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  1. #1
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    Default What To Do With a Problem Like Rachel

    Rachel Grey-Summers is one of the most popular B-List characters that the X-Men have to offer, and she's one of - if not the - most popular alternate reality character on their roster. She is an omega level mutant with the powers of telepathy and telekinesis, and sometimes chronokinesis. She's the daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers from a reality where Jean never went Dark Phoenix. She was the host of the Phoenix Force for the majority of the 1980s and the 1990s. She's a founding member of Excalibur. All things considered, Rachel should be a mainstay on the X-Men's roster, treated with respect by the writers and editors of the X-Men books.

    But... she's not.

    All things considered, Rachel is in a lot of ways treated like the redheaded stepchild of the X-Men. She has been written by her own creator as a rookie when she had years of experience under her belt, and just this year has been mind controlled by three (!) different people to turn against the X-Men. The last of these has led to what appears to be an indefinite status quo as she goes back to being under the sway of Ahab, in an emotional state that made it impossible for Jean Grey to cure

    Why?

    This is the thought I had on the subject in another thread that has spurred me to create this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Harpsikord View Post
    The problem with Rachel is the fact that she is derivative and was always intended that way; it's the same case for Madelyne Pryor. He would never admit it but it feels like the only reason Claremont created and/or put these characters in significant roles when he did is because he didn't have access to Jean Grey anymore; his original intention was to lobotomize Jean and let her live as a normal human away from the X-Men with Cyclops, presumably so that the so-called toy would still be in the toy box in order for him to play with it later when he felt like it. But he was told no, and so first, he brought in Madelyne, who looked identical to Jean and acted incredibly similar to her and that was all supposed to be coincidental, in order to give Cyclops the "happy ending" that he wanted for him at the time. And then when he wanted to write more stories with the Phoenix character, he brought in Rachel as his stand-in for Jean. There never was anything truly original to her.

    Claremont and his later writing partner Alan Davis are the only characters that have really tried to do interesting things with her, and outside of maybe some of the stuff that they did with her in Excalibur, largely didn't do anything that really made her... unique. There was nothing of unique value added to Rachel outside of the fact that she was a Hound and unfortunately I think that's exactly why Marc Guggenheim tried to make her a little more definitively herself, but in doing so only managed to devalue her character to the point that fans of other characters don't care to see her anymore and the writers may see her as toxic.

    Rachel desperately needs to be given some kind of identity of her own before she can be seen as viable, and the way that Brisson wrote her off unceremoniously definitely isn't the way that it should be done, but maybe it's a start. Give Rachel a break or allow her to be a hound for a little while longer and then play on that. When she comes back to her senses, have a writer discover who Rachel is POSITIVELY. Have Rachel discover HERSELF positively.

    Ideally in relation to Jean they'd have a great relationship with one another when all of this is said and done. Let them talk about why Jean didn't try to save her in a moment. Give Rachel some closure over her mommy issues. Let Jean establish that she does care for Rachel - as she should, even if it's different than how she cares for Nate and maybe even kind of awkward due to the fact that Rachel came into Jean's life as a fully grown adult.

    There's so much potential there but honestly no one at Marvel seems to have both the talent AND the interest. One or the other, not both.
    Rachel deserves to be written and treated with respect, and given a character and personality that is entirely her own - something that she hasn't had at least since she was brought into Claremont's X-Treme X-Men and then further into his Uncanny reboot era. Marc Guggenheim tried, but his writing wasn't up to par and it didn't stick. How would you fix her?

    "I'll always love you, Jean Grey." "I'll always love you too, Scott Summers." - Scott Summers and Jean Grey

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Gray Lensman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpsikord View Post
    Rachel Grey-Summers is one of the most popular B-List characters that the X-Men have to offer, and she's one of - if not the - most popular alternate reality character on their roster. She is an omega level mutant with the powers of telepathy and telekinesis, and sometimes chronokinesis. She's the daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers from a reality where Jean never went Dark Phoenix. She was the host of the Phoenix Force for the majority of the 1980s and the 1990s. She's a founding member of Excalibur. All things considered, Rachel should be a mainstay on the X-Men's roster, treated with respect by the writers and editors of the X-Men books.

    But... she's not.

    All things considered, Rachel is in a lot of ways treated like the redheaded stepchild of the X-Men. She has been written by her own creator as a rookie when she had years of experience under her belt, and just this year has been mind controlled by three (!) different people to turn against the X-Men. The last of these has led to what appears to be an indefinite status quo as she goes back to being under the sway of Ahab, in an emotional state that made it impossible for Jean Grey to cure

    Why?

    This is the thought I had on the subject in another thread that has spurred me to create this one:



    Rachel deserves to be written and treated with respect, and given a character and personality that is entirely her own - something that she hasn't had at least since she was brought into Claremont's X-Treme X-Men and then further into his Uncanny reboot era. Marc Guggenheim tried, but his writing wasn't up to par and it didn't stick. How would you fix her?
    Possibly allow her chronokinesis to be used to view past events (kind of like an object read/last thing seen by the dead) - not to allow temporal manipulation since that is a broken power that leads to nothing good except as a one time plot device.

    Have her work through that trauma enough so that she can use her telepathic tracking more regularly - again, a bit more limited, as in having to follow the trail as opposed to just knowing where someone is. Because it's easier to use it in a story if it can't just be used to jump to the last page.

