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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member Ulfhammer's Avatar
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    Default What if Jean had Survived Morrison's Run Instead of Emma

    A friend and I were waxing hypothetical about how modern continuity would have been effected by Jean surviving Xorneto but not rebuilding Emma following the events of NXM 139. For me this comes down to how, or if, editorial would have taken Jean presence into account through the major arcs of the aughts and beyond. I think its clear that Messiah Complex and AvX would either not have occurred or played out a lot different. Other arcs like Schism and Utopia would be a lot harder to predict.

    Would Scott and Jean's marriage have survived the affair with Emma? Would Jean have been able to temper Scott's more militant stand or would she have been right there taking the same stance through it all? In my opinion Jean would have been much more successful at bridge-building Scott's position with the rest of the X-men and perhaps even the Avengers then Emma ever was. Or she could have pushed him out of leadership completely? I think her presence would have significantly altered current continuity either way. What's your take on this?

    And before the Emma fans come out swinging, this is purely a theoretical conversation. I am not advocating one way or the other.

  2. #2
    Post Editing OCD Confuzzled's Avatar
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    It's an interesting point to raise and one that I (a Scemma fan to the core) have thought about as well. Of course, being a Scemma fan, I've always reached these conclusions:

    1) Jean ends her marriage with Scott even if she survives, not particularly because of his affair with Emma, but because she understood the relationship was not evolving, and hence was just being an albatross around both of their necks.
    2) She would have initially disapproved of Scott's more militant stand but in time would have come to respect and maybe even understand his beliefs. However, I fully believe she would not have taken the same stand. Just not opposed it as staunchly as Logan.
    3) I think Schism would have played out, only without the fisticuffs. Just a respectful separation between Scott and Jean sticking by Logan's side. AvX would have been avoided I think, but of course, the fact that it happened even with Rachel there was illogical in itself, so I don't think its worth getting into much.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled View Post
    It's an interesting point to raise and one that I (a Scemma fan to the core) have thought about as well. Of course, being a Scemma fan, I've always reached these conclusions:

    1) Jean ends her marriage with Scott even if she survives, not particularly because of his affair with Emma, but because she understood the relationship was not evolving, and hence was just being an albatross around both of their necks.
    2) She would have initially disapproved of Scott's more militant stand but in time would have come to respect and maybe even understand his beliefs. However, I fully believe she would not have taken the same stand. Just not opposed it as staunchly as Logan.
    3) I think Schism would have played out, only without the fisticuffs. Just a respectful separation between Scott and Jean sticking by Logan's side. AvX would have been avoided I think, but of course, the fact that it happened even with Rachel there was illogical in itself, so I don't think its worth getting into much.
    Xavier wanted Jean to lead the institute, so if Jean had lived Scott never would have been in a leadership position. And if he had still left Jean for Emma, or if they had otherwise broken up the X-Men would have sided with Jean. She's just more likeable than Scott. There wouldn't have been schism or AvX. As Wolverine and Emma Frost's pushing to kill Wanda lead to HOM, there wouldn't have been a HOM and then Decimation (plus as Phoenix Jean could have undone all that). With mutants never been decimated by Wanda and with the X-Men never being divided by schism, the whole terrigen mist release from the Inhumans would have played out very differently.

  4. #4
    remember the titans Endsong's Avatar
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    Oh boy, as a Jean fan what would have happened if she survived Planet X is something I like to consider a lot.

    For starters, Jean being Jean, there was never going to be any way that she didn't fix Emma after she was shot; that's definitely something that she still would have done regardless. Jean and Emma hated each other, but I think that there's a mutual respect thing going on there. Plus, the dichotomy between the two of them is beautiful.

    Next, Jean still would have died the two times during Planet X - but she would have been brought back the way that Morrison had intended after Magneto gave her stroke. And Magneto would have always been Xorn, probably take on more of an antagonistic role than he ultimately ended up doing, while still keeping that morally gray stance. After all, it wasn't his fault that he went full terrorist - it was because he was taking KICK and being influenced by Sublime.

    Jean and Scott would have worked things out, as all good couples do, and realized that while they love and need each other their relationship doesn't have to revolve around that. They would respect one another and both of them would shine on their own - and be on two different teams entirely. A Blue and Gold shift, if you will; Scott leads a team of X-Men that approaches high level threats throughout the MU, and Jean (as headmistress of Xavier's) takes on a stance like the one that the Astonishing X-Men took in trying to raise the PR of the school and of the X-Men proper. Their teams would include the X-Men that make the most sense for both mission statements.

