The Fault in Our Stars Movie Review

Genre – Drama/Romance

Director – Josh Boone

Cast – Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolf

Alluring element –  Based on the New York Times Best Selling novel by award winning author and noted nerd, John Green.

Scorecard:
Plot – 9
Acting – 8
Representation of Genre – 8
Cinematography – 7
Effects/Environment – 7
Captivity – 9
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity – 9
Soundtrack/Music – 9
Overall awesomeness – 9
 

I was lucky enough to see an advance screen of The Fault in Our Stars last week and I am still dizzy from the emotions it surfaced for me. I’ll admit that I am a bit biased when it comes to this movie. The Fault in Our Stars is my favorite book and it means a great deal to me, personally. Author John Green shares a YouTube Channel with his brother Hank called “The Vlogbrothers,” of which I am a massive fan. Their fans are called Nerdfighters (fighting for nerds, not against them) and they are some of the most passionate, intelligent, caring people you will ever meet. While writing the novel, John documented his progress as well as read the first two chapters to his fans via Livestream before the book was even published. The Nerdfighters were even able to catch a mistake in the book before it was printed. So when I say I’ve been with this story since the beginning, I mean the very beginning. Seeing this story finally hit the big screen feels like a triumph.

Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is an atypical teenager living with cancer, oxygen tank trailing forever behind her. While medication and frequent doctors visits have extended her life quite a bit, she is very much aware that she is dying. After being deemed depressed by both her mother and doctor, Hazel begins attending a cancer support group. It is here that she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a charismatic, sly, metaphoric loving cancer survivor determined to make his mark on the world. Together they find “a forever within the numbered days,” a love that transcends their illness, and an adventure that makes them both feel infinitely alive whilst on the border of death.

Lovers of the novel will be extremely satisfied with the adaptation. Countless scenes have dialogue directly pulled from the book. The casting could not be more perfect. I personally can not see anyone but Shailene Woodley playing Hazel and Ansel Elgort makes the perfect Augustus. While the movie was actually shot in Pittsburgh, set designers and cinematographers were able to make it feel very much like Indiana, scouring out every flat piece of land they could find and recreating the sculpture “Funky Bones”with such detail that the original curator Sarah Green couldn’t tell the difference. Watching the film felt like reading the book all over again. The few scenes they cut I didn’t even notice until later watching an interview with John Green. It is clear that the people behind the movie cared for the book just as much as it’s diehard fans.

While Augustus may be “on a roller coaster than only goes up,” this film takes its audience for an emotionally diverse ride, so much so that DFTBA.com sells a “TFIOS Preparedness Kit” – tissues included. Witty dialogue and ingenious timing create a laughable atmosphere throughout the movie, allowing the audience to believe everything is going to be okay just long enough that when things take a turn for the worse, it cuts all the deeper. However, despite how much the movie made me cry, I still wouldn’t classify it as a sad movie. The Fault in Our Stars is just as much about life as it is about sickness and death. The characters are joyful through much of the film. They are falling in love with each other and with life, despite how little time they have left. In fact, it may because of their mortality that they are able to do this so freely. One thing should be made clear; this is not a cancer story. Yes, it’s a love story about two kids with cancer. Yes, Hazel’s oxygen tank and Augustus’prosthetic leg makes it abundantly clear they’re ill. Still, The Fault in Our Stars is a story about people faced with their own mortality and the mortality of their loved ones. It’s about laying things clean and dry on the table to stop beating around the bush. It’s about two young adults realizing that this life is all they are going to get and that that’s just fine. Their lives are not perfect, in fact they’re far from, but they are still lives that demands to be lived to their fullest. This is a story about overcoming pain and finding joy despite it. This is not a cancer story.

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The soundtrack alone could warrant a review. Ranging from big names like Ed Sheeran and Birdy to lesser known, but just as talented artists such as Afasi and Filthy, the album’s mood fluctuates similarly to the film but still manages to be cohesive. “Bomfelleralla,” a personal favorite of mine, may be the only song that doesn’t seem to quite fit until you see the film. It’s plucked directly out of a scene where Van Houten (Willem Dafoe) plays the song for Hazel and Augustus.

