I first noticed this when it was added as a sin for the X-Men (2000) video on the CinemaSins YouTube channel. When the guy voicing the sins states the following as Cyclops blasts the slime from Jean Grey's face:

"Cyclops has no idea what this substance is that Toad trapped on Jean's face, so how does he know what sensitivity level to set his visor in order to destroy the mysterious substance of unknown makeup but not injure her face?"

Can someone help me with this? Any sources from any comics, movies, scripts, or animated material is accepted.

  • Can we not just assume that hes had encounters with Toad, before, and just knows from experience?
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 1:59
  • @Gnemlock-That may very well be, what I'm asking is have any such encounters ever been shown? For example, Kitty Pryde and Peter Quill dated rather heavily in the comics, with Peter even proposing to her, yet if Fox and Marvel ever worked out a deal to have the X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy meet up, and all of a sudden, Shadowcat and Star-Lord start smooching just for the hell of it, it would make very little sense for the films. Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 2:22
  • 1
    @Gothamite24: Apples and oranges. Shadowcat and Star-Lord getting it on is something that needs explanation to be understood by the viewer. Cyclops using his skills expertly is logically already explained by him being well prepared (the existence of the visors themselves proves that point implicitly, these are crafted for a specific purpose) and therefore doesn't require further explanation to be understood by the viewer. It's like asking how a soldier can fire a rifle if we haven't seen him be taught how to handle a rifle. It's implicitly expected, because they are a soldier.
    – Flater
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 8:07
  • @Flater-I get that, and I understand what your point is. However, the scene where he finds Jean, he uses an optic blast to rip a STEEL DOOR off of its hinges, and send it flying across the room like a Frisbee. The difference in the power output he uses later to save Jean is pretty big, factoring that in. Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 11:08
  • I'm not sure I see the relevance of that. Cyclops has the ability to destroy pretty much anything, and the visor is used to control that power. Having it for the extended period of time that he does (over 10 years at least), controlling that would be second nature.
    – Ben
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


In the original script, the beam was thin enough and focused enough that it would cut through the mask, but not into the flesh itself, allowing him to split it into two sections.

He takes a hold of her chin and grips it tightly. He FIRES A THIN, FOCUSED OPTIC BEAM INTO THE ENCRUSTED SLIME, splitting it in half. He pulls the remains away from her face.

Presumably Cyclops has sufficient control over the beam to use it to chop through things but not into human flesh, in much the same way that a cast saw can cut through a plaster cast without hurting the skin underneath.

In the movie novelisation (and the movie itself) he goes for a more direct approach, firing a thin beam that breaks the mold. Had it not worked, he would, presumably, have just tried a higher setting until finding one that was sufficient.

He fired an incredibly thin, extraordinarily focused beam of energy from his visor. It struck the slime that had crusted over her face. The energy smashed it to pieces.

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