Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: R.B. Silva, Adriana Di Benedetto
Colors: Rain Beredo
Teenage Jean Grey is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid the fate that befell her predecessor. But when Jean is cast through time and comes face-to-face with the newly possessed Phoenix, will she find the key to saving herself…or learn that her fate is sealed?
Content (May/May Not Contain Spoilers)
Our second entry into the Generations line brings current, time displaced Jean Grey into contact with the past version of herself. Jean lands on a beach when she unexpectedly comes across her younger form. Current Jean hopes to use this turn of events to learn more about the Phoenix Force, and that’s part of the concept of this issue.
Jean wants to learn more to protect herself from the Phoenix and about Mastermind, but then a pretty important dilemma pops up that reverberates through the whole issue: current Jean can tell that the villain Mastermind is stalking past Phoenix, and she knows the horrible result of the Mastermind’s goal and is in a position to change history. Her dilemma? Does she break the timeline and tell her past self about Mastermind, or does she let things happen as they did, horrifying as they were? Jean is a character who’s never felt fully in control of herself or her fate, so having a crisis of conscience like this pop up fits the character perfectly. Jean gets to work with her predecessor and see just how powerful the Phoenix is when the two drive Galactus away from a planet Past Phoenix was defending, and then the book gets to the pivotal moment.
Jean contemplates whether on not to break the timeline and tell her past counterpart what’s coming for her, and then The Watcher enters the scene. He tells her that her next decision will be the most important one she makes: It will impact everything. Jean ultimately decides she can’t tell her past (also future in a way, since the current Jean is younger than the past version) self about Mastermind, thus allowing the genocide and X-Factor events that followed. This is an important part, because Jean had a chance to change something horrible, but she knew the ramifications might be just as bad if not worse, and so Mastermind had to succeed. Jean’s conscious decision to let this happen takes her away from the Vanishing point.
Conclusion (Definitely Contains Spoilers)
This was a really good issue for this series. It is a self contained one shot, just like the Hulk issue, but this one felt like it accomplished a bit more. We actually had Jean progress in a way. She grew as a character, and as her solo series and X-Men Blue progress, this will most likely play a pivotal part. The focus on her dilemma was great because it gave her an inner conflict that not only was true to her character, but would have been relatable for her past self. The book gets both Jean Grey’s right, and that’s a rather rare thing these days.
The writing is done exceptionally for both young and current Jean, and overall the story and writing just felt well done. The art does have a few panels here and there where it just doesn’t stack up to the rest of the book, but overall is pretty good. This is definitely a book worth picking up. It hits all the right notes for fans of the character. fans of good, well-written stories, and fans who remember the old comics. I would even say those who are new would like it, though some of the nuance may fly past them. It’s a great read, and the creative team should be proud. What will all this mean for our current Jean Grey? We’ll have to continue to follow her adventures to find out!
Publisher: Marvel Comics