The Fault in Our Stars is an important story because it shows that cancer patients are not their illness and have lives outside it. It shows sickness in a light we rarely get to see. So often we look at someone with a cannula and all we see is their sickness. We visualize them as “the other”when they are very much just like us. The Fault in Our Stars breaks down this “otherness”with a story about two lovers who are like every other couple. They just happen to have cancer.

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The film comes out June 6th but if you hurry, you can see it early. Theaters all over the US are hosting “The Night Before the Stars”where audiences can see the film the day before it comes out as well as a following livestream including cast members Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff (who plays Issac) , Author John Green, Director Josh Boone, Producer Wyck Godfrey, and performances from Birdy and Nat and Alex Wolff. Attendees will also receive a commemorative charm bracelet and exclusive movie poster. Tickets are $25 and going fast.

Even if you haven’t read the book (though I sincerely recommend you do) The Fault in Our Stars is a film you will find yourself thinking about long after the credits roll. From the brilliant cast to the heart wrenching plot, this film is destined to be a Summer hit.

 
All photos belong to 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review

Genre – Comic Book/Action

Director – Bryan Singer

Cast – Hugh Jackson, Jennifer Lawrence James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, a bunch of other people that you never see

Alluring element – A classic X-Men story that tries to make up for The Last Stand

**check out our review of the graphic novel if you’re interested in reading it.

Scorecard:
Plot – 8
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 6
Cinematography – 7
Effects/Environment – 8
Captivity – 7
Logical consistency – 6
Originality/Creativity – 6
Soundtrack/Music – 7
Overall awesomeness – 7
 
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After the foul tail-end of the original X-Men trilogy, followed up with two more poorly-received Wolverine movies, Bryan Singer and company attempts to start all over with Days of Future Past. Do they succeed? Yes, but like its source material, it is not without its flaws.
When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men in the 1960’s, the team was spawned from a reflection of the Civil Rights movement. Social commentary through badass super-powers became the norm. So when Chris Claremont progressed the subject into one of total annihilation with Days of Future Past, it was as much a nod to the mutually assured destruction of war as it was about saving the world from evil sentinels.
That’s not to say that I wanted the movie to be preachy, but at the heart of the X-Men concept is that of a team. The idea that everybody can have their own favorite X-Man, and they were all useful tools in the struggle, was one that appealed to me as a kid, watching the X-Men animated series. However, this movie was really boiled down to four main characters: Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine and Mystique. The movie was marketed as including a slew of side characters from the future, as well as a reunion of the original cast; instead, they showed up to be collateral – with their forced dramatic deaths failing to make me feel the gravity of the situation.
Meet the cannon-fodder, er, I mean crew
Meet the cannon-fodder, er, I mean “supporting cast”
 
