Jean Grey and the role of female Super Heroes
Sir Kent is Toylab's resident Film Critic
A call went out for a post about Female Superheroes. Which I thought is a f'BEEPin’great idea. The problem came, with me personally, that a lot of Female Superheroes from my day of comics are considered “Golden Age” female heroes. Which meant that since comics back then tended to reflect the current times, they were treated as such. Female super heroes were treated as pretty, weak-link members of the teams.
In constant need of saving by their male counterparts. Not considered as threats or terribly worthwhile members. That's why I wanted to focus my post on one that has been through those dark ages of comics. Only to come out the other side not only one of the most powerful and popular members of the team but, an OMEGA LEVEL MUTANT and multi-versal threat to everyone. I wanted to write about
JEAN GREY/ MARVEL GIRL/THE PHOENIX/
THE DARK PHOENIX
Jean Grey was created by the greats Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and introduced in
X-MEN Volume 1, Issue 1. She was added to the team because of the popularity of Sue Storm on the Fantastic Four. She was also portrayed, unfortunately, exactly how The Invisible Girl was as well. With her telekinesis, she couldn't lift much more than her body weight and was constantly being saved by other make team members. After Stan Lee and Jack Kirby left the X-Men to focus in more popular characters, Chris Claremont started to write for the comic.
He unfortunately came in during the worst times for the comic industry and knew he immediately needed to come up with something to not only keep the X-MEN alive but, the industry as a whole. His reimagining of Jean Grey, especially her back story is the one that I am going to stick with as, it makes the most sense. As a little girl, Jean was playing in her front yard with her friend
Annie Richardson. They were throwing a frisbee around when Jean threw it to Annie and a gust of wind caught it. Annie chased around a blind corner and was hit by a car.
Jean rushed to the side of her friend and in her fear and panic, her mutant gene kicked in and she not only made a mental link with Annie but gained the attention of The Phoenix Force. Now let me explain (As far as I understand it) where the Phoenix Force comes from. It is a fraction of the EMCRON JEWEL'S power. A gem that is said to not only contain the telepathic and telekinetic energy of all beings who have ever had it, currently have or will have it. Basically, if you can do stuff with your mind ANYWHERE or ANYTIME in the multiverse, then this is the dick you had to suck to get said power.
Over the years, the Phoenix Force always kept an eye in Jean. Which is why, when after a mission to a moon base, it appeared to Jean. The space shuttle they were on for the trip home had been caught in a cosmic radiation storm (Fantastic Four much?). Jean used her telepathic abilities to take the injured pilots abilities and then lock the team away in a safe room. As the radiation started to take its toll on Jean she cried out for help and the Phoenix Force appeared.
The Phoenix Force already knew that Jean was a dead woman but, it also knew that in her heart, she wanted her friend's to live. This intrigued the Phoenix Force gave Jean a proposal. She would save Jeans life but only if she would allow her to possess her body. Jean agree and when the shuttle splashed down, she rose from the water as the living embodiment of the Phoenix Force and was now an OMEGA LEVEL MUTANT! Everything was everything with Jean and her new powers.
Putting people in vegetative states, burning people alive, dropping mountains on people...it's all good. She was so powerful even Professor X couldn't f'BEEP with her! It was even said that you know the helmets that Juggernaut and Magneto both wear to protect from mental attacks? She could bust through those like a fat bitch through a line on free doughnut Friday's! UNTIL...the muthuf;BEEPin’
HELLFIRE CLUB came along!
NamelyJason Wyngarde. Now this muthufBEEPa saw what Jean could do and thought she would be not only a great addition to the Club but, if they could control all that power…? His mutant power is mental illusion, memory alteration and the ability to affect a person's morale compass. In other words, he could make a good person bad. What he didn't understand at the time was that the reason the Phoenix Force was possessing Jean WAS to experience emotions. So THIS stupid muthufBEEPa introduced it to lust, rage, envy and revenge. Not the BEST emotions you want to give to an Omega Level fBEEPin’entity, now is it?
So long story short, he released the DARK PHOENIX and much like WU TANG CLAN
she ain't nuthin’ to f'BEEP with! She immediately fried Wyngarde's mind on the spot. Then, on a whim, flew to a neighboring galaxy and consumed it's sun...which then exploded. Killing billions! Even Galactus don't eat sun's! An intergalactic empire the Shi'ar saw what Jean has done and considered her such a threat that they sent forces to blow up the f'BEEPin’ Earth unless the X-MEN turned her over!
Of course, they went to war and the X-MEN were soundly beaten. However, after feeding on the sun, Jean was able to gain control over the Dark Phoenix and was herself for the battle. In an act of sacrifice, she allowed herself to be atomized by a Kree laser cannon that was meant to kill members of the Royal Family of the INHUMANS. I know what you thinking, is she dead? NOPE! This is comics muthufucka and she was possessed by the Phoenix Force!
I'm going to end this post here with an observation on comics and pop culture. Jean Grey, Sue Storm and so many others started out in a time when, not a lot was expected of them. That glass ceiling was firmly in place and Super-Heroing (It's a word) was a man's job. With time, progress and progressive thinking, much like modern times, we now live in times when women are every equal to their male counterparts.
What makes Jean special is that she went beyond the power-level of her male counterparts to a whole new level where entire galaxies could be destroyed. This makes her journey and evolution from something of dansel in distress all the more spectacular.
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