Comic Book Review: Phoenix Resurrection: Return Jean Grey #3
Phoenix Resurrection has been as trippy as it gets for the world of X-Men so far. Death doesn’t work the same way for X-Men, but this takes things to a new level. Some originals have made a return already in other books, and how they cheated death was a bit easier to explain than what is unfolding within these pages. Not to say that this isn’t exciting because half the fun is in not knowing what to expect from this Jean Grey or the Phoenix.
There is only one thing you know for sure going into this third issue, and that is how Jean clearly is suffering from fragmented memories. The specifics of that development of course is up in the air, but you enjoy the panic this is creating for this Jean who can’t make sense of all these things and people that she has never met or experienced before, supposedly. With all of this spilling into the real world as well, this adds an element of chaos to the story where you can only brace yourself for what is unpredictable, and nothing more. At the same time you do feel some fear building up because this Jean starting to go insane in her peaceful, suburban life is not good for her or anyone else near her. If memory serves us well, the last thing you want is to deal with a disturbed telepath of her power level. Especially when there is no control or awareness of the power she holds.
The nest thing this story surrounding Jean has going for it are the questions bubbling up about whether or not this life she’s living is even real. It goes without saying that there are many things seen so far that challenge the idea that this isn’t all in her head. The end of this issue at the very least steers you closer in the direction of one of the assumptions made about her reality, though even then without details nothing is absolutely certain.
On the X-Men front, this was a time to really appreciate Kitty as the leader. She comes in with a different sense of authority and command that is really what they need at a time like this. The X-Men have been through a lot, and they have even more history with the threat of the Phoenix. While everyone would be on the same page about how serious to take the situation, obviously there would be some issues with how some of them process what answers are right in front of them. That is where a leader like Kitty comes in who they properly portray as being able to set an objective and letting nothing distract from it. Even just who she interacts with to emphasize her growth was a good touch.
Funny this isn’t the only book this week I have read with Joe Bennett’s artwork, so it was a bit easier to read this issue and get a second opinion on his style. Bennett is definitely someone to appreciate for the effort he puts into a character’s clothing. The wrinkles, folds, everything that makes the attire feel like it is more than a second skin is worth taking note of. That aside he also has a solid grasp of matching facial expressions and body language to sell a scene. This is a story whether everyone is pretty on edge to get ahead of this possible tragedy, and he nailed being able to place these characters in that position and mindset. You could see that there were some panels where faces or characters as a whole fell flat. You could see that the colors were meant to try to make some details pop out, though didn’t quite have the effect needed. Sure there was a lot going on in some scenes, though the main focus didn’t make it harder to miss. That aside, the color work picked up on a lot of details that could have been missed between the pencils and the inks. The depth created from Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors made a big difference in some characters looking more detailed than they would have without being treated with variation and tone. Her best work was definitely in the panels involving the warm colors from the Phoenix flames. That alone nailed the intimidation you needed from the presence of the Phoenix.
Phoenix Resurrection: Return Jean Grey #3 starts to give us some answers and that is all you can ask for when following the madness that is the Phoenix returning. Overall this story is unpredictable which is a step up from most stories where someone is coming back to life. Needless to say they were already on the right track since by all accounts Jean is already alive.