In the world of the X-Men, death is a revolving door. You'd be hard-pressed to find a team member who hasn't been killed and resurrected at some point or another. Right now, Charles Soule's Astonishing X-Men run seems to be building up to the resurrection of Professor X himself, killed in 2012's "Avengers Vs. X-Men" event.
In terms of death and resurrection, the character of Jean Grey blazed the trail back in the 1970s, when she became associated with the aptly-named Phoenix Force. Curiously enough though, Jean was actually killed off by writer Grant Morrison in 2004 — and this time around, the death has actually lasted. The classic version of Jean Grey has now been gone for 13 years, although there's currently a time-lost version of her running around who was lifted straight out of the original X-Men comics (These are comic books, after all.)
Now, as part of the X-Men's appropriately titled "ResurrXion" era, all that looks set to change...
A New Comic Has Been Announced!
Marvel has evidently decided that now is the time to bring Jean Grey back. The House of Ideas is currently preparing for its latest relaunch, #MarvelLegacy, a "back-to-basics" approach that will be kicked off in a one-shot later this month. We've been promised a lot of resurrections as part of this era, and it seems Jean Grey is one of them. Bleeding Cool has obtained an exciting solicit for a new (mini?)series bearing the title Phoenix: Resurrection:
"Years ago, Jean Grey died and the X-Men mourned her. Since then, the world has changed, her teammates have lived without her and died without her. And now, when strange events start happening all over the world, those teammates can only come to one conclusion – the one true Jean Grey is back!"
The book will be written by Matthew Rosenberg, one of Marvel's up-and-coming talents, featuring art by Leinil Francis Yu. It's exciting to see the classic Jean Grey brought back on the stage at last. Many Marvel writers have toyed with her return in the past, but it's never quite happened.
The Build-Up Has Already Begun
It's a logical move on Marvel's part, and you can already see the narrative building towards this resurrection. The Phoenix Force has become a major player in the Marvel Universe once again, appearing at the climax of a recent arc in The Mighty Thor.
It's also been a recurring presence in Dennis Hopeless's excellent ongoing Jean Grey comic. There, the driving plot is essentially that the time-lost Jean Grey believes the Phoenix is coming for her, and so she's desperate to avoid that destiny. Bizarrely, this version of Jean is currently hanging out with what appears to be the ghost of her future self, a plot twist that's sure to fit into this arc somehow. Meanwhile, of course, we also saw the two versions of the character unite in the recent Generations: Phoenix and Jean Grey #1 (thanks to more time-travel).
Intriguingly, Jason Aaron's Generations: The Unworthy Thor and The Mighty Thor #1 revealed that Odin and the Phoenix used to be lovers! That revelation laid the groundwork for this month's Marvel Legacy one-shot, which will reveal the Avengers of 1,000,000BC — including Odin and the Phoenix. We can assume this one-shot will lay the seeds of the Phoenix's return.
A Wise Decision That's Perfectly Timed
So why is Jean Grey being resurrected now? After all, comic book fans have long believed that Marvel was trying to sideline the X-Men in an attempt to force Fox to sell back the film rights. The evidence for that has never been particularly convincing, but certainly, the last few years have seen Marvel change tack, frequently attempting to synergize their characters and concepts with those seen in the movies.
Take Deadpool; when Marvel saw the level of interest in this film, they quickly upped the merc's profile, even launching some new ongoings and miniseries. Asked about these decisions, Marvel's Axel Alonso openly noted, "There's a movie coming out." When Fox released X-Men: Apocalypse last year, the X-books focused on an 'Apocalypse Wars' event. And you'll notice that Old Man Logan had been brought back into play just in time for the release of Logan, a film partly based by the classic 'Old Man Logan' arc.
We don't know much about next year's X-Men: Dark Phoenix, but this much is certain; it will feature a strong focus on Sophie Turner's Jean Grey. Yet again, Marvel has carefully synergized the comics with the latest twists and turns in the movies, hoping to ensure the comics get a sales boost as a result of a superhero blockbuster. (No coincidence, the 'ResurrXion' era has also seen an increasing focus on Cable, just in time for his appearance in next year's Deadpool 2.)
So, it looks as though Jean Grey is about to return! It's not really a surprise for a character associated with the Phoenix Force, one who wields the cosmic power of death and resurrection, but it's one that fans have been waiting 13 years for. According to Bleeding Cool, the (mini?) series will launch in December, finally bringing the classic Jean Grey back into play.
Do you think bringing Jean Grey back is a wise move on Marvel's part?
[Source: Bleeding Cool]