Jean Grey X-Men Costumes Ranked

The 1st installment of Russell Dauterman’s “X-Women Costumes Throughout The Years” series was none of than the Marvel Girl herself, Jean Grey, and it served as the variant cover for the debut issue of the Krakoa-era X-Men #1.

This was the image that started the trend of Russell Dauterman’s costume series, in which other prominent X-Women are featured such as Storm, Psylocke, Rogue, and Emma Frost.

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He has spun out into Avengers & Fantastic Four territory as well, as there are also costume covers out there for Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, She Hulk & Invisible Woman, but there are still a ton of X-Ladies who have been waiting patiently for the Dauterman treatment, so I hope he hasn’t changed camps permanently.

I swear to god, if we don’t get a Kitty Pryde cover featuring all of her fashion faux pas over the years, I will stage a riot!

In this post, I’m going to be taking a look at all of the costumes featured on the Russel Dauterman Jean Grey image, and will be putting them into a personal ranking based on my personal taste (be it good or bad ), and I’ll provide a little bit of herstory about who Jean was and what she was up during each of these eras.

There are a lot more Jean Grey outfits out there, so it’s not like this cover boasts the motherload of Jean’s wardrobe, but it certainly does hit all of her highlights, so I can see why he chose the costumes he did. Still, I lament on her astral plane armor and her Sunset Grace cover outfit being notably excluded here. I mean, those are pretty deep dives so I’m not surprised to not see them here, but still…choices were made!

When it comes to thinking of who the most popular X-Person is on the X-squad, there are a number of contenders that come to mind; Wolverine of course is one of them, and Storm is another, but I gotta say, ever since I started involving myself in X-YouTube & X-Insta & X-Twitter, the love the fandom has for Ms. Grey feels almost unparalleled to any other character.

If I had to base my opinion of who the fans love the most just based on content that gets posted the most frequently, then Jean wins, hands down. Everyone just seems to eat her up!


I, on the other hand, am not quite as strong of a Jean Stan as everyone else seems to be. She’s certainly not an annoying character to me, nor do I loathe to read anything with her in it – I actually do find her sassy spiritedness to be quite enjoyable – I just find she falls middle-of-the-pack for me in terms of characters I actively want to see more of.

I may be in the minority here, but I loved it when Jean was dead, mostly because I think the Cyclops & Emma dynamic is so much more palpable than the Jean & Cyclops relationship; with Jean off the board, it really gave those two time to find each other.

Not that Scott & Jean aren’t THE signature x-couple, because they totally are and they do work well together…I just thought that Emma & Scott had a lot more flavour together, and that Jean & Scott feels, well – kinda tired.

Her relationship with Cyclops aside though, I also think that Jean as a standalone character verges on being wayyyy too overpowered. I get that that’s her thing, she’s like omega everything, but as any dramatic storyteller can tell you, nothing is more boring than an overpowered hero. Heroes are only as interesting as their weaknesses and flaws and challenges, so for Marvel to make her a veritable Superwoman but without a clear achilles heel, she verges on being kind of boring sometimes to me. 


Luckily Jean has a very fiery spirit, so her dialogue is usually always quite charismatic to read. It’s just her battles that are kind of a downer for me. Like, she can just wipe the floor with everyone all the time, and that’s just not very exciting from an anticipation standpoint. It’s predicable, so that’s a buzzkill. 

I would love a story where Jean’s powers suddenly get halved, and she’s no longer the Omega she was. They kind of did that with teen Jean when the original 5 came to the present, but it was kind of backwards because that was more about young not-so-powerful Jean realizing the true potential of her Omega-ness that she can achieve and the pursuit to getting there.


I do like that the Jean character has grown a lot from her teen years at least, because she certainly wasn’t the powerhouse she is now back when she was sporting the blue & yellows and struggling to lift an apple. So in that respect, great character development has been done for her, but it’s almost been too developed, and I question – where can they take her from here?

Maybe that’s why she was dead for so long, because it’s hard to give her a compelling story now that she’s essentially god-like.


All of that aside though, I do think Jean is a fine character, and as I said, I am happy she’s got charisma and a fun personality, even if her powerset is a bit too overpowered.

But just because she’s got it all going on from a superhero front, it doesn’t mean she is always super-fashionable! Just like any other X-Man, she has had both hits and misses in her costuming, and I am happy to be the judge, jury and executioner of all of them

So without further ado, let’s get into the ranking!

Here are 17 Jean Grey costumes ranked from my least favorite to my most favorite.


The costuming of Earth-1610 really didn’t nail it for me, and if you check out my other costume ranking videos, you’ll find that pretty much all the Ultimate universe threads usually end up right around the same number here. 


Jean was one of Xavier’s founding X-Men members in the Ultimate universe, just like her 616 counterpart was. Also like her 616-self, she got involved in some Phoenix-like stories, because who is Jean Grey without the Phoenix.

This Jean was actually almost driven insane by her immense psychic powers and was in an asylum when Xavier first found her, which is kind of funny, because in the mainstream universe, a similar situation kinda-sorta happened to Jean’s #1 rival Emma Frost.


Emma was institutionalized by her parents because of her powers when she was younger, and she was discovered by Magneto and used by him to further the Brotherhood’s goals. 

I just like that these two women have similarities in some respect, considering that they hate each other’s guts, even if they are similarities from different universes.


