Character Close Up

Women of Marvel: Jean Grey

There’s a lot going on in the mutant telepath Jean Grey’s head—communicating with others, moving objects, and more. Examine how this veteran X-Man carries the weight of the universe on her shoulders with some of her most important comic stories.


The Phoenix Saga

in Uncanny X-Men (1963) #101

Read through issue #108 for the whole “Phoenix Saga,” AKA the most pivotal and famous Jean Grey story. Jean’s possession by a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force ushers in unspeakable tragedy for the X-Men. But the toll on Jean’s life is what readers remember. By becoming a host to the Phoenix, Jean initially saved her found family. But by issue #105 her control started to slip, and the Phoenix took over.

The Dark Phoenix Saga

in Uncanny X-Men (1963) #137

The conclusion to the “Dark Phoenix Saga.” In a Marvel-defining moment, Jean sacrifices herself to the Shi’ar Imperial Guard in the Blue Area of the Moon, ending their contest against the X-Men. Plus, a gut-wrenching conversation with Cyclops: “Where I’m concerned, it’s the thought that counts. And yours—like you—are beautiful.” Their love story transcends death!

Becoming an X-Man

in Uncanny X-Men (1963) #308

A slice-of-life issue that accelerates Jean’s relationship with Scott. (A proposal! By Jean?!) But outside of her romance, we learn who Jean was prior to the activation of her telepathy and telekinesis. A traumatic event catalyzed her powers, and Jean’s vulnerable adolescence meant that she had to be more guarded than other teens. Especially when it came to love.

Versus Sabretooth

in X-Men (1991) #28

A power move for Jean, personally and in terms of her mutant gifts. When Professor X insists on housing an unhinged Sabretooth, Jean questions whether rehabilitation for a person like Victor Creed is possible. Deferring to her fellow X-Men, Jean voices her gut instinct—and rightly so. When Sabretooth takes one step out of line, Jean tosses him around like a ragdoll and makes him feel the wrath of his own power...

Marriage to Cyclops

in X-Men (1991) #30

Original X-Men and each other’s first loves, Jean and Scott Summers tie the knot in this much-amped issue. Fun fact: Jean’s dress was based off a sketch by fashion designer Nicole Miller!

A Leader and a Teacher

in New X-Men (2001) #114

The X-Men deal with the fallout of the destruction of mutant paradise Genosha and its sixteen million lives. This event obviously leaves everyone rattled—including Jean who’s facing major revelations in her relationships with Scott and Wolverine. Despite personal conflict, Jean steps up to the plate to be a public advocate and leader for Xavier’s Institute...right when anti-mutant sentiment is at an all-time high.

Krakoa's Quiet Council

in House of X (2019) #6

She’s been there since the beginning with the Original Five X-Men, and she emerges at the forefront of the Dawn of X. As mutantkind establishes a new nation-state on the Living Island of Krakoa, Jean is appointed to be a member of its governing body, the Quiet Council. Sharing a table with Emma Frost won’t be easy, but as a representative of the "Summer Table," Jean protects Xavier’s vision with her just approach.