Along with fellow original fiver X-Men Iceman who recently got his own ongoing series will be getting one as well. Written by Dennis Hopeless who’s currently writing All-New X-Men with the other four original X-Men. But beware this isn’t your dad’s Jean Grey. There is, how ever something within Jean that will be further explored: the Pheonix Force.
“It’s a sort of trials of Hercules story. Jean gets a premonition of sorts. She’s told the Phoenix is back in play and that the Earth is doomed unless Jean Grey can step up. Unfortunately, the Jean Grey we have is a wildly unprepared teenager. Our Jean needs to level up in a hurry. She needs to step into those huge shoes and become the full grown badass we all know she will eventually. So… she straps in and heads out to get some life experience.”
Jean Grey isn’t new to Dennis Hopeless, he wrote her in 2012’s X-Men: Season One. He’s also been doing some research for the job.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed her. Jean was the protagonist of my first paid work in X-Men: Season One and she’s the character I fell in love with on that project. When people tell me they love that book, I know it’s because of Jean (and Jamie McKelvie). So for Jean Grey, I re-read a bunch of my favorite Jean Grey stories and all of the more recent stuff to make sure I still had her voice… But once I started scripting, she came back pretty quick. I like Jean’s brain. It’s fun to be back in there.”
“The first thing I reread was Brian Michael Bendis’s All-New X-Men run… I’m obviously pretty familiar with it, but Teen Jean was born there and I want to make sure I have her,” Hopeless continued. “I love the Scott/Jean/Emma triangle from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s New X-Men. I pulled that back out. Then a ton of Classic Claremont issues. I don’t clean my office very often so I was actually able to pull out my X-Men: Season One Jean notes (from five years ago) which helped a lot. I’ll keep reading stuff as we go to make sure we’re not leaving any cool on table.”
While Hopeless has ideas he hasn’t decided what he will use and what he won’t. “I have a post-it note on my laptop with this growing Phoenix list: Quentin Quire? Hope Summers? Rachel? Phoenix Five?” Hopeless said. “I’m not 100% sure who we’ll use or how exactly, but that’s definitely part of the plan.”
In the end, Hopeless just wants to tell a fun story with Jean Grey that people will like and relate to.
“Two words: Sales juggernaut,” Hopeless said. “No, I just want us to tell a fun, human story that taps into Jean’s brain and reminds the world how amazing she is. The beauty of solo books is that you really get to dig into a single character. There’s so much more space for character work. Team books are about juggling and plate spinning. Solos are about focus. If we do our job, fans will know and love Jean. That’s what I want.”
Jean Grey will hit in April of 2017.