Something else that was notably different about this Ultimate Jean was that she first started a relationship with Wolverine instead of Cyclops, but after she discovered Wolvie was a mole working for Magneto, she dumped his ass and settled into the stability of Scott Summers.

Now, in terms of this outfit, I think it’s… kind of wonky. There’s not a lot of distinct personality in it, and I don’t really think there’s supposed to be, since the entire Ultimate X-Squad was wearing a variation of blue & yellow like this. I am usually totally on board for a fun crop top, but the emphasis has to be on fun, and there’s nothing really snazzy or exciting about this one. 

The most unique thing about it is probably that giant yellow collar, but that’s way more of an eye-sore than it is any kind of beautification for this garment, as it’s just bulky and the way it meets that X-symbol on her chest just makes the whole thing look like a space suit necklace or something. 


This outfit is fine as standard training x-gear, but as far as a unique take on costuming for Jean Grey, it does not hit the mark for me. And ew, Jean with short hair is not the look either.


This costume is what Jean wore for her very first appearance way back in X-Men #1. It’s what all the X-Men were wearing at the time, as it was the debut team of the original 5 and there was literally no variation between any of the costumes.

Everything from the skull-cap to the full-body blue & yellow cover-alls were identical amongst the team, except for the Beast, whose oversized feet & hands somehow got a pass from Xavier’s seamstress. 

Even though I ranted earlier about how over-powered I find Jean Grey to be in the comics of today, in this era of her life, that was certainly not the case.


Marvel Girl was Jean when she was at her frailest, when the only power she had access to was her telekinesis. Xavier had sensed how powerful she was and blocked her telepathy “for her own good”, until she had a better means of controlling it herself.

Throughout these early years we watch as Jean struggles to finely-tune her TK. It’s easy enough for her to bluntly move objects, though heavier things are hard for her to lift at this stage, but she quickly adapted to using it with finesse, like when opening a book.


Even so, she joined the team when they took on the likes of Magneto’s Brotherhood, and The Vanisher, and participated in all the glorious danger room training action she could

This early-day costume doesn’t look as bad in modern-day drawings of it, especially not when the whole team is together, but like, come-on, there’s nothing particularly fabulous about it. It looks like it’s ill-fitting and bunchy just super-awkward for Jean to be wearing. 


She looks a little bit spooky with her skull-cap, which adds the slightest of appeal to this costume for me, but overall this isn’t Jean in her element whatsoever, so this costume is most definitely best left in the era which it debuted.


This was the costume Jean wore when she and the other O5 X-Men first formed the team X-Factor, which was her first major exploit after coming back from her supposed death during the Phoenix saga.

Jean wasn’t actually dead before this, but she had just been in a state of suspended animation under Jamaica Bay healing from injuries, while Phoenix assumed her form for a while and traipsed around as Jean Grey.

After Jean was reunited with her O5 team and brought up to speed on everything that had happened since her extended absence, she and the boys decided to work together again to further Xavier’s dream and thus they created X-Factor.


Jean’s telepathy was shot, so she only had access to her telekinesis around this point, and she startled rekindling her relationship with Cyclops, even though he was married to the Jean lookalike Madelyne Pryor at the time (but Jean didn’t know that until he spilled the beans).

X-Factor itself was a front where the team posed as human mutant hunters with the reputation of capturing mutants and bringing them into their complex for persecution. In reality, the team was actually rescuing mutants and bringing them to a training facility where they could hone their skills and powers.

Jean wore two different costumes around this time – there was her drab fake mutant hunter X-Factor costume, and then there was her actual X-Factor superhero costume.


The team couldn’t risk letting the public know that they were mutants posing as mutant hunters, but they still encountered situations that ultimately required the use of their superpowers, so publicly when they were out in their mutant uniforms they were dubbed the X-Terminators.

The public adored the mutant hunting X-Factor, but they abhorred the mutants of the X-Terminators, the irony of course being that these teams were the one and the same. Dumb humans!


I don’t find this costume to be particularly flattering for Jean. It’s got that awkward facekini thing that her first Marvel Girl costume also had, and I just rarely feel like Jean ever looks her best when her face is all covered up like that. Especially the top part of it, because it kind of gives her a bald-cap impression, which really isn’t the greatest look for Jean at all (though I bet Xavier would disagree ).


Something about the shaping of this outfit also feels off to me, and it kind of looks like she’s in a tubesock or something. I know the outfit is supposed to be constructed of like basically form-fitting spandex, so it shouldn’t be anything less than perfect on her curves, but maybe it’s the way the design flows around body that’s throwing it off… something about it makes the outfit just look kind of clumpy.

Overall I liked Jean in this early X-Factor era of re-forming the original 5 and rescuing mutants in secret, but I didn’t really care for her costuming choice.


I’ll just get it out of the way now and say that all of Jean’s younger years aren’t rated very highly in this ranking, not even her younger years that were set in the modern day.

This is the outfit Jean Grey wore when she was time-displaced along with the other O5 X-Men and brought from the past into the present by Beast.

Beast was worried about the dark road he saw Cyclops going down with his Mutant Revolution, so he wanted Cyclops to meet his younger self in order to remind him of the essence of Xavier’s dream and what they’re all fighting for.

