From the House of Ideas: ‘Jean Grey #1’ and ‘Amazing Spider-Man #32’

A few random thoughts this week on a couple of books I checked out over the past week.

First up was Jean Grey #1, following hot on the heels of the character’s apparent demise during the real Hellfire Gala. As I wrote at the time, killing Jean yet again felt like a crutch being used to drum up some sort of shock or dramatic tension, but in the context of the Gala it just felt like same old, same old. Thankfully, it has at least led to an interesting take on the character by beloved writer and former X-Factor scribe Louise Simonson.

Tying back to when the original X-Men line-up were brought to the present and then returned to their past, Jean is determined to ensure a safer existence for mutants based on her knowledge of the future. Unfortunately that determination leads to violence and corruption. With Jean Grey #1, Simonson and artist Bernard Chang have delivered a story that was more interesting and enjoyable than I anticipated, mainly because it feels like they’re shooting for a unique Jean Grey tale, rather than something that’s could be perceived as treading water. I’m interested in seeing where the next issue goes.

SUPERSTAR CREATORS TAKE JEAN GREY’S LEGACY TO FIERY NEW HEIGHTS! After the events of the Hellfire Gala, Jean’s life is in shambles. Mutantkind is in dire straits – and there’s nothing this founding X-Man can do. She’ll have to save herself first. And that means looking into her past – for the moment when it all went wrong – in a desperate attempt to save her and all Krakoa’s future. Legendary writer Louise Simonson returns to the X-Men with a story full of fan-favorite moments, heartrending revelations and pulse-pounding devastation!

Speaking of doing things unique and differently, I was really pleased with the cliffhanger that writer Zeb Wells and artist Patrick Gleason delivered with the ending of Amazing Spider-Man #32. The current series has been documenting the tentative relationship between Peter Parker and Norman Osborne, who has had his sins as the Green Goblin removed and made physical. However, when Kraven the Hunter and the Queen Goblin try to inject Norman with those sins, they miss their target and get another one instead. You can figure out who, right?

All of that worked for me, and I’m pretty excited about seeing an evil Spider-Man/Peter Parker for a little while. I know Dan Slot made Peter kinda sorta bad during The Superior Spider-Man, but this feels altogether more like a dark path the character could walk down for a little while, and it could make for some fun storytelling. Plus, check out the killer cover from the always awesome John Romita Jr.

Two of Spider-Man’s villains are forming the deadliest team-up he’s ever had to face. But are they after Spidey? Or is he just in the way of something bigger? Patrick Gleason rejoins the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN crew for the darkest arc of ASM yet!

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