The New 'Marvel Girl' Jean Grey Shines in X-MEN Cover

Jean Grey Marvel Girl

Artgerm's X-Men #1 variant cover shows one of the best Jean Grey images in years. Marvel is in the process of relaunching the X-Men franchise under superstar writer Jonathan Hickman, who has a plan that he expects to span years.

The story has begun in the House of X and Powers of X miniseries, both of which serve as setup for the Hickman era. So far, it's hard to say quite where the story's going; each issue contains a number of unexpected twists and turns, ranging from retconned mutants to major character deaths that surely won't last. When the dust settles in October, Hickman will relaunch the X-Men franchise with a new flagship X-Men book.

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Naturally, Marvel Comics has hired some high-quality artists to run some stunning variant covers for the first issues. Stanley "Artgerm" Lau has been commissioned to create a beautiful X-Men #1 variant cover featuring Jean Grey in her new/old Marvel Girl costume. The Marvel Girl costume is a classic one that dates back to the '60s, and it's one of the most fondly-remembered ones. The yellow mask, gloves and boots were adapted from the original X-Men training uniforms, but the costume move away from form-fitting superhero spandex to a much more flattering, feminine green dress.

It was a one-piece, but it still featured a belt for decorative purposes; the color changed a few times, but the buckle always had an X in the center. Artgerm captures the look perfectly, and his variant cover shows Jean Grey stepping through a Krakoan portal into a wooded area.

Jean Grey House of X Cover

Jonathan Hickman seems to be setting Jean Grey up as a major character for his run, although there's currently a lot of mystery surrounding his plans for the Omega Level mutant. For one thing, it's unclear why an older Jean Grey has gone back to wearing an outfit she wore back when she was one of the original X-Men. There's been some speculation that the X-Men of Hickman's House of X book are actually Krakoan clones, which would perhaps explain the costume choice; Jean Grey was wearing the classic Marvel Girl costume when she first encountered Krakoa in the classic Giant-Size X-Men #1. If that's the case, of course, it's entirely possible that this version of Jean Grey isn't the real one - but she certainly seems to possess all Jean's powers, and a very similar personality too.

Marvel's official solicit for X-Men #1 states that Jonathan Hickman and Lenil Yu will "reveal the saga of Cyclops and his hand-picked squad of mutant powerhouses." Amusingly, Cyclops' team basically seems to be the entire Summers family, plus Wolverine, meaning both he and Jean Grey will be in the first issue.

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