Instead what ended up happening was the O5 got stuck in the present for a number of years, where they had various adventures both together and apart from one another, before eventually being sent back into the past with their memories blocked of this every happening


One of the misadventures they got into was whenever they formed the X-Men Blue team, which was them operating under the guidance of Magneto. Jean was the team’s leader, and they did a bunch of weird things like go into space and have their own mini cross-time caper, but one of Jean’s most formidable moments from the series was whenever she went up against Emma Frost all by herself and overpowered her.


Emma was trying to implant her memories of old cyclops into the mind of young Cyclops since present-day Cyclops was currently dead, so we got to see a bit of a throwdown of these two once and future rivals. 

I was not a fan of when the time-displaced X-men were kicking around, only because I knew the entire time that the only way for this to end was for them to eventually go back to their own timeline without any memory of anything that happened, so the whole time they were here it just felt like it was going to be somewhat of a blip in the x-canon’s mythos. 


Its not like anything super-long-lasting or character-developping could have happened to them, because their memories HAD to be wiped before they left or else it would’ve disrupted the entire chronology of X-Men.

Granted, their presence in the present did impact the modern-day heroes in various ways, like it led to iceman’s coming out – or should I say pushing out, Jean – but in terms of THESE characters, nothing long-lasting was ever in the cards for them.


As far as this outfit goes, it’s just blech. It feels too kiddy and boring for me, even though I know she’s just a teenager here so it can’t be anything too extravagant.

The colors are fine because it’s obviously riffing off the green and yellow of her classic phoenix costume, but I just don’t think there’s anything iconic going on. The most unique thing that it has is the track jacket, but even that doesn’t add anything exceptional because it’s designed with the exact same big yellow X that it’s covering up on her bodysuit anyway, so with or without the jacket you’re getting the same look, just a different silhouette. 

And the hair, again – short is just not it for Jean!



Jean’s second official superhero costume is only marginally better than her first one, if only because now we are finally starting to see some personality in it.


This outfit debuted in X-Men #27, where Jean slightly re-designed everyone’s costumes, but really only her’s had the most dramatic change; everyone else pretty much just swapped their yellow belts for red belts and called it a day.


This was still early days for the X-Men, and Jean was technically only supposed to be on team part-time at this point, as she was currently going to college to get a proper edumacation, but she ended up still fighting super-criminals just as often as she didn’t. 

The X-Men fought lots of people around this time, like The Juggernaut and The Blob whom they would go on to fight for many more years to come, but they also fought people who the X-comics would never see again. like The Warlock and Mekano.  


This costume really didn’t last too long, only about 10 issues or so, but I gotta say, switching out her skull cap for the pointy cat mask was probably the best thing she ever did. Not only does it give her a much more dramatic presence on the battlefield, but it also frees up that hair to let loose and live free!

She gave herself a deep plunging neckline in this costume, too, and all of these subtle changes really femmed-up her outfit, making it look a lot more like it belonged to her as opposed to just being something she was wearing that literally anybody else could wear too.


Jean has had her fair share of iconic costumes throughout the years, and this green mini dress is now officially one of them as well. 

Not only is this the outfit she wore when ALL the X-Men finally started wearing individual costumes, but it’s also the one she’s been wearing for pretty much the entire duration of the present-day Krakoan era.


When she first started wearing this costume, Jean’s telepathy had only just become active after Professor X undid the mental barriers that he previously put in place. He did this because he and Jean had to fake his death for a while, and he knew the team would need a telepath as his replacement, so Jean was it.


Jean also started her modelling career around this time, mostly as just as a front for whenever she had to go on super secret X-Men missions. Modelling was all the rage for Marvel ladies of this era, so just like the signature super-heroine sash belt, it’s somewhat of a rite-of-passage that Jean should have a modelling career too.


This was also the costume she was wearing when she and the other X-Men were captured by Krakoa and the second genesis team of Storm and Wolverine et al had to save them. This seismic shift in staffing resulted in Jean quitting the team to try living the dream of a “regular life”, until a certain fiery cosmic bird beckoned her back into the super-hero world.

Then fast forward to today, where Jean wore this costume for the first many several years of Krakoa, doing all sorts of Omega-level things in it like sitting on the Krakoan quiet council making laws, participating in some nasty X-Force business, terraforming Mars for the Arakko mutants, and co-leading the latest and greatest team of X-Men.

if I’m being honest about this belted green mini-dress, I really don’t mind it at all, but I don’t think it translates as well in the modern-era of costume-wearing as Marvel wants it to. I know Krakoa is all about exploring the costumes of yore, but this costume is just so very specific and distinct, and she’s been wearing it so much, that the more I see it the more I start to hate it.


I think it really worked in the era in which it debuted, because there’s something mod-y and Austin Powers go-go dancer-y about it that encapsulates the vibe from back then, but that likewise works against it in today’s books, since those aren’t the vibes today’s readers are really looking for in their super-hero costuming.

I like the mask, even though it is probably the most ostentatious part of the entire outfit and definitely the most costume-y part of it, but I just think that if the simple green dress was modernized a bit with some juzh – kind of like how Polaris’ latest X-Men costume is a funner version of a green mini-dress – then the whole ensemble here might actually be more palatable and refreshing, other than just being a reminder of why some costumes from the past are better left in the past.


