Real Name: Jean Grey
First Appearance: X-Men #1 (September, 1963)
Powers: Telepathy and Telekinesis (Phoenix Amplifies This Power)
Affiliation: X-Men, X-Factor
Enemies: Most X-Men Enemies
A Little History
So, I’m going to tell you something. My brother and I live and breath comics. Yep, we live and breath them. We have since we were just kids and we will until we die. Plain and simple.
I remember it as if it was yesterday. We grew up X-Men fans. Not for any good reason, but we were X-Men through and through. The story remembered most vividly is the acclaimed Dark Phoenix Saga. If you haven’t heard of it, let me explain.
It revolves around a character named Jean Grey.
To give you a little back-story, Jean Grey was one of the first recruits of Professor Charles Xavier (the founder of the X-Men). I always considered Professor X to be a good guy. You know the kind. The kind of person that only does things for the betterment of humanity.
Until recently that is.
But this isn’t a Professor X bio.
While working with Jean, Professor X knew how powerful she could and would become. To “save her from herself” he put up mental blocks inside her mind that would prevent her from tapping into various areas until she was mature enough to handle it.
As mentioned, Jean was the first recruit. She would become a founding member of the newly formed super group, The X-Men along with Angel, Beast, Cyclops, and Iceman. She would develop feelings for Cyclops (Scott Summers) and conversely, he would develop feelings for her.
Jean’s story becomes interesting once Chris Clairemont takes hold of the X-Men franchise.
Bare with me though…things are about to get strange.
For whatever reason, it was decided that the X-Men needed to go into space. The writers at Marvel decided that the best course of action was to have the Sentinels abduct them to a space station.
As time passed, they realized that they needed to head back to Earth (of course).
Radiation was high and making its way into the shuttle they were commandeering.
Jean, being the stand-up citizen she is, volunteered to pilot the shuttle back to Earth. The problem with this is that the cockpit was the area in the ship that provided the least amount of protection from the radiation.
Shocking, yes I know.
During the flight back, her powers proved to be futile and the radiation would take its toll, ultimately killing her. While this disaster was happening, a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force had made contact with Jean. So much so, that it made a duplicate version of her that it was to use as a host body for itself.
What did it do with original Jean?
It placed her in a restorative cocoon so that she may heal.
Believing this to be the real Jean, the X-Men accepted her as the Phoenix.
Got it all?
There is a group of individuals that call themselves the Hellfire Club. On the outside was a man called Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde). Mastermind, who is an idiot, was looking to impress the Hellfire Club and as such began to take control of Jean or the Phoenix through manipulation. By doing so, however, he inadvertently unleashed the dark side of the Phoenix.
Unable to be controlled, the Phoenix broke free turning into the evil Dark Phoenix.
Countless battles ensued between the Dark Phoenix and the X-Men.
Seeing the terror that was happening, Jean did the only thing she could do and committed suicide, thus destroying the Dark Phoenix.
For a long time, it was thought that Jean was dead, but as you know, no one remains dead in comics, not even Bucky.
Jean’s conscious, now free from the Phoenix, returned to its original, fully healed body and she was free to return to Scott.
You might just be thinking that this would lead to one of those “made for TV moments.” The kind where two people run towards each other in slow motion to embrace? At least I think so.
Scott thought that Jean was dead and moved on. He married a clone of Jean named Madelyne Prior. Not only that but they had a kid (Nathan Summers, Cable) together.
That makes for a tough conversation…I…uh…um…you were dead…so I moved on.
Thankfully, Madelyne Prior would end up going mad and turn into the Goblin Queen. This would lead to a battle with Jean who ultimately won.
Scott and Jean would finally get their moment and marry. In fact, while on their honeymoon, their souls would be sent into the future to raise their son for 10 years.
If you’re not lost…congratulations…I can’t say as though I can join you.
- First and founding member of the X-Men.
- Marries Scott Summers
- Phoenix Force makes contact and takes control of Jean. While in control, it makes a double of her and uses the double of Jean as a host body.
- Original Jean is placed in a cocoon to heal.
- Mastermind, unable to control Jean, inadvertently releases her inner demons and thus Jean becomes the Dark Phoenix.
- Seeing the destruction the Dark Phoenix is unleashing, Jean commits suicide to save everybody.
- Jean battles her clone (Madelyne Prior) and destroys her.
- Jean and Scott travel into the future to raise their son, Cable.