My Issues With Rachel Grey

Posted by Squares (8661 posts) - - Show Bio

(It took forever to think up a title for this post!)
Today I'd like to delve into a topic which bothers me incredibly- Rachel Grey, the alternate future daughter of Jean Grey and Cyclops. Although, come to think of it, I think she showed up around the mid 80s, can it really be called an alternate future anymore?  
At any rate, she apparently attended Xavier's as a child (note the fact that her appearance occurred while the only real students of the school were the New Mutants, and therefore the student body wasn't even really big enough to call a private school), where she was when sentinels attacked and killed everyone...except her, who they captured and trained as a ' hound'. She was spared because of her telepathic powers, which were then used to track and kill other mutants, and is stated to have killed her fair share of innocents. She escaped into the past, stuff happened, and I'm quite certain her character page sums it up far better than I could. At any rate, she showed up out of the blue one day in the 80s.
Firstly, I'd like to say that I don't dislike her for being the progeny of Jean and Cyclops. That would be a really stupid reason to dislike anyone, let alone a comic book character. I dislike her for a variety of reasons, which are, in no particular order:
1) Her odd fixation with Jean Grey  

Okay, sure, her parents were killed when she was young (possibly 12?), which would majorly affect anyone. But even when you take that factor into consideration, her fixation with Jean Grey is kind of...well, weird. She comprehends and accepts the fact that she comes from an alternate time line, and that Jean is actually not technically her mother (Jean has not given birth to Rachel (and will not, ever, in this timeline)), nor is Cyclops her father, but she seems to refuse to behave as though they were not her actual parents. She calls Jean 'mom' almost constantly when addressing her, and after she informs Cyclops of her parentage, she calls him 'dad' fairly frequently as well. 
Mind you, both Jean and (eventually, when he's informed) Cyclops are incredibly cool with the whole thing. I mean, sure, they do correct her every once in a while, but they're really nice about it. At their wedding, Jean clearly states that she wishes she had a daughter like Rachel. Even if you take into consideration that Rachel has been through her share of pain and suffering and whatnot, how many of you can honestly say you'd be so unphased by this young woman you've never met suddenly showing up and calling you 'Mom'? And for that matter, how would you react when she kept doing it all the time? I'd be really, really pissed off, personally.  
This lovely quality of hers tends to branch out into my next point;
2) She tends to be really obnoxious at the strangest times 
This would be a lot less irritating if other characters actually reacted to her behaviour realistically. Rachel gets treated like a 'nice, trustworthy, caring individual', just like Jean...or, you know, any other poorly-made character in the series. But she doesn't really live up to it. Between her creepy idolization of the dead mother she didn't really know (and her subsequently adopting herself as Jean Grey's daughter) and the constant reminders of how she's 'powerful, like Jean', she has the odd tendency to freak out at things that seem...well, not worthy of freaking out about. Not only does she repeatedly whine and angst about the whole 'not being born yet', after she re-appears (after quite a while, mind you) and discovers Jean is dead and Cyclops is with Emma, she really cranks up the rude meter. Now faced with the fact that she will probably never be born, not only does she seize every opportunity to display her disapproval of her 'father' 's new girlfriend, but she actively provokes Emma whenever possible. I'd like to think that the average person would probably yell at Cyclops a bit for cheating on their mother (probably?), sulk for a little while, and then gradually accept things and at least try to like (or get to know) the new girlfriend...but no. Rachel displays an astounding lack of maturity by refusing to even attempt to co-exist with Emma. 
And her tantrums aren't limited to that; on one occasion she yells at Psylocke for coming back from the dead, instead of Jean. I mean, sure, anyone would be thinking that it's kind of unfair that their loved ones don't seem to get resurrected often enough, but not only are they not stupid or rude enough to say this to whoever was recently brought back to life, but she's yelling about Jean Grey not coming back to life. What's Jean's death count, like 10? At least? The woman is the goddamn Phoenix, she can't seem to manage the whole 'staying dead' bit. Psylocke has only come back from the dead on that one occasion, and is therefore not deserving of Rachel's ire.
3) She is crazy easy to manipulate
 The girl turned herself into a freaking Saurian with minimal persuasion! I mean come on, she really got into it and everything! Whoever wrote that whole story arc really, really needs to rethink their choice of career. 
And the art for that arc sucked, too.
4) She is probably going to be part of some really annoying plot twist at some point in the future
The girl displays absolutely no traits that could be attributed to Cyclops. Ordinarily, I wouldn't make this point, but this is the goddamn X-men, every child of every (important, at least) character bears at least SOME similarity to each of their parents. That's how the reader is able to easily suspect that they're related. Take into account the fact that every other child of Cyclops (at the very least) has at least something one can argue is inherited from him, and Rachel seems even more suspicious. She looks exactly like her mother, has the same powers as her, and has even been a host to the goddamn Phoenix force. Almost everything about her screamsclone, and we're supposed to believe she's Cyclops' child? 
I keep suspecting that she'll turn out to be the child of the Phoenix force and Jean Grey, or another of Sinister's clones, or some other ridiculous plot twist, and I really, really hope I'm wrong. Not only because of the fact that I cannot stand her, but also because it would display an incredible lack of originality on the writer's part, and I would probably stop reading the series. 

