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Did Mesmero Get the Phoenix Force Addicted to Cigarettes?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Did Mesmero Get the Phoenix Force Addicted to Cigarettes?

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

Reader Rob H. wrote in with this interesting little piece of comic book trivia that I had never noticed.

Okay, so in the recent Generations: Phoenix and Jean Grey one-shot (by Cullen Bunn and RB Silva), Rob noticed that when Jean visited Phoenix in the past, Phoenix (while in her form as Jean Grey) was getting all of her stuff together so that she could go out with Jean…

Notice what she is bringing with her – an ashtray, a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.

This is because they are basing the timing of the story on a panel from X-Men #125 (by John Byrne, Chris Claremont and Terry Austin)…

And sure enough, that’s what she had on her person in that panel.

What’s interesting, though, is that we never saw Jean Grey smoking in the original X-Men comics. The first time we see her smoking is in X-Men #111 (by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin), where the villainous Mesmero has hypnotized the X-Men into thinking that they are part of a traveling carnival show. Former X-Men Beast investigates, and when he meets his old friend, Jean Grey, he can’t believe that it is her, in part, it appears, because of her smoking…

The X-Men break free of Mesmero’s control (although then find out that he was working for Magneto the whole time and then they are captrued once more) but, as we can see in X-Men #125, Jean doesn’t drop the smoking habit.

Rob also says he sees Jean with a small cigar (a cigarillo) in X-Men #132, but I couldn’t see it myself. I don’t doubt him, I just couldn’t find it.

Isn’t that a funny little thing? That apparently even a cosmic force like the Phoenix could get addicted to cigarettes!

Thanks to Rob for the head’s up. If anyone else has an interesting piece of comic book history that they’d like for me to write about, just drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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