Where the Wonder Women Are: #15 Jean Grey
I’ve always regarded Jean’s Dark Phoenix storyline with some skepticism, as it sounded very much like the trope we have in so many stories of a powerful women being punished, or indeed a woman being depicted as unable to handle great power. It wasn’t helped that this was a central element of the widely-panned third X-Men movie – while I objected far less at the time to Jean’s sacrifice than I did to Rogue giving up her power willingly, or the idea that young Jean had to be “protected” from her own power by Professor X, it’s hard to deny that her death is in fact entirely there to serve Wolverine’s character arc and not her own.
But on reading the original Dark Phoenix issues in the trade, I was actually impressed at how well it was written, and how much this was Jean’s own story. There’s a big difference between a female character who sacrifices herself as part of her own narrative, and one who does so to serve the narratives of the men around her.