Beware: spoilers for PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1 abound!
It’s been seventeen years since the original Jean Grey graced the pages of our comic books. Now, the return of our favorite redheaded mutant begins. Led by writer Matthew Rosenberg, the tale of PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1 is one shrouded in layers of mystery.
So, how did this long-awaited return fare?
Find out below!
Fear of the Unknown
The issue commences with Kitty Pryde and the X-Men discovering the floating bodies of two children bleeding from the head. These children previously came in contact with a mysterious red-head girl who was holding a bird. The girl then proceeded to fly surrounded by balls of fire. Now, after coming into contact with the red-head, the children have entered an unusual state.
However, despite their bleeding, the children have not suffered any actual injuries. Also, there have been detections of high levels of energy in that specific area. So, Kitty Pryde takes initiative in response to these creepy occurrences. She divides the X-Men into three teams that will go investigate the unexpectedly high levels of energy in three distinct locations across the world.
After splitting up, more strange developments begin to manifest. The team of Old Man Logan and company comes face to face with a young Wolverine. Following this, a fiery burst appears in the sky. The burst seems to be in the shape of a bird.
Almost everyone around the world witnesses this apparition, including, surprisingly, Jean Grey herself. This isn’t the Jean we know though. This Jean Grey is working as a waitress at a diner, accompanied by a girl named Annie.
Don’t Worry, Things Get Weirder
Annie seems to be a reincarnation of Jean Grey’s childhood friend who died after being struck by a car. It was in her final moments that Jean’s abilities were born as she experienced Annie’s death within her mind. However, none of these events seem to have taken place in the world of PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1.
The final strange event to take place in this work is the appearance of Scott Summers who arrives at Jean’s door with a bouquet of flowers.
Overall, PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1 grasps the reader’s attention. It encompasses enough creepy and strange elements that will certainly enthrall fans and make them question what is ahead. However, it struggles to find its footing in various sequences. At times, it feels chaotic. With this, the twist regarding Jean Grey shifts the narrative drastically.
Thus, we can only wait and see how the story unfolds in this series.
The Many Hues of PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1
The illustrations by Leinil Francis Yu are great! However, there are some panels that feel a little crowded. This issue, and this series, is vast in nature. There is a highly anticipated story that involves a plethora of characters. With this though, I believe it would be most beneficial if the pages had more balance. Because the action sequences are so chaotic, there is a loss of focus of the characters. They become lost in the imagery, which is a shame.
Rachelle Rosenberg depicts a broad color palette. I especially enjoy her work in the The North Pole sequences. Interestingly though, I felt as though there were some tonal inconsistencies in the issue. At first, I thought the artwork of PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1 was going to veer into darker territory, considering how the narrative began in a creepy manner. As the issue goes on though, the tone shifts drastically, especially when we first see Jean Grey. The work transitions into a more light-hearted work when we see that Jean is, seemingly, happily working at a diner and in a relationship with Scott Summers. This transition thus proves a tad confusing considering the nature of the story and its horrifying prologue.
As a result, I was left wanting more consistency. Now, I am unsure of the direction the series will enter. Of course, that is not necessarily a bad thing. The mystery that is engraved in the plot and the artwork is one of this work’s positive aspects. However, these inconsistencies ultimately feel more overwhelming than enticing.
What Lies Beyond
PHOENIX RESURRECTION #1 will raise a lot of eyebrows and questions. Personally, I have mixed feelings. I also feel as though many fans will too. To put it simply, a lot of weird things happen in this issue. As of now, these events are not cohesive, resulting in an issue that feels disjointed.
So, we can only hope that future plot developments will explain the events of this unusual issue.