Posted February 20, 2018 by Miguel Asistio in Comics

10 Facts You Should Know About JEAN GREY

Welcome to another edition of 10 Facts, where we give you a rundown of the ten essential things (and some obscure facts) that you should know about a character.

A recent development has made even the most savvy comic book fans turn their heads and take notice: Jean Grey has returned to the land of the living in Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey. As one of the most popular members of the X-Men, her return serves as a monumental occasion for all her fans as well as for the X-Men themselves. While she now struggles to piece together what has happened since her last appearance, let’s unravel some facts about the wielder of the Phoenix.

1. She’s the first female member of the X-Men.


Alongside her peers Sue Storm and Janet Van Dyne, Jean Grey is in very good company as she too was a lone female among a Marvel team’s lineup.

On September 1963, Jean debuted alongside Angel, Iceman, Cyclops and Beast in The X-Men #1. Using the codename Marvel Girl, Jean back then hadn’t acquired most of the powers we know her for today, and instead only had telepathy. As her powers grew over time, so did the size of the roster as Charles Xavier recruited mutants left and right to fight for his cause. Polaris, the daughter of Magneto, and the weather goddess Storm would soon join the team in 1969 and 1975, respectively, as the next two female members.

2. The Phoenix comes in three colors.


The Phoenix and Jean Grey’s histories have been intertwined with each other for a long time. Aside from its neutral green color, Jean’s Phoenix form also comes in two distinct variants. The red version of Jean Grey is the Dark Phoenix, and is known as the form Jean turns into once she loses control. It is here when a blessing becomes a curse, as shown in the “Dark Phoenix Saga” where she had to die to prevent further damage.

The third color is white, and it is considered the ascended version of Jean. As the White Phoenix of the Crown, Jean is in full control of all her mental faculties as well as her powers. The Phoenix, a mysterious entity all on its own, remains as unpredictable as ever when there’s three different versions that can show up when the need arises.

3. The Phoenix Force has had other hosts other than Jean Grey.


Yes, the Phoenix and Jean Grey do share a special bond that can never be replicated. However, the Phoenix Force has been known to find other hosts for itself from time to time.

The most notable example comes in the form of the Phoenix Five during the 2012 Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event. After the Force was splintered by Iron Man thanks to a specially-made weapon, the Phoenix then possessed Cyclops, Magik, Namor, Colossus and Emma Frost. As the Phoenix Five, the group formed a new Utopia and sought out a better livelihood for all of mutantkind. However, the Avengers soon stepped in and battled them after the hosts slowly lost their sanity. Soon, Cyclops was left alone to carry the burden of being the Phoenix, and was defeated.

4. After Jean came what was Pryor.


During Jean’s death came a woman with a striking resemblance to her, Madelyne Pryor. This actually didn’t faze Scott enough to not want to be with her, as Maddie soon married Scott moved to Alaska to live a normal family life. However, Scott bailed on his new wife the moment he found out that Jean was still alive.

This event traumatized Madelyne, transforming her into a supervillain known as the Goblin Queen after being kidnapped and tortured by the inhabitants of the island Genosha. This event showed that Scott loved Jean so much that he was willing to risk a new life to be her, even if that risk involved a move that was very low-brow and scummy.

5. Jean Grey conquered Galactus.


Jean is definitely no slouch when it comes to her skills, but she’s an even more formidable threat under the influence of the Phoenix. In last year’s Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1, Jean took down the Eater of Worlds, Galactus, and did not even need the help of other heroes. Seeing as Galactus is one of the biggest threats in the Marvel Universe, this is a feat that should go down in the history books!

6. Dark Phoenix, meet Darkseid.


While it may be disrespecting the sacred to the diehards whenever people get Marvel and DC all mixed up, there was a time when even the companies themselves were very open to the idea of having crossovers. An example of this came in the form of the Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans in 1982, which united two of comics’ most popular super-teams. In this story, Darkseid resurrects Dark Phoenix in order for him to break through the Source Wall, the barrier of the DC Comics Multiverse.

After the X-Men and Titans are taken down despite their best efforts, Professor X and Cyclops were able to reveal the truth to Jean. She sacrifices herself in order to restore everything back to normal, after becoming aware that she was being manipuated by the cosmic tyrant.

7. Cable is her son.


Stories featuring Marvel’s mutants can be quite convoluted especially when involving time travel. With this in mind, not many plots can compare to the one involving Nathan Summers, also known as Cable. Nathan was born to Scott Summers and Jean Grey from an alternate future, carrying a big gun and inflicted with a techno-organic virus. He was also quite the jumper, known for travelling to the past, present and future.

Cable has been known to possess a wide array of reality-breaking powers such as telepathy, telekinesis, psionic blasts and astral projection. This shows that much like her mother, there is a lot of destructive potential that Cable holds to himself.

8. Jean and Scott are “One” but not the same.


March 1994 was a regular month for most people, but it was an extremely important one for the X-Men. Two of its founding members finally tied the knot in X-Men #30, and they hammered the point home in being “One” with their choice of theme song. A wedding band fronted by fellow mutant Lila Cheney played the U2 hit at their reception, but not before cracking a joke – that their theme song was “Hyperactive” by James Dolby.

9. Scott wasn’t the only “One”, and neither was she.


Well-documented in both comics and movies is the X-factor in their relationship, Wolverine. He’s the best there is at what he does and in the eyes of Scott, that’s probably being a wedge in between him and his beloved. However, Scott isn’t quite holier-than-thou as his relationship with Emma Frost is the evidence.

Cyclops and the White Queen developed a friendship and the closeness blossomed into a “psychic affair”. Even if they did love each other dearly, Scott and Jean were far from a relationship that was as solid as the likes of Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

10. This isn’t her first resurrection.


While the return of Jean Grey is a game-changing headline all on its own, the nature of both the Phoenix Force and comic books in general make this a straight case of deja vu. Jean originally died during the critically-acclaimed Dark Phoenix Saga, wherein her powers were too much for her control and she descended into insanity. However, after the establishment of the Phoenix as a force that took over her instead of merely being her alter-ego, she came back to life from the depths of the Jamaica Bay.

Jean’s second death came in New X-Men #150 by Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez. Her demise came at the hands of then-new villain Xorn. It has been seventeen years since she last appeared as her true self, however,  and a younger version of herself (alongside the X-Men’s original five) was stranded in the present as part of Beast’s plan to preserve the future. It may be safe to say that her younger self had a rocky start in her new time, but here’s to hoping the adult Jean is given a warm welcome and survives the experience!

Miguel Asistio

Comic book geek. Fighting game fan. Competent writer (supposedly).