Jean Grey reveals a twisted timeline where Wolverine becomes Phoenix instead

Christopher Baggett
Wolverine as Phoenix on Jean Grey #2 cover

Jean Grey’s final moments see her reconsidering decisions she made in life, and the latest results in a possible timeline where Wolverine became The Phoenix instead of her.

Jean Grey may have the darkest chapter of Fall of X. Killed during the Hellfire Gala massacre, Jean is reliving and regretting her life in the final moments before she dies. 

She already considered the ramifications of the team keeping their memories after they journeyed back to the past. It didn’t end well, though, with Jean lashing out against her allies and fighting the X-Men. 

Now, the series revisits one of her most crucial moments and ponders a different path. 

Marvel reveals Wolverine becomes Phoenix rather than Jean Grey in one timeline

Preview pages of Jean Grey #2 shared by Marvel reveal a potential timeline where she didn’t become The Phoenix. Instead, that fell to Wolverine.

The pages show the X-Men struggling to survive a crashing shuttle, Wolverine points out that Jean can psychically guide him through piloting the shuttle while his healing factor allows him to survive the radiation. Rather than stubbornly refusing, Jean agrees. 

Jean Grey opens up Wolverine's memories
An alternate timeline where Wolverine became Phoenix would have opened up his memories much sooner.

What happens is a radical change. Wolverine’s memories open up, meaning some events – like learning his claws are bone and his healing factor has made him functionally immortal – would have happened decades earlier. And, as Marvel’s solicit spells out, Wolverine inevitably finds himself possessed by the Phoenix Force. 

Of course, this is all a riff on the classic story from X-Men #101. Returning from space, the shuttle the X-Men are flying in did not have adequate radiation protection. Having telepathically absorbed how to fly the shuttle, Jean hoped to fly the shuttle and protect herself from radiation with her telekinesis. 

In the original, things legendarily go bad. Jean holds the shuttle together long enough for the team to crash in the ocean but seemingly dies before being reborn as Phoenix (it’s revealed later that she’s in a cocoon at the bottom of the ocean, and the Phoenix is a whole other thing altogether). 

What Wolverine’s final fate is remains to be seen. Jean Grey #2 hits stands September 27. For more X-Men and comic book news, be sure to follow all our coverage.