JEAN GREY #5
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Penciler: Anthony Piper
Colorist: Jay David Romos
Letterer: VC’S Travis Lanham
Release Date: 07/09/17
Jean Grey seeks out Psylocke to aid her in her ongoing journey of mastering her telekinesis. They decide to take on the Hand to further Jean’s training.
Psylocke tries multiple tactics to help Jean learn how to master her telekinesis. They attempt meditation, a mosh pit, and fighting vampires. Psylocke finally decides on having Jean take on the Hand. This is because Jean is at her best when dealing with fight or flight. Jean will go alone while Psylocke helps telepathically. However, another voice keeps interfering and limiting Jean’s progress. Jean has no problem with the Hand and manages to take down many a ninja. They end up blowing up the building to eliminate all the other Hand hideouts. In the end, Psylocke congratulations Jean on a job well done. Now, Jean has to find out who that voice is…..
The story by Dennis Hopeless is a bit all over the place this issue. While Jean is an omega level mutant, she literally has zero problems with the Hand. This makes for rather bland fight scenes. When a reader realizes that there are no stakes, they lose interest fast. There also are a lot of quippy one liners. Now, one liners are never a problem – what makes them a problem is feeling out of place. Psylocke is nowhere as comedic as Thor was the last issue and, again, there is supposed to be a threat occurring from the Hand. Hopeless having the Hand be a walk in the park for Jean is truly a damper on the rest of the issue.
Where Hopeless shines this issue is with his characterization of Jean.
He plays with the anxiety of having a hyperactive mind which is a very common thing with us non-mutants too. This is also seen by Jean thinking that the other voice talking to her is simply her inner saboteur or the Phoenix. Her mind is never turning off just like those who suffer from anxiety.
Anthony Piper does good work on both Jean and Psylocke. He is exceptionally talented at capturing expressions. Jean genuinely looks anxious and annoyed the first couple of pages during training. Other than that there is not much going on with the art. The backdrops are drawn extremely simplistic and are colored gray by Jay David Ramos.
Similarly, this puts a hinder on the fight scenes. While the coloring of Psylocke and the Hand are engaging, the backdrops throws everything off. Even though I don’t want to I find myself focusing more on the bland backdrop than the action itself.
This is by no means an awful issue. Hopeless continues to include good characterization of Jean which proves he understands her well. Plus, there is now a new plot to figure out re the voice in Jean’s head. The art is not bad per say but rather just boring. Overall, it’s just a lackluster issue which only mega fans of this run of Jean should bother picking up. Hopefully, the plot with Doctor Strange is better next issue.