X-Men has always been a team concept, and this movie turned it into an excuse to flaunt their biggest stars. We get it; Huge Jacked Man and the glory of Jennifer Lawrence’s Bloobs are hard to pass up, and the McAvoy/Fassbender chemistry feels just as authentic as Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen do. However, if you’re going to sell this as X-Men movie, can we get some more X-Men in there? Not every team movie needs to be The Avengers (thanks Joss, for setting the bar impossibly high), but the camaraderie here doesn’t even hold a candle to the original X-Men, or even First Class.
"I thought you liked my bloobs..."
“I thought you liked my bloobs…”
All of a sudden, having an all-star cast is more important than a well-rounded cast – a sentiment I’d be fine with on almost anything that wasn’t the X-Men. They do a decent round-about way of making Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine the centerpiece over Ellen Page’s Kitty Pryde, until you realize that Kitty Pryde never had the ability to send anybody else’s consciousness back in time. It’s not that I’m that upset Singer’s Kitty Pryde didn’t get the main role, since Bishop filled in the role quite well in the animated series. There were a ton of other logical brain-farts we saw throughout that seem to be credited to tying in the horrible Last Stand in order to make the whole saga canon – a valiant effort, but still a sham.
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One place DOFP absolutely succeeds is in the portrayal of Quicksilver, who helps the team break into the Pentagon and free Magneto from imprisonment. Played by American Horror Story‘s Evan Peters, Peter (Singer felt his comic book name, Pietro, isn’t a realistic name for a teenager) Maximoff is self-indulgent and hilarious, but is intrigued by the challenge of the prison break. There’s a particular sequence where Quicksilver shows off his skills that gave me the butterflies like a superhero movie is supposed to (something I definitely did not feel throughout the rest of the movie), and was around just long enough to make me want more.
quicksilver
Mystique also takes center stage here, and she kicks ass. Jennifer Lawrence absolutely owes it to her stunt double. Lawrence herself is not believable as Mystique, often coming across as a rebellious teenager. There’s just something about her face that doesn’t fit the look (we debated on whether it was the chin, cheeks or her large forehead that we didn’t like), but the fight scenes were incredible. She isn’t the only character that falls flat with me; Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, who had one of the most amazing displays in First Class turns into nothing more than a caricature of himself here. It’s a shame to see a character so complex turned into a one-dimensional bad guy.
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For being a movie based off a two-issue comic book, Days of Future Past does a good job of spacing the story out over its 2 hr 11 min runtime. There are a handful of awkward stares off into the distance I could have done without, and there’s a Magneto scene involving a entire stadium off the ground that feels forced and anti-climatic, but that’s neither here nor there. The sentinels looked spectacular (both past and future), and Peter Dinklage’s Bolivar Trask was a great addition to the movie. In the comics, he is the creator of the sentinel program, and his role is practically a seamless swap for Senator Robert Kelly (the target in the books).
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Cleverly enough, the DNA swipe of Mystique, which is used to create the chameleon-esque sentinels of the future, isn’t impossible to believe. The genetic engineering process as we know it, “the direct transfer of DNA from one organism to another,” was invented in 1973, the same year the past events take place. The snippets of 70’s style reel film to capture the mutant attacks were also a nice touch. Some of it didn’t really work for me. Weeks after the new Godzilla film blamed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Godzilla himself, Magneto takes the fall for the assassination of JFK. Nice try, guys. What’s next? Did Aquaman knock over the levees in New Orleans, too?
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This was supposed to be the resurgence of the X-Men franchise. To be fair, a lot of the complaints I had about the movie were fanboy-driven, but I feel like this formula is really starting to wear on me. The need to make this an “epic,” detracts from the point of the story, and clutters it with a bunch of nothing. I mean, when the half-hour animated episode does a better job at telling a story than the $200 million budgeted film, I can’t help but leave disappointed.
The magic of Days of Future Past comes from Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask and Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  Those aside, its been over a decade later and we’re still relying on special effects to sell creativity, forcing dramatic stare-offs to make people feel like important scenes are unfolding, and using Scott Summers to cock-block Wolverine. The more things change, the more they stay the same. And that’s the problem…

All photos belong to 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics

Graphic Novel Review – X-Men: Days of Future Past

Collecting: X-Men #141, The Uncanny X-Men #142 (Background story Uncanny X-Men #138-143) Original Release Date: 1981 Publisher: Marvel Comics Character: Kitty Pryde, Wolverine, Rachel Summers, Senator Robert Kelly Writer: Chris Claremont (A 16-year run on The Uncanny X-Men, X-Men with Jim Lee ) Art: John Byrne (X-MenFantastic FourSuperman) SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 7
Art – 7
Captivity and Length – 7
Identity – 9
Use of Medium – 8
Depth – 9
Fluidity – 8
Intrigue/Originality – 10
The Little Things – 8
Overall awesomeness – 8

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With the evolution of comic book art and the working formula of six-issue story arcs, as well as the familiarization that fans have had with staple characters, it’s rare to see books from the Bronze Age and beyond hold up to books today in general interest or revenue. “Arcs” were rare, and when they did exist, it was typically in a collection of two or three monstrously-sized issues. As is the case with X-Men: Days of Future Past, which oddly enough is a collection of two entirely different X-books.

