Published on August 29th, 2023 | by Howard Smith
Jean Grey #1 REVIEW @thebernardchang
Summary: Jean Grey finds herself between life and death, yet again.
Worth a gander
Into The Past
Jean Grey finds herself between life and death yet again, but this time she must find where it all went wrong. Searching for the answer in the past, Jean dives into an alternate solution that could prevent the mutant’s inevitable fate in Jean Grey #1. Unfortunately, Jean’s path to finding that answer leads her down a dark path. She must find out before she completely passes onto the afterlife and mutantkind will be lost forever. Taking a trip down memory lane in the past turns into a wheelhouse of emotions that Jean takes upon herself to make sure their future is secure. The X-Men stray away from being secretive to the world, but the backlash from Jean’s manipulation escalates into dire mutant-human relations. Her intentions spiral out of control and her motives resemble that of Magneto’s old philosophy.
Written by Louise Simonson (Detective Comics, Creepy, Dazzler), Jean Grey #1 starts the moment after Jean is ambushed from behind by a cybernetic hybrid Moira X at the gala. Jean is all on her own and there’s no one coming to save her. The only person that can save her is herself. Simonson gives readers a front-row seat to what some may consider as a What-if story. Not exactly being the focus of this story, Jean attempts to piece together a solution that otherwise may have been beneficial to avoiding the attack at the gala. Simonson provides readers with an alternate timeline where young time-displaced Jean hadn’t wiped the teams’ and her memory of the future. Knowing what they know from the future, Jean tasks herself with preventing a terrible future that they are bound to experience. What Simonson sets up within this comic book is a drastic outcome a person could do with the knowledge and experience from the future. The ability to know these outcomes could potentially alter the course of history for any character if the right choices were made. Simonson puts Jean through a plethora of decisions that intensify over the course of the story. It’s safe to say that Jean’s journey leads somewhere unexpected.
Regarding that unknown expectancy, Bernard Chang’s (The Flash, X-Men, Unity) artwork is astounding from the first page and thereafter. The level of character detail and environment visuals make Jean Grey #1 stand out admirably. From an illustrative perspective, Chang performed a wonderful job of basking the readers with mesmerizing character designs that may or may not have readers taking a second glance. The work provided by Change is rich with years of professional experience. Of course, the comic book wouldn’t be complete without the magnificent coloring work done by Marcelo Maiolo (Batgirl, Batman Beyond, Nocterra). These artists have come together to give Jean’s story a vibrant and yet entertaining ride to be a part of. Maiolo and Chang’s contributions are beautifully crafted within this story for Jean Gery.
The lettering work by Ariana Maher (Hulking & Wiccan, Ringside, Silk) for Jean Grey #1 is well done. Maher’s lettering work is consistent in format and allows for the reader to enjoy both the art and story respectively. The sound effects within the pages of the comic book are a pleasure to see happen. Those insertions of sounds in unique fonts and colors set the mood for any panel Maher works on.
Uniquely, the cover art by Amy Reeder (Batwoman, Star Wars, Ironheart) is a pleasurable peak as to what the story is about. The cover features a psi-like astral projection of Jean, which complements the book title. Notably, the hair of Jean is entranced with flames as the bottom of the hair splashes the water below. The cover may somehow indicate a sense of serenity in embarking on a crossing such as this.
With that said, Jean Grey #1 is worth a gander. It’s beautifully crafted to be enjoyed by X-Men fans and Marvel fans alike. The only problem some readers may face is understanding where this issue stems from. The best solution is to read X-Men: Hellfire Gala (2023), but first pick up this comic book if you’re aware of what’s happened, or you want to get into something entirely new. Jean Grey may be taking readers somewhere new, so you don’t want to miss out on this one.
Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Bernard Chang
Color Artist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
Cover Artist: Amy Reeder
Editor: Sarah Brunstad
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment