Jean Grey from The X-Men
So it’s not so much that I hated Jean Grey, she just was probably my least favorite X-Men. I tried to like her, I really did, but she just didn’t appeal to me. She was always too much of a goody two-shoes and a suck-up to Professor X. (Something I disliked in myself as a child.) And Jean was too afraid of her powers and why did she date that Cyclops guy? (If there was one character I disliked more, it was Cyclops.)
Perhaps, I should’ve started by saying that my first exposure to Jean was in the X-Men Animated Series from the ’90s. Where in addition to all the things I complained about above, she also had the worst costume out of the bunch. And when everyone else is wearing primary yellow and blue spandex and you take the shitty costume award, that’s saying something.
Jean tried to be interesting. She did the whole Phoenix and Dark Phoenix storyline. And that was set IN SPACE (which always makes everything better, in my opinion). But at least in the animated version, I felt like everyone was having adventures and Jean just had things happen to her. Jean transformed and then used some of her superpowers, and maybe this whole spiritual change just didn’t transfer well to my child brain or children’s TV. I was far more preoccupied with Lilandra running her armada.
But thankfully, I’m not a child anymore, and I like Jean now. I don’t think she’ll ever be my favorite, but I have an appreciation for her I did not. Which makes it really a shame that Marvel keeps using her as their poster child for popular characters staying dead.
And maybe someday, I’ll rewatch the X-Men Animated Series and see what child-me and adult-me can argue about.
Buy X-Men: Volume One and see if my childhood nostalgia holds up.