Welcome to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly column that answers the question: “What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?” This week there are five X-Books on the stands, which will cost you a total of $21 to buy and, thanks to modern decompression techniques, take roughly ten minutes to read. If that seems like a waste of time and money, you can keep your money by reading our recaps for free. We make no promises about the use of your time, however.
This week we’ve got Phoenix Resurrection #5, All-New Wolverine #30, Despicable Deadpool #293, Old Man Logan #34, and Jean Grey #11, but we’re starting things off with Phoenix Resurrection #5:
Phoenix Resurrection #5
Writer: Matty Rosenberg
Artists: Leinil Francis Yu and Joe Bennett
Inkers: Gerry Alanguilan and Belardino Brabo
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Phoenix Resurrection #5 is the final issue in this series, and thanks to Marvel’s mighty marketing machine, we’ve known how the series will end — with Jean Grey returning to life — since before it started. Last issue, the creative team treaded dangerous territory, implying that Old Man Logan, not Young Kid Cyclops, was the person that needed to enter the Phoenix Force’s LOST diner and confront Jean Grey.
And Phoenix Resurrection #5 picks up right where that left off, with an opening sequence that sees Logan order a cup of coffee, slit the throat of Jean Grey’s best friend Annie, and try to rekindle his Mary Sue romance with Jean to bring her out of her mind trap. Outside, the X-Men are worried, as the giant Phoenix that was sitting on top of the diner has disappeared. It’s starting to rain, too, and nobody brought an umbrella.
Back in the diner, Jean is freaked out that Logan killed her friend, but quickly begins to see his side of things when Annie stands up horror movie style and starts talking to her. Jean remembers everything, but she’s also got the Phoenix inside of her. She blows up the diner with herself and Logan in it. Jean greets the other X-Men, and dismayed to learn that teen Scott is afraid of her. Internal conflict rages as Jean doubles over, the Phoenix shooting out of her back. Kitty holds the X-Men back, telling them this is Jean’s fight. Storm agrees… for now.
The Phoenix begins explaining to Jean that all the people she knows that are dead can come back if she’ll only be its host again. That includes Annie, Jean’s parents, Scott (the Phoenix world boyfriend version), some of whom Jean didn’t even know died in the real world while she was dead. Jean atomized them all with her powers (as shown by the blast being pink instead of Phoenix orange). She tells the Phoenix to @#$% off, but it has one more trick up its sleeve.
Scott Summers appears, the real one, though Jean doesn’t believe it at first and blasts him. Then she reads his mind and sees how Marvel assassinated his character while she was gone, and also how they killed him off during a dumb super-mega-crossover event. Jean just wants one thing. The thing she came here for: butte love.
Unfortunately, Jean can’t let herself give into the Phoenix to bring back Scott. Scott agrees, telling her they were better off dead. Unfortunately, Scott’s return is short-lived…
…But seeing her husband one last time was all Jean ever wanted, and seeing Jean and Scott say they’ll always love each other is all we ever wanted, too. Suck it, Logan!
Jean lectures the Phoenix about how what it’s doing is wrong, while the Phoenix keeps repeating its argument that Jean can warp reality to her whims. But Jean isn’t having any of it. Jean beaks up with the Phoenix, and says it needs to stop texting her. The Phoenix shrinks and disappears. Jean is free, and Jean is back, and the X-Men have to deal with Scott’s corpse again, and it’s time to launch a third color-themed X-Men ongoing! Woo!
Phoenix Resurrection scared us last issue with his Logan/Jean shipping, but it totally redeemed itself in this issue. We’re looking forward to seeing more of Jean in X-Men Red.