Comics
Published August 25, 2023

The Deaths of Jean Grey

How many times has Jean Grey died—and come back to life? Revisit her miraculous resurrections to prepare for 'Jean Grey' #1 by Louise Simonson and Bernard Chang!

During her long tenure with the X-Men, Jean Grey has experienced hundreds of close calls with death… and unfortunately, she didn't make it out of all of them alive. Thanks to her connection with the limitless cosmic power of the Phoenix Force, this telekinetic powerhouse has endured numerous deaths and several subsequent resurrections. 

Now, following her death at the third annual Hellfire Gala, Jean will revisit some of the most pivotal moments in her life in JEAN GREY (2023) #1 by Louise Simonson, Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo, and VC's Ariana Maher. Before she does that, let's take a closer look at her most memorable deaths and how she found her way back to life.

THE PHOENIX SAGA

After the X-Men were kidnapped by Sentinels and taken into space, Jean Grey volunteered to pilot the space shuttle that would take them back to Earth in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #100 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum. During the flight, Jean was exposed to a lethal dose of solar radiation and let out a telepathic scream with her dying breath. Across the universe, the Phoenix Force heard Jean's cry and bonded with her in her final moments, as detailed in CLASSIC X-MEN (1986) #8 by Claremont and John Bolton.

After absorbing part of Jean's consciousness and putting her body in a regenerative cocoon, the Phoenix created and inhabited a duplicate of Jean in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #101 by Claremont and Cockrum. Under the belief she was really Jean, the Phoenix crash-landed the shuttle in New York's Jamaica Bay and revealed herself to the X-Men, who were shocked to see their teammate emerge from the water more powerful than ever. The Phoenix subsequently continued Jean's romance with Cyclops and took her place on the team, where she used her immense power to help the mutants save the universe.

DARK PHOENIX SAGA

While posing as Jean, the Phoenix fell under the hallucinatory sway of Mastermind, who brainwashed her and brought her into the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. However, this traumatic experience unleashed the Phoenix's dark side and turned her into the Dark Phoenix in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #134 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne

The Dark Phoenix went on a cosmic rampage and destroyed the D'bari galaxy, killing millions of aliens in the process. After the Shi'ar and a collection of other space empires decided the Dark Phoenix was too dangerous to live, the Imperial Guard battled the X-Men on the Moon to decide the Phoenix's fate in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #137 by Claremont and Byrne. When the Phoenix briefly wrested control back from her darker half, she activated a nearby ancient weapon and sacrificed herself to save the universe. 

Although the Dark Phoenix died, the aspect of Jean Grey within her awoke in the afterlife and spoke with Death in a dimension called the White Hot Room in CLASSIC X-MEN (1986) #43 by Claremont and Michael Collins. After Jean reckoned with the Phoenix's actions in this afterlife, the Avengers found the cocoon containing her body. The fully rejuvenated Jean emerged from the cocoon and claimed the Pheonix's memories as her own in FANTASTIC FOUR (1962) #286 by Byrne.

NEW X-MEN

After her ordeal with the Phoenix, Jean Grey returned to the X-Men and eventually took over as the Headmistress of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. As the school's student population increased dramatically, the Xavier Institute recruited Kuan-Yin Xorn, a mutant with a star in his head, to be a teacher. He soon fell under the influence of the malevolent bacteria Sublime, leading him to pose as Magneto, who was thought dead at the time. He subsequently attacked New York in the name of mutant supremacy. 

As part of his plan, Xorn lured Jean and Wolverine onto Magneto's orbital base Asteroid M and sent them hurtling toward the Sun. As the space station started falling into the Sun, Logan stabbed Jean to spare her a slow death in NEW X-MEN (2001) #148 by Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez. However, Wolverine's fatal blow awakened Jean's lingering connection to the Phoenix.

After taking Wolverine back to Earth, Jean and the rest of the X-Men confronted Xorn in NEW X-MEN (2001) #150 by Morrison and Jimenez. In Xorn's final moments, he attacked Jean with a lethal electromagnetic pulse. Even with the Phoenix's power, this was too much for Jean, who succumbed to her injuries in Cyclops' arms.

PHOENIX ENDSONG

Following Jean's death, the Phoenix Force tried to resurrect her again in X-MEN: PHOENIX ENDSONG (2005) #1 by Greg Pak and Greg Land. After a Shi'ar ship splintered the Phoenix and scattered its power around the universe, it approached Jean and revived her body. However, Jean was still being reconstituted in the White Hot Room and pushed back against the Phoenix, saying it was too early for her to be resurrected. Nevertheless, the Phoenix overtook Jean, resurrected her, and confronted the X-Men.  

