Jean Grey's Champions

We all are on the edge of our seats to see if Avengers Vs X-Men will do what hasn't been done in recent years...something that may not happen, but still...the return of Jean Grey, after all this time. But if that does occur, the question is, what will happen with her afterwards? Personally, were I the one deciding her fate, I'd have her do something other than the usual actions (joining one of the Avengers, rejoining the X-Men, etc.). I propose that, instead, she do something none of them expected--form her own hero team. Or in this case, RE-form a team, because I'd have her revive the long-forgotten LA guardians known as the Champions! LA may already have Moon Knight and the Runaways, but I think it's time they got the Champs back, and I'd think Jean should be the one to bring it. Here's what I have in mind:

If Jean is revived, she takes off for a while to think about what's happened, and what she wants to do now. As of now, she's no longer connected to the Phoenix Force, her ties finally cut after so long. Effectively, it was death that did part her marriage to Cyclops, and both have moved on. Logan offered her the option of teaching at the school (it is named after her) and it still stands even if she decides not to take it. Things have greatly changed in the world she left behind for some time, and she ultimately decides to go with those changes. (One thing she does to further distance herself from all things Phoenix is adopting a new codename--Mindseye.) Inspiration strikes after talking with Iceman one day. With his, Black Widow's, Herc's, and Johnny Blaze's blessings, she decides to bring back that unsung team of heroes known as the Champions. Backed financially by Namor's Oracle Inc., and based in an LA estate unused by Charles Xavier for some time, Jean sets out to recruit the members to her team, finding them in what some would consider unlikely (my ideas, trust me):

Scarlet Witch

One of Jean's oldest friends, she offers a spot for Wanda both as a chance to redeem herself and give her a break from the more 'chaotic' side that is the East Coast. (I thought Wanda could also use a break from being either the X-Men or Avengers' "punching bag" in terms of misfortune. And I know there are some who like the ways Jean and Wanda have been featured together in a lot of official and fan-written material...)

Darkhawk

After recovering at Project Pegasus (following the events of The Thanos Imperative), Chris Powell finds that he still needs help finding a decent balance between his personal life and his role as Darkhawk, especially after the revelations of the armor's origin. When he learns of Jean's recruiting drive, he joins up to see if the experience could help. (I'd put him in a situation similar to the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle.)

Silverclaw

We haven't seen much of Lupe since Civil War and her trouble with the Puppet Master, so I thought she'd be a good addition to the team. Let's say that after completing her studies at ESU and graduating, she decides to do some graduate work in LA, where she receives a call from Jean. Lupe finds herself joining the group after seeing the opportunity to be part of something special (outside efforts to help her home) again, like her time with the Avengers.

A-Bomb

Let's face it, Rick hasn't seen any action since the waning issues of the first volume of The Incredible Hulk. I'd put that he and Marlo moved to West LA in the time between Incredible Hulks #636 and Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #1, and when he learns of Jean's recruiting drive, Marlo gives him the okay, stating how there's almost been a Hulk in some form or another on almost every team. Marlo joins up as a member of the team's support staff.

Darkstar (Laynia Petrova)

One way to connect the new team to the old team would be bringing in one of its original members. Since cultural tastes and international relations have changed greatly (and the fact that she's no longer dead), I figured bringing her back on would be good. She gets recruited by Jean as a suggestion from Iceman, to make up for her treatment back in the days of the original Champions. Laynia decides to give this a chance, seeing as now this would be the Champs 'done right'.

Goliath (Tom Foster)

This would be another means of making the old/new team connection. Tom is recruited by Jean as a means to make up for his time with the Revengers, and as a way to honor his uncle Bill's memory by serving in the team he used to be part of.

Overall, I think Jean would be great leading a team like this, and it wouldn't make the same mistakes the original incarnation did. Were this an ongoing, I'd have the writer be Louise Simonson and the artist be Chris Bachalo.

15 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by Kiddevil

nice team

Posted by Darkmount1

@kiddevil: Thanks!

