Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Dos and Don't of Resurrecting Jean Grey

As you may have noticed with last week's finale to Second Coming we've been teased yet again with Hope displaying the Phoenix symbol which may mean Mrs. Grey-Summers is not far behind. Or is it just Miss Grey now? I know 'til death do us part, but does that mean if her and Cyclops were still together she'd have to get remarried every time she came back? Anyway, last week's "revelation" got me thinking about how I'd like to see Jean return, and here's my list of thoughts on how I think resurrecting the X-Jesus should be done:

Do use the best and brightest talent.
This is the much-anticipated resurrection of the first X-Woman, and it should be a massive celebration. The level of talent should reflect how big of a deal this return is. For this past crossover, standard to mediocre talent was used (exceptions: Mike Choi and Mike Carey). That was fine; the villains were all recycled and nearly identical, the main people featured have usually been dull as hell, and not a whole lot changed. And while Jean Grey coming back would only be one thing, it could definitely affect a lot of things, but more on that later. Anyway, it'd be a slap in the face to use Dodson who's meant to be on a Teen book or Land who's meant to be running a sleezy superhero porn site. And Fraction the terrible needs to keep his paws away from the X-Goddess. The type of talent that should be used are people like Mike Deodato (he did the Jean on the left) and Mike Carey who could definitely handle bringing Jean back with grace and dignity.

Don't keep her powers at Omega level.
Most of you have read by now that I resent the hell out of the Omega level classification. Basically, it's meant to say this character's power levels are over 9000 or something. Fraction has decided to do this with Emma and Xavier even though it's all right if they're simply skilled and powerful telepaths. The Omega classification has been explained to me as almost godlike levels of power, and it just sounds ridiculous because it overpowers the character and makes them 'perfect'. Which can easily make them dull. Plus, Omega means either they win every battle or a really lame excuse is made up as to why they didn't (Remember The Sentry?). I think Jean should just have the same power levels as she did in the first arc of Morrison's New X-Men before the Phoenix issue got involved. Or even just keeping her powers that same without mentioning the O-word because it just leads to horrible explanations of why a character didn't win this or that.

Do make her changed because of her experiences in the White Hot Room.
Remember that awful No-Girl vs. Quentin Quire story in Nation X #2 where Quentin says he's over being a higher being and just spends that story seeming more juvenile than he ever did in "Riot at Xavier's"? I do. Most of my review of that issue was spent bitching about how much he did not make sense that issue [It's here]. Anyway, I refuse to believe that someone could enter the biz of running reality as we know it and not come back with a different perspective on life. Jean's already a mature character, but what I'm suggesting is that she come back more sage than we previously knew her to be. Even if she doesn't remember exactly what happened she should be somewhat disoriented with things similar to BtVS when Buffy came back the second time (but less dramatic in this case).

Don't start off with a Dark Phoenix story.
Last time we saw Jean for any real amount of time was with X-Men: Phoenix- Endsong. Which was a fun story, but in the end, all she did was be Dark Phoenix all over again up until the last couple pages. Before that was Morrison's Here Comes Tomorrow where she was also crazy Phoenix again, and before that his arcs generally touched towards her being Dark Phoenix again. To summarize, we just saw Dark Phoenix and I for one am fine with waiting a good long while before we see her again. But that's also because I think that a lot of writers are excited to use the cool, powerful characters, but not all of them are careful enough to write these characters well.

Do install her into a position of power.
<--Said by Xavier during Morrison's "Planet X" arc, and I seriously believe that title should transfer to Jean as soon as she's back and ready for it. I've found Jean's shining moments have been when she's been in charge like in "Germ-Free Generation" or "Eve of Destruction". I also find her so much more level-headed than Cyclops will ever be considering he's constantly off on some angst parade. Also, considering how leadership has gone from X-Men as teams to a school to the entire mutant population it'd be interesting to see her as the voice of the people. She's done it before with amazing results and I think now she'd shine so much more as the official voice of mutantkind rather than subbing in for Xavier.

Don't make her a cameo queen.
Cameo queens can be fun, but at the end of the day they're really just false advertising. They're used to have the fanbases of a character purchase titles they appear in just to find out these character have only had all of one line over the course of an entire issue. Now you may doubt that they'd sideline Jean to cameo queen after her return, but look at Kitty right now. They brought her back to sideline her right off the bat even though it would have been all right to simply push her return back to when it could be dealt with in more depth. Odds are Kitty will be a cameo queen for some time too considering she can't talk as she's stuck as a ghost right now. Anyway, it'd be a real shitty thing of the X-Creative team to bring Jean back only to have her just be on the sidelines saying, "Okayyy......I'm here.....what do I do?"

Do have Jean and Scott in conflict.
Remember how we had like 3 years where the storylines rotated around what a "bad guy" Xavier had been, and how shitty he was? Remember how he was practically banished from the X-Men; the X-Men which he created? I'm thinking Cyclops has Xavier beat by now for shitty leader award, and who better to A. Defend Xavier's honor B. Tell Cyclops off than the star pupil/ex-wife? And now with X-Force being exposed to the rest of the X-Men and the senior members finding themselves somewhat divided on the subject with Storm going on about what Jean would do wouldn't it be interesting to actually see that? And combine this with Jean taking over as headmistress, it could lead to an X-House divided with X-Men having to choose to side with Cyclops or Jean. Those siding with Cyclops choosing a more militaristic, morally ambiguous philosophy while those siding with Jean would be standing for traditional X-Men values. And the cherry on top would be that Jean would likely have a bunch of senior members on her side who haven't been in the thick of it in awhile while Scott would have a gang of ex-villains.

