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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Jean Grey from the X-Men film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Jean Grey.


Mutants are not the ones mankind should fear.
~ Jean Grey in X-Men.
They're right to fear me.
~ Jean in Dark Pheonix.

Jean Grey, alias Phoenix, is a character from X-Men film series. She is the tritagonist of X-Men: Apocalypse.

She is portrayed by Dutch actress Famke Janssen and by English actress Sophie Turner (Young Adult), the latter who portrays Sansa Stark.

History

Original Timeline

Background

As children, Jean Grey and Annie Malcolm were very close friends. One day while playing Frisbee outside Annie, being too competitive and not paying attention, made the catch and was soon hit by a speeding car. Jean ran over to her slowly dying friend and suddenly felt as if she was dying too. That's when Jean first got her powers. After Annie's death, Jean began to dream of fire and dancing among the stars. And then she fell into a two year coma.

Jean was reading in her room from Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood Ends when Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier arrived at the Greys' home. She overheard them talking to her parents, and they wanted to meet a mutant who had a great telepathic power. While Lehnsherr wants to use her power, Xavier fears that it's far too dangerous. As a result, he creates psychic barriers to restrain Jean's powers, which ultimately causes her to develop a suppressed alter ego: The Phoenix.

After years of attending Xavier's school together, she began a relationship with her classmate and teammate Scott Summers.

X-Men

Nearly twenty years later, Jean Grey spoke before Congress, urging its members to vote against the Mutant Registration Act - which would force mutants to reveal themselves to the public. Unfortunately, she failed when Senator Kelly, a staunch proponent of the Act, outmaneuvered her in their debate.

After Wolverine and Rogue were attacked by the Brotherhood of Mutants and saved by Cyclops and Storm, Jean is the one who tends to their wounds once in the X-Mansion. When Wolverine awakes, he attacks Jean - choking her before fleeing. Jean is later showing Wolverine his room. The two have a talk, and Jean puts her telepathic power to a test by reading his mind. After Xavier is affected by Mystique's toxin, Jean uses the Cerebro to track down Rogue and Magneto, but her powers aren't powerful enough to use it and, even if she manages to locate them, the machine drains her power and abilities.

When the X-Men arrive on Liberty Island to fight the Brotherhood, Jean battles against Toad, who kicks her to the floor, before going after Storm and doing away with her too. Jean recovered just in time to see Toad bearing down upon her, so she uses her powers to halt him in mid-air, before being attacked by his thick phlegm-mucus-slime, struggling for oxygen, breaking her concentration enough for Toad to be free of her telekinetic hold of him. After struggling vainly to get the mucus off, Jean later comes across Cyclops who saves her by blasting the encrusted slime away. Once on the top of the Liberty Statue, Jean, and the other X-Men are captured and restrained by Magneto. After Wolverine's fight with Sabretooth, she and the others manage to break free. She then uses her telekinesis to guide Wolverine to Magneto's machine, freeing Rogue moments before Brotherhood's plan was accomplished. After experiencing the effects of Magneto's machine, Jean appears to be visibly "shaken" by the energy emitted from it - possibly breaking down the psychic barriers Xavier placed years before.

After the mission, she assists Xavier until he's healed from the poisoning. With Magneto in jail, the Brotherhood disbanded, and the Mutant Registration Act put on hold, Jean can refocus her efforts as a teacher.

X2: X-Men United

Following the battle on Liberty Island, something about Jean has changed: her powers have increased drastically. Jean is on a field trip with the rest of institute and she begins to hear everyone's thoughts in the area. Her telekinesis reacts and starts to make the electronics in the area flicker until Scott confronts her about the vast increase in her powers since the battle on Liberty Island. Jean was unable to levitate a chair across the room and now their bedroom shakes when she has nightmares. Jean tells Scott she senses danger in their future and the two hold each other to calm one another.

After Nightcrawler's attempted assassination of the President, Jean and Storm are sent to track and bring him to Xavier. Testing her new abilities, Jean flies the X-Jet with her powers - causing Storm to worry about her power. The two find Nightcrawler in an abandoned church in Boston. Jean and Storm discover he's a teleporter and appears uncooperative for questioning. Storm bring him out of hiding and strikes the platform under him with lightning while Jean immobilizes him from falling. Now on speaking terms, they learn from Nightcrawler that he was forced to attack the White House while under mind control.

