Phoenix Resurrection: the Return of Jean Grey #1

Issue Date: 
February 2018
Story Title: 
Frustrate the Sun
Staff: 

Matthew Rosenberg (writer), Leinil Francis Yu (penciler), Gerry Alanguilan (inker), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), VC’s Travis Lanham (letterer), Leinil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho (main cover artists), Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald, John Byrne & Federico Blee, John Tyler Christopher, In-Hyuk Lee, Skottie Young (variant covers), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chrstina Harrington & Chris Robinson (assistant editors), Darren Shan (associate editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Jean Grey created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

In Annadale-on-Hudson, two children have a strange encounter with two girls and sink into a catatonic state. Cerebro alerts Kitty’s X-Men team to the event. Strangely, Prestige seems to pick up the occurrences and starts bleeding from the nose. Kitty and Beast call all the X-Men they can find and explain that Cerebro started picking up strange events. Kitty chooses three teams to examine the three other spots where this occurred. Team one, led by Kitty, visits the abandoned former Hellfire Club headquarters in Manhattan. They are attacked by an impossible number of Hellflre Club guards, who disappear the moment they leave the building. Team two – Rogue and most of the time-displaced original X-Men – visit Mont Francis in France, where they are attacked by the Acolyte Mellencamp. Rogue beats him and he disappears. She explains to the kids that Mellencamp is dead. Team Three – basically the Weapon X team – visit the Arctic where they face what seems to be the original Wolverine. He too disappears. All of them then see the phenomenon of a firebird in the sky. As does, elsewhere, a young redheaded waitress named Jean. She returns to work at her friend Annie’s diner and claims she has seen nothing. Later, she returns to her parents’ home to be surprised by her boyfriend Scott.

Full Summary: 

Annandale-on-Hudson:
Two kids, a boy and a girl are riding their bikes and arguing about the Vulture. They stop when they see a dark-haired girl their age, lying in the middle of the street, blood pooling around her head. Agitated, they run towards her, wondering if she is dead. Then the blood disappears and the girl opens her eyes, which are completely black. Is she okay? the boy asks hesitatingly. The girl grins mechanically and replies: “daed ffo retteb erew ew.”

They are distracted by another girl with red hair, coming up behind them. She asks them if they want to play Frisbee. The boy asks what’s going on and his friend points out the other girl has disappeared.

Ready? the redhead asks. Instead of a Frisbee, she is holding a dead bird in her hands. She throws it into the air. The boy grabs his friend’s hand and they run. Watch out! the redhead shouts.

Some hours later, Kitty Pryde’s X-Men team arrives at the scene. The police are already there. Rachel is disturbed. When Nightcrawler asks why, she replies evasively she used to have family who lived around here. She admits to feeling off.

The cop nervously asks what brought them here. Probably the same thing as them, Kitty replies. The cops announce that they have it under control. Kitty explains that Cerebro sensed mutant-related phenomena here.

Standing to the side, Rachel muttersdaed ffo retteb erew ew.” Kurt sees that her nose is bleeding and suggests he take her back to the plane.

Storm addresses an officer. They were led to believe there were children hurt. They would like to talk with them, if possible. The cops explain they haven’t taken the children to the hospital. Because of the weirdness. He takes them to the kids and even Logan has to admit, “Barney Fife” is right. This does qualify as weirdness. The two youngsters hover a few inches above the ground, catatonic, bleeding from the head despite a lack of any wound.

Later at the Xavier Institute:
Kitty has summoned all the X-Men they could reach. Kitty explains the situation and then turns over to Beast.

Hank McCoy explains they use Cerebro to locate brainwave energy unique to people with the X-gene. This morning, Cerebro picked up something else. A new type of reading. He describes how Kitty’s team found the two catatonic children and how neither of them has X-gene. Both children are now recovering at their local hospital with no memory of the incident.

That’s all? Sabretooth scoffs. They are here for a couple of fainting kids? Kitty points out that, whatever did this, put Rachel in the infirmary just by being in its proximity.

Can they continue? Beast asks. Using the data from Cerebro they pulled from this morning’s incident, he has managed to create an energy profile they could search for. Combining some solar radiation mapping with Cerebro’s latent psycho-thermal tracking… Cut to the chase! Old Man Logan interrupts. Kitty breaks it down. They found unusual energy phenomena in three places. The heart of midtown, 6th Street and 5th Avenue, Manhattan. Mont Saint Francis Monastery, the South of France. And the top of the world: The North Pole.

Magik sarcastically thanks them for all the maps and scientific facts. But they still haven’t told them. What’s happening? Kitty and Beast are silent for a moment. Kitty finally admits, they don’t know but are going to find out. She will pick three teams. If they are not picked, she trusts in their discretion with the information. They don’t want to cause any concern yet.

Soon, team one (Kitty, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Magik and Jubilee) stands in front of the first destination: the former Hellfire Club. Colossus is apprehensive.

Team two, the time-displaced original X-Men (sans Marvel Girl who has been absent all along) and Rogue are outside the monastery in France.

And what is more or less the Weapon X group with some additions (Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Domino, Warpath, Psylocke and the current Wolverine Laura Kinney) are at the North Pole, much to Logan’s chagrin.

