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Marvel Girl, Phoenix, Dark Phoenix
Telepathy, telekinesis, total recall, and being the most powerful woman in the X-Men.
Jean Grey debuted in September of 1963 in X-Men #1. That’s right, she was there from the beginning! But… there is a catch. Jean Grey was originally known as Marvel Girl, and she was only telekinetic. In one of her many retcons (Bizarre Adventurers #27, “Secret Lives of the X-Men”), it is revealed that telepathy was a suppressed power of hers. When Jean was a child, she witnessed a friend of hers killed by being run over by a car. She was sent to Professor Xavier and became one of the first X-Men, and the only original female. Jean loves Scott Summers, but also finds herself in lust with Wolverine, two other members of the X-Men. In 1976, and many times over, Jean becomes the legendary Phoenix during an attempt to save her fellow X-Men during a plane crash. From then on, Jean’s story is in flux between herself, Phoenix, and the Dark Phoenix. And because of that, they both deserve articles in their own right.
Why is she important?:
Jean Grey is the ultimate ethereal mutant. Her mind can live in your mind. Her mind lives in other times. Her mind is on other planes! Her mind could be invading my mind right now! But seriously, Jean is important because she was the first female member of the X-Men. She goes on to become the Head Mistress in charge at the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. She is a woman in charge! When Marvel Girl was introduced and for many years later, she was considered the weakest member of the group. In the late 70’s with Phoenix Unleashed (X-Men #105), Chris Claremont changed all that. In a drastic move, he took Jean from the weak link to the brightest star in the sky. Today, Jean Grey is considered one the most important and mighty heroes, gender aside. To emphasize how important Jean is, she has died over a dozen times in the comics, but she is timeless. No matter how many times she dies, Jean will always come back because she means so much to the story of the mutants.
What she means to me:
Growing up watching X-Men: The Animated Series, Jean Grey was an inspiration because she was so strong. And not in the physical sense of the word, but she made it O.K. for women to be mentally powerful. Jean is on the same mental level as the all-knowing Charles Xavier. Because of her commanding mind, she is a main force to be reckoned with for enemies. It is hard to be a young girl and not be influenced by a woman who can read and control minds. How cool is that?
all photos belong to Marvel.
written by Adrian Puryear