Review: Jean Grey #7

RCO001Traveling the Marvel Universe preparing herself for her inevitable encounter with the Phoenix force, Jean Grey has learned how to fight from the likes of Namor, Thor and Psylocke. But now she wants to know more about her opponent than the best way to punch it. She wants to know what makes it tick. She wants to know what it’s made of. And to learn that, she’ll go to one of the few women who’ve harnessed its power: Wanda Maximoff, The Scarlet Witch!

When I saw the preview for Jean Grey #7, I was very excited for it to be released. Scarlet Witch is one of my favorite characters, and seeing her encounter Jean Grey to help with the coming Phoenix? I was so ready to dive into this issue! But not long into it, I could see this was going to be a let down, and by the end I was absolutely disappointed in this issue. Writer Dennis Hopeless brings us what can be easily called the weakest issue of the Jean Grey series. The story feels rushed and has a whole lot of things going on, making the story feel over stuffed without anything of real substance taking place. A monster cooking class that comes off as a little cheesy and a unexpected showdown don’t do this issue any favors, but my biggest beef with this chapter is the portrayal of ‘ghost’ Jean Grey. When this new element to the story was introduced, I was skeptical if this was indeed the spirit of the real Jean Grey who has come to help guide her younger self into facing the Phoenix.

After this issue, I am HOPING that this is not the real Jean Grey! Jean, the adult Jean, long time fans remember was, in many ways the heart of the X-Men. She had come a long way from being the ‘girl’ member of the team, to a strong, confident, compassionate person even after her rise and fall with the Phoenix. The Jean that shows up in this issue, a guiding spirit to younger Jean is just mean and snarky and just plain ugly. Her domineering and serious tone with her younger self could be explained as her trying to convey the severity of the situation, but it’s her exchanges and comments about Wanda that really made me grit my teeth and ask myself if Hopeless did any research at all on the original Jean, or if he just thought he’d write her so she fit into his story. The mean comments, the eye rolling and sarcasm came off as petty and juvenile and completely out of character. If she’s supposed to be helping her younger self when it comes to facing the Phoenix, I feel that force is going to take her over easily and bring back the Dark Phoenix.

Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque’s art also felt all over the place in this issue. There are some scenes which are presented beautifully, like when Scarlet Witch first arrives on the scene but other scenes, mostly the ones where ghost Jean reacts to Wanda’s words or actions, really take away from the story with their over exaggerated expressions and comical reactions. What few action scenes are in this issue are done nicely, but again it’s the over the top expressions that really take away from this issue.

Overall, as I’m sure I have made clear, I was really disappointed with this issue. Too much thrown in too fast and hit or miss art really brings this issue, and the series as whole down a few notches. But it is the characterization of ghost Jean Grey that completely turned me off. She was written totally out of character and was acting more like a child then her younger self ever has. I am really hoping that in the end this is not the Jean Grey we all know and love and it is another spirit that is just taking advantage of the situation. With the recently announced return of the adult Jean Grey coming soon, I really hope it is the later, because of this is a glimpse of the Jean Grey we’re going to be seeing again, I would rather they just left her as a fond memory.

Story: Dennis Hopeless  Art: Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque
Story: 5.0 Art: 5.5 Overall: 5.25 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review