By Matthew Rosenberg, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Travis Lanham
Death in comic books is rarely permanent. There are some exceptions, Uncle Ben for example, but even someone like Barry Allen, who was dead for decades, eventually returned. Jean Grey is another character that has been dead for an insanely long time. While she’s appeared from time to time in comics like Phoenix Endsong or Jean Grey: Generations, she hasn’t actually been alive. All that changes this week with Phoenix Resurrection. This is the first issue of a five-part mini-series that will officially be bringing the X-Men’s first lady back among the living. So, let’s sit back and enjoy the ride.
Matthew Rosenberg has been vocal about his love for the X-Men, so this is likely close to a dream project for him. This issue starts off hot as we’re thrown into the action right away. A strange occurrence has brought the X-Men to a couple of near lifeless kids. Kudos to Rosenberg for this creepy scene. Comics, especially mainstream ones, rarely take chances depicting potential fatalities with kids, horrific though it may be. The first couple of pages set the tone and stakes for the mini-series. Rosenberg also gets the voices of the characters down too. He plays up the Nightcrawler and Rachel romance, while allowing Kitty to assert her authority as leader. As plans are devised and teams set off, something seems off. Our characters are greeted by people who aren’t of the living anymore. This is just one of the mysteries Rosenberg has for us in the first issue. The issue is filled with death and potential new life, but ultimately a lot of unanswered questions. Needless to say, this one is off to an excellent start.
The pencils this issue are handled by Leinil Francis Yu with colors by Rachelle Rosenberg and inks by Gerry Alanguilan. Yu is a fan-favorite artist and his style is a big reason why. There is a texture to his art that connects with readers. This can be seen in several panels this issue, like Seamus attacking one of the three teams dispatched. The lines on Seamus’ face in a close-up panel as he goes after young Beast has rich texturing. Yu excels at close panels, such as one with Old Man Logan where we see all the battle scars and damage done to his face over his time as a fighter. Yu’s work is helped by the nice inks by Alanguilan, which really accentuate Yu’s pencils. The colors by Rachelle Rosenberg are very good here too. She uses a lighter touch for most of the book, and this works. Her colors really stand out near the end of the issue when we see Jean in an old school diner. Everything looks flawless in these panels, right down to the aged green walls and tile. The art, and everyone involved, really worked hard and stepped up their game for this series.
There have been some events that have flopped, but Phoenix Resurrection doesn’t seem like one of them. Matthew Rosenberg and the art team have put out a really good first issue that should keep fans interested and excited. Don’t miss out on Phoenix Resurrection!