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Jean Grey Series: Part Two



*May contain spoilers.*

The Series ~~> [link]

#1- Circa 1976, (UNCANNY) X-MEN #100 introduced us to Jean’s new incarnation as Phoenix, a cosmic being whose resulting history and story lines have given every long-time X-fan at least one minor aneurysm in the 30+ years since. Just studying’s re-cap of Phoenix’s origins a little while ago gave me a nosebleed. So, ORIGINALLY, what happened is that while passing through a cosmic flare that she was shielding the ship from telekinetically, Jean, weak and dying, was telepathically contacted by the Phoenix Force, which offered to join with her and give her the power to save herself and the X-Men. She accepted, and Jean was ‘reborn’ as Phoenix. ORIGINALLY, in the resulting storylines, Jean Grey was Phoenix, Phoenix was Jean Grey, that’s it and that’s all. Cut and dry and simple. Until later when Marvel changed their collective mind and pulled one of those “But wait, here’s what REALLY happened!” bullshit tricks that I hate so much I nearly burned down the movie theater after seeing SPIDER-MAN 3. But I’ll get into that some more later. Anyway, on the upside, Phoenix was honestly the most interesting thing to happen to Jean, and I think everyone can agree on that. As far as the costume goes, I’m not great at metals, but I think I conveyed the metallic boots and gloves satisfactorily. The belt is also supposed to be metallic, but I just couldn’t pull that off in any convincing way, so I quit trying.

#2- After her transformation into Phoenix, Jean (and I’m going to continue with the ORIGINAL story here for a while) tried to return to her normal life, but a bunch of stuff happened (damn that stuff always happening) and she started to become overwhelmed by her new abilities, leading her to rejoin Cyclops and the X-Men. While held captive in the Antarctic by Magneto, Phoenix and Beast became separated from the team and later, believing the X-Men dead, Jean went on vacation. I’m not sure which stage of grief that was, but who am I to judge. Afterwards she went to hang out on Muir Island with Moira, and began to be stalked by Mastermind in his less-creepy guise of Jason Wyngarde. He started manipulating her with increasingly frequent illusions of random shifts in time, convincing her she was in the 18th century and deeply in love with him, the telepathic equivalent of putting her under anesthesia and groping her. Eww. All this wound up with Jean, having been reunited with her not-dead teammates, becoming the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club, as seen here circa 1980, and putting a major smack-down on the White Queen, who would get revenge years later by mind-humping Jean’s husband. But I’m getting ahead of myself, I suppose. Anyway, later, in UNCANNY X-MEN issues #132-134, as the Black Queen, Jean fought the X-Men, but snapped out of her trance and messed Mastermind up bad. The lining of the cape here is supposed to actually be red, I think, but I went with something a little different. Also, Dave Cockrum’s original art had the corset almost completely closed, but I left it more revealing for the boys. One more note, I did the silver buttons with a metallic Sharpie because the original ones got bled over by the black marker, and it came out really cool. That’s all.

#3- Even though she had overcome Mastermind’s “Black Queen” trance, in the next issue, UNCANNY X-MEN #135, Jean, overwhelmed by the Phoenix’s newfound lust for power, transformed into the bat-shit insane Dark Phoenix with this red costume. She promptly beat the hell out of the X-Men and then flew to another galaxy and ate their sun. This killed five billion people, or whatever they were. A Shi’ar ship driving by went “HOLY SHIT!!” and made note of the incident. After eating the sun, Dark Phoenix went home, where the X-Men jumped her and Xavier managed to telepathically help Jean’s good side overpower and repress the Phoenix altogether. The Dark Phoenix costume differs from the original one in that it is obviously red instead of green (red = crazy), but it also has a larger stylized Phoenix design on the chest without the black background on the neck (as far as I can tell) and a slightly different Phoenix on the belt.

So anyway, the battle won, Scott proposed to Jean and everyone was happy, until a second later when the Shi’ar showed up to kill the party like they always do. The Shi’ar are dicks. Declaring Phoenix a threat to the whole universe, they planned to kill her, but instead the X-Men challenged them to a duel against the Imperial Guard for Jean’s life on the Blue Area of the Moon. The X-Men basically got their asses handed to them and Jean started to Phoenix-out again. Realizing she could not live her life in constant control of the dangerous Phoenix force within her, Jean killed herself, or allowed herself to be killed, or whatever, but the end result is that she is dead. D-E-A-D dead. Play the sad music, take a walk in the rain, move on. End Phoenix Saga.

Oh, wait.

To be continued...

*Bonus- Just to point out how much simpler things could have been, originally Jean was supposed to live through the Phoenix saga. She was to surrender herself to the Shi’ar, who would telepathically ‘lobotomize’ her, removing not only the Phoenix Force but all of her mutant powers as well. The X-Men are pissed, but allow it, Wolverine calls Jean a retard, and they go home. This original story was cancelled because the editor thought Jean needed to be punished for, you know, those five billion people she killed. It was published in 1984 as PHOENIX: THE UNTOLD STORY (which I recently picked up on eBay for $1). Also, according to, Chris Claremont planned to have Jean choose to stay a normal human, marry Cyclops, and later give birth to Rachel, whose back-story would have also been much less complicated. Simple? Yes. Better? I don’t know. All I know is that I have a really bad headache now and I think I’m gonna go lay down for a while. Oi.

JEAN GREY is property of Marvel Comics
Art by Michele Mixell, Savage Mouse Studios 2009
Materials: Markers (Sharpie, Prismacolor, Bick Studio, Kuretake ZIG) on legal-sized printing paper.

Acknowledgement: Along with my personal comic collection and knowledge of X-Men history, I referenced several other sources for this series, including the unbelievably comprehensive ( & Comicvine (, along with the Marvel Database Project ([link]) and various other fansites across the internet, as well as the wonderful fanarts found here on DeviantART. Check ‘em out.
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© 2009 - 2023 SavageMouse
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