Jean Grey Claims the Phoenix Force... Was Holding Her Back

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for X-Men Red Annual #1 by Tom Taylor and Pascal Alixe, in stores now.

After decades of being dead, Jean Grey finally returned to life (for real this time) in Phoenix Resurrection. However, that series was focused solely on the hows and the whys. As soon as Jean returned, the series concluded and the next we saw Jean, she was forming a new team to save mutants on a worldwide scale in X-Men Red.

However, X-Men Red Annual #1 winds back to the moment right after Jean came back to life. In the annual, she reconnects with old friends, discovers all that she has missed when she was gone, and takes in what the world has become.

Then, she pays a visit to the Inhuman king Black Bolt, who was largely responsible for the death of the man she loved, Scott Summers. As soon as Jean storms into New Attilan, a fight breaks out between the Inhumans and Jean, Rachel Grey and X-23. But before any real damage can be done, Jean stops the fight makes a startling revelation; apparently, Jean is even more powerful than we thought.

RELATED: Jean Grey Catches Up With Old Friends In X-Men Red (With One Major Exception)

With her telekinetic powers, Jean has no troubles stopping a punch from the incredibly powerful Black Bolt. Then, she explains that she doesn't want to fight by basically telling him that the Inhuman King has no chance to win this fight against her. "I'm not connected to the Phoenix anymore," she says. "Which means I can use everything I have without fear of the Phoenix taking hold." Jean goes on to explain that even she doesn't know the full extent of what that statement means. However, there's one thing she is sure of: The Phoenix Force has always been holding her back.

X-Men Red Annual Jean Grey Black Bolt fight

According to her, ever since she was first attached to the Phoenix Force, she has been holding her telepathic and telekinetic powers back. The Phoenix was a powerful entity, cosmically so, and Jean recognized its raw strength and opted to keep it at bay.

So what can Jean do, now that she is free of the corrupting cosmic entity? She believes that her mutant abilities have never been tapped to their full extent, meaning that she might be one of, if not the most powerful mutant on the planet.

RELATED: Jean Grey’s Newest Enemy Is Also Her Most Powerful – And Personal

Already we have seen a little of what Jean Grey can do in X-Men Red. She pulled together the minds of politicians and scientists into her own to try to find a solution for world peace, and in Annual #1 we saw that she can more than multitask in telepathy, keeping contact with various people all over the world. And that only appears to be for starters.

Of course, this probably doesn't mean she's all of a sudden as powerful as the Phoenix Force. After all, the Phoenix has the power to destroy planets or create new life. Jean, as powerful as she is, is still "just" a telepathic telekinetic. What she was most likely trying to get across is that she's never fully tapped into those abilities for fear of losing control as the Phoenix. Now that the otherworldly entity is no longer a factor in her life, however, readers (and X-Men Red's main antagonist, Cassandra Nova) may too learn exactly what the founding X-Man is truly capable of in the near future.

KEEP READING: Jean Grey Couldn’t Have Returned at a More Socially Relevant Time

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