The Phoenix Resurrection miniseries has been billed as the series that would bring the original Jean Grey back from the dead from the beginning, but it may deliver more than Marvel fans were expecting.
SPOILERS for Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1 follow.
Phoenix Resurrection is written by Matthew Rosenberg and the first issue features art by Leinil Francis Yu and it is a strange and surreal experience that features appearances by several supposedly dead characters.
They begin showing up when the X-Men split into three groups to investigate a mysterious mutant phenomenon occurring outside of New York City involving two catatonic children floating in midair. They trace the power signature to three different locations: the old Hellfire Club, a castle in Europe, and the North Pole.
At the Hellfire Club, the X-Men encounter several Hellfire guards which Jubilee, after tasting them with her vampiric teeth, confirms are not human. At the castle, Rogue battles Seamus Mellencamp, a former member of Magneto’s Acolytes who died some years ago. At the North Pole, the X-Men encounter Wolverine in full costume and not particularly verbal. All of these characters then disappear after their brief fights with the X-Men.
Things get weirder when the Phoenix force appears in the sky and the issue cuts to Jean Grey – the all-grown-up, adult Jean Grey – working as a waitress at a diner. She serves coffee to a man referred to as “Mr. Cassidy,” who is almost definitely the dead X-Man Banshee (EDIT: When writing this article, we forgot that Banshee was resurrected years ago as a Horseman of Death and then handed over to the X-Men. Beast stated it would take years to heal him of the influence of the Death Seed and he has hasn't been seen since. Of course, the Sentry underwent the same transformation, and yet...). Her boss is named Annie, which seems like a reference to the young girl whom Jean saw die after being hit by a car, an event that triggered the first manifestation of Jean’s telepathic powers. The event is referenced in the opening pages of Phoenix Resurrection #1.
Things get stranger at the end of the issue when Jean leaves work and returns home to eat dinner with her long-dead parents. Even weirder is that the Greys have apparently invited over a dinner guest, one Scott “Cyclops” Summers, who has been dead since the events of Death of X.
Frankly, we’re still not really sure what’s going on in Phoenix Resurrection or how these dead characters are appearing, though its probably a safe bet that it has to do with Jean’s return, the Phoenix Force, and Jean powerful mental abilities and memories. Luckily, since its a weekly series, we shouldn’t have too long to wait to find out more.
Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1 is on sale now.