Jean Grey: Phoenix Force to Be Reckoned With

Dennis Hopeless profiles past hosts of the big bad cosmic firebird!

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In the new JEAN GREY series kicking off May 3, the young title character finds herself faced with the reality of her future: a drawn out struggle with the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force causing destruction, heartache and her eventual death. Thinking she has avoided this path by traveling to the future, Jean learns that the Phoenix Force is coming for her, and understandably, she’s heading for the hills.

Resolved to not let a dire fate befall her yet again, writer Dennis Hopeless tells us that Jean seeks out former Phoenix hosts in an attempt to find some way to evade the inevitable.

“A lot of stories have been told about what it’s like to merge with the Phoenix and our take on it is what it’s like to avoid it,” explains Hopeless. “The Phoenix is more of a dragon to be slayed.”

Unfortunately, quite a few super humans fail in the dragon slaying department, including…

Rachel Grey:
The alternate timeline daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, Rachel spent quite a while as a brainwashed “Hound” for the authorities, forced to hunt down her fellow mutants before merging with the Phoenix Force. And while Hopeless still loves all things Jean, Rachel probably proved a more successful host: “Adult Jean was definitely the most powerful but she had her ups and downs—destroying a planet, killing her friends—Rachel I think [rode] that wave a little better.”

The Phoenix Five – Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus, and Magik:
The Phoenix Force possessed these five X-Men after it split apart in battle, and while the heroes tried to use this awesome power gallantly, they left quite a bit of damage in their wake. “They tried to do great things and they ended up losing their minds, causing massive world problems and killing Charles [Xavier],” says Hopeless adding that it seems the more good you try to achieve with the powers, the more likely your efforts will backfire.

Hope Summers: Destined to become the new Phoenix host, Hope also tried to avoid her destiny. The Avengers weren’t too keen to see her wielding this almighty power either, but in trying to prevent it they created the Phoenix Five and we all know how well that went. Summers finally accepted her role and became a temporary host, using the Force to bring back the fallen mutant race.

Quentin Quire: A destined future host of the Phoenix Force, Quentin has even interacted with his epic tomorrow self, making Hopeless pretty excited: “He has a very interesting take on handling it.” Chivalry isn’t dead, Quentin; share some of your wisdom with our red headed friend.

Korvus and Rook’shir: Members of the Shi’Ar alien race, both Rook’shir and his distant relative Korvus proved pseudo hosts, channeling the power through a sword named the Blade of the Phoenix long before the present day.

Amber Hunt, the Stepford Cuckoos, Fongji, Professor X, Diamanda Nero, and Madelyne Prior all played brief hosts to the Phoenix as well, while Nightcrawler, Storm, and Vulcan wielded the power in alternate “What If” stories. Seeing as many of these characters are either dead, bad guys, or only exist in weird potential alternate timelines, Jean would probably be better off looking elsewhere.

Will Jean be her own knight in shining armor and finally slay the fiery beast that has burned so many others? Find out May 3 in JEAN GREY #1, and then the cosmic action continues on May 24 in issue #2, both by Dennis Hopeless and artist Victor Ibanez!