Given a certain recent comic cover, I want to give a rundown of something in comic book history.

Marvel has a history of turning its "weakest" female superteam-member (meaning that the writers didn't want to write those female characters even though they usually have the most excellent of superpowers when probably utilized) into a supervillain to make her more "powerful" and "interesting" than she was before (see for example Jean Grey and Susan Storm). For the purposes of what I'm talking about, I shall be dealing with Jean Grey aka... Jean Grey... because "Marvel Girl" sounded silly (also, comic book trope #127: allowing older teenaged young women and older women to be called "girl" in their superhero title instead of "woman"). So, anyway, Jean, with her telekinetic abilities, is considered weak, so in the 1960s, the writers juiced up her abilities by allowing an alien entity to enter her body that gives her infinite cosmic power. Unfortunately, this being, the Phoenix, corrupts Jean's body and mind, turning her into a universally destructive force. Jean regains control of herself just long enough to commit suicide to save the world. She's resurrected later only to have this storyline keep reoccurring. Rinse, lather, repeat. And is the story really about Jean? NO! It's about fucking Scott Summers and his man-pain. Even in the X-Men animated series, it's less about Jean frickin' dying and more about the Scott/Jean/Logan love triangle. It turns into Wolverine's pain and not about the fact that Jean's very person was violated and destroyed by something outside of her control. In point of fact, it was the strength of her own powers that led to such a violation; being a woman who pushes her strength and power to the limit will die due to her own hubris, basically.

Susan Storm (The Invisible Woman) had a similar transformation into the entity, Malice, caused by epic motherhood drama and nearly destroyed the world. And we'll see it again with Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch), again on a universe-destroying scale of "woman" drama.

So when I see an "homage"/rip-off of the cover of Cyclops holding Jean's dead body (or even one of Superman holding Supergirl's dead body), I can't help but be reminded of these kinds of tropes... and not be very pleased by them.

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