Beware! Spoilers for PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 abound!

Jean Grey’s resurrection story continues in PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3. In a series full of bizarre events appearing to make no sense whatsoever, there’s no surprise this latest issue features even stranger things. The first two issues of this highly-anticipated and much-hyped series from Marvel have been a wild ride!

So, how does the latest installment of writer Matthew Rosenberg’s series fare?

phoenix resurrection #3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

OK, So WTF is Going On? Where on Earth is Jean Grey?

PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 kicks off en media res with Jean Grey experiencing a wildly intense dream. In the dream, she finds herself drowning after crashing a plane she piloted. Suddenly, she wakes up in the middle of a grocery store.

The story abruptly cuts to a group of men fishing surrounded only by dead fish. Then, a terrifying flare appears before their eyes. Cut to the X-Men who come upon the empty grave of Jean Grey.

The team decides to approach Emma Frost for help in contacting Jean. The X-Men are especially desperate since all their allied telepaths have gone missing or “indisposed.” Emma informs the squad the Jean they search for awaits them in New Mexico, so they go there.

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A Serious Case of Déjà Vu

Meanwhile, Jean experiences car trouble and decides to take it to Mr. Patch, who bears a striking resemblance to Wolverine. While at the auto repair shop, Jean’s powers suddenly manifest and injure Mr. Patch, who heals strangely fast. Now, if you think that’s weird, wait until the final pages of the issue in which Jean Grey finds herself confronting the Phoenix version of herself!

PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 certainly feels like the best entry in the series thus far as aspects of the story begin converging and reveal something deeper. I enjoy Jean Grey’s plunge into the mystery of the Phoenix and the unstable development of her abilities. In addition, it’s satisfying to see the X-Men come closer to understanding the magnitude of this conflict.

They certainly fear the worst has yet to come, but most of the members of the team remain tight-lipped. The mystery of Jean Grey’s return weighs heavily on each character. Readers wanting a quick ending will still find frustration in the series’ continuous ambiguity.

However, those looking for a slow burn steeped in post-modern multi-genre superhero comics will find this issue satisfies some of the questions the first issues asked by asking all new questions. The suspense and tension Matthew Rosenberg builds feels palpable. More importantly, it creates a certainty in the confidence it inspires that the payoff will lead to something more than worth it.

phoenix resurrection #3
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Many Hues of PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3

Not only is the plot in PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 the best of the series thus far, but the art also excels. The opening sequence drawn by artist Joe Bennett is particularly intense and engaging as it seamlessly injects the best of the comic book horror genre in this Marvel comic book.

Joe Bennett captures the horror of the Phoenix while also encapsulating its alluring nature. Additionally, the stand-out sequence of this issue is by far Jean’s encounter with Phoenix. It certainly terrifies in a series of panels, but it is also beautifully illustrated. They blend a great day of fantasy and horror while still maintaining a sense of identification with Jean for the reader.

Per usual, the work by colorist Rachelle Rosenberg looks outstanding. Alongside the work of Bennett, she captures the vastness of the Phoenix through her color palette.

Though PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 encompasses many positive aspects in its artwork, some of the character depictions seem a bit off. Characters like Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost appear inconsistent throughout the issue. Despite this, the issue’s imagery comes across quite adequately.

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What Lies Beyond?

PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 is an entertaining and engrossing work in a series. It is a series that struggled to find its footing out of the gate. Luckily, the story moves in a positive direction as things that previously made no sense start to make perfect sense.

I feel confident the series will address these questions adequately, but a part of me wonders if it has set up a goal too lofty to achieve in a such a short limited run with only two installments remaining. All us readers can do now is just wait and conjure up our own theories as to what in the world is going on in the world of Jean Grey!

PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 BY Matthew Rosenberg, Joe Bennett, Lorenzo Ruggiero, Rachelle Rosenberg, & Travis Lanham
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
PHOENIX RESURRECTION #3 brings a much needed fire to a series that still has yet to bring any satisfying answers.
73 %
fierce and furious
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