Returning to the X-Mansion, Jean and Storm discover that the school had been attacked by Colonel William Stryker and his HYDRA allies, when they intercept a call from Wolverine, and he tells them they're at Bobby Drake's parents house. Jean and Storm pick up him and three students (Rogue, Iceman and Pyro). In flight, the X-Jet is attacked by two F-16s due to Pyro's aggressive reaction to the police shooting Wolverine out of fear. Storm tries to evade them with maneuvers and creating tornadoes, however, they managed to fire two missiles. Jean uses her power to destroy one of the missiles they have launched - her eyes starting to glow with a fiery light. One of the missiles manages to hit the jet, and the X-Men are saved by Magneto, who offers an alliance against Stryker. During a briefing, the former enemies share their respective information about Stryker and decide to attack his Alkali Lake base. There Jean reads Nightcrawler's mind and discovers the base is underground.

Once Mystique gets inside the control room of the base, the X-men (Jean, Storm & Wolverine) along with Magneto and Mystique infiltrate the base to save Charles, Cyclops, and the young mutants. While searching the base Jean saves Mystique and Magneto from an optic blast from Cyclops. She manages to fend the brainwashed Scott off and pushes him telekinetically into a lower level. Jean finds her lover again and the two battle. Cyclops unleashes a full force optic blast, pushing Jean backward while telekinetically protecting herself. Cyclops is still persisting with his blasts, Jean then fights back and manages to repel and scatter his optic blast about. The two regain consciousness and Scott had control of himself, but their fight damaged the structure of the dam.

After Jean and the rest of the X-Men gather and escape the base the X-Jet is damaged and not moving. The dam bursts and Jean realize they'll die, so she leaves the jet without notice. Jean, now standing in front of the jet, repairs its machinations, Scott and Wolverine knowing she'll die.They order Storm to open the ramp but Jean won't let her due to her telekinetic control of the jet. As a tidal wave of water comes rushing toward them, Jean holds it back. Seeing the water flowing around them, the X-Men look in amazement as Jean is holding the wave back by herself. Nightcrawler tries to teleport to her, but she blocks his power telepathically. Jean raises the jet and becomes engulfed in flames while she telepathically tells Scott goodbye through Xavier. She releases the flood on herself and saved the lives of her allies. At this point, everyone mourns her apparent death.

X-Men: The Last Stand

Depressed for many months by Jean's apparent death and haunted by her psychic echo, Cyclops returns to Alkali Lake to mourn his loss. Once there, he releases a powerful optical blast towards the lake, breaking a telekinetic cocoon. Soon afterwards, Scott discovers Jean Grey in front of him - alive and well. She manages to control Scott's power with hers, and the two share a kiss. During the kiss, Jean abandons herself to instinct and an unspeakable horror seemingly kills Scott. Worried for Cyclops, the other X-Men arrive at Alkali Lake, finding only Scott's glasses telekinetically floating in the air with stones and logs. A little distant, they find an unconscious Jean.

Back at the X-Mansion, Xavier explains to Logan how she survived (using telekinetic energy), and how she is a Class 5 mutant with potentially limitless power due her mutation being seated in the subconscious part of her mind. Because of this, Jean developed a dual personality; the conscious Jean Grey and the dormant Phoenix - a purely instinctual creature.

Later on, Logan returns to check up on Jean. Once there, she tries to seduce him, but when he refuses the Phoenix breaks through and possesses her. After attacking Logan, she escapes the Mansion and returns to her childhood home. There, she was approached by both the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants - who fight each other while Xavier and Magneto attempt to convince Jean to join their respective sides. When Xavier tries to block her alternate personality, the Phoenix becomes enraged and unleashes her power, destroying the home and killing Xavier. Confused and saddened by her mentor's death, Jean follows Magneto to his hideout.

Wolverine eventually follows them and tries to reason with Jean, but Magneto intervenes and defeats him. Magneto believes he can use her powers for his aims, and brings her with him to Alcatraz Island to destroy Worthington's facility.

During the battle that follows the X-Men's arrival, Magneto tries to convince Phoenix to participate, but she appears uninterested during its duration. Wolverine almost manages to make Jean's personality resurface, but human soldiers intensify their fire on her, unleashing her rage. The Phoenix breaks through again and takes over Jean's body. She starts a massive attack on everything and everyone within the area, destroying Worthington's facility and killing any human or mutant in her way. While everyone is forced to escape, only Wolverine manages to approach her, since his healing factor prevents her powers from disintegrating him. When Logan manages to break through to Jean, she begs him to stop her. In tears, declaring his love to her, Wolverine stabs Jean Grey, killing her and putting an end to the destruction.

Sometime after the events on Alcatraz, Jean's grave is placed near Scott's and Xavier's.

The Wolverine

Several years later, Jean's death still haunts Logan. He still mourns her loss and has frequent hallucinations and nightmares of her. Jean "visits" Logan multiple times before he moves on from her death.