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

Wow. You certainly thought this out. Kudos, I would throw hawk eye. And one of the ghost riders on the team as well

Posted by Darkmount1

@Avenging-X-Bolt: I chose to omit any of the Ghost Riders, since they're not exactly 'team-friendly' nowadays. I think Hawkeye's already getting a ton of spotlight thrust upon him, so I'm sticking with this lineup.

Posted by WarMachineMarkV

- I really do not see Jean as a leader, even if she did want to do something different I cannot see her starting her own team and it being successful.

- For most of her career (alive) she was the dutiful wife or girlfriend of Cyclops, I'm sure most characters like her personally, but i do not see many thinking her qualified to lead a team.

- I like the outside the box choices in recruits, but I do not see the premise holding up overall

Posted by Ivyphoenix17

I like your idea of Jean Grey bringing back the champions and putting her as the leader but like WarMachineMarkV, Jean Grey of the x-men is not suit for a leader since all her life she was viewed as the assistant leader to Scott and for me, I think, her characteristics does not fit to become a leader so I can't see also that she will lead a team.

I have also thought of Jean's comeback but I want Jean to comeback with the Phoenix Force since her original story was that the Phoenix was her true evolution of her powers. For me, I want marvel brought back Jean in a different way. In a way that they will show that "this is not the former Jean Grey you know, the Jean Grey of the X- Men is dead and forever be dead. This is the new Jean Grey". I want Marvel to make a whole new Jean Grey with a new backstory, new origin, new characters and a new sets of villains to battle and a new love interest ( not sticking only with Scott and Logan). In short, I want Marvel to make a new series with her as the main solo heroine. I do not want her to comeback in the X-Men since it is "over crowded" with mutants already. And maybe, in one of her series, she will be team up with the X-Men with the interesting reaction of the X-Men finding out that Jean Grey is alive but finding out that she is not the former Jean Grey of the X-Men but a new Jean Grey whose phoenix powers is a product of its fullness and without the feeling with either Scott or Logan. Another reason why I also want Jean to be recreated and have a solo series because so that Jean Grey can create her own name and not only Jean Grey whose name always sticks with the X-Men. It is time now for Jean to have a solo series of her own.

Posted by Darkmount1

@WarMachineMarkV: Which is why I think Jean should be able to break that lampshade that's been hanging over her for some time. I think for once she should be shown as a capable leader. A team not affiliated with any of the Big Gun teams would be the best outlet. Let's just say she's had some hidden potential outside her mastery of her mutant powers. Also, give me two good reasons why this premise (the new Champions, not Jean as leader) wouldn't hold up.

@Ivyphoenix17: Why not just bring back pre-Inferno Madelyne Pryor while you're at it? Seriously, I'm sick of seeing Jean used as the proverbial "punching bag" or "second banana" all the time. X-Men: Evolution's portrayal is what partially inspired this idea. What you've got there is an idea for a new character, not a reinvented Jean Grey. Also, it makes me think of John Byrne retconning that the Phoenix Force was posing as Jean the whole time.

For both of you anyways, I do appreciate that you like my ideas for the roster.

Posted by DEGRAAF

I would at least pick up the first couple issues to find out more about this team

Posted by Darkmount1

@DEGRAAF: Thanks! What do you think of my choice of creative team? And have you heard of the original Champions?

Posted by DEGRAAF

@Darkmount1: idk the artist or writer (i dont normally follow artists and writers) nope, i've never heard of the Champions i dont think but if it's got Iceman on the team im on board

Posted by WarMachineMarkV

@Darkmount1 said:

@WarMachineMarkV: Which is why I think Jean should be able to break that lampshade that's been hanging over her for some time. I think for once she should be shown as a capable leader. A team not affiliated with any of the Big Gun teams would be the best outlet. Let's just say she's had some hidden potential outside her mastery of her mutant powers. Also, give me two good reasons why this premise (the new Champions, not Jean as leader) wouldn't hold up.

@Ivyphoenix17: Why not just bring back pre-Inferno Madelyne Pryor while you're at it? Seriously, I'm sick of seeing Jean used as the proverbial "punching bag" or "second banana" all the time. X-Men: Evolution's portrayal is what partially inspired this idea. What you've got there is an idea for a new character, not a reinvented Jean Grey. Also, it makes me think of John Byrne retconning that the Phoenix Force was posing as Jean the whole time.

