All of the Phoenix stuff had very little to do with the men and in the 90s Jean and Scott (and Logan) existed just fine in separate books for a while.
Winterwind this is a Jean Appreciation thread, worship or GTFO. Jean Grey was not introduced as Cyclops' love interest she was supposed to be the girl for all the other guys to pine over (ya know, like all the other Silver Age Marvel women). The only reason Cyclops is important was because he was dating the most important character in one of the most defining stories of the X-Men's histories: The Dark Phoenix Saga, he didn't become important to the X-Men on his own until Grant Morrison killed her off and Whedon made him the head of the school.
Jean has almost never existed in a book without Scott or Wolverine, and when she did it was because of a character arc for one of the two characters. Moreover her time away from either has been short lived and not very successful. Sorry if I seem like a troll but people like pwdroff annoy me, and I think all this needs to be said.
Say what you will, but most of the X-Men went through periods of not doing anything particularly interesting. Iceman's never done much of anything. Until Remender turned him evil Warren was the rich guy known for dating Psylocke, etc. Scott in particular has almost been defined more his relationship with Jean than she was with him. The first time she died Scott left the books and eventually jumped into a train wreck of a relationship that started on the premise of her looking like Jean. It wasn't until Jean died and Emma came along that Scott really took the mantle of leader of the X-Men and did anything interesting of his own right.
Certainly, the original conception of the X-Men cast Cyclops in the role of fearless leader and Jean as just the passive girlfriend, which was of course the standard in the 60s, if you just look at Wasp or Sue Storm as other examples. But it became quite clear even before Claremont came on that these roles didn't exactly suit them. Why is it that despite having been the nominal lead character in one of the most popular comic book franchises of all time, that Cyclops only recently managed to even make a dent with the fanbase, and that every time you read a post proclaiming that "he's more interesting than ever!" it's inevitably followed by "he's nothing like the character he used to be"? The answer of course is that as a character he just follows a very bland and nondescript template. His visual is boring - if you were new to comics and picked up the Dark Phoenix Saga on a whim you could be forgiven if you mistook him for one of those basic Hellfire mooks. His powers are generic - any idiot can shoot lasers, and you don't have to look far to find someone who can do everything he can and more. His personality is unoriginal - just how many neurotic, introverted losers are there in comics anyway? Why do you think it is that he always finds himself in a leadership role whenever he's on a team? It's not that he's particularly suited or has any special leadership qualities that are part and parcel of his character, it's that every other character brings something unique to the table besides and can shine just as brightly in a supporting role. Whenever the stories take the focus off of him, you almost forget he even exists. In fact, the best way to get people invested in the character is to force him into someone else's story. After all, whenever you picture your brave hero in battle, what is the first word you always hear coming out of his mouth?
Now, let us turn our attention to the lovely Ms. Grey. Jean is far from being the best written character in comics and she has more than her fair share of moments that make me want to bang my head on a desk repeatedly. And of course with several extended absences from publication she does have quite a light track record compared to some of her peers. But for some reason, she does just seem to be the type of character that people gravitate too, the kind that makes an impact each and every time she shows up, no matter in how insignificant of a role, in so many words, a star. And no, it's not just because she's a hot chick. Make no mistake, Jean is neither a stunning natural beauty like Storm, a plastic sex goddess like Emma, nor even a fairy tale Disney princess like Wanda. What she does have is a uniquely human beauty and elegance, something that artists have done a great job capturing over the years, and she retains every ounce of that even as a literal goddess of life and fire. Her powers are nearly limitless of course, and while she's employed them with varying levels of creativity over the years, ideally she strikes a perfect balance somewhere between omnipotent Mary Sue and totally incompetent klutz. You can almost feel the struggle when she's exerting herself, yet she still radiates power and presence with every move. And now for the most common criticism of Jean - her supposedly bland and uninteresting personality. Jean certainly does not hit her notes quite as loud as some of her peers, but she's got something that almost no other character in the X-Books can claim - versatility. Whether she's being cast as a wide-eyed schoolgirl, a dutiful wife and mother, a teacher and protector of the academy, a leader in the field, a cosmic superheroine, or a world-devouring menace, it always just seems to work, without losing any of that quality that makes her uniquely Jean and no one else. Contrast this with just how out of place so many other X-Men seem when they are being placed in roles they aren't meant to fill.
