I know it's been a while since I've offered my colorful drunken input to recent Marvel news. In my defense the most exciting news Marvel has had since Fear Itself all relates to shit that won't happen until the summer of 2012. And I'm sorry, but I just can't think that far ahead. I can barely think back to last night when I woke up in some strange old woman's basement with a pair of dentures in my hand and what I hope was just a wig in the other. But since the New York Comic Con back in October, Marvel has been dropping hints like Herman Cain drops sexual harassment charges about what's going to happen in 2012. They even dedicated an entire, overpriced 48-page one-shot called Point One to act as what is essentially and overblown trailer to a Michael Bay movie. Among the many random and underdeveloped stories in that issue was yet another teaser for the Phoenix Force. Under normal circumstances, I would be jumping out of my skin and humping my couch in excitement over this news. But like one too many hits of crack, the high just isn't what it used to be.
Robot6: "It's Coming" Phoenix Teaser on Wednesday, December 7th
For those of you who haven't kept up, Marvel has been touting the Phoenix Force in their comics more than Brittney Spears touts her snatch. It goes all the way back to Phoenix Endsong in 2005, a time when you could still get a home loan for being able to walk and chew gum and when everyone still laughed at the notion of electing a black president. That story officially or unofficially, depending on who you ask, made the Phoenix Force active again. Since then, the Phoenix Force has showed up in countless references from Messiah Complex to Astonishing X-men to several issues of Generation Hope. This thing is officially the herpes of the X-books in that it keeps coming back and in a very annoying way.
Now don't get the wrong idea. I love Phoenix. I love Jean Grey. What I don't love is having both regularly teased as coming back into the fold only to have it turn out to be a complete fucking farce. Marvel has already gone out of it's way to essentially plagerize Jean's imagery in the creation of Hope Summers, the girl who actually flared the Phoenix back at the end of Second Coming. Every public statement they seem to make regarding Jean Grey essentially reinforces the notion that she's dead. Now could that be a tease? I used to think so, but given how much time and resources they put into making Hope Summers a replacement character and watering down Emma Frost to the point where she might as well be Jean Grey after extensive plastic surgery I honestly can't see it happening. I've brought it up in many reviews where Jean is cited. Marvel wants her imagery, but they don't want to bring her back. They want to have their cake and eat it too. That's like wanting to get piss faced drunk without getting a hangover. I'm sorry, but even in the skewwed physics of the comic book universe that just isn't possible.
Now I would love to be wrong this time. I would get down on my knees and lick Marvel's boots clean of dog shit if this time the story actually involved Phoenix and Jean Grey in a coherent way. But I'm not brushing my teeth just yet in anticipation. I'm a cynical, jaded fanboy in this department and I'm maintainin a strict "I'll believe it when I see it" approach. I'm not quite as extreme as those who deny global warming, but at the moment I'm within spitting distance of that crowd with regards to Marvel's handling of the Phoenix Force and Jean Grey. Again, I want to be proven wrong here. Come on, Marvel! You know you wanna! But until that happens, expect me to keep relating the Phoenix with herpes and Jean Grey with fond memories. Nuff said!