Jean Grey is the character that won't stay dead. Except she has been dead since X-Men #150 in 2004 (or 2005, if you want to include Phoenix: Endsong). Jean was one of the original X-Men. She and Cyclops were one of the few superhero couples to get married. With characters constantly dying and returning, it's surprising that Jean, the poster child for resurrections, still hasn't returned to comic book pages.
There are those that despise when characters die only to return shortly after. Batman and Captain America were both recently dead for around two years before their return. Have people forgotten about Jean? I tend to agree that comic book deaths are made cheap when the character returns. The characters start to become invincible and there's no need to worry if they get in perilous situations because we know writers will have an easy way out.
Jean is a character with a lot of potential and is too good to waste being relegated to comic book limbo. The fact that Scott is with Emma and we have some big changes coming up makes it the perfect time for Jean to return. If she happens to bring any remnants of the Phoenix Force, all the better.== TEASER ==
To be fair, Jean's first death shouldn't even count. When she was originally dying from high levels of radiation in a damage space shuttle, she was placed a healing cocoon while the Phoenix Force took her place. Therefore her death/sacrifice in [Uncanny] X-Men #137 wasn't Jean's death.
Jean's death allowed for Scott and Emma to finally accept their feelings for each other. This led to both characters growing. Scott was no longer tied to Jean's side. Even when he thought he had moved on and married Madelyne Pryor, it turned out to be a clone of Jean.
Emma went from being a cold and unfeeling villainess to someone that we can believe truly cares for Scott. It was Jean in the future (I'm not getting into the Phoenix egg business in Grant Morrison's final X-Men issues) that sent her blessings to the two and saying they should be together and live.
Of course she sort of returned from her death. In Phoenix: Endsong, the Phoenix Force does attempt to resurrect Jean. Jean tells the Phoenix Force it's too early. We see a struggle between the two. The Phoenix Force basically has the hots for Scott and wants to return to him. There is a struggle throughout the miniseries between Jean and the Phoenix Force. Jean even asks Wolverine to kill her over and over in trying to weaken the Phoenix Force.
After some other X-Men shenanigans, Jean helps save the day and returns to the White Hot Room. Everyone is happy and things continue the way they were. Scott and Emma continue their relationship.
But it is time for Jean to return. Imagine what it would be like for Jean to catch up on everything that has happened. What would she think of Hope and the deaths of Cable and Nightcrawler. With Scott clearly having moved on (although there's bound to be a spark of feelings deep down), there are so many possibilities for Jean.
She has always been attached to Scott's side. Let's see what she can do on her own. If she wanted to, she could hook up with Wolverine, someone else or just be on her own. What would she think of the Uncanny X-Force team and their methods (would they really be able to keep it a secret from her?).
How could Jean come back? When it comes to the Phoenix Force, we know anything is possible. In Wolverine # 7 and 8 we saw that Wolverine had a piece of his subconscious dedicated to Jean. The Phoenix Force could try to latch onto that in order to return. That might be too much of a stretch. While we've seen Jean come back many times, the powers that be have firmly stated that Jean is dead.
But she's not really dead...at least not everywhere. Dark Phoenix did pop up in The Iron Age: Alpha but does that count since it involved Doctor Doom's Time Platform. If we're being desperate and if writers really want a way to bring Jean back, they just need to look at the pages of Uncanny X-Force #11. Why not have the Age of Apocalypse version journey over? We've seen plenty of other AoA residence in the 616-Universe and there's no reason Jean can't take the trip.
It is simply Jean's time to return. The original is preferable. Heck, I'd even settle for her return as Marvel Girl. She's been gone long enough. With the announcement of the X-Men being divided this fall and Wolverine leading his own team (most likely a team separate from Cyclops), we were teased that we'd be surprised at who followed who. If Jean came back and sided with Wolverine, it would make for some pretty juicy storytelling.
There's always been tension between Scott and Logan. We know from the Schism teasers that they will be fighting each other. I don't see the fight being over Wolverine continuing to lead an X-Force team that 's willing to kill. In Wolverine #8, Scott asked Logan why he mentioned Jean's name before regaining control of his body. Wolverine told him that wasn't the time to talk about Jean.
Which Jean should we have return? The original Jean, a Phoenix-enhanced version or her Age of Apocalypse counterpart? We may have limited numbers of mutants around thanks to Scarlet Witch and her "No more mutants" magic but most of them don't even come close to comparing to Jean. Who's with me? Let's all cry out for Jean to come back.