With the Avengers Vs. X-Men vs. Men Eternals event ready to launch on July 13th, everyone’s favorite mutants are gearing up to go to war. Among the main team, Synch, Cyclops, and Jean Gray are sure to take a stand against the Eternal threat. Jean Gray, of all the other X-Men, certainly stands the best chance of doing some major damage. As the Phoenix, she proved just as powerful as any of the Celestials that have seen fit to judge mutantkind, and she’ll certainly be able to drive back the Eternals.
Yet, just as Jean will surely prove capable of defeating the Eternals, fans have certainly proven the ability to make light of the character as well. No matter how powerful an X-Man is, fans will always be able to poke fun at them, and some of their memes have cut to the core of who Jean is.
Sometimes Forgets Her Powers
As this meme makes light of, though her telekinesis is certainly a force to be reckoned with, Jean doesn’t actually use it as much as she should. As an Omega-level telepath, she often prefers mind tricks to physical force in a flight. Most often using the telekinesis just to make herself fly and dodge projectiles, she really does underuse it.
Given how strong her telekinesis is, it’s disappointing that the Krakoan Jean rarely takes advantage of her talents. She’s up against some of the worst villains Orchis has to offer and spends most of her time at an active disadvantage caused by her own misuse of her powers.
In the comics, after coming under the possession of the Phoenix, Jean became an indescribably powerful figure. Yet alternate versions of the character have inconsistent depictions.
In the ’90s animated series, Jean is most often shown as a figure who would fail to use her powers for even a second without losing control and passing out. Yet the Jean from X-Men Evolution was exceptionally powered and could destroy anything and everything in her path. It’s an odd inconsistency, made even stranger by that inconsistency existing in the live-action movies too.
The Best Phoenix
While numerous X-Men have lain claim to the Phoenix over the years, only two have come to be synonymous with it: Jean Gray and Rachel Summers. The latter, by the way, happens to be Jean’s alternate reality daughter. But their tie to the Phoenix together has made a significant impact on both characters.
Though she recently rejected the Phoenix entirely, she has still proven to be one of the few people capable of bearing its power. While it routinely caused problems for her, Jean still managed to wrestle with the entity, even driving it away permanently when she eventually decided it was necessary.
Doesn’t Die That Often
Like a phoenix, Jean Gray has died and been reborn a few times. While it’s less than most fans assume, she’s certainly had her moments. Part of the confounding variables that cause fans to assume she dies more than she has is that she dies in key moments, like the Dark Phoenix Saga, and often stays dead for years.
Her deaths and her subsequent resurrections have left an outstanding impact on the franchise and have even been depicted in multiple live-action movies. Really, while Jean doesn’t die as often as people say, it would be more surprising if she wasn’t remembered for it.
It is not easy for telepaths to deal with the moral ambiguity of their powers, which is part of why Jean, as one of the top Marvel telepaths, struggles to deal with the ethical limits of her abilities.
Though she often disregards ethical restrictions over telepathic intrusion entirely, there are moments where she learned that intruding on people’s mental states is wrong. Jean often means well, but that does not necessarily mean she uses her powers right.
Dealing With Telepathy
Telepathy is not a fun power. While MCU heroes tend to have great powers, the X-Men side of the universe is not often as lucky. Uncontrollable eye beams, agonizing healing powers, and exhausting teleportation can be somewhat unworkable. In Jean’s case, it means having to see every moment of someone else’s mind.
That means having to bear witness to the happiest moments, the darkest hurts, and the worst and weirdest thoughts each subject has. And Jean has to see it constantly. It’s no wonder Jean is often one of the more compassionate X-Men, since she has to see every moment of anyone’s lives, but it also has to be tiring.
Can’t Hold On
Jean Gray and Cyclops have always had a strange relationship. Having met during their time on the original X-Men, they often prove to be invaluable soldiers in Xavier’s army. However, that does not always mean they get along. While Jean is considerably more powerful than the animated series would have fans believe, it is not entirely impossible that this exchange could happen.
After all, having met as teenagers, Jean and Scott do like to toy with each other sometimes, and it’s possible Jean could try a practical joke like this. Given how stern Cyclops can be at time, it’s a pretty fun insight into an aspect of a relationship that’s usually more serious than it is anything else.
Not Well Respected
While only comic fans know how strong Jean is, the animated series even manages to make it more difficult for them to appreciate her might in a fight. After all, given that one episode has Jean losing a fight to a computer cord that manages to trip her up, it’s hard to appreciate her strength.
It’s a problem Jean has had in every adaptation: any truly strong depiction of the character would immediately make her entirely unviable. After all, how are writers supposed to work with a practically omnipotent character? Still, if the comic writers can manage it, adaptation writers should as well.
Cyclops Over All
Despite Logan’s attempts, Jean rarely ever chooses a partner who does not have the name Scott Summers. Cyclops, one of the original X-Men, has practically been Jean’s high school sweetheart. Through every conflict they’ve faced – mostly inflicted by Cyclops or the Phoenix – they’ve remained resilient.
It does not matter how much Wolverine fawns over Jean. As long as Scott is around, Jean is always going to flock to his side and vice versa. Given that Cyclops abandoned his wife for Jean, it’s certainly true that the feeling goes both ways, no matter how disappointed Logan is to see it.
Next: 10 Quotes That Prove Jean Gray Is The Best X-Man In The Fox Movies
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