Phoenix Resurrection: The Return Of Jean Grey comes out guns blazing this week. Jean has been dead for thirteen years, since New X-Men #150.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
The horror movie cold open sets the stage for a cinematic epic. It’s also legitimately creepy. Collecting every available X-Man for an “all hands on deck” level briefing furthers the cinematic blockbuster that this is shaping up to be. There’s a mystery afoot, for both the characters and reader.
Matthew Rosenberg’s script moves at a perfect pace, slowly ramping up as we head to the peak of weird happenings. He wastes no line of dialogue or interaction, delivery an easily digestible, and instantly gripping, premise.
Jean Grey isn’t the only classic X-Men alumni seemingly resurrected. The biggest twists of this issue are that Banshee and Cyclops are both back in the same capacity that Jean is.
Phoenix Resurrection seems to have it’s sights set on grabbing the remaining X-Men fans that still held out during ResurreXion and Marvel Legacy. It’s also a nice potential reward for the longtime fans that have stuck it out through the dark years.
Seeing Jubilee in an outfit inspired by her 90’s gear was delightful, even if it was followed immediately by a reminder that she’s still a vampire. Leinil Francis Yu’s pencils and Gerry Alanguilan’s ink give this book a heavy feel. Kitty and her fellow X-Men leaders are frightened, and for good reason. There’s a palpable tension in the face of every character.
Rachelle Rosenberg also makes sure we don’t lose the lively return to a more colorful X-Men world we’ve been getting treated to recently across all X-Books. The three locations our X-Men teams travel to, and the fights they get into there, are each distinct in their own way largely due to Rachelle’s color choices. She does a lot of work to insure readers can’t find ways to be confused by the similarities in these characters and scenes.
If this lives up to the potential we see built here, it can help soften the blow of losing our beloved Jean Grey series that was recently cancelled.
Phoenix Resurrection‘s first chapter is all set-up. Successfully putting our players on the board and throwing a thick air of weird and uncomfortable at both the X-Men and reader. We’re already in for more than we thought. This is shaping up to be a truly epic X-Men story.
The message here is clear, if you’ve been skeptical about buying back into X-Men comics, this will be the be-all end-all. Matthew Rosenberg and the rest of this creative team seem to know they have delicate material in their hands. This first issue certainly buys some major goodwill.