Scott and his younger brother were both orphans who grew up fending for themselves on the streets. The day Scott's ability manifested he accidentally destroyed several buildings and set fire to half the village. In the chaos of everything Scott lost sight of his brother for he couldn't open his eye without causing more destruction. Xavier, perceiving the trouble, quickly dispatched members from his order to rescue Scott.
Scott has the ability to emit a destructive beam from his eyes. He has learned, for the most part, to live without his sight. He wears a protective blindfold that keeps him from opening his eyes as well as from being easily removed. Needing to cover his eyes all time, people have spread rumors that he is actually a cyclops with a magical destructive eye. False as this may be, he enjoys being called Cyclops; striking fear in his enemies.
(Personal notes) Cyclops was a serious conflict for me. It just didn't seem realistic that they would have the ability to make a functional visor for him in a time period like this. So I thought, what if hes just blind for the most part? Only using his ability for those 'Hail Mary' moments. Jean and Scott could grow close together needing her assistance on and off the battlefield. He could somehow fill the 'blind-wise' leader role.
Check out the character exploration of him here
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