So, thoughts, conspiracy theories, anyone?
#1 Posted by jordama (4701 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't call her feelings toward jean a fixation. Alternate timeline kids develop feelings toward their 616 parents. This is seen in TJ and Nightcrawler.  
About her being obnoxious, she is acting like a child that has been betrayed by her father. Many times when a parent moves on it brings up the idea that they really didn't love the parent that is no longer there. I can believe that Rachel actively hates Emma because she in a way replaced her mother.   
I never really cared for that acr to begin with, but I think something was said that she wanted to change because of something.  
Some kids take after one parent more than the other. X-Man and cable lean more towards Jean than the do Scott. The future kids that Scott and Emma might have seem more like Emma except Ruby.
#2 Posted by Mercy_ (92982 posts) - - Show Bio
@jordama: I think Ruby's a bit of an amalgamation of her parents.
#3 Posted by jordama (4701 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress:
she is the only one that isn't pure mother
#4 Posted by Mercy_ (92982 posts) - - Show Bio
@jordama said:
" @The Dark Huntress: she is the only one that isn't pure mother "
Cable is his mother power wise, but he definitely has his father's sense of tactics. 
#5 Posted by jordama (4701 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress:
but didn't he get that more from the way he was raised than genetics
#6 Posted by EnSabahNurX (2321 posts) - - Show Bio

@jordama said:

I wouldn't call her feelings toward jean a fixation. Alternate timeline kids develop feelings toward their 616 parents. This is seen in TJ and Nightcrawler.

About her being obnoxious, she is acting like a child that has been betrayed by her father. Many times when a parent moves on it brings up the idea that they really didn't love the parent that is no longer there. I can believe that Rachel actively hates Emma because she in a way replaced her mother.

I never really cared for that acr to begin with, but I think something was said that she wanted to change because of something.

Some kids take after one parent more than the other. X-Man and cable lean more towards Jean than the do Scott. The future kids that Scott and Emma might have seem more like Emma except Ruby.

This is what i get from what i've read of rachel, I mean writers tend to not know what to do with her, but she's gotten better and is joining legacy. We probably won't see her interact too much with emma since she's joining wolverine's side, but i am assuming she will have an argument with cyclops which is why she ditches him.

And at least now they have made her powers different from jean's, she now has blue fire even after losing her phoenix powers. She is also not covering her hound markings so because of her long hiatus from x-men they have a chance to fix her character who has been iffy.

But how would you be acting if you ended up in a reality where your parents who died in your reality existed, your father then ends up with another woman, your mom dies and you realize you won't be born here and therefore you can't see how different your life could have been if your parents were alive.

Plus she looks so much like her mother, she lives in jean's shadow(though her fault for taking the marvel girl mantle) and even though she idolizes jean when she died she had to essentially take her place. Plus she had to deal with her mom dying AGAIN, rachel should be completely insane.

She's still better than Hope who has an obvious jean connection and is a total brat for no reason. She was far more likable with cable and wonder if hope and rachel will talk able cable since they both loved him so much and rachel doesn't know he's dead yet.

#7 Posted by Squares (8661 posts) - - Show Bio

@jordama said:

@The Dark Huntress: but didn't he get that more from the way he was raised than genetics

To some extent, tactical aptitude relies on the ability to reason and apply logic, which can be genetic.

@EnSabahNurX: In that situation, I would try to put my needs far after those of the alternate dimension versions of the people I care about, especially if they humored me to the extent that everyone did with Rachel. Keeping in mind that they have lives of their own and wanting them to be happy, I'd try to rely on them as little as possible to minimize the burden I would create and work towards self-sufficiency, 'getting a life' and such. Mind you, that's just me.

She looks nearly IDENTICAL to her mother. And you seem to underestimate the resilience of the human psyche- Rachel wouldn't be insane, per se, she'd just be really really sad for a period of time and then gradually move on.

I find Hope's behaviour as of late both amusing and odd. For some reason, I seem to recall Cable being rather...abrasive at times, in the past, so her behaving in such an irritating manner could stem from him, possibly. However, what we've been shown of Hope's childhood gives us no really plausible reason for her obnoxiousness.

#8 Edited by darthphoenix (1450 posts) - - Show Bio

@squares: Kitty said that rachel acts like a 7 year old kid whenever around scott and jean that was even before the wedding. Days or months before the wedding, Jean told Rachel that he was to say yes to scott's proposal. She informed Rachel first even before scott. It only meant that jean accepted her as her child already. I dont think scott had any problems accepting his kids from any timeline. I think he accepted the fact that he is one horny guy who spreads his seeds a lot.

