JEAN GREY #4, written by Dennis Hopeless with art by Victor Ibanez, continues the story of the young time traveling mutant on her quest to figure out a way to avoid becoming the terrifying Dark Phoenix like her older self on July 12. Who better to teach you to fight a god-like cosmic being than a god? That’s right, Jean tracks down the unworthy Thor—aka Odinson—and racks his brain for a way to avoid her looming date with destiny, but things don’t go quite as smoothly as she hoped.
“This issue, I would say, is my favorite X-Man and Unworthy Thor, stuck together in the middle of a Lord of the Rings battle,” shares Hopeless. We find Jean trudging her way up an all but deserted mountain in Norway to try and find some words of wisdom regarding her impending doom, but instead she finds an army of assassin orcs heading straight for Odinson, who sits at the local pub knocking back some adult beverages. Jean frantically warns a very unimpressed Thor of what’s creeping up the hill toward them in an attempt to flee before they arrive, but ends up caught up in a fight that will last for almost as long as the issue. But don’t be fooled, Hopeless ensures, “There is a lot more going on behind Thor’s drunken half witted eyes than it seems.”
The writer equates it to asking your grandfather for advice: “Grandpa seems like an old man who’s tired and likes to hear the sound of his voice, but really is a person who’s lived a lot of life and has a lot of interesting things to impart if you pay attention.” Too bad Jean is a little slow on the uptake and spends most of the story in a very frustrated state listening to some drunken old god ramble on about his seemingly useless war stories while they fight off an army.
Luckily Odinson’s methods—intentional or not—pay off. Out of her frustration Jean learns a new ability that definitely brings some fresh weapons to her arsenal and will surely come in handy when taking on a giant firebird. Now she just has to learn to control it! So while Thor might currently be unworthy, dejected, and just overall not in the best place, he still knows what’s up. “He isn’t surprised by things throughout the course of the issue,” suggests Hopeless. “So he probably knew she was coming before she got there, and what she wants and that’s why he’s telling the stories he’s telling. He believes in her, he knows she’ll figure it out and he’s giving her what she needs, but he’s not willing to hold her hand through it.”
Tune in July 12 to see just what Odinson is hiding behind that deceptively dim exterior and what new skill our young hero brings to the Phoenix fighting table in JEAN GREY #4 by Dennis Hopeless and Victor Ibanez!