    M-Day still would have happened, but the fallout of it wouldn't have. The bus filled with those kids wouldn't have been destroyed but the mansion would have probably still been invaded. Jean would have taken it upon herself to use her TK to stop the missiles, but that would be taxing and that's when the Purifiers would have taken advantage and made their move. Messiah Complex, and the Messiah trilogy, would have happened much differently. Hope would have still been the first mutant born after M-Day, and I think the Phoenix would have still played a big part, but Jean would have known about her before anyone else. Probably as a prophetic dream.

    The X-Men would still move to Utopia. Jean would be Scott's second for a while, but they'd start drifting apart again as Scott's tactics got more militaristic, and especially when he allowed Magneto to be a part of his team. Second Coming would be similar but different, and Schism would also be different. If Jean were around, there is basically no way that Logan would have been the one to take the opposing stance to Scott. Instead, if would Jean, but Jean wouldn't take as extreme a stance as Logan did. She'd be the one to reopen Xavier's and there would be more of a working relationship between Xavier's and Utopia.

    AvX didn't happen. Anything involving the Phoenix as antagonistic? It didn't happen.

    Jean and Wanda would work together, using Hope as a catalyst, to reignite the mutant spark. The X-Men would probably come back together after this, given that they aren't about to be extinct anymore. Jean and Scott, despite rocky times, are still probably together. Jean stays in charge of the school, with Scott in charge of the X-Men proper. They'd probably take more of a stance like is currently happening in Ressurxion with Kitty, with the X-Men becoming heroes again. Charles is alive, but still taking more of a backseat.

    The O5 don't come to the past. Bobby comes out on his own. Warren still "dies," and Beast still mutates. Jean would have been on the arc when the Incursion happened, and wouldn't have died at the hands of Doctor Doom - she would probably remember what happened as the Phoenix is an omniversal force. Ends up on both the X-Men and the Ultimates in the aftermath.

    When the Terrigen bomb drops it would still take a while to realize what it is doing, but I think that the X-Men and the Inhumans can come to a more diplomatic end when it comes to how it was worked out. Scott and Madrox are still the first casualties, but Emma isn't driven to do what she did thanks to the fact that she and Scott weren't in love, and Jean isn't nearly as unstable to do something like that. She grieves, but she does so on her own, with her friends at her side. The Terrigen Mists are destroyed much sooner.

    All in all, the MU would probably be a much better place if Jean had survived. So that's why she didn't.

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  5. #5
    Post Editing OCD Confuzzled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endsong View Post
    Jean and Scott would have worked things out, as all good couples do...
    High school sweethearts are usually the opposite of "good couples" when they reach adulthood. During NXM, Scott and Jean were both aware the passion was just not there, and they were clinging onto each other in lieu of hanging on to their former wistful years of inexperience. If Jean had survived, Morrison was separating them for sure. Whedon would have maintained that status quo in Astonishing as he did not want Scott to be defined by his relationship to Jean.

  6. #6
    Northern Lights Beaubier's Avatar
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    Yeah I don't see Scott and Jean staying together if she had lived. Their marriage was over before she died basically. Scott and Emma probably would have still gotten together, but it would have taken longer due to Scott's guilt. He'd finally move on when he and Jean have an honest heart to heart and she forgives him.

    I also don't see Jean preventing the school bus getting blown up by stopping the missiles. BUT, the kids might not have been on it in the first place. I don't see Jean allowing Emma to covertly send them away, or letting her kick Dani Moonstar out.

    Scott still would've gone the militant route, but maybe he'd be tempered by Jean's presence. Probably not though as he even hid it from Emma at first. Jean would've sided with Logan during Schism and gone with him to the school. Maybe they would've hooked up instead of RoLo happening, who knows.

  7. #7
    Fantastic Member Ulfhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WallStreeter View Post
    Xavier wanted Jean to lead the institute, so if Jean had lived Scott never would have been in a leadership position.
    I agree it's unlikely he would have stayed the sole leader. It seemed Morrison was moving this way with Jean anyway.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Ulfhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endsong View Post
    AvX didn't happen. Anything involving the Phoenix as antagonistic? It didn't happen.

