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Thursday, January 23, 2014 

Brian Bendis puts Jean Grey back on trial

Bendis is dredging up the Phoenix saga for the gazillionth time. A story that should've been put to rest long ago. Only this time, it's a crossover, with Guardians of the Galaxy:
Brian Michael Bendis considers his All-New X-Men/Guardians of the Galaxy crossover story line "The Trial of Jean Grey" to be one of the bigger ones in the character's history in Marvel Comics.

And considering that history involves multiple deaths and resurrections, relationship drama and her being possessed by an all-powerful cosmic force leading to a violent swath of death being cut through the universe, that's saying something.

But the Jean who Bendis writes in All-New X-Men is a young version time-traveled along with the original X-Men Cyclops, Angel, Beast and Iceman to the present, so she doesn't know what her older self has done. Still, the rest of the universe wants payback.

As part of the "All-New Marvel NOW!" initiative, All-New X-Men No. 22.NOW — with art by Stuart Immonen — kicks off the six-part arc Wednesday that will cross over with Bendis' Guardians book and see various alien races learning Jean's back and demanding justice. The action continues next week in Guardians of the Galaxy No. 11.NOW.

"Jean Grey actually committed horrible crimes, but her body did and not her mind," Bendis says. Even though she's been told about her life by others, "there are things that happened that the other X-Men weren't witness to.

"What a grand opportunity for someone to be put on trial for something they don't know about."
According to Bendis and his Newspeak, it was not a cosmic life form that committed the abominations, as was revealed in Avengers #263 and Fantastic Four #286 in 1985. Instead, he wants us to believe - and so too does USA Today - that Jean really did commit the crimes. This isn't the first time Bendis has shown he's lacking knowledge of Marvel's story history.
No one seemingly holds as much of a grudge as the Shi'ar Empire, who were witness to the supernova element that Jean was as the Phoenix and the genocide that followed. And they've got the footage to prove it.
But Marvel doesn't, nor does Bendis. The Avengers story from 1985 disproves their claim, but neither Bendis, Marvel's staff, nor the paper wants anyone else to know it.
"The name of Jean Grey haunts the Shi'ar Empire," Bendis says. "They've already gone to great lengths to make sure it doesn't happen again. They murdered her family making sure just in case if it's something in the Jean Grey DNA to cause the Phoenix to become this thing, they wiped it out. And she's going to find out about that, too."
Oh my god, is this really what happens in the newest atrocity Bendis brewed? "Sins of the mother fall upon the entire family"? And I thought it was bad enough Mary Jane Watson's family was banished from use in Spider-Man, by editors who don't want to lay the groundswork for character drama.
"Even if she doesn't remember all of these things, she's going to be shown evidence of them that is undeniable," Bendis says. "And then she gets to be faced with the fact that she is capable and responsible for all these deaths. It's going to be a big game-changer for the character."
Just like it was for Scarlet Witch. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if his story won't follow the setup of the original Phoenix story from 1979, and make it look more like Jean Grey had fire-like powers hidden deep within her all the time. I wouldn't put it past Bendis to alter continuity that drastically.

This is just one more reason why I've begun to find any use of the Phoenix saga truly aggravating and unbearable. Why are the stories with the most potentially gruesome elements, no matter how well written they were the first time around, the ones modern writers are so obsessed with copying and regurgitating ad nauseum?
One thing the former Avengers writer's learned about being in the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe the last year — Bendis also pens Uncanny X-Men — is that there's nothing more important to an X-fan than relationships between characters and all of their favorites getting their time to shine.

So even though the natural drama tends toward Jean and Cyclops here, Bendis feels he needs to find some cool stuff for Angel after this.
Relationships? Oh yeah, coming from him, that says a ton. The X-fans he speaks of are more like diehard addicts who buy and read every new issue no matter the quality of story, along with the speculator market. There's no plausible character development or natural drama in his stories, which are all written to suit his narrow visions only. And I hesitate to think of what he'll have in store for Warren Worthington.
"It's just like in real life. There are some people who are just this burst of energy in your life, and you deal with them," Bendis explains. "Whether that's your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your kids, there's someone in your life who demands a certain amount of attention. And then you want to make sure your other friends get the attention, too, but the day's almost over.

"That's what it's like when you're writing a team book. Jean demands attention. There's so much going on with her that you can't not deal with her immediately or it'd just feel like bad writing. And then you get to the end of it and you're like, 'Oh poor Angel! Lets get to him.'"
He's just made clear he has no shame, and won't recognize that his superhero storytelling is bad writing. Attention is something he's seeking, not Jean. But Bendis is alluding to an insulting stereotype of women as little more than attention-seekers in the worst ways possible. And his work is no more like real life than anything else in superhero universes.
"The X-Men fans will be like, 'Whoa! I didn't know you were going to go that far.'"
Nonsense. I've long come to realize he can and will go the distance he says he'll go. That's why he's one writer whose books I will not squander money on. He's the kind of writer who doesn't deserve any sane person's attention.

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It seems like every other year, they keep rehashing the Dark Phoenix Saga, when they aren't rehashing Days of Future Past. So Bendis brings Jean back (in a stupid way that screws up the Marvel timeline), only to dump this on her again? Terrible. No wonder Marvel has gone downhill.

Well said, Carl.

And yet, "why does Marvel hate Jean so much?" She's still dead, and we're forced to deal with time travel just to get her back, again. Appalling.

I understand why Marvel didn't like another redhead, Mary Jane, as they loathed the Spider-Marriage, and because it "aged" Peter so that -- in their "logic" -- the demographic no longer understand him, or whatever. I don't get the contempt toward Jean, unless it's "well, Morrison did it, and we all love him, so." I guess it's tradition, now?

Apparently Joe Quesada and Grant Morrison both agreed on killing off Jean back in 2003 or 2004. Quesada apparently thought Cyclops would be "more interesting" without her and with Emma Frost instead. Morrison, of course, went along with it.

It can be safely assume that Quesada doesn't like marriage, or at least traditional marriage, because they let Northstar get married, for Christ's sake. Somehow that's okay but having Spidey and MJ married, or Scott and Jean isn't?

I called out Marvel on their hypocrisy for that in a 2012 blog post. I've taken a hiatus from blogging regularly, but I still comment on sites.

The House of Ideas is now The House of Rehash.

Maybe because these guys don't seem to read anything else other than the stories they read sometime ago or that they didn't bother to learn from what has happened before.

All-Stupid Marvel NOW!!

I agree with carl.
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