Could this mysterious cropped image provided by Marvel to Entertainment Weekly really mean that Jean Grey -- original X-Men member, Phoenix Host, X-Factor (the comic not the TV show) chick, etc. -- be really coming back to the Marvel Universe? And if so -- why is she wearing that retro costume?
Everybody and their mom are going to be blogging speculative posts on this, and I don't know how much more I could add to the chorus other than: "mebbie!"
So instead, I thought I'd use this space to talk about how I did a book report on one of Grey's previous teased returns: as an eleven year-old in the mid-Eighties.
The comic was "Fantastic Four" #286. Way back before the Internet, Marvel used to have a comic/magazine called "Marvel Age" in which they would tease such intriguing and spoilery plotlines. They ran the cover to the issue with the female figure blacked out in the center...and half the text in the article blacked-out, F.B.I. secret records-style. If I had read the article now, it would have been pretty obvious to me that it was indeed Jean Grey that was coming back. But back then I had barely scratched the surface of Marvel lore. So I did what any normal 11-year old would do: I measured the length of the black "censored" bars in the article, trying to see what words would fit.
But that wasn't all: then I decided to make this fascinating endeavor the subject of my class's show and tell. I redrew the cover of "Fantastic Four" #286 on poster-paper, then presented my findings to the class. When it was revealed the next month that Jean Grey was indeed returning to the Marvel U -- after having been dead and stuff -- I felt very very proud of myself. My classmates? They thought I was a little strange. Luckily, in only about 10-15 years, there would be far better forums, online, to share my crackpot comic book ideas.
So is Jean Grey coming back? I'll measure the blacked-out letters and let you know as soon as I can!