Resurrection of the Phoenix: The Return of Jean Gray - The Happy Android

The resurrection of Jean Gray is almost a cliché. Over the years, an editorial decision that had a more than important meaning for Marvel comic readers in general, and the X-Men in particular.

It all started when Jim Shooter, Marvel's editor-in-chief between 1978 and 1987, came up with the following idea: “I pointed out that while Marvel had many heroes who started out as villains, Black Widow, Hawkeye, many others, we have never had a hero who turned to the dark side. I suggested that Chris (Claremont) turn Phoenix into a villain, permanently and irrevocably, the new "Doctor Doom" for the X-Men..”

This little twist of the screw led to what would eventually become the Dark Phoenix Saga 1980. Here Jean Gray, turned into the incarnation of the all-powerful cosmic entity known as Phoenix, destroyed an alien planet, killing billions of innocent lives along the way.

Watch out for the Dark Phoenix ...

The intention of Chris Claremont and John Byrne was to justify this massacre by attributing it to the possession of the Phoenix, something that would serve to exonerate poor Jean Gray of all guilt. But for Shooter, that was an act that had no possible justification. Killing had to have consequences: "That, to me, would be like defeating Hitler's German army and allowing him to rule Germany again. "

And sentence: "Did I have a "moral" problem with that? Yes. More than that, it was a character problem. Would Storm sit comfortably at a table with someone who had killed billions as if nothing had happened? Nah. "

So Marvel decided to kill Jean Gray in the epic The X-Men # 137 USA. You can read the full story HERE from Jim Shooter himself.

In fact, this was not the first, but the second death of Jean (he had already died in 76 in a solar storm). Then Bob Layton got her back for X-Factor in 1985, to kill her again in 2004, for the third time, at the hands of Grant Morrison - at a highly recommended stage, by the way.

Therefore, since 2004 we had Jean Gray more or less disappeared, with the exception of miniseries like “The final song of the Phoenix” from 2011. A story that did not get very good reviews, but that I personally enjoyed it a lot.

Personally, I still stick with "The Final Song ...". There at least were Cyclops and the White Queen who gave much more sauce to the matter

Well, if Marvel couldn't get enough of the adolescent version of the original X-Men from the past (including Jean Gray, of course), apparently they have decided that it is time for the original Jean to rise from the ashes.

For this they have prepared their rebirth in a welcome story written by Matthew Rosenberg, and drawn by Leinil Francis Yu and Carlos Pacheco (among other artists). It should be said that the initial approach is interesting to say the least. The X-Men detect several strange events that culminate in the appearance of a young waitress in a town bar. A redhead that goes by the name of Jean, and that at first seems to have nothing to do with Charles Xabier's pupils.

It doesn't take long for the cake to be discovered: the town Jean lives in is a re-creation of the Phoenix Force, which is trying to cheat Jean into being their guest again. The patrol gets in his way, and well, you can imagine the rest.

The best of the comic: the alternative covers

Although the drawing, without being any wonder (we have seen Yu and Pacheco do much better work than this one) fulfills more or less satisfactorily, it is the script that is notably weak. I took this tome with great desire, but as the story progresses, it becomes more and more predictable, and in the end, of course, you realize that all this is nothing more than a rather lazy excuse to bring the redhead back .

Was it really necessary to bring from the dead a character who has already been squeezed to satiety? Even "Phoenix's Final Song", being much less relevant to the general history of mutants, raises much more interesting plots and threads than Rosenberg's resurrection.

You can see that the uncle has made an effort, but not even with that opportune cameo that appears right at the end of the volume does he manage to take flight. Better luck next time.

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