Regarding emma, i believe that just like me, she is still a fan of the jean and cyke relationship.

...and yes she inherited her mother's temper too. I'm sure Psylocke would understand. But we also have to site that she also inherited her mother's heart. She knows how to look out for her friends and loved ones. In excalibur days, she always flares up whenever someone attacks kitty. In x-men legacy, I love the way she supports Rogue when rogue was down during schism because his bf magneto chose to be on cyclop's side.

#9 Edited by Squares (8661 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthphoenix: I don't really see what you mean by Cyclops 'spreading his seeds', he's been in like...four relationships, ever, and has one kid.

#10 Posted by darthphoenix (1450 posts) - - Show Bio


kids of scott: cable (with maddie), ruby(with emma), rachel(with phoenix force)

#11 Posted by Squares (8661 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthphoenix: Notice that all those characters exist in different timelines, ergo he has like one kid per timeline.

#12 Posted by anjuwayo (112 posts) - - Show Bio

Unlike wolverine cyke only had one kid in this timeline Nathan, with his wife at the time Madelyne... Rachel, Ruby, Nate and Megan are all alternate timeline children a alternate timeline Cyke had with alternate timeline women...

#13 Posted by Nate-Grey (33 posts) - - Show Bio

So, she's lost her parents in the future, spent considerable time in a concentration camp - Wolverine outright compared her to a holocaust survivor - and was made to hunt her own kind, before seeing her husband (DOFP!Franklin) vaporised in front of her eyes, lost her best friend (DOFP!Kitty Pryde, though she seems to get on with the present version like a house on fire) and you're surprised that she latches on to the counterpart of her mother?

Furthermore, you're actually surprised that she hated Emma, who, let's face it, basically psychically raped her father (at the very least, what she did to him when he came to her for therapy was a staggering betrayal of trust and violation of medical ethics), played a key role in her mother/the Phoenix going insane in the Dark Phoenix Saga (she gave Mastermind the means to get into Jean's mind), something which she's pretty likely to know considering her association with the Phoenix, after the emotional body blow of losing her mother for the second time (from her point of view) and generally gave Rachel little enough reason to like or trust her? Sure, they've patched things up since, but still. Issues.

On that note, she has staggering amounts of psychological damage. All of the Grey-Summers kids do: Rachel's a repeatedly bereaved future Holocaust survivor who was enslaved and literally treated like a hunting dog, leash and all, with colossal PTSD, Cable's a grizzled time travelling veteran with what is likely even worse PTSD and similar bereavement issues (but either the experience to deal with them or suppress them) whose mother is dead/insane, Stryfe is an evil, deranged clone raised by Apocalypse and Nate is an artificially created living weapon who lost the closest thing he ever had to a father, whose unconscious attempt to reach out to his mother resurrected Madelyn Pryor, was hunted by just about everyone, spent years thinking he was going to die at pretty much any moment, then spent several years dead, then alive, then strapped to a battery and all but stripped of his powers.

And, let's face it, they all fixate on Jean to one extent or another. It's Scott's genes, I swear.

Speaking of Scott's genes, I think the blue eyes and occasional interpersonal difficulties show that she takes after daddy. To be honest, temper aside, Nate and Cable both take pretty strongly after their father in looks and personality (well, Nate is more of a mixture). It's hardly surprising that she takes after her mother.

So, lay off Rachel, eh?

#14 Posted by darthphoenix (1450 posts) - - Show Bio

I just wish writers would explore more her "time" powers. It really does make her one of the most powerful mutants. her time/fourth dimensional pulse works without her even knowing it. what more if she tries to use and hone her chronal abilities

#15 Posted by inhumanityrises (5 posts) - - Show Bio

She never married Franklin but she did date him and he was her first love.

Anyway, Rachel is the greatest example of a PTSD character and one of the few that Marvel still actually uses regularly. So of course she has spaz out moments, that and many writers have no idea how to write or use her. As for her being manipulated? That's usually CC writing her in those cases. It's a common trope that he has Rachel manipulated by evil to fight her friends.

Rachel is acting more like Cyclops than Jean anyway. Rachel, while wanting to save lives, is willing to take bad press if it means protecting her friends and those she's responsible for. Not to mention that in "X-Men" Vol. 4, Rachel has shown a huge interest in being a leader which is what her father is most famous for. That and his fixation with Jean and his optic blasts.

#16 Posted by darthphoenix (1450 posts) - - Show Bio

Rachel has shown good leadership skills in x-men. She has been 2nd in command and have been calling most of the shots. she has been trying her best to be like scott but has inherited jean's temper. Rachel has always been protective of her loved ones and mutantkind in general. very much like scott. just like jean, she always make it a point to be personally close to her team mates. though she is still far from being the heart of the x-men because of her bitchy temperament

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.