The next issue in the Generations is out, this time following Jean Grey, both the time-displaced teenage version currently starring in her own title and X-Men Blue and the original Jean Grey, at an earlier point in history. Or is she?
This issue is the crux of the story of Generations: The Phoenix by Cullen Bunn. Certainly, Rich posted his own article discussing what he felt the issue meant for Jean Grey's history, but I have a slightly different take.
Personally, I think this scene actually firmly plants it into the continuity set up for the Phoenix. As Rich pointed out, way back when, Jean Grey got placed in a healing cocoon and replaced by the Phoenix — not possessed by it. The Phoenix manifested a duplicate that had imprinted on Jean's memories, emotions and life itself, so was essentially a perfect duplicate — no mere clone, an exact copy…but one that also happened to be the Phoenix Force.
Personally, how I read it was that Young Jean realises that that is exactly who she is meeting now. As she says, "not just another Jean Grey," but the Phoenix. The Phoenix, who for all intents and purposes is Jean Grey, at this time.
Overall, the Jeans have a nifty encounter together that's all a bit of fun, involving beaches, nightclubs, and punching Galactus in the mush. It's a fun little story, with some sweet characterisation.
The problem is, it doesn't really feel like the story has much consequence going forward. Generations is supposed to give us big new directions for going forward in Marvel Legacy. Last week saw Amadeus Cho deciding to copy Bruce Banner's feelings about being the Hulk (because copying an older character's past plots is apparently a "new direction"), but Generations: The Phoenix just seems to have Young Jean realise that the older Jean was just the same as her and not some figure to put up on a pedestal. Which is a nice little character moment to have, but I don't really see what the "exciting new direction" is to come out of this.
In fact, there's probably more suggestion of where the character and books are going in her own title, Jean Grey, this week.
It's a fun story that I certainly would recommend reading (and it looks lovely to boot, with gorgeous artwork by R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, and Rain Beredo), but I'm not sure you'd be missing much if you missed it. It doesn't feel like there'd be a ton of callbacks to this. But hey, it is a great and fun little story, so I would say you should definitely check this issue of Generations out.
I mean, it has a dust up between the Phoenix and Galactus, and him getting clocked out by a teenager! What more do you want?