This week’s Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 from writer Ed Brisson and artist Carlos Gomez finally answers the question of how Cyclops was resurrected for his return at the end of Extermination - and it turns out the answer was right in front of us all along.
Spoilers ahead for Uncanny X-Men Annual #1.
Following Extermination #5’s reveal that the adult Cyclops is alive and has been living in Cable’s compound, Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 delves into the cause of his resurrection – directly at the hands of Cable.
Using his time travel abilities, Cable took the Phoenix collector device developed by the Avengers all the way back in 2012's Secret Avengers #26 to a scientist who Cyclops saved from an evil scientific mastermind back in the earliest days of the X-Men.
Cable instructs the scientist to make the device channel the Phoenix Force rather than trap it, and to make it the size of a pill instead of a large box. Giving the scientist two years, Cable departs.
From there, Cable and the scientist travel to the moments just after Cyclops’ death and implant the small device in his heart, leaving it in place so that later in the timeline, when the Phoenix Force briefly resurrects Cyclops to tempt Jean Grey (as seen in Phoenix Resurrection), the device captures and channels a small portion of the Phoenix Force into Cyclops’ body – secretly allowing him to be fully resurrected later after the Phoenix dismisses the momentarily-returned Cyclops.
So with the device in place and his machinations over the course of years of in-universe time now come to fruition, Cable fully resurrects Cyclops with the help of the scientist whose life young Cyclops saved – who credits Cyclops for allowing him to return home to his wife and child all those years ago.
But Cyclops isn’t satisfied being stuck in Cable’s base; he questions why Cable brought him back if he’s to stay hidden. Cable confesses the X-Men need their leader to inspire them in their darkest hour. He gives Cyclops a choice – go fight Nate Grey alongside the other X-Men (as has currently been playing out in regular issues of Uncanny X-Men), or leave them to their fate and save the life of the scientist, who is under attack from the man who Cyclops defeated and put in prison years ago – a situation Cable engineered to prove a point.
Of course Cyclops saves the life of the scientist, but while he’s doing so the X-Men lose their battle and disappear from the beach, leaving Cyclops alone to vow to find and return them, wherever they’ve gone.
The story continues in February 6’s Uncanny X-Men #11.