Jean Grey was just beginning to master her telekenetic powers when Hank McCoy, her teammate Beast, came back in time and pulled her and the rest of the original X-Men into the present. Adventuring with the rest of the time-shifted original X-Men, Jean has already found ways to combine her telepathy and telekinesis into abilities no one's ever seen. Looking back at the fate of her adult self, teenage Jean decided to stay in the present and re-write her past.
The events of Avengers Vs. X-Men changed the landscape of Marvel's mutant comics, with the death of their founder, Professor Charles Xavier, at the hands of his first student and their leader, Cyclops. With Cyclops an outlaw and the formerly close-knit family of mutants divided by the tragedy, writer Brian Michael Bendis and penciler Stuart Immonen shook things up even further by bringing the five original X-Men forward in time to the present!
Defying expectations, these time-shifted X-Men are here to stay, and have changed the Marvel Universe in huge ways. One of those members, the teenage Jean Grey has already displayed incredible strength, leadership, and capabilities of her powers the adult version never accessed. What she's capable of next, no one knows.
Digging into the Character
By Casey Malone, Character Designer on Jean Grey
Jean Grey! Finally! Jean's one of our most requested characters, and one that we've wanted to bring to Marvel Puzzle Quest for as long as the game's existed. Now that the teenage Jean is such a prominent part of the Marvel Universe and such incredible stories are being told with her, we were really excited to capture that version of the character for her debut.
But how do we capture this version of Jean? What makes her different from her adult self, and all the different incarnations of her that existed before her (most recent) death? Reading All New X-Men it was clear that younger Jean was no less powerful, but lacked the control, discipline and experience that she would grow into as an older X-Man. Teen jean tries new tactics first and thinks through the consequences later. She read the mind of her close friend to get to the truth of a situation rather than let them open up to her in time. And sometimes she gets lost in her power and goes a little too far.
So Jean overreaches - she can only do Team Damage. On the one hand, that's exciting because there's nowhere your enemies can hide from her psychic powers. The whole enemy team is getting chipped away. On the other hand it can occasionally be a hinderance when you really need to take out one pesky character - she's not focusing and dealing more damage to the more important target, because she's busy thinking she can take on the world herself! Jean's the first character who exclusively does Team damage, so we hope this gives her an all-new feel when you play with her.
But beyond just showcasing pure power (damage!), Jean's not a wild or uncontrolable bruiser - she's precise and her powers give her a versatility in battle that few Marvel heroes can boast. So in addition to that Team damage, Jean can remove enemy special tiles including Countdown and Invisibility tiles (something few characters can do!), create special tiles for your team, and even stun the other team and drain their AP.
When we start designing a new character for Marvel Puzzle Quest, we not only look at the character and how best to represent them, we look at the game as it exists today. Marvel Puzzle Quest is a living game, so how a character effects it changes constantly. We look to see if there are ways of playing that are underrepresented by current characters, or if there are teams that are dominating Versus matches, and we think about how a new character can shake both of those things up. Lately, at very high levels of play, we've been seeing a surge in teams comprised of Professor X, a character who can create Match-5s, like Black Widow (Grey Suit) or Magneto (Marvel NOW!), and third character who can take the AP and special tiles generated and churn out damage.
So, we asked, what if there was a character who made those Match-5s really bad news for those teams? The answer to that question eventually turned into Jean's Psychic Feedback power. By stunning the opponent and robbing them of the extra AP generated by Professor X, Jean puts a pretty fast halt to this strategy, and even forces teams fighting against her into avoiding Match-5s when they occur naturally, unless they want to be left open to losing their extra turn and giving up a bunch of AP. Jean Grey should signal a shift in which teams are dominating PVP, and we're very excited to see what the landscape looks like once players get their hands on her.
Compiled by Casey