Marvel’s X-Men went through a series of big changes over the past few months. These changes took place in the dual miniseries House of X and Powers of X, both written by Jonathan Hickman. These changes include visual changes, with many of Marvel’s mutants getting new looks, often new spins on old looks. Jean Grey, in particular, stands out. She’s returned to the Marvel Girl costume that she designed for herself during the later issues of the original, Silver Age X-Men run. That’s a retro fashion decision compared to her fellow X-Men, who stuck to more modern versions of their costumes. Hickman tells Adventures in Poor Taste that there’s a reason Jean went back to that costume, and he’s surprised X-Men fans haven’t figured it out already.
“I’m not going to lie, this one has been disappointing,” Hickman says. “I was pretty sure everyone would figure this out as soon as House of X #1 hit the stands. And while I’m not going to spoil the story for you, I will say go back and look at the most famous time she put this costume back on. That should help.”
That most famous time Jean returned to the Marvel Girl costume would be Uncanny X-Men #137, the finale to "The Dark Phoenix Saga." Jean had seemingly been freed of the Phoenix’s power. She and the X-Men were preparing to fight the Shi’ar Imperial Guard in a trial by combat for her life. She chose to fight in her classic Marvel Girl costume. When Cyclops asks her why she chose that costume, she replies, “I’m not sure — nostalgia? Pride? I started as Marvel Girl. and that’s how I’ll finish.”
X-Men fans can interpret that in relation to House of X and Powers of X. It’s also worth noting that last week's X-Men #1, also written by Hickman, reveals that Jean lives with Cyclops and their extended family in the Summer House in the Blue Area of the Moon. That was the location where the battle between the X-Men and the Imperial Guard takes place. Perhaps that, along with the X-Men’s new resurrection protocol, has made Jean nostalgic for the old days again.
Hickman also hints that Jean may be getting a meaningful wardrobe change in the near future, courtesy of acclaimed artist Russell Dauterman. “Dauterman is actually doing some Jean stuff now and she’s wearing a version of one of her newer suits (but colored green and gold, as all Jean costumes should be).”
Why do you think Jean went back to her classic costume? Let us know in the comments. X-Men #1 is on sale now.