New X-Men is often lauded as one of the best X-Men runs out there, though for everyone who loves it, there’s usually just as many people who hate, so it really just depends on what you’re looking for in a comic book to determine your love/hate relationship with it.

I personally did not read the comics around the time New X-Men came out, mostly because I was just so angry with Marvel for taking the color out of the X-Men’ costumes.


Everyone was wearing dark drab leather-y numbers for this series which – to me – was motivated because of the X-Men movies, and I hated watching the film’s influence trickle down into my books. I loved the X-Men movies, but I never really liked their costuming in the films, so to see that reflected in the books was just too much for me to handle.

I do think that the New X-Men run is one of the best storytelling eras out there, though, so my bad for dissing it when it came out… but I stand by the fact that the costumes are way too functional and dressed-down for my personal preference. 


I generally don’t like it when my superheroes are looking super relatable, like Jean is here with her turtleneck and sensible slacks. I want my X-Men to always look X-traordinary, because I’m really not looking for this level of reality when I’m reading comic books – though there is something EXTREMELY refreshing about watching Jean eat a bag of Fritos and call out Emma for being a bitch

Jean was one of the major players in New X-Men, and it was probably one of her strongest eras ever. She became the Headmistress for Xavier’s school, which was opened up to the public and taking on new students at this point, and she also caught Cyclops in a psychic affair with her rival on the team, Emma Frost.

This affair famously deteriorated whatever was left of Jean & Cyclops’ relationship, though they were having lots of problems even before it, and honestly, this rocky road was one of the best things to happen to them. Jean had some flirtations with Wolverine because of it, and in the end it was she who pushed Scott away, urging him to go with Emma, because she knew she had bigger fish to fry than the affections of some Summers brother.


The Phoenix – or some part of her power calling itself the Phoenix – was asserting dominance over her, her power levels growing to extreme degrees. She was doing incredible things, like repairing Emma Frost on a molecular level after she was shattered into a million pieces in her diamond form.


This era is also famous for being Jean’s last era for a long while, because she inevitably did what Jean Grey does best, and that of course is die. After the Phoenix Force was fully awakened within her, she had a showdown with Magneto (or Xorn – still not totally sure on that canon), and she was killed after an electromagnetic pulse blew right through her.


It’s old hat for Jean to die, but this death really stuck for a long time. She didn’t properly return to the comics until like 13 years later, which is very commendable for Marvel considering that adult Jean Grey is one of their hottest IPs (no fire-bird pun intended). 

This era had Jean being super busy and super powerful and she was involved in some really great dramatic personal tension with a lot of her colleagues, so overall it was some fantastic stories for Jean in New X-Men, it’s just a shame that all of them happened while she was wearing a costume that looks like she got it from the wild side of Reitman’s.

She’s lucky that the sum of the parts at least looks good together, so I can’t fault her styling here, I just wish she looked more like a superhero and less like a soccer mom.


After X-Factor’s supposed-identities as ‘mutant hunters’ was discovered to be nothing but a ruse, the team gave superhero’ing their full-time attention and ditched their X-Terminators persona to be X-Factor mutants through and through.


Probably the biggest thing to happen to Jean during this period was during the Inferno saga, where she learned that Madelyne Pryor was a clone of her. This ultimately meant that Maddie’s & Cyclops’ son was kind of her son, too.

As the Inferno events got crazier & crazier, Jean was forced to absorb the crazed Madelyne’s psyche into her own, which sorta reconciled their memories together, so that Jean was able to remember all the time that Maddie & Scott shared together as if it happened to her.


This became problematic for her later, as both the Madelyne personality and the bit of Phoenix Force that was inside of her would all try to become dominant over her own personality. Luckily Jean was able to drive them both out of her while the team was battling the Celestials, and she soon returned to being the Jean she once was, but with faded memories from Phoenix & Madelyne forever haunting the back of her mind.


This costume is the one she was wearing when she famously began her hateful relationship with Rachel Summers, who is her daughter but from another timeline.

Jean pretty much wanted nothing to do with Rachel, because she hated how her life was always being dictated by forces that weren’t her own, and because of that, she kind of rejected Rachel and wasn’t exactly the mother figure that Rach was looking for.


It was definitely a wild time to be Jean Grey, and I think this outfit is the first one on this list that I can honestly say feels a lot like ‘her’. This outfit is very much just a re-colored and slightly tweaked version of her original X-Factor costume, but my god, do the changes ever improve it!

Jean will forever look awesome in red, as the color just wholly embodies her. It’s her nickname for good reason, and even though it could be seen as overload when you look at both her big bountiful flowy red hair with the almost-all-red costume, it really isn’t overload, and I think the costume looks super cohesive for her.

Even though I don’t think fully-capped-head gear is really Jean’s thing, I think she looks ravishing when she’s just wearing just a basic superhero mask that only partially covers her face like this one. It really adds an extra element of mystique to Jean’s character, because she’s not really the most mysterious person out there, so any time we can get some extra oomph in her super-costuming, I say she should go for it.


I really enjoyed this era of Jean’s life, almost as much as I enjoyed her costuming around this time too.


The Black Queen was the beginning of Jean’s corruption into Dark Phoenix. Mastermind had been toying with her mind, making her believe that she and he were lovers, to the point that she could no longer distinguish reality from fiction. She was fully immersed in his manipulation, gone even so far as to being tricked into joining the Hellfire Club as The Black Queen.


