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  1. #46

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    My Jean Grey appreciation Mega-Post for the new thread.

    Jean is one of the most iconic, long-standing, and powerful characters in comics whose influence is wide-spread across other mediums. Originally "the girl" of the team, Jean has always struggled with agency and power (the power of self-determination and her actual powers). Her robust and dynamic life includes being an original X-man, earning a psychology degree and modelling, being roommates with Misty Knight, defining herself outside of the X-men when she thought her friends were dead, heroically sacrificing herself, saving the universe, becoming the X-men's defining tragedy, resurrections, parenting her adopted son, marrying Cyclops and becoming an iconic couple, owning her power and becoming bigger than her relationship with Cyclops, dying, re-defining her legacy through a time-displaced younger version, being resurrected and affirming her agency, leading her own team, and recently becoming integral to Krakoa's defence.

    Jean's iconic status was partly secured by being part of the cast for the Animated Series where she mostly tripped, fainted, and called out for Cyclops. The show's adaptions of the Phoenix Saga and Dark Phoenix Saga elevated the character and remains the only good adaption of the Phoenix. The TAS exaggerated everyone's personality, but Jean is harder to define and distill to something cartoonish. So she came across as subdued and much quieter, making her transcendence into the Phoenix so revelatory.



    Jean has appeared in two cartoons since TAS. X-men Evolution Jean was confident, responsible, and full of potential. She was popular at school, pined after, and a star-athlete. But she struggled with being a closeted mutant and the show did an excellent job portraying someone burning with a secret on the inside, who loses her status and reputation due to bigotry, and embraces what she tried to hide. She had a great original costume in the show and really cool power signature, and became more powerful throughout the series which culminated in a psychic battle between cerebro-powered Jean and mind-controlled Xavier.

    Jean's most recent starring role in an animated series was Wolverine and the X-men, which made her a pawn of the Hellfire Club and responsible for a post-apocalyptic future. Jean was mostly a plot-device in a series that really played up the Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Jean Grey quadrangle. Jean was a major powerhouse and target for Mister Sinister, as well as the Phoenix' chosen host. I particularly liked that the show made Jean's power central to Xavier and Magneto's rift. Imagining the Phoenix as a canary in a bird cage in Jean's mind was a creative presentation of telepathy.

    Jean has made appearances in a total of 7 movies, starring in X-men, X2: X-men United, X-men: The Last Stand, and X-men: Apocalypse cameoing in The Wolverine as a ghost and in Days of Future Past showing that the new timeline has fixed the tragedies of the old one, and as the leading woman of Dark Phoenix. Played first by Famke Janssen and later by Sophie Turner, movie-Jean was fairly weak and timid before powering up to Phoenix-levels and becoming a major threat. The movies heavily emphasized the love triangle and made her Logan's one true love while sidelining Cyclops. The movies peaked with Jean's sacrifice in X2, and thoughtfully scripted and performed moment in which Jean uses her Phoenix powers to save her team. The movies famously dipped in quality with X3 where Dark Phoenix was reduced to a demonic and veiny split-personality subplot in order to give Wolverine angst. Jean served three different hairstyles and rocked them all, with the X2 soccer mom cut being my favourite. She wore black leather with green (and later red) piping before donning a Scarlet Witch-esque jacket with a corset as her Dark Phoenix look.



    The recent films retold Jean's backstory but retained themes of Jean's underlying power and the consequences of Xavier's tampering. X-men Apocalypse was panned by critics and audiences, but Jean's Phoenix power-up, depicted telepathically as Jean coming out of Cerebro and unleashing psychic fire, was a highlight. Jean's costuming and styling in Apocalypse was fairly bad unfortunately. Dark Phoenix made Jean the storyline central, but was creatively doomed by its director being the writer of X3. Studio politics, including Disney buying Fox and similarities to Captain Marvel, meant that a risky two-parter was cut into one movie that had a phenomenal space sequence followed by dreck. Dark Phoenix ultimately fell victim to the decades of problems with the X-films and Jean's film future is uncertain.

