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Cyclops’ Powers Turn the X-Men’s Jet into One of Marvel’s Most Powerful Weapons


The X-Men’s Blackbird jet is designed to weaponize Cyclops’ optic blasts, with Scott able to hook himself into its weapon system.
Cyclops’ mutant ability includes amazing accuracy, making him better than any automated aiming system.
The Blackbird is also equipped with advanced Shi’ar technology, invisibility capabilities, and Cerebro technology for locating mutants worldwide.

While DC’s Batmobile may be the most famous superhero vehicle, the X-Men‘s Blackbird jet is just as deserving of love from fans, particularly because of how it’s designed to weaponize Cyclops‘ optic blasts. First appearing in 1977, the Blackbird is a high-tech jet which ferries the mutant heroes around the world, and typical of Charles Xavier’s surprisingly advanced tech, it’s designed to incorporate mutant powers into its operation.

In Chip Zdarsky and Terry Dodson’s X-Men + Fantastic Four #3, the FF infiltrate the mutant island of Krakoa, believing Cyclops’ team may have kidnapped their son Franklin. However, the mutants sense that they’re being infiltrated, leading to a high-speed chase as the X-Men’s Blackbird pursues Reed Richards’ Fantasticar. However, the chase is ended when Cyclops takes over the Blackbird’s weapons system, using a guidance helmet to shoot down the rival ship with his powers.

The helmet is a larger version of Cyclops’ visor, which incorporates his powers and aiming ability into the ship’s systems. Almost immediately, Cyclops clips the wings of the Fantasticar, and the X-Men descend to duke it out with the Fantastic Four (before eventually joining them in a rescue effort for Franklin, who is actually with Doctor Doom.)

The X-Men’s Blackbird jet has a hidden hangar on the grounds of Xavier’s school, with the basketball court opening up to allow it to land in an underground base.

X-Men + Fantastic Four #3

Writer: Chip Zdarsky Penciller: Terry Dodson Inker: Rachel Dodson & Ransom Getty Colorists: Laura Martin, Andrew Crossley & Peter Pantazis Letterer: Joe Caramagna Cover Artist: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson


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The X-Men’s Jet Is Designed to Fire Cyclops’ Blasts

Scott Is the Blackbird’s Onboard Weapons System, & Has Been for 43 Years


In a cool twist, this isn’t even a new idea – 1981’s Uncanny X-Men #154 (Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum) shows Cyclops being able to fire his beams through the jet’s windshield, with special ruby quartz glass even amplifying his power. Cyclops’ mutant ability allows him to fire beams of incredible force from his eyes, however that’s only the most basic form of what he can do. Cyclops can control the power of his beams, releasing kinetic force equal to everything from a light tap to an atomic bomb. He’s also capable of incredibly precise shots and wide-bore blasts. However, where Cyclops really excels is his uncanny sense of aim.

While his power is often confused with Superman’s heat vision,
Cyclops actually fires beams of pure force,

. Canonically, these beams can create intense heat through friction, but are not themselves hot, and Cyclops himself has clarified this fact many times. Despite this, there
X-Men comics where it’s clear the creative team didn’t get the memo, and which depict Cyclops’ optic blasts as heat beams.

Cyclops’ Aim Is So Perfect, He’s Better Than an Automated Weapon

X-Men’s Blackbird Embraces the Philosophy of Honoring Mutant Gifts

x-men's cyclops splits his blast using a traffic light to shoot many cyborg animals

Scott is an incredible shot with his powers and has an instinctual understanding of how his blasts will ricochet. Indeed, in the recent X-Men #7 (by Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz), he channeled his powers through a traffic light, taking down seven villains at once with an incredible split shot. This is partially due to him training to use his powers since he was a teenager, and potentially also a natural aspect of his powers, given how many mutants have complementary physical mutations which make their abilities more effective. Either way, making it so that Cyclops can hook his powers into the Blackbird doesn’t just give it a powerful weapons system, but Scott’s own superhuman aim.

The X-Men’s Jet Is More Advanced Than Fans Assume

The Blackbird Can Turn Invisible and Boasts Advanced Weaponry

X-Jet on the Airfield

However, even Cyclops’ awesome weapon is only one feature of the Blackbird, which is one of the fastest aircraft in the world and also uses alien Shi’ar technology to turn totally invisible to Earth technology and deploy advanced laser weaponry. At the same time, the jet comes complete with Cerebro technology so the X-Men can locate mutants all over the world. It’s possible that the Blackbird’s lack of fame comes from how often it’s destroyed – the X-Men keep a hangar full of jets, deploying a new one whenever someone like Magneto junks their current ride. But mass produced or not, the Blackbird isn’t just a regular jet the X-Men use to get around, but rather an iconic superhero vehicle that only gets more powerful once Cyclops climbs aboard.

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