Of course this wasn’t Jean per se, and was instead the Phoenix Force masquerading as Jean, but for the sake of this ranking we’re not gonna sweat the details of that minutiae.

She turned against her X-Men teammates believing them to be her wretched servants & slaves in the 18th century illusion that she was trapped in, and she helped to torture and almost kill them while they were all kidnapped and held prisoner by the Club.


In effect, the Black Queen persona didn’t really last too long. She was only really around for a handful of issues, but definitely this version of Jean has gone down in history as one of the most memorable.

I’m kind of split on it though, because to me the ultimate Black Queen was and only ever will be Selene, so when I see this version of Black Queen get praise, I can’t help but feel a bit petulant about it.

But be it Selene or be it Jean Grey, the Black Queen garb is iconically BDSM, which is exactly what we want from it. I do think Selene wears it better than Jean, and she has definitely had greater variations of it over the years, but I think as far as a debut for the role goes, this outfit definitely does it justice.

It’s also the first time I think we ever saw Jean in anything like this. Prior to now, she was always sorta the prim-proper one who had a bit of sass, but never really wore anything or behaved as daring as this persona let her. 


The Black Queen was kind of like the human reflection of Jean’s descent into madness, as what came next as the Dark Phoenix was certainly the cosmic reflection of it, so I think seeing Jean in this bad girl black leather is such a great departure from how she had been depicted up ’til now, and also kind of a relatable one too, because who doesn’t instinctively go for whips and spikes when they’re first deciding to show some rebellious colors?


X-Men Red was Jean Grey’s grand return to the Marvel Universe after her New X-Men death. Even though the teenage version of her had been running around for a few years during her deceasement, there’s no substitute for the real deal, and after a little bit of that ol’ Phoenix magic, adult Jean Grey finally graced the X-books once more after having been dead for like a solid 15 years.

She returned during a mini-series that was aptly titled Phoenix Resurrection: The Return Of Jean Grey, but then pretty much immediately she went straight to work in X-Men Red.

There she led her own team of X-Men and worked to better the world for all mutants by trying to forge a mutant nation, which is exactly what it sounds like Krakao is, but Jean’s version didn’t really take off. I’d say the biggest thing to come out of her series was her fight with Cassandra Nova where she gave Casandra the capacity to feel empathy, which supposedly made her want to change her ways.


Jean also wore this outfit when the Uncanny X-Men ambushed Nate Grey ahead of his reality warp into the Age of X-Man. She was also wearing it after they returned to the prime reality and she was reunited with Cyclops for the first time since her resurrection.

Cyke too had just recently ben resurrected, so it was a lovely homecoming for both of them right before the Krakoa era took over the world.

As far as this outfit goes, there’s not a lot to hate here. It’s very much a play off of her 90’s Gold team outfit, right down to the construction of the face plate and the body armor, albeit this one has a bit of a different color scheme.

Although I like the homage, because the 90s one is so extra and I love that about it, I look at this costume and I think it might be just a bit too understated. Like, it feels as though it’s missing a few frills here and there. 


I think it’s because I’m accustomed to the pomp and circumstance of the original that I think this one is lacking just a bit. It’s by no means an insult to this design as whole, but I mean that’s what happens when you use a previous design as your template – people are intrinsically drawn to compare it to the original, where sometimes it lives up and sometimes it doesn’t.

I really like this outfit, and I think it was a great design for her return, and I actually wish she had carried it into Krakoa instead of going back to the mini dress, but I guess it wasn’t to be…or at least it wasn’t to be just yet.


I was shocked when I made this ranking and saw how high up I ranked this First Class outfit. I thought for sure that all of her really early costumes would be over and done with off the top, because I generally don’t really like them, but something about this one really worked for me.

This was the outfit Jean wore during the X-Men First Class series. This book explored adventures of the original X-Men in untold tales that were never seen before. It’s different than the X-Men: The Hidden Years series, in that that series specifically told stories that were meant to fill in the gaps of the “reprint years” when Marvel was only publishing reprints of X-Men. 


X-Men First Class, however, was set in a time before the reprints, when everyone was still wearing matching costumes and before Jean had access to her telepathy. 

The stories are meant to be in-continuity, even though of course there will always be a few things that don’t end up making sense when you go back into the canon this way, but nothing substantial really stood out for Jean in this series (from what I can remember).


Honestly, the First Class comics were kind of messy with like multiple stories sometimes being told within the same comic. It was more like a magazine than a single thought sometimes, and there would be comics within the comic of adventures between the characters, like a time when Jean helped Wanda and the two of them dressed up as each other.

I don’t know if those comics-within-comics are supposed to be in-continuity, just given the artistic style of them, but whatever, they were there and they existed.


Probably the best thing to come out of this series was the costuming. I’m usually a big nay-sayer for matchy-matchy costumes because I think they stifle the characters’ individual personalities and points-of-view, but I think the creative team nailed it with these ones.

They’ve definitely got the first class vibe of being all yellow and blue, but because they were drawn with a modern pencil the costumes don’t look nearly as schlumpy as the actual first class costumes. They actually kind of look like they could be worn in a contemporary team setting, and they kind of remind me of what the New Mutants all wore during volume 3 of that series when they were all on Utopia together.