Written over thirty years ago, and taking place in the apocalyptic future of… last year (2013), DOFP is a love letter as much as it is ground-breaking. This is not your ordinary X-Men book, either, as the two godfathers of X-Men, Claremont and Byrne, drop bombs on readers – introducing a few long-standing characters and revealing some Maury-worthy drama along the way. For those unfamiliar with Claremont’s (and Byrne, to an extent) style, he is an extremely descriptive writer, detailing each character’s internal thought process when making moves or strategizing. This is especially helpful to new fans of the series, but can be excruciatingly repetitive for seasoned readers.

dun dun dun

You’re reading this review, which means you have definitely seen an advertisement for this weekend’s release of X-Men: Days of Future Past. As bastardized as the movie is from the source material, the premise remains the same. The Mutant Brotherhood’s attack on an anti-mutant senator leads to a string of events that culminate in the release of Sentinels, secret government bots programmed to eliminate the mutant threat. Things get out of control and, somewhere along the line, everybody dies.

everybody dies

This is where our new heroes come in. Rachel Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey (but not the regular storyline Jean Grey; she’s still dead), joins the dwindling group of mutants still left: Wolverine, Storm, Franklin Richards (son of Mr. Fantastic), Colossus and Kitty Pryde, the latter of whom is a grown woman – which she makes perfectly clear when she insists on going by “Kate.” The whole gameplan is to have Rachel switch Kate’s body with that of her counterpart in 1981 and warn everybody of the impending doom. Kitty Pryde is the most important character in the story, and the mantle of head X-Man has been passed to Storm, who is even able to order Logan around at a certain point.

are you indeed

The story feels quite long, despite taking up just around sixty pages. This can be attributed to the insane amount of panels in the book. The dialog drives a lot of the story, aside from some pretty powerful death scenes, which isn’t a bad thing outright; I love the diction and the way internal monologue turns into conversation and action, but there’s just too much reliance on witty puns and dialog to let the story flow naturally. Furthermore, the newly assembled Mutant Brotherhood is menacing in that way only Bronze Age books can be. Resembling more of the silly Scooby Doo-type villains than the bringers of death they are. That being said, the whimsical X-Men of today provide a sharp contrast to the desperate and fearful of 2013. When in the future, I found myself constantly anxious and paranoid.

brotherhood weirdos

To me, this is a story that has so much potential, and it’s been adapted in several animated shows like Ultimate Spider-Man and Wolverine and the X-Men, but most notably in the 1990’s X-Men cartoon, where the role of Kitty Pryde was played by Bishop – which admittedly makes a lot more sense. It’s been proven that alternate timelines where everybody dies are money makers and represent an easy way to liven things up without consequence. There have been several comic book call-backs to this book, from a sequel (Days of Future Present) to a prequel (Wolverine: Days of Future Past). I’m still pissed that they let Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (I’m tired of seeing this guy’s face) take the place of the Kitty Pryde’s character in the book for the movie, but the upcoming film should be a much-deserved modern adaptation of a great concept.

  All media credited to Marvel Comics Written by Sherif Elkhatib

We Can Do It! Kitty Pryde

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

Who:

Kitty Pryde

Nicknames/Aliases:

Shadowcat, Sprite, Ariel

Skills:

She can walk through walls!  Ok, its a bit deeper than that.. she can change her atoms to pass through the atoms of other objects.  This creates the visual of her passing through, as well as levitating in some cases.  She is also amazingly smart in computer science and piloting.  Oh, and she can kick some serious ass because of her knowledge of Karate, Aikido, and Krav Maga.