Revised Timeline

X-Men: Apocalypse

In 1983 Jean Grey is a student at Xaviers School of Gifted Youngster, she is an outsider and is feared by some students due to the uncontrollable nature of her powers. She has had previous instances where nightmares have caused her powers to overload and shake the whole school, scaring her fellow students. She is later seen walking to class where she bumps into new student Scott Summers with his brother Alex, he accidentally knocks her books out of her hands but she catches them telekinetically, she also looks into his mind briefly to Scott's annoyance. Jean goes to the campus to practice her archery, a special training technique Professor X gave her, she witnesses Scott unleash his power and destroy Charles favourite tree. During the final battle with Apocalypse, Professor X calls out to her for help in battle. Jean unleashes the full extent of her powers and destroys Apocalypse who states "all is revealed" when he sees Jean's power. Though Professor X has apparently died, Jean senses that he still lives and heals his injuries. She later trains as one of the new X-Men.

Dark Phoenix

Jean's powers become more powerful when she is possesed by a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force. She meets a woman named Vuk, who tells her that she needs to accept the Phoenix Force, or it would be forever lost. As seen in the trailer, Charles would meet a young Jean, who feels broken, and would later cause the death of her parents.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Due to Wolverine going back in time to 1973 and preventing certain events that led to the dark future, Jean, along with Cyclops, Storm, Beast, Iceman, Rogue, and multiple other characters, are seen alive and well in 2023. Logan is shocked to see her, and Jean, not knowing all the past events, is confused by his strange behavior but acts in a friendly manner.

Personality

Jean is generally a polite and well-spoken member of the X-Men. She shows her intelligence by debating against Senator Kelly about the Mutant Registration Act and is also a doctor where she treats Wolverine and Professor X. She has a strong bond with her love interest, Cyclops, and says that he is the good guy, compared to Logan. Jean shows that she is willing to sacrifice herself for her team members, which is shown when she used Cerebro for the first time to locate Magneto and when she gave her life after saving the X-Men by lifting the X-Jet to safety and being covered in water at Alkali Lake.

When Jean was young, she was scared of her abilities and that caused her to be somewhat of a loner at Xavier's School, a lot of other students also became afraid of her. She did, however, form a strong bond with Charles Xavier, with him becoming a father-like figure to her due to their telepathic bond. As soon as she met a young Scott Summers, there was an immediate attraction and a bond formed over the lack of control both of them had over their powers. In her youth, Jean's uncontrollable powers led her to feel the emotions of others at all times, knowing how other people felt led her to want to be a better person and help them.

Jean shows to have an alter-ego known as 'The Phoenix', which in the original timeline was created after Professor Xavier placed psychic blocks on her powers to keep her under control. The Phoenix is an Id-like manifestation of her deepest emotions, primarily rage and desire. The extent of Phoenix's control over Jean's mind is unclear, only appearing in times of emotional duress. She killed her love interest Cyclops and her mentor Professor X without showing guilt until after realizing what she had done, which caused her confusion.

In the revised timeline her enhanced powers are due to being possessed by a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force.