For both of you anyways, I do appreciate that you like my ideas for the roster.

1 - People do not join leaders who only have "hidden untapped talent" unless their are extenuating circumstances, they are attracted to established leaders. If the team was made up of former X-Men who would join her for personal reasons only and watch her grow over time I could believe it. She has almost no connection with most of this roster and I cannot see them joining a team led by someone they only know as Cyclops resurrected ex-wife.

- At the very least she needs an accomplished leader as a #2 to make the prospects feel safe that even if she has trouble running the show there is someone there to keep it all together.

2 - You have given no direction or purpose for the team, what are they coming together to accomplish? If the purpose of the team strikes a personal chord with some of the prospects that may sell me on why they would join a team with a leader of questionable ability.

3 - Until I know what the team is meant to do I really cannot say if it can work or not with some tweaks

Posted by Darkmount1

@WarMachineMarkV: Regarding two of your points--

1) It's for that particular reason is why I had her change her name to Mindseye--I'd have her do what Oracle used to do before her identity was revealed (see the original 'Suicide Squad' volume and the first few 'Birds of Prey' stories--Black Canary had no clue who Oracle was until a later story). She uses a fascimile (like Oracle's computerized 'face') to recruit them to her cause. Only Wanda would know who the true face is. Were this an actual ongoing, I give it about three-four issues in before Mindseye finally reveals herself and her reasons for reforming this team, and why she chose the people I selected.

2) The purpose of the re-formed Champs would be twofold: one, to rebuild the reputation of the name "Champions" (the original I've heard was not too up to snuff, as "for all its money, power and promise, the eclectically mismatched group lacked unity and direction" (from the wiki page I read here on the Vine)), and fill in the void left by the Order (the last major team for California)--fighting threats to the innocent on the West Coast, like the West Coast Avengers used to do. The Runaways are more low-key (from what I've read of their appearances in Daken: Dark Wolverine), and Moon Knight, of course, is more of a blur to the general public, so in short, LA as of late has had no high-profile hero team in their neck of the woods, while the East Coast has three, count'em THREE, to choose from.

Posted by GREGalicious

@Ivyphoenix17: I definitely down with this. JEAN was always intended to be part of Phoenix and that shouldnt be changed just because ppl seem to have a problem with it. I would love for her to return with little to no memory of her former life as it would give her the chance to start fresh. If she absolutely had to lead a team, I think the EXILES would be a better fit given she (somewhat) has no place with the X-Men anymore.

Posted by Darkmount1

@GREGalicious: I can see where you're coming from, but that whole trope of "coming back with no memory of former life" has been beaten into the ground so many times (most recently with Angel in Uncanny X-Force), and I'm sick of it. Exiles is okay, but as we learned with the Claremont run in the final issues of the original title....(see the recent news story "Most Dissappointing Marvel Story Arcs"). It's why I decided on having her run with (as well as run) a team more obscure than the Exiles. And the only problem I've got with Phoenix is that, like Crisis On Infinite Earths (according to Marv Wolfman in a Village Voice interview), it should've been just a one-time thing. Phoenix as a concept also got beaten into the ground so often it's not exciting anymore. It was good for uplifting Jean in terms of popularity, and now I'd like to see if she can become popular again--WITHOUT it. I call this little issue "Phoenix fatigue", and the only cure is benching the Phoenix Force for a while. Jean doesn't have to be defined by it, or her relationship to Scott, or to the X-Men, or anything else.

Posted by Ivyphoenix17

@GREGalicious: as I said to DarkMount1, I am not making a new character, i am just refreshing Jean Grey making all of her aspects as fresh as a new one, but she is still the jean grey that we love and know because of her attitude but only on a new environment, with a new set of origin that is not related to the X-Men and a new set of villains that will call her as her own enemy and not the x-men's enemy and also a new love interest. My ideas are all answered by what if's for example, what if Jean did not join and meet the X-Men and eventually her powers was manifested slowly. What if Jean will have her own solo series where her phoenix powers can be more emphasize and maybe, this new Jean Grey, will be revealed as the reincarnated Jean of the x-men. Did you get it?