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Thursday, October 16, 2008


Marvel's Top X-Women

Once again Rachel made one of Marvel's Take 10 lists. The Secret Cabal (a group of assistant editors and interns) selected Rachel as the 8th best X-Woman:

Rachel Grey in Uncanny X-Men 466
8. RACHEL GREY
First Appearance:
X-MEN v1 #141 (1981)
Learn More About Herhere
Why She Makes the List: "Rachel Grey epitomizes two cornerstone of the X-verse: she has that Grey/Summers heritage and also comes from an alternate future, a theme common to many great X-stories. Rachel, therefore, is made for greatness. The former Phoenix and current Marvel Girl has an impressive battery of powers, including telepathy, telekinesis and a connection to the Phoenix Force. You've gotta respect someone who can not only rearrange the atoms of her clothes to make a whole new ensemble, but also make you think you're seeing a different outfit altogether—even if she has the potential to some day destroy a planet." – Secret Cabal member LiterateNitz18
Spotlight Comic: UNCANNY X-MEN #466—Rachel must save her remaining family from the Shi'ar Death Commandos!

Overall, it wasn't a bad list, but Rachel getting beat by Dazzler, I mean, c'mon... Dazzler has barely been a member of the X-Men.

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Friday, October 3, 2008


Friday News Bites for 10/3/08

Here's a quick round-up of the news from around the web this week related to Rachel Summers, Kingbreaker and War of Kings:

IGN talked to X-Editors Nick Lowe and John Barber about the future of X-Books, and the Starjammers and War of Kings came up. Unforunately, it doesn't seem like any of the other X-Men will be helping the Starjammers:
IGN Comics: Unsurprisingly, Havok and the rest of the Starjammers are going to be playing a large role in War of Kings next year. Outside of the main event and the Kingbreaker prologue, will the X-Men be caught up in this storyline? Will the main team be reunited with these castaways anytime soon?

Lowe: The X-Men won't play a role in War of Kings. They've got enough on their plates. But definitely check out Kingbreaker. You'll get to see some of the best Havok/Polaris stuff in years.
Y'know, if Scott's brother was captured and on the verge of being executed, and Rachel, Lilandra and Korvus are the only remaining Starjammers fighting the whole Shi'ar empire, you would think Scott might actually be interested in sending someone to help??? It's not like the X-Men have that much on the plates in San Francisco...

The X-Editors go on to talk about future crossovers, which hopefully the X-Jammers and Rachel will be back on earth for:
IGN Comics: Outside of these two events are there any big, encompassing event books that the books are building towards, a la Messiah Complex. Given the success of MC, is a follow-up at least being considered by the various writers and editors?

Lowe: There certainly are. We have a big plan for the summer of 2009 that will have big ramifications with the rest of the Marvel U, and then we have a huge "Messiah Complex" style crossover coming in 2010.


Speaking of War of Kings, on Marvel.com, there is a video interview with Cosmic writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Marvel has also opened their War of King hub, but there isn't much there yet.



Comic Book Urban Legends brought up the never published Phoenix Limited Series:
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Rick Leonardi and Chris Claremont began work on a Phoenix mini-series that never saw the light of day.

STATUS: True

Reader Jonathan Nathan suggested this one, and yes, apparently Chris Claremont and Rick Leonardi began work on a Phoenix mini-series spun out of Uncanny X-Men that was canceled after pages were already finished!

You can read more about it this site's Phoenix Limited Series page.


To wrap up this week's new bites, here's some fun fan art done by Carly Monardo, which is "What if Rachel was drawn by Gary Baseman":



Check out Carly's blog for a lot more great Excalibur artwork.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Rachel in X-Men Legacy 212

Rachel has an unexpected background cameo appearance in X-Men Legacy #212 in the background of a panel in Xavier's office.


X-Men Legacy 212


You can see Rachel in her Hound costume in between Professor Xavier and Gambit in a painting.

The original version of the image being used is here:

Rachel Summers as the Phoenix

Rachel Summers - Phoenix by Ariel Padilla


According to Subliminal, this is little Easter egg was added by colorist Rain >Beredo, who is a Rachel fan, and artist Mike Deodato. Rain and Mike also worked on Thunderbolts #118, which featured similar painting of Rachel as Mother Askani in several panels.

Thanks to Matt for the head's up.