Origin Story:

Created by comic greats Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Kitty Pryde was born circa 1967 in Illinois.  When she became a teenager, she began getting really bad headaches, which turned out to be the onset of her mutant powers.  She was originally recruited by mutant Emma Frost of the Hellfire Club.  However, after being visited by Professor Charles Xavier, Kitty Pryde joined the X-Men.  Good choice!  The new mutant, with the power to travel through objects, first appeared in comics in 1980 with Uncanny X-Men #129.  She was meant to juxtapose the now adult X-Men who had been well established in their ‘verse.  Kitty came in as a 13 year old who was incredibly smart and ended up saving many of the X-Men right off the bat.  Kitty also became the love interest for Colossus, the Russian mutant who turns into steel.  In addition, Kitty becomes a close friend of Wolverine and a surrogate daughter to Storm.  It is Kitty who sends all the early 1980’s X-Men to the future in the famous arc and next week’s feature film (hence this article!) Days of Future Past. In a pivotal moment for Kitty in the book Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, she becomes possessed by the demon Ogun, former teacher to Wolverine.  Wolverine then helps Kitty beat Ogun.  After beating him, she is changed, not only because of her nifty new martial arts skills, but because she was no longer the innocent, inexperienced girl everyone had once known.  Upon her emergence from the ordeal, she became Shadowcat.  Kitty has continued on in the X-Men series and is considered to be one of the best X-Men according to many a list.

Why is she important?:

Firstly, in my opinion, Kitty Pryde is important because she has a dragon.  Yeah, she has cool powers, and can fight, and can fly a plane, and can speak like a lot of different languages, but really its because she has a dragon.  Yeah.  His name is Lockheed.  He has even risked his life for hers.  And he’s purple.  I’d say all that makes her a lot cooler than Daenerys Targaryen (sorry Game of Throne fans).  

So what else other than the dragons?  Well there is the fact that Kitty Pryde changed the entire X-Men world.  She is highly regarded as being the best “teen” mutant introduced to the X-Men.  Kitty was the person who brought a level of normalcy to the group of misfits.  Kitty was born into a ordinary family and she was a fairly ordinary girl.  Her reactions to going to Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters were apropos to how most people would react to the other mutants and the happenings of her new and strange world.  Kitty is so accessible to her readers, it is hard to deny her importance to the series.

What she means to me:

Kitty Pryde means a lot to me.  I grew up watching the X-Men Animated Series in the early 90’s.  Of course, Kitty wasn’t in that series, but because of my interest in the show, I did my research on all the X-Men, thanks to my good ole dad (thanks Daddy for answering my incessant questions when I was 5).  What struck me about Kitty Pryde at first was “Hey! She has a cool name!”  Then it went to “Why is Jubilee in this show and not Kitty?!”  When I found out how down-to-earth and smart she was, I was a fan.

What really turned me into a Shadowcat fan?  Well, if you keep up with me, and why the heck wouldn’t you, you know I like Buffy.  I love Buffy.  I exalt Buffy.  I live and breathe Buffy.  And you know who was the inspiration for Buffy?  Well reader, in case you have yet to take a wild stab in the dark, Kitty Pryde was the inspiration for Buffy Summers.  Joss, you son-of-a-gun, you.  Not surprising, Joss brought Kitty back to the X-Men after being away with Excalibur and off to university in his series Astonishing X-Men.  He then gave the fans what they wanted and brought Kitty and Colossus together again.  However, (SPOILER FOR YOU WHO HAVEN’T READ ASTONISHING X-MEN or seen BUFFY) much like Whedon did with Buffy, he ended his run on the book by having Kitty sacrifice herself for the good of Earth.  Aw shucks, Joss!  You always get me right in the feels. And a thank you to Kitty Pryde for helping little girls realize that they are smart and cool and special and for all those times you stopped catastrophic things from happening to the non-mutants like myself.

all photos belong to Marvel.

written by Adrian Puryear

So Far This Week… May 14, 2014

Okay, so there are two elephants in the room we gotta get out of the way:

The first image of Ben Affleck’s Batman costume and the Batmobile in Batman vs. Superman has been revealed. And it looks sick. Here are some details about the picture you might not have noticed.

