Who needs a pick-me-up after the crushing agony of legislative second-class citizenship? I know I do. I’ve been to about 100 marriage equality rallies in NYC lately, and it just doesn’t get any easier.
But, hey, it’s the weekend and this is TECHNOSTRADDLE. So let’s get trashed and talk about comic books! Who needs mean ol’ real life when there is so much fantastical cartoon life awaiting us! And what better way to ease into comic escapism than with Jean Grey, aka the sexiest X-Man (X-Lady?).
You might have seen the X-Men movies. You might have googled “Famke in the nude” (don’t forget to turn that pesky ‘safe search’ off). Either of those entry points suffice for the purposes of this crash course.
So, in the X-Men movies, Famke Janssen plays the Phoenix/Jean Grey. Remember? Super hot. See? This is easy. Come back to that hot pun later. It will make SO MUCH SENSE.
As I mentioned in the Technostraddle introduction, Jean Grey is my long time flame (I’m done now, that one wasn’t even on purpose).
As a tiny lass in Tennessee, my father would trot me over to the comic book store as often as I could convince him to. And even then, my nascent sapphic leanings yielded more than a few Jean Grey centric comics. The tale of my forbidden love begins there. Unfortunately, the tale of Jean Grey is super super complex. But that’s okay. Here are the need-to-knows:
Jean Grey is basically the most powerful mutant in the X-Men universe! She can read your thoughts, often control them, and also smash shit around (that’s not telepathy it’s telekinesis, jerk!). She’s an Omega-level mutant, and I don’t know what the hell that means but it sounds intense. I should call my best friend and ask him what that means, because honest to god he can recite the names of all the X-Men and there’s at least 200 of those suckers. Oh yeah- Jean Grey is really intelligent too, which is just plain overkill when you are a telepath.
Something key to note: she often loses control of her powers and is inhabited by this crazy flaming ghost-bird thing called the Phoenix force. A really lucky ghost-bird thing. Sometimes Jean’s totally down with the Phoenix force and sometimes it makes her go hog wild. In those times it’s best to stay home and bolt the doors, because in spite of her runaway sexiness, dark, scary Phoenix tends to really screw things up in a big powerful planet-devouring kind of way.
Nowadays in comic world Jean Grey is usually dead, but don’t worry! Comic books are extremely
inconsistent with most plot lines, because when a new writer picks up they usually just give the previous writer the finger and do whatever the fuck they want. So she comes back all the time.
She often pops up to haunt Scott Summers’ dreams whilst he canoodles with Emma Frost, who is also sexy in an ice queen BDSM mistress way. You might remember Scott Summers from the movie as sucking, or as the mutant Cyclops. He was (and still is in some circles) her husband. He is also undoubtedly the lamest X-Man around because he’s usually the self righteous leader of the X-Folk, his power is stupid, and he’s kind of dumb but classic (like an American Eagle model).
Jean Grey’s poor taste in men is her only weakness, which I suppose is forgivable. Ultimately Cyclops’ alpha male complex and I-zap-things-with-my-laser-eyes simplicity was well suited to her holy-shit-I-am-the-most-powerful-telepath-in-the-world complexity, I concede.
And it does make her timeless love affair with Wolverine all the much more intriguing, what with his I-rip-things-apart-with-my-claws-ness while maintaining the intrigue of a very complex, contradictory, concealed (and Canadian!) background. Wolverine is cool (but still not me, uncool) and def not an undeserving infidel like Cyclops.
Let’s review! Jean Grey (aka Phoenix, Dark Phoenix (I like to think of this as “naughty phoenix”), “White Phoenix of the Crown”-not joking- and Jean Grey-Summers) is kickass and here are some bullet points:
1. She is really, really sexy. She makes me want a fiery red mane. Like, I’m talking literal fire.
2. Telepaths are awesome. Basically, her powers know no bounds. She and Charles Xavier (Professor X, bald dude extraordinaire) are the world’s most powerful telepaths.
3. She has a dark side. That’s what makes Scott Summers, her husband so generally uninteresting. Her dark side is the Dark Phoenix, which literally destroys planets. And does all kinds of other crazy shit that is ambiguously described with space, time, the universe, etc.
4. Wolverine’s undying love/lust for her, and her seeming desire to reciprocate (damn you Scott Summers, you dull bastard!) always made for some cool, often sexy flirtations. It goes without saying that Wolverine is the shit, but could we maybe have some kind of lesbostoryline where Jean Grey ghostfucks Rogue or something? I said ghostfuck…that’s going to get edited out, isn’t it?
5. She’s so damn smart! She and the Beast (blue furry dude) and Professor X (bald head dude) probably had a stuffy little book club with tea and shit. I’m a sucker for a smart lady.
And that’s it! Actually, it’s really really not it, but I might have lost you by now. If not, I hope you feel better about this week of heartbreaking equality rights news. I kind of do. Also, the X-Men mutant civil rights movement & the gay rights movement are obviously (and intentionally, at times!) completely parallel.
If your thirst for sexy, sexy escapism is insatiable, read on! Go forth, buy comics! Prosper and stuff!
Here are some good starter comics to graduate to the next level of Jean Grey sexyclass. When catching up with comics, it always makes the most sense to go into a comic store and demand the “trade paperback.” This is a book that collects all the single issue little flimsy comics in a linear fashion and it’s great fun for a rainy afternoon!
Super badass writer Grant Morrison and crazyweird illustrator Frank Quitely (who I grew to love) reinvent all kinds of shit here. Start with the beginning! It’s a great entry point.
Jean Grey comes back from the dead (again! I am so happy she is always doing that!) just to fuck with everyone. This is a great standalone story- I love it and it’s got all the Jean Grey a girl could ask for. Also, the illustration by Greg Land is controversial (he’s infamous for tracing porn for his characters- hilarious!) but I don’t mind supporting it just this once because Jean Grey looks so damn good.
Jean Grey isn’t featured super prominently here because she’s dead and stuff, but she pops up every now and again. You can’t miss this though because its written by Joss Whedon and is prob my favorite thing he’s ever done. Also, I love the art by John Cassady.”