For all of my enjoyment and indulgence of X-Men, I have always hated Jean Grey, aka, Phoenix. This has nothing to do with Famke Jenssen’s performance in the live-action films. In fact, given her codename is Phoenix, you think I would love her. But I don’t. Why?
She’s too powerful.
Okay, so I know she has this whole tragic back story thing, but her telekinesis and telepathy is off the charts. Stan Lee really did a good job of keeping her in check through morality and the basics of control, but I just can’t get over the fact that if Jean Grey decided to, she could have us all floating in midair. Or fill us all with so horrible a depression that all humanity kills itself. Or she could take the Earth’s molten core and toss it as Mars for kicks and giggles.
Okay, perhaps I’m being a little dramatic, but I just don’t think that kind of power is warranted in a first-stage evolution.
That said, in allowing abilities to my empaths and psychics in Strange, I have limited them considerably. Because I don’t want a Jean Grey on my hands. However, it recently occurred me that there are a lot of ways to limit an individual’s power. And when I focus too hard on limiting my characters potential, well, it’s kind of boring. And maybe that’s why so many people like the Phoenix – because she has the potential to be a major badass and it’s scary and exciting. But in order to do that, she needs to overcome her own character faults.
Therefore, in writing miss Tuesday Milano, I’ve decided to allow for a few exceptions. Her power shouldn’t cripple her all the time; she’s grown up with it and has learned, through torment mostly, a bit of control. Sure, some things literally blow her mind. But Tuesday is anything but weak.
She’s the girl that will teach everyone not to judge a book by its cover. So I had better stop worrying about the Phoenix effect and let her live up to her potential.