Don't have Jean fighting with Emma.
First off, you'll recall at the conclusion of "Here Comes Tomorrow" that it was Jean who pushed Cyclops to accept Emma's offer to reopen the school as well as begin a relationship with her. Which is partially why I call theirs a false love. That and two people desperate for individual attention do not make a perfect relationship like some would think. These people tend to need someone who's fine without all the attention being on them and perfectly happy to give it to someone else. Anyway, by now Jean would have worked out her feelings over the Emma/Scott situation, and even if she hasn't, she's not a character who's prone to cattyness. Besides during the discovery of the affair and minor remarks here and there, Jean is above fighting with Emma and I just think she's above fighting with Emma. However, I don't believe Emma's above picking a fight. Hell no. Emma's so bitchy she'd pick a fight with God even if he threatened to smite her. Anyway, in the end it'd make Jean look bad to participate in fights with Emma.

Do have Jean and Logan get together.
Jean and Logan's sexual tension has been something that's been going on for quite awhile now, and I am surprised it hasn't been explored in a more in-depth way yet. Seems to me the reason given was that there was a mutual understanding that they both wouldn't work out because he's a killer and she's an angel. Except she's also a genocidal goddess sometimes and her kill count will always be higher than his.....but anyway, I think they deserve to have a go now that Scott's off with yet another woman who is selling herself short considering she's with him. It's just an issue of making the interactions tasteful, and it would need someone like Allan Heinberg who's great at being sensitive to what works in a scene with a lot of emotional undertones. Also, I have to say it: The sex would be phenomenal. You know it's true: the combined forces of fiery passion incarnate and animalistic lust. Plus he's got a hundred plus years of experience and she's been a goddess with access to all sorts of knowledge. Whew, the only thing that would be generating more heat than the two of them is the sun which Jean will probably decide to go eat during the afterglow. Anyway, moving on, Jean and Logan would total make an awesome couple with the two of them trying to work against their darker sides. Also, if my idea of the X-Men dividing were to happen with Jean representing the traditional views, can you imagine what a mighty monkey wrench her having a relationship (probs a secret one too) with the almighty X-Killer would be? The possibilities are endlessly delicious, and I would definitely bring my appetite for something like that.

Don't saddle her with Hope.
I understand that to some degree Hope and Jean have to have some sort of connection. Seems to me one of the writers mentioned that Hope signifies the beginning of Jean coming back, and we've seen hints of that give evidence to that. It's all understandable, but what I'm saying is after Hope's served her part just put her back in her plot-progressor box and have that be the extent of her interaction with Jean. Why? Rachel Summers. When you think of her what do you think of? The very first thing that comes to my mind is an angst-ridden word balloon exclaiming "Mom!" There's a reason why I'm only concerned about Polaris returning from space, and that's because Rachel annoys me to no end with her whining about Jean. I really don't want to see that again with Hope, and in any case, Jean as any sort of maternal figure ages her more than she needs to be.


Wonder Man said...

this is great I agree with this

X-23 said...

I like Jean Grey, I really do. I love how she looks and I have a hundred pics of her on my computer. I find her nice and think that if she was a real person, she would have a calming effect on me - I imagine her to have a nice voice and a friendly smile. I don't really know her outside of the Morrison's run, and I know he can make ANYONE lovable, but still.
BUT - I don't really want her back somehow... If she comes back, the writers (*cough* Fraction *cough*) just won't be able to resist to make a pathetic drama out of it. I'D HATE for the haters to have a field trip over Emma's problems with Scott. I hate all the bragging of how Jean is the only one Scott loves and Emma is just a place-taker. If she comes back, Scott should be over her! He should be happy out of his mind that she's alive, but that's it. He might be a douche, but I want Emma to be loved, and not dumped like some trash for some other chick. Emma deserves to have what's hers. Because frankly, if you ask me who I love best - it's Emma.
Plus - if Jean is to return, than let's pray it happens when we have X-Books that actually have their own team rosters, because what we have right now are some books that are desperately trying to have 3 to 5 certain famous characters (Scott, Emma, Wolverine and so on) but could care less about the others, making them appear and disappear without any good reason. We should have a popular team, a promising team with characters less popular but interesting, a team of troubled characters (we might get that, Uncanny X-Force is on its way) and a team of teens. That would be perfect. Instead - we get just a mess of overrated and overused and underrated and underused. It's a bad strategy everyone uses right now for some reason.
So - if jean keeps her hand off Cyclops and he keeps his hands off her, I'm cool with Jean's return. And yeah - please God let her be with Wolverine. Let him dump his uninteresting girlfriend everyone including Aaron forgot about and be with Jean and let it be sweeeet and slow)

Luis Alberto said...

Unfortunately, the drama about Emma/Scott/Jean will be in, because no matter how many writers in the past had stated that Jean acepted the relationship between Emma and Scott, there's a lot of fanboys who still believe that Jean is the one and true love of Scott Summers and since Fraction is that kind of mediocre writer who will do whatever he can to be adored by fanboys, we can expect some drama and fights between both telepaths at least that's what I personally expect from him.
What I would like to see, is have both women in the same team, having a bitchy but respectfull relationship between both, since each one knows about the other's power and skills and again, has been stated that despite everything, both women respect each other.
I also agree, she should be the, if not the leader, a prominent figure and oposite to the current status of the X-men.
And finally I believe that she should be single for a while, I enjoyed her a lot when she was alone.
Great article as always :)

Mtti said...

I heard a rumour she'll show up in X-Factor...

Mr. Hellfire said...

@Mtti, really? Hahah, that's probably the least likely book I would've suspected. Is there any hint as to what role she'd play if she does appear?

treysome said...

Thanks for writing this it was a fun read. I agree with most of them but within a year I would like her to be powered up to her X-Factor days. That's when I came into the x-men fold and it would be awesome to see her flying team members around and throwing up TK walls.