Four Letter Nerd

4LN Comic Review: Jean Grey #1

Series: Jean Grey
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Victor Ibáñez
Colorist: Jay David Ramos

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Summary from Comixology: When a teenage JEAN GREY traveled through time and arrived in the present, she learned the terrible fate that befell her predecessor: Possessed by a cosmic entity called the Phoenix, Jean was trapped in an endless cycle of life and death. Determined to escape that future, Jean set out to write her own destiny. But now, she’s visited by a premonition that the Phoenix is coming for her…and in this new ongoing series by DENNIS HOPELESS (ALL-NEW X-MEN, SPIDER-WOMAN, X-MEN: SEASON ONE) and VICTOR IBANEZ (EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN, STORM), she’s going to fight tooth and nail to escape becoming its next victim!

The X-Men franchise has been having some turbulent times lately. The cinematic universe has been suffering heavy criticism, and Marvel/Fox have been fighting for rights for the characters, and for a while, the comic book community was  left in limbo about whether the X-Men universe would come to a halt as Marvel tried to strongarm the rights to the characters. But, as of right now, Marvel Comics is celebrating a renaissance with the X-Men. Books like X-Men: Gold and X-Men: Blue are capturing the classic feel of X-Men books, and know with Jean Grey launching into a solo series, we can continue with that classic feel, but also enjoy a new “millennial” take on the character.

Similar to what Sam Humphries is doing with Green Lanterns, I can see Hopeless really making Jean Grey his own. This issue starts with Jean in Kyoto Japan with a “Bamf thingy” named Pickles (think of a baby Nightcrawler). Jean and Pickles are enjoying some noodles when out of the blue comes a pretty gnarly wrecking crew that consists of three super strong and super invulnerable super criminals. Along with fighting these super bank robbers, Jean must also deal with the struggles of coming to terms with who/what she becomes with the power of the Phoenix, and even though she’s not “our” Jean Grey, she is still Jean Grey, so will the Phoenix still be her destiny?

My favorite part of this issue was actually the first two pages, and I mean that in an extremely positive way. The first two page of this series actually did a fantastic recap of the life and death(s) of Jean, and it had a call back to one of my personal favorite comic covers, Uncanny X-Men 135. Hopeless seems to have a great connection with Jean and it seems to be a very promising start to a new series based on a beloved character.

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Victor Ibáñez does a great job keeping this book bright, bold, and entertaining. There were a few moments where I audibly laughed because of situations Jean found herself in, and Victor did a fantastic job bringing that to life. Victor Ibáñez also did a fantastic job blending classic X-Men images with current comic book artistic styles. Ibáñez also did a first-rate job at capturing the angsty feeling of a teenage Jean Grey.

When you go out to your LCS tomorrow for Free Comic Book Day, be sure to pick up Jean Grey #1, especially if you are anyone who loves the X-Men franchise. This is a great start to a fun story and has a lot of promise for the direction it’s heading in, and it will be enjoyable to see Jean rise from the ashes of her past self.

Music Pairing: 

At one point in the issue, Jean uses her powers to give someone a near death migraine. As someone who suffers from chronic migraines, that was really not cool to do. That sh*t really hurts.

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Bill Clark

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