What Is Even Going On In PHOENIX RESURRECTION #2?

After 13 years, Jean Grey is coming back in PHOENIX RESSURECTION: THE RETURN OF JEAN GREY by Matthew Rosenberg and an assortment of artists, with Carlos Pacheco on the second issue. Just like last week, we got some theories. Issue #2 moved some pieces into place and tried to shed some color on the mystery, even if it didn’t address some questions fans had. Luckily the weekly schedule means we won’t have to wait long for answers. Still, let’s look at some theories about what the heck is even going on in this book.

Déjà Vu

In the Elsewhere, Jean mumbles in her sleep as, unbeknownst to her, telekinetic abilities emerge. She speaks an icon line, one spoken before the Phoenix’s suicide on the moon. She confides in Annie that she had a vivid dream last night, one recreating the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga. This isn’t the first nightmare Jean has had and she feels like someone is messing with her mind. We continue to see other X-Men characters in the Elsewhere. Jamie Madrox is working in lawn care, John Proudstar as a cook, a Dr. MacTaggert; all of whom are among the ranks of currently dead X-Men. More curious is an individual named Erik who visits that cafe, claiming to know Jean.

Psychic Types Are Weak To Ghost Types

 

Back in the real world, the X-Men are trying to sort out what in the world is going on, trying not to bring up the firebird in the room. They have been here before and no one wants to just to any conclusions that Jean is going to return, though we the readers have a title telling us otherwise. Beast tells the group that Cerebro is acting different, not finding mutants but finding… something. With Rachel and Psylocke out of commission thanks to the events of the last issue, and every other friggin’ psychic they know (all of whom happen to have a connection to the Phoenix) caught up in the JEAN GREY solo, they turn to Cable to get some leads with Cerebro. He describes the sensation as tracking an emotion, like trying to find a memory or trauma. He finds what he is looking for and the pain he finds overwhelms him. The X-Men are able to get a handful of coordinates. They send two groups to search for their missing psychics and five others to investigate to source of this pain Cable felt.

Westchester Globetrotters

These coordinates lead to more locations with connections to Jean’s past. Jamaica Bay is where the Phoenix was born and where Jean’s cocoon was stashed until she was revived. Jean lead an ad hoc team of X-Men to overthrow Magneto’s rule of Genosha in Eve of Destruction. Masque famously gave Jean tentacle arms in the Morlock sewers, which she was strangely alright with. And a young Jean Grey was nearly sacrificed to a Tyrannosaurus Rex on her first trip to the Savage Land. The last team, lead by Iceman, travels to an undisclosed location that closely resembles the classic Xavier Institue. Like their last trip to these locations, a figure appears, but this time it isn’t someone dead. It’s Silver Age Magneto.

A Man of Two Worlds

Back in the Elsewhere, Jean takes Erik’s order but he is no longer in his booth when she returns. In the real world, Magneto begins battling Iceman’s team, yelling with the nuance of his counterpoint from X-Men The Arcade Game. Surprisingly, he also orders a fresh cup of coffee before fading from existence. Elsewhere Erik alarmingly shows back up in Annie’s Cafe, ordering a fresh cup of java. He tells Jean that he thought he saw some friends outside but didn’t know all of them. Erik’s nose begins bleeding, an old war wound he says, from the days when he was the war. Jean had earlier told him that she wasn’t feeling well and the old man kindly followed up, asking if she was better. Look out her window, Jean sees a vision of the Phoenix burning the Elsewhere, but she isn’t afraid. In fact, Jean feels good.

Wild Mass Guessing

 

Last week I posited that Jean was trapped in some sort of Phoenix prison and I don’t think this issue has done anything to change that opinion. This isn’t the White Hot Room, not like anything we have seen about it before and it isn’t the afterlife, not with so many living around. One lingering element is the ghostly adult Jean Grey that has been appearing with the time-displaced young Jean in the JEAN GREY solo series. She specifically has all her memories, all the pain included. Could she have somehow broken free of the Phoenix Force, leaving this confused shell of Jean we see in the Elsewhere? It would explain why Elsewhere Jean seems to have such a loose connection to reality and why so many other ghosts are appearing in important places to Jean. It is all trauma she endured, places of pain for her. Are these just other manifestations of her memories trying to break free of the Phoenix prison? We’ll find out next week when this Phoenix with a heartache rises from the ashes.

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