    Jean and Wanda would work together, using Hope as a catalyst, to reignite the mutant spark. The X-Men would probably come back together after this, given that they aren't about to be extinct anymore. Jean and Scott, despite rocky times, are still probably together. Jean stays in charge of the school, with Scott in charge of the X-Men proper. They'd probably take more of a stance like is currently happening in Ressurxion with Kitty, with the X-Men becoming heroes again. Charles is alive, but still taking more of a backseat.

    The O5 don't come to the past. Bobby comes out on his own. Warren still "dies," and Beast still mutates. Jean would have been on the arc when the Incursion happened, and wouldn't have died at the hands of Doctor Doom - she would probably remember what happened as the Phoenix is an omniversal force. Ends up on both the X-Men and the Ultimates in the aftermath.

    When the Terrigen bomb drops it would still take a while to realize what it is doing, but I think that the X-Men and the Inhumans can come to a more diplomatic end when it comes to how it was worked out. Scott and Madrox are still the first casualties, but Emma isn't driven to do what she did thanks to the fact that she and Scott weren't in love, and Jean isn't nearly as unstable to do something like that. She grieves, but she does so on her own, with her friends at her side. The Terrigen Mists are destroyed much sooner.

    All in all, the MU would probably be a much better place if Jean had survived. So that's why she didn't.
    Wow, you've put a lot of thought into this. I generally agree with most of your points. I do wonder though if Whedon wouldn't have "fixed" Scott and Jean's relationship to the point where they would be more unified. All that really had to happen was for Scott to have the conversation he had with Logan (during the start of the Assault on Weapon Plus arc) with Jean.

    Either way I could see Jean essentially taking over for Xavier and the last 12 years of continuity especially be completely different. I just don't see Marvel trying to paint Jean with the same brush they used on Scott which would have avoided a lot of nonesense.

  9. #9
    Fantastic Member Ulfhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaubier View Post
    Yeah I don't see Scott and Jean staying together if she had lived. Their marriage was over before she died basically. Scott and Emma probably would have still gotten together, but it would have taken longer due to Scott's guilt. He'd finally move on when he and Jean have an honest heart to heart and she forgives him.
    Thanks for the reply but I'm not sure I agree on this point. They were definitely going through a rough spot but I don't think anything had happened that would have prevented them from staying together. Also their relationship had survived much worse imo, specifically Inferno. Also Jean siding with Logan during Schism seems far fetched, even if they weren't together. That would have been a fundamental betrayal of Scott and Jean just doesn't do that.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Endsong View Post
    Oh boy, as a Jean fan what would have happened if she survived Planet X is something I like to consider a lot.
    This is a really nice premise! I'd loved to have seen something like it play out.

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  11. #11
    Fantastic Member uebersoldat's Avatar
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    I would absolutely LOVE that scenario. Bring adult Jean back!

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member SpiderClops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled View Post
    High school sweethearts are usually the opposite of "good couples" when they reach adulthood. During NXM, Scott and Jean were both aware the passion was just not there, and they were clinging onto each other in lieu of hanging on to their former wistful years of inexperience. If Jean had survived, Morrison was separating them for sure. Whedon would have maintained that status quo in Astonishing as he did not want Scott to be defined by his relationship to Jean.
    They shared a psychic rapport together. They spent twelve years in the future raising Cable and looking after a comatose Rachel. They were way more than just high school sweethearts.
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  13. #13
    Mighty Member spirit2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled View Post
    High school sweethearts are usually the opposite of "good couples" when they reach adulthood. During NXM, Scott and Jean were both aware the passion was just not there, and they were clinging onto each other in lieu of hanging on to their former wistful years of inexperience. If Jean had survived, Morrison was separating them for sure. Whedon would have maintained that status quo in Astonishing as he did not want Scott to be defined by his relationship to Jean.
    He never was, but Jean was defined by her relationship with Scott. That is why she died, it wouldn't be acceptable for many editors and fans if she divorced cyclops just to get it with Wolverine
    I think Jean love for Cyclops was real and health, but not the one from Cyclops. But the passion wasn't gone on Morrison run
    I have little reasons to believe they would split and even if Split Cyclops would stay with Emma

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulfhammer View Post
    Would Scott and Jean's marriage have survived the affair with Emma? Would Jean have been able to temper Scott's more militant stand or would she have been right there taking the same stance through it all? In my opinion Jean would have been much more successful at bridge-building Scott's position with the rest of the X-men and perhaps even the Avengers then Emma ever was. Or she could have pushed him out of leadership completely? I think her presence would have significantly altered current continuity either way. What's your take on this?
    It would depend entirely on the writer.