Jean’s costume in particular I think looks great on her. I’m kind of getting Diamond Lil from it, but without the kitschy patterning, and even though her operatic yellow gloves do look kind of campy and bunchy, I think that’s on purpose as a nod to the era of the times back then.

The costume couldn’t look too sleek, because there still had to be some sort of evolution with them since this wasn’t actually set in modern-day even though it was being drawn by modern-day artists. 


I really like the color-blocking design with the little X symbol on her stomach. That cat-burglar mask across her face looks really cool, and I think all of it really helps make the red in her hair POP, which is really what we want in our Jean Grey.


The Revolution era was Chris Claremont’s grand return to the X-comics after being away for many, many years, and he decided to kick things off by shaking them up majorly.

He redesigned everybody’s costumes and introduced a 6-month gap where god-knows what happened, except the big thing for Jean was that during the 6-month gap she and Psylocke somehow managed to switch power-sets, where Jean lost her telekinesis to Betsy and was thus rendered only telepathic. 

While I’m still waiting for more details on that 6-month gap to hopefully be revealed in an upcoming X-Men Legends issue, what was cool about the power-swap was that Jean also gained a semblance of Psylocke’s Crimson Dawn ability; her astral image would now manifest itself in the same shadowy form that it did for Psylocke ever since she was touched by the powers of the dawn.

This plot point was abandoned almost as soon as it was conceived, though, and we don’t really know what happened with Jean and her shadowy astral self.


The X-Men were split into two teams for this Revolution, and Jean was on a globe-trotting team with Beast, Storm, Gambit, and Cable. They had a few fun misadventures, but probably one of the more interesting arcs for Jean was when she was contacted by the only surviving member of the alien D’Bari race that Dark Phoenix had unintentionally massacred.


She was forced to relive the events from his perspective – as well as Phoenix’s – and she decided the best way for her to right this wrong was to claim the name Phoenix for her own, and to make it a force for good and not for evil.


The Revolution era was met with a lot of disdain when it first debuted, but I think attitudes toward it have softened over the years, and now it’s kind of like a guilty pleasure era.

I really wasn’t too fond of a lot of the costume redesigns for the team, but I honestly think Jean escaped with one of the better ones here. It’s got the obvious nod to Phoenix in the front, but it’s also got that gorgeous red and gold color scheme that we love to see on her. 

I think the way the Phoenix sigil falls off her shoulders is really elegant. It’s almost too elegant for a crime-fighting outfit, but she just looks so pretty that it’s hard to fault her for it.

I don’t care for Jean to ALWAYS be associated with the Phoenix Force, so that’s why this costume can’t really stand the test of time for me as a modern interpretation of the character. But at the time of its debut when Jean & The Phoenix were still plot points for each other, and just as an overall fashionable look, I think this costume is really nice and that it suits Jean really well.



Speaking of Phoenix, it’s about to get all Phoenix mania up in hurrrr. This of course is the costume that Jean Grey wore when she wasn’t Jean Grey at all, but was the cosmic Phoenix Force taking on her form and joining the X-Men on some missions.

The X-Men were on a space mission that went awry, and only Jean could save the X-Men by using a telekinetic shield as their shuttle crashed back into Earth. The immense strain was too much for her body to process and she supposedly burned up and died.


Luckily she had been spied on by the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force, which wrapped her up in a cocoon to preserve her life, and in the meantime decided to pose as her so as not to arouse suspicion, and also to get a taste of human life while she was at.


Without a doubt this is one of Jean’s most popular incarnations, and definitely one of comic book history in general’s most popular characters too. 

When Phoenix first showed up, she pushed Jean’s power to limits that the X-Men had never before seen from her. From a storytelling perspective, this was a beautiful thing to witness. Even though Jean always had the potential to be great and powerful, she certainly wasn’t the heavy-hitter that she is today until the Phoenix started showing her the way.

This is the glory of not overpowering characters from the very beginning – it gives them room to grow and the chance for creators to create new stories where they can actually reach their upper potentials and contend with any ramifications that may come from that. 

People laugh at Jean’s Animated Series depiction because she’s so weak and frail and falling all the time and calling for Scott, but what that effectively did was create a character who had lots of room to grow, so that when the Phoenix arc did come around, Jean was a plausible candidate as a character that could show outrageous levels of ability she hadn’t shown before (and also be somewhat corruptible).


This is why the Animated Series is like the only media franchise outside of comics to have done the Phoenix Saga justice. It was able to establish Jean’s limitations early on and really develop her whenever the Phoenix possessed her.

But anyway, enough of that.

Phoenix helped the X-Men on various missions, like against Mesmero when he hypnotized them all into believing that they were circus workers, and when the X-Men went back up into space to save the universe from the M’Kraan crystal. Phoenix was doing her thing with her cosmic powers and truly she was a very captivating character.


Now this outfit doesn’t really scream “cosmic” by today’s standards, and maybe not even by yesterday’s standards either, but it is certainly iconic. The image of Jean bursting out of Jamaica Bay in the green and gold Phoenix body suit is literally one of the most powerful moments in comic book history, and I’m sure it’s burned into pretty much every comic book nerd’s brain.

I think the costume looks great overall. It’s nothing to write home about when you really dissect it, because it’s really just a green bodysuit with a sash belt and some boots and gloves, but I think it’s mostly who she became when she wore this costume that really sells the garment for us. They say performance is half the battle with anything you wear, and Jean definitely won the war when she wore this.