    Jean is also significant for how many video games she has been playable in. Between the Mutant Academy games (plus the Next Dimension in which Dark Phoenix was a separate unlockable character), X-men Legend and Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, Marvel vs. Capcom and mobile games, Jean is prominent in fighting games and rpg video games. These games sometimes draw on Jean tk and tp, but most often depict her as Phoenix with fire powers. Notable Jean gameplay include her tp in XML2, combos that blended tp, tk, and fire perfectly in Next Dimension, powerful blasts in MUA2, energy regen in MUA3, and her character power in MvsC3 in which Dark Phoenix powers boost Jean's power while draining HP.



    Jean had an interesting decade. Long dead, a time-displaced Jean Grey changed all of the rules regarding the Jean we knew and reexamined the legacy of the character. Jean haunted the X-men after her death with her legacy and image hanging over the X-men at all times. Would Jean approve of Utopia? Would Jean want to reopen a school? Would Jean have supported Cyclops? Teen Jean was haunted by her future/past self and it was interesting to see her act without training or tampering. She abused her telepathy in shocking ways but eventually figured out who she wanted to be. Jean's legacy was sometimes reduced to DPS only, but Teen Jean had the agency the character was sometimes denied. Jean had her first ever solo series this decade in which she was brought into the greater MU to take on the Phoenix once-and-for-all.

    Editorial inconsistency and bizarre decisions resurrected adult-Jean around the end of Teen Jean's solo series, creating a bit of a continuity headache. The Phoenix Force was apparently coming for Teen Jean at the same time as it resurrected adult-Jean in a reality-warped cocoon. The Phoenix had deemed Teen Jean as unworthy while giving adult Jean everyone she loved back in order to tempt her into becoming its host again. Jean, never liking to have her future written for her, rejects the offer and strikes out on her own. X-men: Red gave us Jean without the Phoenix, without Cyclops, without Wolverine, and without her past. She uses that time to be a visionary and assemble a badass team of friends and newbies to go after Cassandra Nova's hate machines (that also served as a commentary on bots, social media, and online right wing radicalization). Jean's time in the leadership spotlight ended after 12 issues when the X-men got caught up in the events of Disassembled and Age of X-man (where Jean got little real development).

    The HoX/PoX era scaled back the characterization of a lot of X-men, and for Jean that meant a return to Marvel Girl imagery. DoX teases her open relationship while fleshing out her worldview in X-Force where the fire inside of her is starting to burn. Jean believes that the resurrection protocols and a deathless mutant society will make the mutants better heroes because eliminating the fear of death helps increase selflessness. We got some really terrific Jean Grey art too.

    Jean's status quo since returning is still up in the air, but 2020 promises to dig deeper into her dynamic with Emma Frost and Storm. Percy has her in X-force for the foreseeable future and that seems to be a good fit. I'm hopeful for Jean's new green and yellow costume, X-Force confidence, and evolved love life.

  2. #47
    BANNED spirit2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok83 View Post
    It is jarring bc outside of Claremont's Revolution run, TK was always her dominant power. I think people are a bit sensitive to it bc Taylor focused primarily on her TP during his run on Red so it feels like her TK has taken a backseat pretty much since her resurrection

    My hope for Jean in 2020? That she be used in crossover events. She missed out on so many when she was dead and upon her return, she was only involved in Typhoid Mary. She missed out on War of the Realms bc of AoX. Whatever Marvel has in store for 2020, I hope she gets to play a significant role representing the X-men. I have doubts about her in the upcoming FF one but hopefully she at least appears
    A very nice way of interacting with wider Marvel universe

  3. #48
    Incredible Member starduck's Avatar
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    For 2020 I'd like to see the Phoenix Force return to Jean. Maybe not permanently, but at least to help the X-men when the group of villains they've amassed inevitably betray them. Art is by Rodrigo Martins dos Santos

    Also nice appreciation post Strong Girl Daken


  4. #49
    Spectacular Member johnnysv75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MechaJeanix View Post
    Personally, I was thinking b ack to joining the online X-fandom sometime in 1999 (prob with the with the original Jean Grey Message board) and later joined WizardWolrd and superherohype and X-fan, among others. I mostly stayed in the JG board but did post frequently on here on CBR. My bro and I used to post advanced spoiler posts (back then it was allowed) of the Grant Morrison New X-men issues because our comic store participated in advanced previews. Being in the X-fandom for over 20 years feels strange. I recall being amongst the younger fans and now I'm among the older. Yikes. But it has been really rewarding and fun.