As Jean struggled to keep the Dark Phoenix from emerging, she made Wolverine fatally wound her several times to restart her flawed resurrection process in X-MEN: PHOENIX: ENDSONG (2005) #3 by Pak and Land. Although that plan was unsuccessful, Cyclops and Emma Frost telepathically sent the Phoenix-possessed Jean all the love her friends and teammates felt for her. With that, Jean transformed into the all-powerful White Phoenix and saved the X-Men from a Shi'ar weapon in X-MEN: PHOENIX: ENDSONG (2005) #5 by Pak and Land. 

Finally, Jean allowed herself to be obliterated in Cyclops' optic blast and returned to the White Hot Room, where she remained until the Phoenix resurrected her again in PHOENIX RESURRECTION: THE RETURN OF JEAN GREY (2017).

HOUSE OF X

Shortly before the mutant nation Krakoa formed, Jean Grey rejected the Phoenix Force outright and severed their connection. Freed from the Phoenix's influence, Jean reclaimed her Marvel Girl identity in the early days of Krakoa. 

Alongside several veteran X-Men, Marvel Girl attacked a space station operated by the mutant-hating organization Orchis. Although the team successfully destroyed the Mother Mold Sentinel, they were all killed in action in HOUSE OF X (2019) #4 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz. Marvel Girl survived the initial assault, but her spacecraft was eventually ripped apart by Sentinels.  

However, Marvel Girl did not stay dead for long. Jean and her teammates were among the first mutants revived through the Krakoan Resurrection Protocols in HOUSE OF X (2019) #5 by Hickman and Larraz. In this process, Egg, Tempus, Proteus, Elixir, and Hope Summers—a group of young mutants known as the Five—combined their powers to recreate the bodies of dead mutants. Professor X or another skilled telepath then restored the dead mutants' minds from regularly updated backups stored within Cerebro. While this process became a cornerstone of the Krakoan era, the resurrection of these X-Men marked the first time it was seen in action.

THE HELLFIRE GALA

Thanks to the Five, death became little more than an inconvenience for Jean Grey and the other mutants of Krakoa. However, that changed with X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA (2023) #1 by Gerry DugganAdam KubertLuciano VecchioMatteo LolliRussell DautermanJavier PinaR.B. SilvaJoshua CassaraKris AnkaPepe LarrazRain BeredoCeci De La CruzMatthew WilsonErick Arciniega, and Marte Gracia

In the middle of Krakoa's third annual Hellfire Gala, Orchis attacked with Nimrod, an endlessly adaptable mutant-killing machine, and the Stark Sentinels, towering new creations built with Iron Man's technology. Jean Grey used her telekinetic abilities to calm the chaos, only to get stabbed in the back by Moira MacTaggert, a longtime X-Men ally turned mutant-hating cyborg.  

In her final moments, Jean's abilities were weakened by a power-neutralizing substance called Blightswill, but she still tried to coordinate the fight against Orchis. After saying goodbye to Cyclops and Wolverine and placing Firestar as a sleeper agent within Orchis, Jean seemingly perished, with her body reduced to a smoldering skeleton. Orchis subsequently forced a defeated Professor X to send the Five and most of the world's mutants to an unknown destination where they could not revive mutants.

Now in a place between life and death, Jean Grey stands ready to look through the wreckage of her life to find the key to her survival in JEAN GREY (2023) #1 by Louise SimonsonBernard ChangMarcelo Maiolo, and VC's Ariana Maher.

For more Marvel Girl, check out JEAN GREY #1, now on sale!

Grab these comics and more at your local comic book shop! Or redeem then read your digital copy on the Marvel Unlimited app by using the code found in your print comic. Find and support your local comic book shop at ComicShopLocator.com.

To read your Marvel comics digitally, download the Marvel Unlimited app for iOS and Android devices. Gain an expansive catalog of 30,000+ comics spanning Marvel Comics history, plus access your entire digital library including comics redeemed from print.

Related

PHOENIX #1 cover by Yasmine Putri

Comics

Jean Grey Takes to the Stars as Phoenix in New Series

Set in the X-Men’s upcoming From the Ashes era, Jean Grey headlines a new 'Phoenix' ongoing series by Stephanie Phillips and Alessandro Miracolo this July.

SPIDER-WOMAN #7 Black Costume Variant Cover by Peach Momoko

Comics

Marvel Heroes Suit Up for the 40th Anniversary of Spider-Man's Iconic Black Costume

Check out new Black Costume Variant Covers, on sale in May.

Our Complete Comics Guide to ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ S5 on Disney+

Comics

Our Complete Comics Guide to ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ S5 on Disney+

Binge-watch the final season of the hit cartoon, then head over to Marvel Unlimited to read the comics behind each episode!

Our Complete Comics Guide to 'X-Men: The Animated Series’ S4 on Disney+

Comics

Our Complete Comics Guide to 'X-Men: The Animated Series’ S4 on Disney+

Head to Marvel Unlimited to binge the comics behind the cartoon.