    Had Scott been written consistently and in-character, the affair with Emma never would've happened in the first place.

    If the question is really "what would post-Morrison X-Men continuity have looked like with Jean swapped for Emma?", then, yes, the marriage would've survived, but only after a lengthy, angsty separation and much self-flagellation by Scott. Whether she took him back or not, he wouldn't have evolved into NuMagneto. Instead, he'd find himself relegated to field commander as Jean succeeded Xavier after the revelations regarding Danger and Vulcan. (I don't think Jean would've gone any easier on Charles than Scott and Emma did. She may well have been much tougher, actually.)

    The real variable is how the return of the Phoenix Force and AvX would've played out. How would Jean have reacted? Would she have tried to control it? Reason with it? Or, would she have gone the other way, and tried to destroy it after all the grief it's caused her?

  15. #15

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    This is a great question to ask and one of my favorite scenarios to contemplate. It's so tantalizing with implications and substance, so much so that it's kind of agonizing to consider the kinds of stories we never got.

    It has been asked in other threads and in other circumstances, but in terms of the bigger picture, I don't think it's ever been fleshed out. But there's no question that if Jean had survived instead of Emma, or even if they both survived, things would've been different. We would have a very different situation in the X-books, past and present alike.

    First and foremost, I think the biggest implication would be Jean's role with the Xavier Institute. She was headmaster shortly before she died. Xavier entrusted her to carry out his dream. He'd been grooming her to be the X-men's main visionary for years, but she never got a chance to settle into that role. And it's a role I think she would've handled well. I can definitely imagine Astonishing X-men playing out in a way where Jean effectively solidifies that role. Xavier had been stepping back for a while, even before Jean's death. The incident with Danger, which I don't think would've changed with Jean, would've only accelerated the process. By the end, I can totally see Jean being the new face of the X-men and the de-facto ambassador of the mutant race.

    Now this has implications for the rest of the team. I think she would've been a stabilizing force, of sorts. I think the team would've been more united during that time. Jean Grey is more respected and trusted among X-men circles than Emma, Wolverine, or Cyclops. Even without Xavier, the X-men would've been much stronger and more united under her.

    This means Cyclops' influence isn't quite as great, but I still believe that her marriage with him would've survived. It would've had to go through a recovery period. I doubt Emma Frost would stick around if she survived. She would not want to be around the X-men if Jean Grey was in such a powerful position. She'd want to be in a place where she could have much greater authority, possibly with X-Factor or X-Force. And I don't think Cyclops would've followed her. He'd shown a desire to repair his marriage. I think that while rebuilding the X-men, that effort would continue. There would be some tension, but they'd stay together. They'd need to support each other.

    It also means Cyclops remains the field leader. That's a role he's still good at and with Jean as the headmaster, I think he's more effective. I think that helps the X-men in the major events that follow.

    Now Jean's arrival doesn't affect Civil War, House of M, or Messiah Complex in any way. Those events would've happened with or without her. But I do think that she would've been different in terms of dynamics. Jean, being a more trusted and respected visionary for the X-men, would've had an easier time rallying mutants than Cyclops did. It's worth remembering that, despite his leadership skills, he didn't inspire the same trust as Xavier or Jean. I think that would've been a big factor in how the X-men operated during these events. I can even see Cable working with her to save baby Hope instead of trying to do it on their own.

    The point where it gets too hard to predict is Schism. I think if Jean had been alive for that, there wouldn't have been a schism. There wouldn't have been a Jean Grey Institute. There wouldn't have been an AvX either, at least not in the way it played out. That's where the possibilities just become too broad. Without those events, the X-men as we know them go in a very different direction. It may or may not affect how Secret Wars and IvX played out, but without a schism, the X-men would be in a very different place. And I'd argue it would be a better place.

    In the end, I think Jean's presence is just that important. She's a stabilizing force that can unite the X-men in Xavier's absence. And perhaps that's why Marvel killed her off and kept her dead. They knew the X-men would be more chaotic without her and they wanted some chaos in the stories. It's hard to say what sort of impact she would have if she returned, but there's no question that she has a huge influence on the team as a whole. And that influence continues, even in death.
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