Teen Jean and Drunk Thor vs. an army of orcs. What more do you need to know?
Jean’s tour of the Marvel Universe continues, this time in Jotunheim, where she seeks battling advice from a certain disgraced-yet-still-legendary warrior. Will what she learns in Jean Grey #4 help in her eventual fight with the Phoenix? Is it good?
I guess telekinesis doesn’t help with sheer-face ice-climbing. Whey did the Odinson hide himself away, nearly alone in this tavern? And why won’t he shut up; doesn’t he know what’s coming?!
Of course he does, just as Jean knows what’s coming for her, but what’s she going to do about it? The centuries have taught Odinson that overwhelming force is usually best, especially when done with a big, blunt implement. If only Jean had one of those ….
After you read Jean Grey #4, the title character won’t be the only one wanting Thor to zip his lip already. The previous issues of this series have done a good job on keeping the emphasis on Jean, even as she consults with others and fights off the threat of the month. This go-around is more like “Story Time with Thor, guest-starring Jean.” That might be fine if those stories seemed to relate to her more, but the lesson she ultimately learns is kind of fleeting, and probably not something she couldn’t have figured out herself.
The narrative feels constrained by the single location, and even the trademark Dennis Hopeless dialogue is partially throttled, when Jean does get a word in edgewise. You’ll notice some mixed metaphors and a couple jokes that don’t really land, imperfections that are becoming increasingly rare in the writer’s work, but apparently even rising stars still have bad days.
Fill-in artist Harvey Tolibao simply can’t match the expressiveness of Victor Ibáñez, as his figures are still and their faces don’t communicate the characters’ thoughts or even what’s happening around them. He draws some nice pin-up type shots, but anything involving action doesn’t really move — maybe that’s why they stayed in one place.
The colors by Jay David Ramos and Dono Sánchez-Almara are done well, though they may be a bit too bright for a frozen, high-altitude wasteland. At least they provide some tonal consistency across the overall series’ visuals.
Jean Grey #4 is a step down from the masterclass in character development and sequential storytelling that Dennis Hopeless and Victor Ibáñez have been constructing. Unlike in previous issues, it doesn’t feel like Jean has learned anything useful, and the journey to get there is less exciting and visually stimulating, with the regular artist being absent. This installment feels inessential, as Jean is almost a guest star in her own book, so here’s hoping the creative team can get back to pushing things forward next time.