    May we continue to be a spirited bunch. I'm looking forward to all the usual debates in 2020: Jean's love life and her connection to her powers and Phoenix.
    In the 90s I had a Jean Grey webpage that linked to the Jean Grey message board. For a while I was one of the moderators. My webpage didn’t have a good design, I hardly knew anything about HTML code, but it had a lot of info about Jean, and some very good fan fiction and fan art by very talented people.
    My page was called ”Phoenix, Jean Grey - the first X-woman”. Not the most creative name. I let another fan of Jean take over the web page just before Morrison’s run, I think. And then I took a break from X-Men altogether when Jean was killed.
    Maybe we were chatting back then. Now I feel old as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peanutsinspace View Post
    2020 will hopefully be a new start for our favorite redhead. What are some things you'd like to see her do in the new year?
    I miss X-Men Red so much. We never got to see Taylor truly explore the whole ”now that Jean is not connected to Phoenix she will not be afraid to explore her powers and become more powerful than ever”-thing. I would have loved to see that. To see Jean explore her goddess potential that Xavier and Moira always knew she had.

    I wish there could be some consistency as to how a character is portrayed. That the X-office could have 5- or 10-year plans for their characters. I realize that new writers must be allowed to have their vision, but the inconsistencies in the way some characters are portrayed give me a whiplash.

    I realize that Hickman is having a power-up in store for Jean somewhere in the future. Maybe Phoenix-related. But downplaying Jean just so he can make her powerful later on is a bit misogynistic. Yes, way back when Jean first became Phoenix she needed a power-up, she was often called the weakest X-man (but how she could be weaker than Beast and Angel even back then is beyond me), but the modern version of Jean was truly powerful in her own right, and a talented writer could explore her potential, her powers, and maybe even have another go at Phoenix without first downplaying Jean. It is 2020 for crying out loud, a superheroine can consistently be written as a powerhouse without it being an issue.

    So what I am hoping for with Jean is to have her say goodbye to the Marvel Girl codename, costume and persona, and truly reach her potential and have her explore her powers the way that Taylor intended.

  5. #50
    Smart & Swift & Violent Kitty&Piotr<3's Avatar
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    Great write-up SGD!
    "Cyclops loves wilted roses because they remind him of dead redheads."
    -Gail

  6. #51
    Mighty Member MechaJeanix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysv75 View Post
    In the 90s I had a Jean Grey webpage that linked to the Jean Grey message board. For a while I was one of the moderators. My webpage didn’t have a good design, I hardly knew anything about HTML code, but it had a lot of info about Jean, and some very good fan fiction and fan art by very talented people.
    My page was called ”Phoenix, Jean Grey - the first X-woman”. Not the most creative name. I let another fan of Jean take over the web page just before Morrison’s run, I think. And then I took a break from X-Men altogether when Jean was killed.
    Maybe we were chatting back then. Now I feel old as well.



    I miss X-Men Red so much. We never got to see Taylor truly explore the whole ”now that Jean is not connected to Phoenix she will not be afraid to explore her powers and become more powerful than ever”-thing. I would have loved to see that. To see Jean explore her goddess potential that Xavier and Moira always knew she had.

    I wish there could be some consistency as to how a character is portrayed. That the X-office could have 5- or 10-year plans for their characters. I realize that new writers must be allowed to have their vision, but the inconsistencies in the way some characters are portrayed give me a whiplash.

    I realize that Hickman is having a power-up in store for Jean somewhere in the future. Maybe Phoenix-related. But downplaying Jean just so he can make her powerful later on is a bit misogynistic. Yes, way back when Jean first became Phoenix she needed a power-up, she was often called the weakest X-man (but how she could be weaker than Beast and Angel even back then is beyond me), but the modern version of Jean was truly powerful in her own right, and a talented writer could explore her potential, her powers, and maybe even have another go at Phoenix without first downplaying Jean. It is 2020 for crying out loud, a superheroine can consistently be written as a powerhouse without it being an issue.

