Teeny Jeanie is convinced the big ol’ fiery Phoenix is coming for her, and she wants to know what it feels like. In Jean Grey #3, can she pry some knowledge from between the pointy ears of NAMOR, THE SUBMARINER??? Is it good?
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Victor Ibanez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
When our hero pumped the former Phoenix hosts for advice in Jean Grey #2, there was one notable omission. Namor, Prince of Atlantis, does not offer his advice willingly. Better slap on that wetsuit, kid, it’s cold at the ocean’s bottom!
Plumbing the depths may be the only way you’ll find out how Angry McFishFace seems to not still be affected by cosmic possession, unlike the rest. Even on his doorstep, though, Namor’s assistance is not free. What do you know about defeating kraken?
Jean Grey #3 isn’t the wonder of pacing the previous issue was, but it does something very important for the overall narrative of this series — it moves Jean away from being a potential victim and into an active role. Not only is that good for the story, so we’re not seeing the same things over and over again, but it’s a breakthrough for the character, as she’s now in a little more control of her own destiny.
Writer Dennis Hopeless nails some of the Namor’s dry wit, but in other places succumbs to his instinct to give all the characters the same kinds of jokey dialogue. It’s well-executed, as it was in Doctor Strange #22, but as then, it’s a contrast to how Namor is typically portrayed.
Artist Victor Ibáñez continues to up his game with the best visual storytelling of the series, as Jean’s facial expressions and body language communicate a range of emotions while she’s stuck underwater. There’s also a great use of long panels and empty space to depict motion — smart move in adding “layout artist” Al Barrionuevo? Colorist Jay David Ramos is joined this time by Dono Sánchez-Almara, and the pair use varied color pallettes to great effect — cooler colors underwater and hot fire for Namor’s Phoenix flashback.
Jean Grey #3 uses the same talk-as-you-fight device for plot advancement as in the previous issue, but the title character is left in a much different place at the end, one that opens up a new realm of storytelling possibilities. It’s not the pacing miracle of Jean Grey #2, but the art team makes this the best-looking installment yet, for an overall package that’s almost as satisfying, and sure to leave readers wondering what happens next.