For the entire series so far, Jean Grey’s been facing the threat of the Phoenix Force coming her way, and she’s been trying to deal with it by seeking help from as many people as possible. Although I’d prefer that writer Dennis Hopeless would have saved the phoenix storyline for a bit later, it’s been enjoyable so far. Each guest star brings something different, whether it’s former hosts telling Jean about their experience or other people helping her to prepare for the cosmic entity’s arrival. In the previous issue, Doctor Strange helped Jean contact the spirit of her adult self, and at the end of the issue, that spirit somehow remained.
This issue starts off with an amusing scene of Jean Grey arguing with her adult self’s spirit, but nobody else in the train station can see or hear the spirit. I’m sure you can figure out where that’s going. The Scarlet Witch shows up, who heard about the phoenix situation through Dr. Strange. Most of this issue takes a break from the main story, with Wanda helping Jean to relax a bit while also using her powers to help people. The whole time, adult Jean’s spirit is trying to get teen Jean to refocus on her preparations. There are a couple different locations, some fun action scenes and some great humour. It’s not as strong as most of the previous issues, but it’s a nice break for the readers as well.
And then the ending happened. I won’t explain everything, but let’s just say that adult Jean’s spirit takes over and brings Teen Jean’s body to a mutual acquaintance. I’m not sure where it’s leading, but the ending is kind of awesome.
Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque’s art is good. It’s a mostly simple style that’s never heavy on the details, but there’s still plenty of variety in the backgrounds and the civilians surrounding Jean. The opening scene in the subway station is filled with signs, with a variety of civilians of different sizes, colours, ages and outfits walking around. The visuals behind Scarlet Witch’s reality warping powers are fun, and her headdress is probably the most detailed thing in this comic. Facial expressions do a great job at conveying emotions, like Jean’s confusion when Scarlet Witch first shows up, Wanda’s joyful smile when they’re hanging around in Monster Metropolis, and spirit possessed Jean’s grin right at the end of the comic. Jay David Ramos’s colouring is great. This is a bright and coloruful comic, to the point where sometimes the colouring adds detail.
I wouldn’t call this issue great or even the best in this series so far, but it’s fun. Sometimes fun is all you need. Despite that, there are still some storytelling tidbits spread throughout the issue. Teenaged Jean Grey is proving herself a pretty good lead for a solo book, with a lot of room for character growth and a strange history worth exploring. Jean’s interactions with her adult self’s spirit could really spice things up too. If you’re a fan of the character, you should check this series out.