Jean Grey Faces True Judgment for Her Dark Phoenix Era in X-Men Preview – Screen Rant

To be or not to be the Phoenix, that is the question as Jean Grey’s A.X.E.: Judgment Day one-shot promises to take her to task for the Dark Phoenix.
This article contains SPOILERS for A.X.E.: X-Men #1!
Judgment Day has come for Earth 616, and it seems that Jean Grey's confrontation with the Progenitor will be the final word on her role as Dark Phoenix in a new X-Men preview. Jean's connection with the Phoenix Force and the level of responsibility she bares for the crimes Dark Phoenix committed have become complicated topics over the years, especially as the Phoenix Force has begun to appear more and more in stories beyond the scope of the X-Men franchise. Solicitation statements and preview material from an upcoming A.X.E.: Judgment Day tie-in reveal an intention on Marvel's part to draw harmony out of the discordant arguments surrounding Jean Grey and the Phoenix.
Initially conceived of as an extension of Jean Grey's burgeoning cosmic powers, the Phoenix Force entered the Marvel narrative in Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, J. Costanza, and Archie Goodwin's Uncanny X-Men #101. Through various retcons and editorial mandates over the following decades, the nature of the Phoenix Force grew cluttered and obfuscated the significance of Jean, Rachel Summers, and Hope Summers as Phoenix hosts. To this day many Marvel fans disagree over whether the Phoenix is an all powerful alien deity, a cosmic function like Galactus, or a version of Jean that has transcended the bounds of space and time. Kieron Gillen, Francesco Mobili, Frank Martin, VC's Clayton Cowles, and Tom Brevoort aim to clear up the matter in this October's A.X.E.: X-Men #1.
Related: Marvel Explains Why Jean Grey is X-Men's Most Powerful Psychic
Recently, Jean Grey realized that she has saved more lives than she ever took as Phoenix. That in mind, letting go of one's own past genocidal acts is easier said than done. The comic solicit for A.X.E.: X-Men #1 draws on this theme, declaring: "it wasn't her. It wasn't her. It wasn't her. It wasn't her. It wasn't her. Yet: 'I am fire and life incarnate! Now and forever.' Which part of 'Now and forever' is confusing to you? As one world burns, can Jean justify her existence after burning another?" This message, alongside the newly released preview art, promises that Jean and the Phoenix's relationship will be defined in an all new way as the Progenitor exacts his verdict upon her.
Jean Grey's judgment comes at an intriguing time within the context of the A.X.E.: Judgment Day saga so far. It may bode well for her that Cyclops' passing grade seems to hinge on his devotion to her. On the other hand, Jean nearly killed the Progenitor, which could have resulted in the death of millions. Of course, the bar by which the Progenitor judges the people of Earth is still somewhat wrapped in mystery, and it appears that one's own convictions and values play a role in the decision. Jean's judgment may come down to whether or not she has allowed herself to move on from her tragic mistakes as Dark Phoenix.
Did the Phoenix really just steal Jean Grey's life only to commit acts of terror, or is the X-Men's Marvel Girl truly fire and life incarnate? One can only hope that A.X.E.: X-Men #1 delivers the final word on the subject. A.X.E.: Judgment Day has been an excellent event thus far, and it stands to reason that Jean Grey's final judgment for her time as Dark Phoenix will play an important role in the X-Men's arc in the rest of the narrative.
A.X.E.: X-Men #1 will be available on October 5, 2022, from Marvel Comics.
Jonathan Jones is a freelance comics content writer at Screen Rant, reviewing new issues and generally nerding out online. Writer by day and drag queen by night, Jonathan “Jolene” Jones is delighted to be exploring the weird wide world of comics from their apartment out in California. As an aspiring comic book author herself, Jonathan is finding his footing in the world after graduating college in the midst of a pandemic. In sum, if you want to talk about Marvel Comics, RuPaul’s Drag Race, or Percy Jackson and the Olympians, you found the right gal in Jonathan — @_jbjones on Twitter.


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