Costume Catastrophe: Jean Grey


Welcome to our new column – Costume Catastrophes!

For this column, we’ll be highlighting the best of the worst costumes from the Marvel Universe. Some may be iconic, some not so much; either way these are some rough costumes for some of our favorite M6P heroes!

For the first selection, I wanted to go with a costume that is fairly iconic to most M6P fans as many comic book readers today were introduced to comics through the X-Men animated series of the 1990’s. Our first costume is Jean Grey.


When I think of Jean Grey, I don’t think of her Phoenix get up. I don’t think of her original costume or the green skirt she wore in the 60’s and 70’s. The X-Factor costumes in the 80’s were pretty generic and as were the black leather looks before her most recent death. When I think of Jean Grey, I think of this Jim Lee inspired costume that debuted in Uncanny X-Men #281.


As much as I love this costume, it just boils down to being a mess. Jean is an iconic Marvel character and in the Top 10 of Marvel’s leading ladies. She needed something bold to represent the new era of X-Men in 1991. However, as a sign of the times she was given a pretty rough costume. Where do we begin?


  • Shoulder pads. I understand the 80’s had just closed, but the shoulder pads still remained.jeanshoulders
  • Throw some unnecessary pockets on the side of her legs and we’re going somewhere now. pockets
  • Match that with a blue thong ON TOP of the full body suit and we are in disaster territory. thong
  • Finally, cover Jean from head to toe! Also place her in a head covering that in the animated series, only let out a shrivel of hair in the back. The worst offense from the animated series? – Making the costume NUDE instead of yellow/orange!


Now there must be some redeeming qualities too right? Well, there’s an X on the costume. That’s a plus. The color scheme was good too; very reminiscent of the X-Factor colors she’d been wearing.


Again, this is my favorite Jean costume because this is how I was first introduced to Jean. I agree it’s pretty awful, but the X-Men are forever ingrained in my heads as how I first met them during the Jim Lee/Andy Kubert runs of the 90’s.


  • Good call. I’d venture that Jean’s only really great costumes were as Phoenix & Dark Phoenix. Everything else is pretty generic to whatever era she was in. That being the case is it any wonder that the Marvel Girl name (ignoring the fact that she was no longer a ‘girl’ by the time the she picked it back up in X-Factor) didn’t hold up and she’s more well known by her given name than just about any other super hero around?

  • I think you’re right Jon. Jean’s always been hit by the “ugly costume” stick. I didn’t even mention her Claremont REvolution costume which was pretty rough too. Phoenix was a decent costume and Marvel’s continuously used it and made it different colors for Jean.

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