So what does this all mean for the stories? Just imagine if from the very beginning, Cyclops were the one that became the Phoenix and died on the moon, with none of the other significant details altered. Would anyone have cared? Would we still be talking about the story thirty years later as one of classics of the medium? Jean might have started off as Cyclops' girlfriend, but fifty years of comics have shown that she just has a special star quality that keeps her relevant and compelling to audiences despite her spotty history and frequent absences. On the other hand, if you take Cyclops and strip away all of his feats, supposed leadership and tactical skill, and all the contrived importance he's been given in the stories of the last decade against all logic, what do you really have?
Fail-troll thinks he's really bothering the most combative fanbase on the board.
Please stop. You're making a spectacle of yourself. :)
Sorry Brevoort, Alonso and Lowe, but Jean Grey is a classic character. She'll outlive you regardless. :)
The Diary of a Supa-Cool Nerd!
She sings directly to the sheep, "Oh noble sheep, we eat your babies. We use your brain to fight off rabies, but the most beautiful gift you give us is wool."
Love her or hate her, nothing lights up a board like Jean does. Like PwrdOff said she just has that certain something that makes people take notice. And it's that which keeps her relevant and one of the most contreversal figures in the franchise.
This. We Jean fans can and will admit her failings however she has more potential than Scott Summers will ever have because of her ability for growth in any setting she's able to occupy a plethora, of roles while still being Jean. People will spout out about how Jean is defined by Logan or Scott and yet eight years later she still has more influence and pull of their narratives than any other character. Anytime Jean is off doing her own thing and I'll admit its not often but when she does she shines brighter than any star. Logan and Scott's stories' will always revolve around her not and the other way around. There was a quote Whedon made in Wizard magazine while he was writing AXM " [Cyclops has] been the team leader and the team washout in terms of popularity. He was defined by Jean so much, and I just think that this guy is so interesting in his struggle against mediocrity", that so much so defined Scott to Jean.
Well, you asked for it, and I don't want to see anyone coming into this thread claiming I'm launching into yet another unwarranted anti-Cyclops tirade. Warning - wall of text incoming.
Something that people don't get about the surge of new Cyclops' fans is that the majority of us don't simply love who Scott is now and were bored with who he was before, but a large part of why we're so fascinated of him is BECAUSE of who he was before. What is so awesome is the transformation from a meek, hyper-anxious overly idealistic and generic hero, into a badass revolutionary genius. His transformation is unlike anything else that has never happened in comics to such an iconic character and that is awesome. And what's even more incredible is that it was a very gradual process and you can even track the beats that very slowly began to change him, it's a phenomenal journey. As for his leadership qualities he is a tactical genius and is naturally(or perhaps he worked on it) charismatic. I don't know where that non-sense about him being unsuited for the position comes form.
Lol at this. Dude Jean is an absolute knock out. I think she was like 5 on Wizard's 100 sexiest women in comics beating out all of the other women you mentioned. Some artist don't capture her stunning beauty so well and obviously the artistic style of the silver and bronze age doesn't lend itself as well to beauty as the current age does, but Jean as she was in Grant Morisson's run or Phoenix end song was sexy as fuck. The reason why characters gravitate towards Jean is because in addition to being an original member the two main characters and now the two leaders of the X-men are in love with her and hence gravitate towards her. And actually if you were to go back and read the comics instead of just assuming you'd see the only time she really radiated the greatness you're describing was in the Dark Phoenix sage and under Morrison when surprise, she was manifesting the phoenix! It's simply a story narrative, it's the sameway Avx revolved around the moves Cyclops made. Jean only appears to have versatility simply because she has been very ill-defined throughout the comics. Other than being the phoenix and being Cyclops and Logan's love, who is Jean? What significant purpose has she ever served outside of that? You'd have to scratch your head for a while to answer that one. If you think her being ill-defined gives her versatility, then the same could be said for Magma, Lifeguard and a whole bunch of other characters. It doesn't even begin to from an argument.
Last edited by Winterwind; 12-31-2012 at 03:21 PM.