Channing Tatum has been cast as Gambit for future X-Men films. We’re genuinely excited for this (Adrian and I for different reasons, I suppose), but the ladykiller with a Cajun accent should be making his debut in X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016.

Are you fans of Asshole Spider-Man, Otto Octavius? Well, you’re in luck, because he will be making a brief, one-time appearance in August as a pre-lude to the Spider-Verse story.

For a show that took off soooo slowly, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took off like you wanted to believe any Whedon show could. The season finale was spectacular, and proof that, with a brand like Marvel behind him, there’s nothing that Joss can’t do.

The Simpsons/Family Guy crossover is really happening. Part of me is excited, but a larger part of me is feeling like my childhood is being taken advantage of. The episode airs in September.

We’re still sobbing into own our bowls of buttered noodles, watching our Community DVDs in wake of the news that the show will fall one season and a movie short of #sixseasonsandamovie. Dan Harmon has officially released a heart-felt statement about why the show will likely stay dead.

Being leader of the free world is pretty sweet – if you’re a Thony. Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin said on a Conan interview that he would gladly give Obama his own Iron Throne. Is that all I needed to do to get one of those?

Trekkies, weigh in! The director for the third Star Trek installment has been announced. Screenplay writer for the first two films, Roberto Orci, will be taking the reigns.

The Harry Potter spin-off titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released November 18, 2016 – two days shy of the 15th anniversary of the UK release of the first book, titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont gets his own documentary. Check it out.

Image Comics (Sold! Wait, what?) will be releasing a book in August titled Wayward. It’s been described as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a new generation.” I was pretty close to calling B.S., but this is Image Comics we’re talking about; anything they put out is instantly in my pull list.

 

Now SHHHHHH…. Arrow is on!

Weekend Wrap-Up…March 23, 2014

March Madness is in full effect right now! The Quicken Loans $1B challenge for the perfect got eliminated before the first round was even over. How busted are your brackets?

So, The Boondocks are coming back for Season 4 – starting on April 21st. There’s a catch though – the show will be without creator Aaron McGruder. This will be the final season, and likely the last time we’ll get to see Huey, Riley and Grand-dad in this medium. McGruder seems to have been supportive of the new season via social media, but will the magic be lost without him? We think not.

This is no penny stock scam; The Wolf of Wall Street is being released on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday, March 25th. If you’re still having doubts, check out our review here.

Far Cry 4 sits at number three on my most wanted video-game list (right after Arkham Knight and Watch Dogs). More announcements have been made; the game will take place in the Himalayan Mountains, complete with rideable elephants and Yeti hunting! It will be released next year.

Set your DVRs to record, people! Bryan Cranston AKA Walter White AKA “Heisenberg. You’re god-damn right” is going to be on The Colbert Report on Monday night.

Community‘s Alison Brie will be producing a TV Land show Teachers, based off the web-series of the same name. Watch a couple of them and you will be sold, especially if you’ve worked in the education industry.

The man, the legend, Chris Claremont will return to X-Men writing duties with Nightcrawler #1. The book debuts April 9th.

Turtles in Time is back, this time, as a mini-series by IDW Comics. A common Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme has been sending them back in a certain time period to tackle new problems. The mini-series will be drawn by Ross Campbell, who drew the recent Northampton arc. So excited!

Keep an eye out for our The Walking Dead “Us” review later tonight. We’re all one step closer to Terminus.

We Can Do It! Jean Grey

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

younerdlikeagirl

Who:

Jean Grey

Nicknames/Aliases:

Marvel Girl, Phoenix, Dark Phoenix

Skills:

Telepathy, telekinesis, total recall, and being the most powerful woman in the X-Men.

Origin Story:

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