    So what I am hoping for with Jean is to have her say goodbye to the Marvel Girl codename, costume and persona, and truly reach her potential and have her explore her powers the way that Taylor intended.
    Yes we did interact on the original board. You also introduced some of us to a mailing list for X-men discussion if I recall correctly(a yahoo list maybe? It was so long ago it is hard to recall the specifics). I was in my late teens when I joined the online fandom. I stayed on the board through all the other incarnations with the various other moderators. I have a lot of good (and bad) memories from that online community. I think a lot of us (the younger group) grew up and grew out of the fandom. I took a long break from the X-men but came back with the Jean Grey solo series. I started collecting some of the Bendis trades before that because of the Teen 05.

    Now I'm back in and having fun.Posting here to this forum is fun even when it is challenging.

  7. #52
    Invincible Member Havok83's Avatar
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    Go Jean!


  8. #53
    X-Cultist nx01a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok83 View Post
    Go Jean!

    "Because you're gripping my arm so tight it hurts."
    Quote Originally Posted by The General, JLA #38
    'Why?' Just to see the disappointment on your corn-fed, gee-whiz face, Superman. And because a great dark voice on the edge of nothing spoke to me and said you all had to die. There is no 'Why?'

  9. #54
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    I didn't like his Uncanny Run but I did like his Phoenix Ressurection.

    He actually got me to feel emotion for the return of Jean Grey. PR #5 was the most emotionally moving comic I read in the last few years. It really drove home how, even though the Phoenix saved Jean, in a way, it did ruin her life.

    She's alone in the world now. Her family is gone and they were people she was close too. We've had lots of issues through the years, where Jean is off visiting with her family. But because of the Phoenix and everything that happened to her Brothers/Sisters, nieces and nephews, Jean's own mother, died hating her. That's heavy and dark.

    I also remember the final issue of his PR Mini, got a lot of positive reviews, so maybe MR isn't cut out for big sweeping stories. Maybe quiet character pieces are his thing.

  10. #55
    Ultimate Member Wiccan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerPlay25 View Post
    I didn't like his Uncanny Run but I did like his Phoenix Ressurection.

    He actually got me to feel emotion for the return of Jean Grey. PR #5 was the most emotionally moving comic I read in the last few years. It really drove home how, even though the Phoenix saved Jean, in a way, it did ruin her life.

    She's alone in the world now. Her family is gone and they were people she was close too. We've had lots of issues through the years, where Jean is off visiting with her family. But because of the Phoenix and everything that happened to her Brothers/Sisters, nieces and nephews, Jean's own mother, died hating her. That's heavy and dark.

    I also remember the final issue of his PR Mini, got a lot of positive reviews, so maybe MR isn't cut out for big sweeping stories. Maybe quiet character pieces are his thing.
    Wrong thread? While this is about Jean, I feel like it was meant for the Rosenberg thread?

  11. #56
    Invincible Member Havok83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiccan View Post
    Wrong thread? While this is about Jean, I feel like it was meant for the Rosenberg thread?
    Probably was but I'll add to it. I wish Marvel hadnt listened to MR. Jean's return should have been the epic cosmic event that they envisioned and i cant beleive they let him talk them down into a very understated small scale mini. I didnt like his view of Jean having a toxic co-dependent relationship with the PF. I can appreciate him having a vision, wanting to do something different and committing to it, but they should have just found someone else to write her return. Thank god he turned down X-men Red bc Jean likely would have been depressed and ineffective for most of it. I do feel he likely would have delved more into the internal struggle she had dealing with being back with so much of what/whom she loved gone, which we unfortunately didnt get but Im forever grateful for her run as leader under Taylor

  12. #57
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    Wrong thread? While this is about Jean, I feel like it was meant for the Rosenberg thread?
    Whoopsie. Totally wrong thread

    Probably was but I'll add to it. I wish Marvel hadnt listened to MR. Jean's return should have been the epic cosmic event that they envisioned and i cant beleive they let him talk them down into a very understated small scale mini. I didnt like his view of Jean having a toxic co-dependent relationship with the PF. I can appreciate him having a vision, wanting to do something different and committing to it, but they should have just found someone else to write her return. Thank god he turned down X-men Red bc Jean likely would have been depressed and ineffective for most of it. I do feel he likely would have delved more into the internal struggle she had dealing with being back with so much of what/whom she loved gone, which we unfortunately didnt get but Im forever grateful for her run as leader under Taylor
    I just feel like writers frequently gloss over a lot of the personal things with Jean. I really do wish we had learned about Jean's feelings on everything (specifically her parents). Even back during the NXM days, I felt her inner-life, about the real everyday changes in her life, infidelity and the subsequent disintegration of her marriage, were glossed over. I felt like I got insight into Scott and Emma (more than I wanted in all honesty) but I don't feel like I was given a definitive portrait for Jean.