Powers, Abilities, & Weaknesses

  • Telekinesis - Jean had the ability to levitate, move, immobilize, and manipulate objects with her mind.
    • Telekinetic Blast - Jean can project waves of telekinetic energy to impulse, hit and destroy many objects or people.
    • Telekinetic Flight - Jean can fly using her telekinesis by levitating herself. During the battle against Apocalypse, Jean was able to float in the air while attacking him.
    • Telekinetic Shield - Jean can generate telekinetic shields or barriers to block, contain and deflect/decelerate attacks or incoming projectiles as well as trap people/enemies. To protect herself and others from the rushing waters of Alkali Lake, Jean block it the water, while she was fixing and lifting the X jet. Jean unconsciously wrapped herself in a cocoon of telekinetic energy to shield her from the inundation. She also used a shield to protect herself from Cyclops' optic beams and disperse it. This can also become an offensive move by throwing the shield.
  • Telepathy - Jean had the ability to read minds, communicate mentally and project her thoughts in to other's minds. Was also another core power of hers. During X-Men, she states that Professor X is much more powerful than her. However, this was only because Professor X was blocking her powers, but once the blocks were destroyed she become the most powerful telepath in existence.
    • Memory Restoration - Jean was able to restore a few memories in Logan that Weapon X had taken.
    • Mind Control - She can manipulate the minds of others, for different purposes such as memory alteration, inducing sleep/paralysis, etc.
    • Mind Link - Ability to develop a mental link with any person which remains as a connection to that individual, as witnessed with Xavier at the end of X2: X-Men United.
    • Mind Possession - She can possess the mind of another, and use that being's body as her own, as witnessed with Xavier near the end of X2: X-Men United.
    • Mental Detection - She can feel and track other people's minds. Many of which will be shown in X-Men Apocalypse, according to hints made by Simon Kinberg and Bryan Singer.
    • Psychic Inhibitors/Power Supression - Unknown whether through either telepathic or telekinetic influence, Jean was capable of preventing Nightcrawler from teleporting and Cyclop's optic blast from being unleashed. This ability may be limited as she can not shut down Wolverine's healing and more likely Rogue's power siphoning. Considering both abilities are involuntary, and the fact Cyclop's lack of control is caused by brain damage, it is likely she can inhibit powers linked to conscious control and not natural functions.
    • Psionic Blasts - She can create a telepathic blast which can hit mentally, induce pain, knock out or kill a person.
    • Psionic Shield - She can create a telepathic shield to prevent her mind from mental intrusions.
    • Telepathic Illusions - Jean was able to make herself, Scott and Nightcrawler invisible to a soldier of William Stryker.
    • Psychic Fire Generation - When unleashing the full extent of her powers, Jean's powers manifested around her as a fiery raptor.
    • Disintegration - When utilizing the full depth of her power Jean is strong enough to telekinetically rip apart a being's molecules, destroying them. In the original timeline, during her first disintegration attempt, the Phoenix slowly destroyed Professor X's cells before she completely obliterated him in the apex of her wrath. Later, when she is on the rampage, she disintegrates everything around her with no effort at all. In the revised timeline, during the battle against Apocalypse, she also slowly disintegrated him.
    • Energy Manipulation - Jean can manipulate and absorbe any kind of energy on a molecular level. She can redirect energy and control it, for example, when she was able to stop Scott's eyes from releasing a beam of energy, and was also able to redirect it during a fight. To save herself from death, she enveloped herself in a cocoon of telekinetic energy.
    • Enhanced Biokinesis - At the full extent of her power she can also alter the formation of living creatures and cells. She has not only shown to be able to disintegrate organic matter, but she was also able to suppress Scott's concussive eye beams.
    • Enhanced Telekinesis - Beast once stated that Jean's powers had no limits. In the original timeline when her powers were freed she displayed the ability to rearrange matter for any purpose. When scared, confused or angry, her telekinesis destroys things around her in a random pattern. She was able to hold her house and everything inside it several feet above ground and float herself with it, and during her rampage in Alcatraz, her telekinesis destroyed everything present, even levitating several tons of ocean water and metal.
    • Enhanced Telepathy - While she was in a cocoon of telekinetic energy, her thoughts could fly miles away into the others' minds. She was able to defend her mind from Professor X's telepathy, even though he is one of the world's most powerful telepaths. During the battle against Apocalypse, he, who has shown to be stronger than Charles inside the Astral Plane, was no match for her, who easily destroyed him.
    • Mental Healing - After the battle against Apocalypse was over, Jean was able to heal Charles' mind from the damage in his mind, done to him by Apocalypse during their struggle.
    • Precognition - In both X-Men: Apocalypse and X2: X-Men United Jean has been shown to be able to see and feel glimpses of future events. Both times when she displayed this ability was when her powers were growing beyond her control.

  • Concentration - If Jean loses her focus while utilizing her powers, her abilities will become invalidated.
  • Electric Field - When Jean was in the Weapon X plane, the electric field cage was able to block her telepathy, though doubtfully her telekinesis since it merely prevents her mind reaching past the barrier, not attacking it directly.
  • Instability - If she becomes emotionally unstable, she loses control of her powers and will turn into her darker persona known as the Phoenix. Although in the revised timeline, she learned to control her emotions much better.

Gallery

Trivia

  • It's implied in X-Men commentary that Jean's inexpert use of the Cerebro caused her Phoenix transformation.
  • Some parts of Jean's storyline in X-Men: The Last Stand are loosely based on The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont and John Byrne.
  • In the comics, Jean and Scott eventually married and have a daughter named Rachel Anne Summers in an alternate future.
  • Jean was not a scientist in the Marvel Comics versions. Originally, Beast was set to appear in the first film, but the technology was not yet adequate to portray him, so his character was written out, and Jean took on the role of team scientist.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, for her dual role as Jean Grey/Phoenix, Famke Janssen extensively researched dissociative identity disorders and split personalities to make her performance convincing.
  • The color red is often associated with Jean. When she's not in her X-Men uniform, she often likes to wear red clothing.

External links

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