The young Jean Grey from the past sits in Kyoto, munching ramen and thinking about who she is. Jean Grey, yes, but not the Jean Grey who became Phoenix, was possessed by an intergalactic firebird with space-god power up, then went all crazy Dark Phoenix, destroyed a planet and tried to murder her friend. Which means she also never died in the love of her life’s stupid arms, a genocidal madwoman corpse, all decked out in her burgundy bad guy clothes. She’s pretty okay with not being that Jean Grey, frankly.
She also isn’t the grown-up bad-ass, seen-and-done-it-all Jean Grey who was cheated on by her husband and Emma Frost. She is her nightmare. Her life, the life she should have led, wakes her up a couple of nights a week, cold & sweaty. Her shadow will probably always stretch further than young Jean’s, but maybe that’s cool. Maybe she can learn from the older Jean’s mistakes. Maybe she can be the happy Jean.
She’s still a kid mostly. Trying to feel things out. But thanks to time travel and other crazy science fiction run amok, her fellow original X-Men and her are trapped in the future. She looks at a photo of the five of them goofing around on her cell phone. She loves them to death but they are still guys. Imagine sharing an apartment with four filthy weirdo brothers. Now give them superpowers and time displacement trauma. So that’s why Pickles and her are having Ramen brunch in Kyoto. Pickles is a teleporting demon Bamf thing. Makes brunching with him awesome. Delicious noodles, gorgeous view and all the peace and quiet she can handle.
Of course, that moment the quiet is interrupted by the Wrecking Crew, trying an armored truck robbery. Jean telekinetically catches the van and Piledriver, who is atop it. The villains are angry to see a “supes” after they tried an exotic locale to avoid this. Still, Thunderball would rather take this chick than Spider-Man and two dozen Avengers any day of the week.
Jean tries to keep them distracted with her telekinesis until her team which she has called can come join her, but she is aware that three supervillains are too much for her too handle to defend herself. She tosses Wrecker through a shop window then feels guilty when the Japanese owner couple berate her. While she is distracted, the other two Wrecking Crew members, whom she had levitated, land on the car. While she assures the couple that she will pay for the damages, Piledriver tosses the car at Jean. Instinctively, she deflects it, almost hitting a local woman who flees into the store that is about to collapse.
Jean wants to run after her. Wrecker suggests they grab their haul and split while she is busy. Angrily, Jean telekinetically tosses the van with the money high up, where it gets stuck on a pole. Should have seen that coming, Wrecker sighs.
Jean looks through the shop, angry with herself for juggling too much and hoping she hasn’t hurt the woman. She finally uses telepathy to find her then assure her she is not going to hurt her.
But the woman only speaks Japanese. Jean doesn’t, so she tries to send the woman happy thoughts of rainbows, unicorns, puppies and the like. If anything, the woman panics even more at the invasion of her mind. Go with that then, Jean decides and sends her intentionally horrifying images to get her to run out of the building, which, she does. Whatever works, Jean decides. “Yeah, nice swerve,” a voice speaks into her mind. Jean is surprised, but that moment the building collapses on her.
Outside, the Wrecker comments he guesses the fight is over. Call the meat wagon. Thunderball, who has reached the car and throws down the money bags, admonishes him that’s ice cold. She was just a kid. An idiotic kid, Wrecker opines. Messing with them was dumb enough. But running into a collapsing building, that’s begging to get yourself buried.
That moment another car is levitated and hits the van, forcing Thunderball to jump out. That’s right! an angry Jean shouts. Girlie survived! And now she’s ticked off!. She lashes out at Wrecker next. “You reckless idiots could have killed the girl!” she shouts. Technically, she was the one… Piledriver mumbles. So they could have the stupid stolen money! She continues.
Brutal, the voice observes. She’s a beast when she’s pissed off. What?! Jean looks around. “Nothing. give them hell, J.” the voice replies.
Jean shouts, demanding who is talking to her while, Piledriver takes the chance to run with the money. She chides herself. She is a psychic. She hears random voices all the time. Head in the game, she orders herself. She follows him into an underground parking lot and threatens several options on how she could find him.
She telepathically tosses him a horrible migraine and waits for the scream of pain. She tells him he can’t hide from her. She can see into his mind. Nice, the voice remarks. Confidence looks good on her. She has had just about enough, Jean states, then turns around as there is a light. No! she whispers.
The Phoenix raptor is rising in front of her and announces: Jean Grey is Jean Grey is Jean Grey. And yet somehow she thinks she can sidestep. She can escape. She cannot. No! Jean shouts. No way! She’s not her!
Piledriver is confused and can’t see who Jean is talking to, but he plans to use the opportunity to move.
Jean shouts she is not that Jean Grey. This cannot be happen… Piledriver hits her with a bag of money. She blacks out.
Jean comes to a little later to see her fellow X-Men in their plane. Cyclops tries to find out if she’s concussed but the others are calmer. They inform her the Wrecking Crew go away but they’ll nap them next time. Jean orders everyone to shut up. Scott asks if she’s ok. What’s going on? The Phoenix is coming! she replies.