    I did love Taylor's take on the character. He through her into uncharted territory but I thought he managed to keep the character grounded. She was inventive, daring, clever, determined and optimistic. He didn't always have her UBER confident. She blamed herself for the Ambassador and felt like she should have been able to prevent what happened and we were also shown how Jean's optimism can be exploited as a weakness.

    And I like that Taylor painted her as silver tongued. The Avengers (Steve Rogers and Tony Stark) didn't hesitate in hearing Jean out and helping her when asked. I have a head cannon where Jean's soulmate is Captain America, so seeing him worried about Jean facing Cassandra alone was cute.

  13. #58
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    Jean is my favorite comic book character because she is so real. It felt so tangible to connect with her as a person because she was so accessible. That's why I think that whoever plays her in the MCU must have that effortlessly lovable demeanor.

    That's why I often cast Emma Stone in my headcanon.

  14. #59
    Incredible Member Jean Grey's Avatar
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    I've always wanted to see a cosmic Jean story and reading what I read, I'm just facepalming. Marvel should had gone all the way with it, even if it had ended the same way.

  15. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok83 View Post
    Probably was but I'll add to it. I wish Marvel hadnt listened to MR. Jean's return should have been the epic cosmic event that they envisioned and i cant beleive they let him talk them down into a very understated small scale mini. I didnt like his view of Jean having a toxic co-dependent relationship with the PF. I can appreciate him having a vision, wanting to do something different and committing to it, but they should have just found someone else to write her return. Thank god he turned down X-men Red bc Jean likely would have been depressed and ineffective for most of it. I do feel he likely would have delved more into the internal struggle she had dealing with being back with so much of what/whom she loved gone, which we unfortunately didnt get but Im forever grateful for her run as leader under Taylor
    Exactly why I came here!



    This:


    "Phoenix Resurrection
    He is a ig Jean fan and was honored to get to write her return. He was given a week to give the pitch after accepting it but Marvel did not like it. They wanted a bigger story which would have involved the Shi'ar and the cosmic elements of Xmen but MR felt those were more about Phoenix and not Jean, whom he felt was overshadowed by it. Someone said 'so you're writing a breakup story?' and MR said yeah he was bc he felt the two had a toxic relationship and wanted Jean to have agency in her own story. The role of the X-men was that of support group to someone in a co-dependent relationship. The Xmen were there to help her find a home when she was ready to leave the Phoenix. He was able to convince them to write the smaller scale mini instead of space wars. A woman gaining her agency after 30+ years"


    Is everything that is wrong with Jean!!

    Not exactly the story or approach, but that every single time Jean has the opportunity to do something huge. Someone behind the scenes pulls the rug out, I can't think of a worst choice between the two than what MR went with. Imo it was a fundamental misunderstanding on what the PF was and who Jean Grey is, she should have been ushered in, in a massive way the entire universe should have shuddered at her return. Instead she spends four issues peripheral to the story and amnesiac, only to finally show up at the end in one of the most cheesy moments ever. In the history of Jean's and the PF relationship she has rejected it, and she has taken ownership and I felt and still feel like MR deprived her of that she became some victim in the PF affairs. Which would have been fine IF, PR didn't spend the majority of it's issues focusing on everyone but Jean Grey.


    This reminds of of Simon Kinsberg's opinion of DP, Jean always get stuck with the most boring and uninspired stories which are usually retreads of better executed story-lines. I always knew something about PR felt off, and I guess this is why, after 14 years Jean deserved a more memorable homecoming, he could have saved his "small intimate" story for AXM where he casually had Xavier mindwipe the 04!
    Last edited by Celestialbodies; 01-03-2020 at 06:42 AM.

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