PHOENIX IV: Page 5 of 11

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Last Updated: 
12th April 2007

BIOGRAPHY - Page 4
When Phoenix pulled herself back together in some sort of afterlife, she thought at first that she had not managed to kill herself, until she realized that she was suddenly wearing a white Phoenix costume. She found herself on a strange building floating in space, and Death appeared in the guise of construction worker, building additional floors to the building. With nothing else to do, Phoenix helped him with this task, learning along the way that she was building rooms for the souls of the many people she had killed. Death, however, reminded her that she had also saved countless lives before that. Next, he explained the connection between Jean and the Phoenix Force, and also revealed the Force had had a hand in Jean’s telepathic contact with Scott back when they were children. It was all pre-ordained; Jean‘s connection to Xavier’s school, Scott family history with the Shi’ar and the two of them falling in love with each other all were required elements to ensure that, in the time of need, the X-Men and the Force’s avatar, Phoenix, would be there to stop D’Ken from destroying the entire universe. As she departed from the afterlife, Death knew that Phoenix still needed to learn and grow more responsible. Unfortunately, though, he was also aware that she wouldn’t remember his words. [Classic X-Men #43]

With its mortal shell shattered, the Force could not conceive a way to undo the evil it had done, save for returning Jean Grey the borrowed fragments of her soul, essence and life-force. Encased in a small portion of itself, the Force keyed these aspects to Jean’s genetic structure and sent them down to Earth, instructed to awaken her from the

cocoon. Yet this portion arrived with nightmare visions of fire, death and destruction, so Jean’s rejected it. Instead, it would enter and gave life and awareness to a clone of Jean that had been created by the mysterious Mr. Sinister. [Excalibur (1st series) #52, X-Factor (1st series) #38]

About two years later, Jean‘s slumber was again disturbed. When the Avengers investigated a plane crash at Jamaica Bay, they discovered the cocoon at the bottom of the ocean. As they kept hearing a telepathic voice and the cocoon was unleashing telekinetic waves, they took it with them for further examination. The Fantastic Four, who were currently residing at Avengers Mansion, offered to help. The Invisible Woman‘s power allowed the heroes to take a look at the woman inside the cocoon but, never having met Jean out of costume, they didn’t recognize her. Mr. Fantastic concluded that she was in some form of suspended animation, so he probed the cocoon with bio-stimulators to awaken her. Unfortunately, this probing took a toll on the psi-sensitive Jean, inhibiting her telepathic powers for months to come. On the other hand, it increased her telekinetic abilities. When the hull cracked and Jean emerged, she was totally disoriented, and it took her and the assembled heroes a while to figure out what truly happened on the shuttle flight. Jean chose not to inform her family of her return yet, after all they believed her long dead and she didn’t quite know how to explain her return to them. [Avengers (1st series) #263, Fantastic Four (1st series) #286]

Initially, Jean wanted to return to the X-Men, though the Avengers informed her that they had allied themselves with Magneto in the meantime. Instead, Mr. Fantastic suggested they call Jean‘s former teammate, the Angel, as he was one of the few X-Men whose civilian identity was publicly known. After meeting Jean, Warren alerted Scott, which led to a happy reunion. However, Jean was somewhat disappointed that her former teammates had both retired, even though anti-mutant hysteria was rising. She even accused them of having abandoned Xavier’s dream, considering that the X-Men were now in Magneto’s care. Thus rattled by Jean, did the original X-Men decided to reunite and form a new group called X-Factor. While the media believed them to be mutant hunters, X-Factor secretly tried to find, train and help new mutants. To do so, they took on two roles: officially they were mutant hunters. But when necessary, they also took on the roles of the X-Terminators, masked mutants who seemed to be in opposition to X-Factor. [X-Factor (1st series) #1]

They soon found some young mutants and began training them, just as they had been taught by Professor Xavier. However, Jean noticed that Scott was acting distracted all the time, and she felt that he was keeping something secret from her. Eventually, he had a slip of tongue and called her "Maddie“ and Jean pushed the truth out of her teammates – during the time she was believed dead, Scott had gotten married. The fact that Scott had hidden this from her hurt Jean more than the marriage itself, as she would have wanted her lover to move on after her death. Asking Cyclops if he had a picture of his wife, she also discovered not only that Madelyne looked exactly liked her, but also that she and Scott even had a child together. [X-Factor (1st series) #2-8]

A short time later, Jean saw her sister, Sara, on television. Sara Grey had become a spokeswoman for mutant rights and was commenting on the firebombing of an apartment that belonged to relatives of a mutant. Jean was touched that sister still stood up for mutants, despite the things that Phoenix had done in Jean’s name. At the same time, though, she was also worried that her sister might be making herself a target for all mutant haters, so she and Cyclops decided to visit her. Arriving at Sara’s house, they found it emptied of all personal effects and without any sign of the whereabouts of Sara and her family. Moments later, they received a threatening phone call and the place was firebombed as well. While Scott and Jean escaped unharmed, any potential clues to Sara’s whereabouts were destroyed. [X-Factor (1st series) #12]

When Cyclops returned to Alaska to sort things out with his wife, he found no trace of her or the baby; they had gone missing. When the police later found evidence that Madelyne might have been killed, Scott began to doubt that there really existed three different women (Jean, Phoenix and Madelyne) in his life, or whether it was only one who kept dying and resurrecting herself time and again. Back in New York, he accused Jean of being Phoenix and, to prove his point, he almost killed her by taking off his visor. Phoenix would have been able to keep his eye beams in check but plain Jean couldn’t. Fortunately, Leech, one of the young mutants in X-Factor’s care, negated Scott’s powers until he saw his error. [X-Factor (1st series) #18]

Before long, X-Factor dropped their guise and revealed themselves as mutants. As they helped New York during a crisis, they became public celebrities. At the same time, Scott finally opened and admitted both to Jean and to himself that he had mainly married Madelyne Pryor because of her uncanny resemblance to Jean. The least he could do was to make Madelyne happy, as his own chance for happiness, he believed, had died with Phoenix. Hearing this, Jean comforted Scott and the two of them restarted their relationship.

They were quite startled, though, when they saw a live broadcast on TV of the X-Men’s final battle in Dallas, during which they apparently sacrificed their lives to beat a magical opponent. Among them was Scott‘s wife, Madelyne, and she directed her last words to her husband, telling him to find their missing son, Christopher. The X-Men’s death made Jean think of others close to her and so she finally visited her parents to let them know she was alive. [X-Factor (1st series) #26-27]

Jean helped Scott to search for his son, and eventually they tracked him son down to a secret lab below the same orphanage that Scott grew up in. Strangely, that orphanage was filled with mutant children. When they tried to free the baby, they were attacked by someone else who also wanted to liberate the mutant children: A group of brainwashed mutant children led by Nanny, a crazy scientist, obsessed with the idea of saving young mutants, and her special charge, the powerful Orphanmaker. During their battle, Jean recognized Sara’s children, Joey and Gailyn - her nephew and her niece, as part of Nanny’s army. Unfortunately, Scott and Jean were unable to free them nor to avoid little Christopher being snatched away by demons. [X-Factor (1st series) #35]