The gold glove and boots really have that shiny, liquid-metallic, lamé kind of feel that does add a sense of the “supernatural” to this costume, which is necessary, because otherwise it’s just a green bodysuit. The choice of colors again really makes that red hair of hers pop, and so that’s why I think from head to toe this costume is a very functional (veering on gaudy) costume for Jean, that actually does stand the test of time. 


Not that I need to see her wear it ever again, though, because she’s worn this or a version of it sooo many times now that I am just ready for it to be laid in the X-Men hall of Fame and for Jean to keep on wearing new clothes instead.


Alright, let’s try to get through this one quick. This is basically just a re-colored version of her good-girl Phoenix costume, but I mean come on – this is the one! The deep dark red with that liquidy gold and the HUGE Phoenix emblem across the chest not only tell me everything I need to know about this character at this moment in time, but it also tells me that bad girls really do have more fun.

This is the costume Jean / Phoenix Force wore when she was fully corrupted into becoming the Dark Phoenix. She got her taste of humanity with the X-Men and got to experience the sunshine & lollipops side of life, but then through Mastermind’s illusions and the temptation of evil, Phoenix became dark and a full-fledged villain.


This is the guise she wore when she famously massacred five billion D’Bari aliens by swallowing their sun, and then was later put on trial for her crimes by Lilandra of the Shi’ar empire, where the X-Men were forced to fight for her life against the Imperial Guard.

The Dark Phoenix really only lasted for like a handful of issues, but my god, what a powerful few issues they were. It ended with the now-morally-recalibrated Pheonix committing suicide in front of Cyclops so that her dark self could never re-emerge, and honestly, had that been the end of it and had Jean been the X-Men’s Uncle Ben and never came back, it would have been such a beautifully tragic end.

I’m certainly not mad at the retcons that brought Jean back to life, because I think she is a great pillar to have in the franchise, but let’s be real, it sure did sacrifice that ending.

This version of the costume has shown up a few other times in contemporary comics as well, like during the Phoenix Endsong mini-series when Jean had to stop the Phoenix Force from being drought back to Earth (as she usually does), and I really do think that when Jean & The Phoenix are paired together, this red one just looks way sleeker and a lot more fun that the green one. 


Villains usually do have the better end of the deal when it comes to liberties in dressing in fun costumes, and so it’s no surprise to me that I prefer the red, since I like to fashion myself to be a bit of a villain as well .


You wanna talk about underrated costumes? Jean’s final X-Factor costume is like at the top of the list.

This was the costume Jean wore when the original X-Men were finishing up their run as X-Factor before heading back to the X-Men to form the iconic 90’s teams. Most of X-Factor adopted a similar look to this costume, with Cyclops and Iceman both sharing the overall design, and I gotta say, again for someone who doesn’t like when team costumes match, I really really REALLY like this costume! 


Jean’s X-Factor costumes go through a pretty evident evolution, but when you stack them all side-by-side it’s clear to see that they were all designed to live within the same family. They are all bodysuits with some sort of facial-masking, a giant X across the chest, and some sort of lining down the sides.

There’s nothing too ornate or ostentatious in any of them, and I think it might be this final X-Factor costume that is the most embellished of them all, if only because of those fantastic SHOULDER PADS she’s wearing!

Wowww talk about a female power flex. These are some of the sharpest shoulders I have not seen just Jean wear, but any super-heroine wear! And it’s not like she’s even being subtle about them. The rest of the costume is very form-fitting, just like all of the other ones have been, but then we get to the shoulders and it’s like *SCHLING* slice & dice baby.


They are a deliberate choice, and they are a choice I LOVE. I think they make her stand out in the best way possible, and it’s really a shame that this costume only lasted for the few issues it did before the 90’s took over.

Even though Jean didn’t have the chance to do too much whilst in this costume, she was party to one of the most important things to happen in the X-Men’s world: sending little baby Nathan Christopher into the future so that the Askani could help him deal with the techno-organic virus that Apocalypse had just infected him with.


This of course set into motion the inevitably of him becoming Cable, and eventually coming back to the present to rock the X-Men’s world forevermore. 

She also participated in the Muir Island Saga when the Shadow King had his grasp on pretty much all the X-Men. After she helped to defeat him, she and the rest of X-Factor finally decided to rejoin the X-Men and create the Blue & Gold teams.

Even though this costume didn’t last long, it certainly holds a special place in my heart, and I’m happy that it was around for a couple of monumental moments in not only Jean’s life, but in the X-Men’s lives as a collective whole.


Do I ever love Jean’s Age of Apocalypse outfit! For the uninformed, the Age of Apocalypse was a splinter reality that was formed after Xavier’s son Legion time-traveled back in time to kill Magento, but accidentally killed Charles instead.

The world was reshaped as to what would have happened had Charles Xavier died before being able to share his dream of mutant & human peaceful co-existence, and as it turns out, what would happen is that Mutant supremacy would rule though the despot Apocalypse’s leadership, and life would just be all around miserable for everyone.

This event rocked the 90’s, and either you love it or you don’t really care for it, and I am certainly one of the ones who adored it.

In this reality, Jean was one of the original X-Men as founded by Magneto until she was captured by Sinister and was used in his genetic experiments to create Nate Grey. She was saved from the pens by Wolverine, with whom she started a romantic relationship, and the two of them quit the X-Men to do their own thing, until she was eventually captured by Apocalypse’s forces again and was supposedly killed by Havok in battle.


