scott and Alex back from a vacation in his vintage private plane. The plane was attacked and set ablaze by a scout ship from the alien Shi'ar Empire. Katherine pushed Scott and Alex out the plane door with the only available parachute. The parachute was unable to slow their fall sufficiently to prevent Scott from suffering a head injury on landing. (The injury damaged the part of Scott's brain that would have enabled him to control his optic blasts.)
The two boys were separated by the authorities: Alex was adopted, but Scott remained comatose in a hospital for a year. Christopher and Katharine were believed dead. (Actually, they were taken prisoner by the Shi'ar; Katharine soon died but Christopher later became Corsair, leader of the Starjammers, a band of interstellar adventurers.)
On recovering, Scott was placed in an orphanage in Omaha, Nebraska that was secretly controlled by his future enemy Mister Sinister. Years later, as a teenager, Scott began to suffer from severe headaches and eyestrain. He was sent to an eye specialist in Washington, D.C., who discovered that lenses made of ruby quartz corrected the problem. While Scott was visiting a large city, his developing mutant power to project optic force beams finally erupted, bursting forth in an uncontrollable blast that demolished a crane, causing it to drop a huge object towards a terrified crowd. Scott saved the crowd by obliterating the object with another blast, but they turned into an angry mob, thinking he had tried to kill them. Scott fled, ultimately escaping on a freight train.
Professor Charles Xavier and F.B.I. agent Fred Duncan joined forces in their mutual attempt to find Scott. Meanwhile, a mutant known as Jack O' Diamonds, and later as the Living Diamond, forced the frightened boy to aid him in his crimes. Xavier rescued Scott from the Living Diamond and enlisted him as the first member of the team of young mutants he would teach in using their powers, the X-Men.
Cyclops worried about the disappearance of Colossus when Colossus was invited to take on the Champion of the Universe in a fighting contest at Madison Square Garden.
He was among the heroes incapacitated by Graviton when he attempted to take over the Earth once again.
- Marvel Two-In-One Annual #7
- Thunderbolts #57