Jun 02, 2021
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for X-Men #21 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Russell Dauterman, Lucas Werneck, Sara Pichelli, Frank Martin, Matthew Wilson, Sunny Gho, Nolan Woodard & VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Over the years, Jean Grey has undergone several different costume changes. While she's had plenty of iconic looks, her various looks haven't always been united by any one common design choice. However, the Hellfire Gala has given Jean an outfit that blends the best aspects of her most prominent costumes into a Russell Dauterman-designed costume that stands among her best ever.
Ever since 2019's House of X #1, by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz, Jean has returned to her Marvel Girl outfit of the 1960s and early '70s. There is a certain appeal to this costume, considering the sheer nostalgia of the X-Men's early days. Additionally, Jean wore her Marvel Girl costume in 1980's Uncanny X-Men #137, by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, when she was put on trial by the Shi'ar Empire for the Dark Phoenix's crimes. Jean donned her Marvel Girl costume in an effort to reject the Phoenix's destructive power. In this way, the Marvel Girl costume is significant for Jean's independence from the Phoenix, and her return to it echoes her recent rejection of the Phoenix Force.
While Jean's Hellfire Gala outfit recalls aspects of that Marvel Girl costume, it modernizes it and gives Jean a striking Krakoan update that fits her status as one of Marvel's most important mutant leaders.
The Hellfire Gala outfit has the same yellow/green color scheme as Jean's Marvel Girl costume, without the old-fashioned mini-skirt or yellow boots. At the same time, this color scheme matches Jean's traditional Phoenix costume. solidifying green as her primary costume color without the baggage associated with the Phoenix Force.
The predominantly green outfit perfectly complements Jean's fire-red hair, making the color truly pop. The fingerless gloves add an extra sense of flair, and the gold accents around the outfit contrast well with the green of the suit. Similarly, the yellow gown goes well with Jean's green outfit, and it would look perfect while Jean uses her telekinesis to fly.
Between this gold trim and her cape, this costume also makes yellow her secondary costume color. From her very first Jack Kirby-designed X-Men uniform to the yellow Phoenix symbol of her Dave Cockrum-designed cosmic costume to her Jim Lee-era look, this choice makes Jean's look of a piece with many of her previous looks, and it sits well with Wolverine, Cyclops and the other X-Men who usually incorporate some degree of yellow in their looks.
The floating "x" headpiece also highlight's Jean's powerset and the emerging mutant culture of Krakoa. This headpiece accentuates Jean's telekinetic ability, bringing her appearance into the Krakoan age. Jean's tiara ties her into mutant culture nicely, emphasizing her "royal" presence in Krakoan society. Jean's telepathic facilitation of the X-Men election not only showcases the unique nature of Krakoan society, it also cements her prominence within this culture. By and large, Jean's Hellfire Gala look would be a great new costume. A great detail added to the center of Jean's outfit is a gold "x." This is a nice touch, emphasizing Jean's loyalty not just to mutantkind, but to the X-Men.
As a prominent mutant, Jean deserves a uniquely Krakoan outfit like her Hellfire Gala look. Additionally, this tiara adjusts Jean's '90s headpiece, which was much more confining.
Combining the features of Jean's Marvel Girl, Phoenix and '90s costumes, this Hellfire Gala outfit would be a perfect basis for a new field outfit. The look would likely have to be made a little more practical by adding material to the open back, turning the heels into practical shoes and shortening the gown into a standard-length cape, just to make Jean more mobile. Still, these would be minor tweaks to an otherwise perfect look for Jean.
As a founding member of the team and a leader of the new X-Men lineup, Jean Grey needs a look that fits her life after the Phoenix, not one that merely recalls her life before it. With this smart look that recalls her past without mimicking it, Jean's Hellfire Gala outfit is too good to hang up in the closet after one event.About The Author