The AoA was a very refreshing story for Jean, because it was all about her without any mention of the Phoenix Force. At long last we got to see Jean without any sort of anchoring to that damn cosmic bird!

It was too good to be true, though, and that refreshing taste later turned sour in some AoA revists, as the it turns out that Jean survived Havok’s plasma blast thanks to that very Phoenix Force, and then pretty much everything about her character in future stories became tied to her Omega Phoenix-level powers.


Like most of the AoA costumes, I really enjoyed what Jean wore. It’s extremely basic, but it’s the unique silhouetting that gets me every time with this reality.

I don’t usually care for Jean with short hair, but this is one of the rare exceptions where I think it really works. Its shortness paired with the tattoo around her eye really gives her an edgy feel, and even though the clothes themselves are very simple, they are cut and assembled in a way that’s pretty unique.


I love that weird small dark blue jacket she’s wearing. It’s got puffy sleeves that give her those big shoulders I enjoy, and I love that the collar just stops at her neck. It’s definitely my favorite part of the ensemble and what makes it the most unique.

The rest of it is pretty standard-fare superhero garb, with a really sexy cut around the chest, but I think the color-scheme really works for her and that it’s a beautiful bold new direction for Jean in this bold new world.

Jean was one of my favorite characters in the AoA, and it was partially because of how she was dressed. She wasn’t a totally reinvented character personality-wise, as she’s always had that bit of sass and independence that she carried with her into this reality, but it was especially nice to see her take Wolverine as a love interest instead of Cyclops, just to see how that helped shape her life here.

I think this is when we got to see how free Jean could be if she was paired with Logan instead of Scott. She definitely felt like she used her instincts and exerted her own independence a lot more frequently here than she ever has with Cyke, and that is a version of Jean that we LOVE to see


I would never say that I am as much a slave to the 90’s as maybe some other people are; I certainly am a product of them, and I adore them certainly for the xtreme-ness that they carry, but I don’t really define myself as the ultimate 90’s x-fan, and I am totally aware that not all of the X-Men’s greatest feats occurred during that decade.


I think, unquestionably though, the 90’s are most belovedly-associated with at least the costuming of the characters, if not necessarily the actual stories. So even though there has been a swathe of different costumes for Jean that have both been newer and also potentially more iconic than this one, I found myself always coming back to it as the most interesting wardrobe of them all.

It’s certainly the most excessive, and the most extra, as all of the 90’s X-Men costumes were…but I also think it’s the definitive Jean. 

She’s worn all kinds of headgear over the years, from those wretched skull-caps to cat-burglar masks, but I think the best headgear that has ever worked on Jean is the headband thing with the little shape in the middle. It really gives her psychic powers some pop.


It’s such a subtle, little moment in this costume, but it’s always been my favorite thing about it, and I think it helps emphasize her role within the team without beating us over the head as to what her specialty is.

By now it’s obvious that I have a thing for big shoulders with Jean, as my top 3 costumes have literally been Jean with her biggest shoulders everywhere, and I think this costume’s shoulder armor is no exception. Though I prefer the pointed shoulders to this dome-shape, it’s just nice seeing someone who gives the shoulders as much love as Jean frequently does.

I mean everything about it just works. The forearm armor, the belt, and the hip pad pockets are all extra little nuances that – although probably unnecessary – give it that edge of looking like a superhero costume as opposed to just looking like a regular costume, and even the color scheming works.

Orange & blue are weird choices that I would probably never pair together if given the choice, but on Jean they manage to play off her red hair really well, and she kind of looks like a beautiful autumn melody or at least a delicious autumn drink.

I wouldn’t say the 90’s were as important for Jean as they were for maybe some other characters, but she was certainly present for them. She was a member of Storm’s Gold Team over in Uncanny X-Men, and they had some adventures like saving Emma Frost from certain death by the Sentinels, and fighting some rampaging Morlocks. But probably the biggest things to happen to Jean were also the things that were tied to Cyclops.

Not only did the two of them finally get married after Jean managed to kay-bosh Psylocke’s awkward advances on her man, but they were both also kidnapped and tortured by Stryfe who they learned was a genetic clone of Cable who they learned was their son Nathan Christopher who was sent into the future back in X-Factor!

They also took a honeymoon into the future where they adopted new codenames and managed to secretly raise baby Nathan into the man he would eventually become, so it was kind of a family-values era for Jean.

The 90s is also when Onslaught struck, and Jean had a pretty pivotal role in that arc. She was the one who sent the warning video about the traitor from within, which of course ended up being Xavier. Jean was one of the first X-people to fight Onslaught after she was brought inside his mind, and it’s there where she also learned that Xavier used to harbour some romantic feelings for her, but, we ain’t gotta talk about that.


So yeah, 90’s Jean wins the top spot in this Jean Grey costume countdown, because if it ain’t got a pentagonal forehead ornamentation on it, then I’m not interested!

And that’s it for my Jean Grey costume reviews! Please let me know what you think of my ranking in the comments, and if you agree or disagree, and what you think some of Jean’s best or worst costumes have been.

In case you missed it, you can check out the video version of this entire list at the link below or over at my YouTube Page

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