Manhattan:
Kitty’s team enter the deserted Hellfire Club building. Magik reminds them the Inner Circle members are all dead or in hiding. Then what are they doing here? Jubilee wonders. Illyana replies she senses someone is here. Moments later, they are facing a troop of Hellfire Club mercs.

France:
The X-Men have walked up the stairs to the monastery, leaving Iceman out of breath. Beast reminds him they train for stuff like this. Bobby turns to Angel telling him it’s really weird when he walks up stairs. Like a pigeon trying to cross the street. Rogue orders him to shut up when she is tackled by somebody monstrous.

In the Arctic:
Sabretooth complains that she sent them here ‘cause he talked during Pryde’s presentation and now she hates him right? Old Man Logan informs him that she’s always hated him.

Warpath spots something in the snow before them but Laura can’t smell it yet and Psylocke senses nothing. Logan realizes who it is. “It’s me,” he state referring to the younger – deadish – Wolverine of the present.

At the Hellfire Club, the X-Men fight the mercs that have appeared out of nowhere. The vampire Jubilee bites one of them then spits disgustedly that they are not human. Good enough for her, Kitty decides and orders them to attack.

France:
While Rogue tackles their attacker, she orders the others to stay back. Is there any reasons she doesn’t want help fighting the angry lizard man? Iceman asks. Rogue chokes that he steals life force. It’s never an ordinary lizard-man, anymore, Bobby sighs. However, the attacker throws Rogue against a wall stunning her. So the original X-Men attack while trying to stay out of his reach.

The Arctic:
“Young Man” Logan, looks pissed, Sabretooth quips as Wolverine strides towards them, claws unsheathed. Laura wonders if he is a threat. That moment, Domino shoots Wolverine in the head, shrugging that he is obviously not real. She thinks, she adds lamely as Wolverine gets up. He’s got this, Sabretooth announces. He loves killing this g… Before he finishes his sentence, Wolverine slashes his throat.

Back at the Hellfire Club, the crowd of Hellfire guards has grown impossibly. Kitty orders the team to fall back to the door. But they find it is gone. She orders Colossus to smash a hole into the wall. He complies and the other X-Men follow him outside.

In France, the kids try to help Rogue but end up getting hit by their foe. Rogue shouts she told them to stay back, and takes him out with a hard blow. She explains this was one of Magneto’s old Acolytes, Seamus something. He is immune to most of her powers. Not to getting punched though.

In the Arctic, the Wolverine is giving the heroes a hard time, taking out one after the other until the only one left to face him is Old Man Logan.

In Manhattan, the X-Men find that suddenly all the Hellfire guards are gone.

In France, the X-Men wonder why this Seamus was here and Rogue informs them he has been dead for years.

In the Arctic, Logan finds that his foe has suddenly disappeared.

All of the heroes look at something in the sky and decide this is not good.

Elsewhere, a waitress outside a diner looks up as well to see a fiery bird shape high above. A redheaded young waitress with the nametag “Jean” joins her. Has she ever seen anything like that? her colleague asks her. Can’t say she has, Jean replies.

The effect disappears. Jean and Gladys return into the diner. Gladys asks their boss, Annie, if she saw that. She describes a big bird inside the sun. Annie is skeptical. Gladys asks Jean to back up her story. Jean replies she didn’t really see what it was. Maybe some clouds. Well, that settles it, Annie jokes. Either the sun has a giant bird or it is cloudy. Now, can somebody take Mr. Cassidy’s order today?

Jean asks their patron, Mr. Cassidy, what he wants to order. Sean is unsure what he is in the mood for.

With her shift over, Jean walks home and greets her pet bird. Her parents ask her how work was. She begins to tell them it was weird but then claims she is just tired. She might be too tired for dinner.

The doorbell rings. John Grey remarks she can tell their guest dinner is cancelled. She didn’t forget, did she?

Jean opens the door to see Scott Summers with a bouquet of flowers. Did she miss him? he asks.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan, Prestige, Storm (X-Men based at the Xaveir Institute)
Beast, Bishop, Chamber, Forge, Gambit, Jubilee, Magik, Psylocke, Rogue, Shatterstar, Strong Guy, Wolverine III
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman (time-displaced original X-Men)
Domino, Sabretooth, Warpath (Weapon X)

Jean Grey at 10 (construct)
Annie Richardson at 10 (construct)

Lisa
Unnamed boy|
Cops

In Jean’s world:
Jean Grey
Scott Summers
John and Elaine Grey
Annie Richardson
Gladys
Sean Cassidy

Story Notes: 

The title of this issue as well as all the following issues is taken from a poem by John Donne:
“Up then, fair phoenix bride, frustrate the sun;
Thyself from thine affection
Takest warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take their jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call
Thy stars from out their several boxes, take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all;
And by their blazing signify
That a great princess falls, but doth not die.
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends.”

Time-displaced teenage Jean Grey is missing due to Phoenix-related events in her own series in issue #10.

The two mysterious girls from the start are ten-year-old Jean Grey and Annie Richardson referring to a seminal event in Jean’s life, as told in Bizarre Adventures # 27 or X-Men Origins: Jean Grey.

Bernard "Barney" P. Milton Oliver Fife a fictional character in the American television program The Andy Griffith Show, portrayed by comic actor Don Knotts.

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