Psych Wars Parts 1 and 2 (Jean Grey #9 and #10 Comic Reviews)

The spirit of Jean’s adult self has come to help teen Jean confront the Phoenix. But upon locating and retrieving a missing sliver of the power within Emma Frost, young Jean has become overwhelmed by its flames! Now it’s up to the combined efforts of many of those touched by the Phoenix to help Jean end the menace once and for all!

 

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Jean Grey #9 and #10
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artists: Victor Ibanez (#9), Alberto Albequerque (#10)
Colorist: Jay David Ramos
Cover Artist: David Yardin
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What You Need To Know:
Young Jean Grey, aka Marvel Girl, has had visions of the Phoenix returning to earth. The spirit of adult Jean Grey thought that by imbuing her with a fraction of the power, (returned after being kept hidden in Emma Frost’s mind), that she would be better suited to defeat the cosmic entity. She was mistaken, and now young Jean is being rushed to the hospital, overcome by the cosmic flames.

What You’ll Find Out:
Once Jean is admitted to the emergency room, she continuously ignites into bursts of Phoenix flame. While this is happening, Emma and the spirit of adult Jean argue over what to do next. The overhead sprinkles give way to the heat and a deluge smothers Jean’s flames momentarily. Recognizing they need more help, Emma arranges to have a helicopter fly them to an open field Westchester.

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Meanwhile, Hope Summers gets a warning signal about a cosmic event of terrestrial and omega level nature headed towards earth.

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On the way to Westchester, Spirit Jean and Emma discuss young Jean and the power of the Phoenix. Meeting up with the Stepford Cuckoos, they attempt a psychic “exorcism” of the sliver of Phoenix flame within Jean.

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This proves to do nothing but get the attention of nearby Quentin Quire, another Phoenix host. Quentin recognized that the energy was feeding off of her psychic energy so he “shoots” Jean in the head, essentially shutting down her mind, and momentarily stopping the convulsions.

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Hope arrives just in time for young Jean to utter the words, Phoenix is here! over and over again. The cosmic entity appears in the sky above them, ready to claim them.

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With an inferno surrounding them, young Jean throws up a TK bubble around the group as they try to escape. Manifesting a psychic sword and shield does not prove enough to stop the attack.

 

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Young Jean calls for the Bamf, Pickles to come to her aid and teleport them all to safety. He takes them to the abandoned New Xavier School, in Roanoke, Alberta Canada, but it tracks them there. Offering Cable’s Psi-mitar , Hope instructs young Jean to attack the bird, while Emma and the Cuckoos try to hold the entity.

jg103.jpgThinking she has harmed the entity, it flies off with young Jean on it’s back. Jean wraps a telekinetic rope around the bird’s neck until they both fall out of the sky. But as young Jean rises from the ground, so too does the Phoenix.

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Spirit Jean steps in to stop the fighting, telling the Phoenix that young Jean is not ready to contain the power, that it will burn her up. But the Phoenix informs her that it knows this. Spirit Jean tells young Jean to run away, but it’s too late.

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The Phoenix enters young Jean’s body, seemingly destroying her and knocking out everyone present in the process. Spirit Jean is left with the glowing embers ashes of young Jean falling around her.

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What Just Happened?
With the big announcement of the adult Jean Grey returning to the X-Books full time, there is a list of paradoxes to contend with. For one, it was announced that #11 of this series will be the last. That is to say, not the last we see of young Jean. She is currently jaunting through time with her compatriots in X-Men Blue. I’m guessing because of the Cross-Time Capers, this story must take place after. With time travel in the mix, she can return from those adventures in time to be seemingly killed by the Phoenix! But we will have to wait and see what becomes of young Jean in the pages of Phoenix Resurrection #1-#5 before heading back to this title for its finale.
I couldn’t help but chuckle (and not in a good way) in issue #9 when Emma and adult Spirit Jean are bickering while young Jean is being consumed by flames in the hospital. Ladies! She needs your help, not your bickering! Spirit Jean felt very off-character to me, to the point that I almost thought it was going to be revealed to be something else. The level of importance to the grand scheme of Jean Grey and her return in this series seems to turn a blind eye to the need to have some scenes of Emma and Jean having snappy patter. It’s better suited in the helicopter but not during the urgency at the hospital.

The switch in artists from Ramos to Albuquerque is a bit jarring and the latter’s work feels very sketchy. The art has never impressed me in this series, with the exception of the gorgeous covers by David Yardin, which are ALWAYS a welcome treat.

Rating 5/10
Final thought:
A rushed attempt to have witty dialogue and a wrap-up to a character’s story only creates a frustrating couple of issues leading to the inevitable finale. I only hope it gets cleaned up properly before riding off into the sunset…


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