Was it a hallucination, or a vision of her future? The would-be Phoenix host has made up her mind, and in Jean Grey #2, she’s gonna find out what she’s in for. Is it good?

Jean Grey #2
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Victor Ibáñez
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Skinny

The eye in the sky don’t lie — there ain’t no cosmic firebird, anywhere nearby. But if you want to bust out Cerebro to talk to some former hosts, just to make sure, have at it.

One might even need your help, but then, she’s also pretty used to defending herself. Quentin puts baby to sleep to dream of purifying flame while the gang takes care of business, but it’s fishy that one Phoenix host isn’t present.

See what I did there?

The Lowdown

Other than a little bit more hero-ing, Jean Grey #2 is a very different issue than the series’ first installment. And the damsel in this one wasn’t even in distress, but it’s a good set-up for the former Phoenix hosts to come in and drop some knowledge on Teen Jean.

Forcibly! Writer Dennis Hopeless uses a great device where Quentin Quire puts some psychic bullets in Jean’s skull, each one showing her the lingering effects of cosmic possession in the heads of Quentin, Colossus, Magik and Prestige. Spoiler: It ain’t pretty.

But it is amazingly well-paced. It’s become standard in modern comics for characters to tell a tale while they’re throwing down, with varying degrees of success, but Hopeless pulls it off nearly flawlessly in Jean Grey #2. Reaver bodies hit the ground while Jean hops between heads, neither journey detracting from the other and both climaxing at a natural point — although the very last panel does fall disappointingly flat.

Helping to carry that charge is Victor Ibáñez, who draws a delightful single-page spread of cyborgs charging upstairs to attack the teens, which really sets the stage for the whole sequence. His facial expressions are improved over the first effort, with some nice pouts and surprises.

Jay David Ramos and Chris Sotomayor handle the colors, which are drabber than you might expect for a superhero story, but otherwise highlight the glowing psychic projections well.

The Upshot

Jean Grey #2 is a structural wonder, and when you combine that with the return of the trademark Hopeless dialogue, you’ve got a tremendously well-realized and rounded comic book. Ibáñez adds emphasis where needed, but this is the Dennis Hopeless show, full of enough foreshadowing and narrative inertia to give fans of his, or of Jean Grey, reason to believe in the character’s otherwise frightening future.

Jean Grey #2
Is it good?
It's Dennis Hopeless beginning to recapture some of that "Spider-Woman" magic. Pacing and dialogue come together in a near-perfect melding to enhance the overall whole.
As well-paced, especially in the action scenes, as just about anything you'll see
Return of the trademark Hopeless dialgoue, with each character still seeming distinct
Art is grabbing when it needs to be, and simply in servcice of the story otherwise
Colors can be a bit drab at times
Last panel is a serious anti-climax

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