    Lastly, figure out what the limits are going to be on how Jean applies her powers, so that Rachel can manifest her powers differently. Basically, have some things that Jean just doesn't do exceptionally well that Rachel does - and the same in reverse. The chronokinesis and tracking play into that, but another difference is likely needed - especially for action scenes.
    Last edited by Gray Lensman; 12-21-2018 at 03:07 AM.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member AHRNIHAL's Avatar
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    Just have her as lead telepath/telekenetic on Scott's team when things go back to normal.
    "...For you to die you would have to be forgotten and no one forgets a founder of a nation..."

  4. #4
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Rachel succeeding the Phoenix legacy would've been fine if other parties didn't get antsy and muck things up. However, they can still patch things up by doing the obvious and doing all future Phoenix stuff with her and not rehashing it with Jean. But that would take writers and editors who actually know not just who, but what characters are, and how to slide things into their rather obvious, but also obviously more interesting roles.

    Oh yeah, and someone has to actually like the character.

  5. #5
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    Oh yeah, and someone has to actually like the character.
    Liking the character isn't enough, as we can tell from what happened with Guggenheim.

    It's a start but it also has to be someone talented.

    "I'll always love you, Jean Grey." "I'll always love you too, Scott Summers." - Scott Summers and Jean Grey

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    The ugly truth is replace Jean Grey when she is dead. There is no inherent flaw with Rachel Grey is problem that keep bring back Jean Grey from the dead. If you want argue Jean should never be killed that is topic for another thread and a valid point. But Rachel as a character fine and is different enough character if they keep integrity of death in the X-men franchise. Can two or even more character in the same lane work sure X23/Wolverine or Miles/Peter but it is always balancing acting sometimes it goes wrong like Wally/Barry at DC.

    If they are keeping Rachel around then give her a shot in the Avenger Franchise who don't have any characters with her skill set and always in need strong female characters.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Knives's Avatar
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    Rachel has no problem as a character although she have complicated story.

    The problem is that writers do not allow her and other characters to run away from the status quo for more than 6 months or a year.

    It's the same as with characters like Polaris, Laura, Wanda, Angel and many others. Although she is one of the protagonists of Gold and promise of a new beginning for her the truth is that everything stopped in a new horrible uniform and a bad codename .

    If a writer or marvel is willing to do something different and a good story obviously the character will progress within the universe and in the opinion of the readers. And obviously seeing her being controlled for the hundredth time or transformed into hound again will have the opposite effect. The character practically passed more than half of the whole journey in the infirmary in gold.

    Worth remembering that not even A-list characters like Storm are free of this kind of thing see how the character has been treated in the last years .

    And although I am in favor of changes for long periods before returning to the status quo can someone explain to me how someone has been Phoenix for years is no longer the preference of the cosmic entity?

    If Jean does not want be Phoenix why the entity did not turn to Rachel ? She is the daughter of Scott and Jean.
    Last edited by Knives; 12-21-2018 at 05:41 AM.

  8. #8
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    Rachel Summers used to be deep and complicated. I'm not sure what has failed her over the years..complacent writers/editors choosing blonde telepathic favorites over others..who knows..but she should be untouchable these days. It's a shame her and Nate Grey never interacted the right way.
    Last edited by MichelleDiMera; 12-21-2018 at 07:15 AM.

  9. #9
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    Being derivative is really not a problem as long as writers and editors are willing to expand upon it for ex: Bat family , Superman family and Spiderman family. Rachel is not unique in that she is a derivative of a popular or well known character but she is one who is consistently not allowed to evolve or expand past the one who she originated from.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member CRaymond's Avatar
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    Lol being derivative is awful when the franchise that owns you is about diversity.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRaymond View Post
    Lol being derivative is awful when the franchise that owns you is about diversity.
    Remove her from the franchise. She would probably do a lot better under other teams like Avengers, SHIELD or Hydra.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member CRaymond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaishakh View Post
    Remove her from the franchise. She would probably do a lot better under other teams like Avengers, SHIELD or Hydra.
    Which is exactly why Excalibur was her strongest era. That said, the Avengers flagship title wouldn’t be bad, with her taking the Scarlet Witch AND Wolverine hothead chairs. Might even be fun to set her against fellow “time-traveler” Cap America.
    Last edited by CRaymond; 12-21-2018 at 07:42 AM.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Godzilla2099's Avatar
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    Scott gathers up the family (include Wolverine. I always looked at him as the brother he never wanted) . Finds a way to retrieve Rachel when she's very young before the abuse really takes affect, rescue her, and then adopts her.

    This way her powers aren't fully developed, she didn't suffer nearly long enough being a hound at the younger age, and finally pave the way for the next generation.

  14. #14
    Sad & Brazilian PrezValentine's Avatar
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    Make her an Avenger. Franchise is not in its greatest shape, but at least characters are treated better there. Take out Carol Danvers and give her seat to Rachel and actually let her have the Phoenix Force.

  15. #15
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    she was created because Jean was dead
    she is too similar to Jean
    that's the problem

    Morrison could write a great book with 3 telepaths (Jean, Emma, Xavier), but most writers don't want to use characters with similar powers.

    edit:

    I think the best for Rachel is to have a bit of the Phoenix Force, a shard of it, and become a cosmic hero, like in the Vulcan story. Send her to space, with the Shi Ar, Guardians of the Galaxy etc.

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