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Monday, February 18, 2008


Marvel May 2008 Solicitations

CBR received advanced May 2008 solicitations from Marvel, including information about X-Men: Divided We Stand #2, whose cover was leaked last week. But it doesn't give us much more information about what the Havok short story will be about, or even who is writing or drawing each of the stories:


X-MEN: DIVIDED WE STAND BOOK 2 (of 2)
Written by MIKE CAREY, C.B. CEBULSKI, DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI & ANDY SCHMIDT
Penciled by SCOTT EATON, DAVID LAFUENTE, FRAZER IRVING & MORE
Cover by BRANDON PETERSON
Exploring the fallout of Messiah CompleX, the second part of this collection of short stories follows some of our favorite mutants as they make their way in a world without the X-Men. And only those who adapt will survive. Featuring Beast, Dark Beast, Havok, Vulcan and Surge!
48 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


It's likely that Mike Carey is writing the Beast and Dark Beast story as a follow-up to Endangered Species, Loners writer C.B. Cebulski would likely be writing the Surge story since he's good at teen angst, and Duane Swierczynski could be writing Forge (who might show up in Cable). That would leave former X-editor Andy Schmidt to write the Havok and Vulcan story.

Update: It's been confirmed that C.B. Cebulski and David Lafuente are doing the Surge story, but no confirmation on the Havok creative team.

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Is the Messiah Complex Baby Rachel Summers? - Probably Not

There has been a lot of fan speculation about the identity of the mysterious mutant baby who sparked the Messiah Complex crossover event. While the X-writers initially said that the baby was a new character that is not related to any known characters, that didn't stop endless speculation on who the baby is.

One of the most common guesses is that the newborn baby girl is a reborn Jean Grey. While the baby's hair color seemed to change randomly in the first few chapters, as the series went on it became more apparent that the baby has red hair.

This has also sparked some speculation that the baby may be Rachel. It was even asked in an X-Position column on ComicBookResources:
Question: I have my own theory as to the baby’s identity. Since the baby was found in Alaska, original place of Madelyn Prior, perhaps the baby is Rachel Summers (and her mother is the aforementioned Madelyn). We have never really been told Rachel’s origin, since it may have occurred in a future that no longer exists thanks to her trip back to the past. Am I warm?

Peter David (X-Factor): I don’t know. I haven’t felt your forehead.

While Rachel's origin is actually quite clear, it could be possible (although highly unlikely) that Rachel would be some how randomly born on Earth-616 without being conceived by Jean Grey and Scott Summers. Although for years now there has been hints that Jean might eventually give birth to a Rachel-616, it's likely that plot line would be reserved for when Jean actually does return.

Also, keep in mind that time travelers are not impacted by changes to their futures. Any time a character like Rachel or Bishop or Cable travels back in time, even if their future changes, they remain the same. Their future becomes an alternate future. So anything that happens in current continuity will not impact Rachel's future (Days of Future Past, Earth-811), nor will it change Cable's past (the Askani future, Earth-4935).

The writers and editors working on Messiah Complex seem to be toying with readers and feeding this speculation that the baby may be a known character (especially Jean), but it may be nothing more than a misdirection to spark fan interest.

Mike Carey (X-Men: Legacy) had this to say to Newsarama on the topic:
In terms of the baby’s identity—I think at various points in this story some readers, to a certain extent, are starting to ask a bunch of questions—which is cool. There has been a certain amount of misdirection involved. Lots of people want to know who her parents are—if the union that produced her was significant—there has been fan speculation that she might be an old character brought back from the dead—reborn in some way.

Clearly, the baby is special. She’s definitely unique; otherwise, how could she be born with powers in spite of the Scarlet Witch’s edict? But it’s far from clear that her powers arise from her lineage – from her being, or being born from, somebody who was already significant in X-Men continuity. It remains a possibility, but I’m not sure that that’s the best way to look at it. I can’t say anything more than that at this point though.


Some readers have also guessed that the baby may be some how connected to the Askani, since there have been so many flashbacks to Scott having to give up baby Nathan Christopher to the Askani in X-Factor 67.



The flashbacks in X-Men 207 point towards the sacrifices Scott has had to made. The top is Scott having to entrust the Askani to save baby Nathan Christopher knowing he would never see him again. The left corner is when Scott had to say goodbye to Nathan a second time at the end of the Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix when Rachel's death forced Jean and Scott's psyches' to return to the present.

The member of the Askani Sisterhood sent back to bring baby Nathan to the future was never specifically named. It was revealed in Cable #7 that she was a volunteer sent by Rachel (Mother Askani), and she had died in the process of bringing Nathan to the future. So she had sacrificed herself to save baby Nathan.

While it could be interesting, albeit a bit confusing, to see the process come full circle - the person who sacrificed her life to save Nathan is the baby whom Nathan raised, it's difficult to say why the baby would end up as a member of the Askani Sisterhood 2000 years in the future as a member of a group formed by Nathan's sister.

There is one clue that the baby has nothing to do with the Askani from Chris Yost in X-Position 35:
Question: If the baby is so crucial to Cable’s future, why wouldn’t Cyclops know about it? He spent twelve years there – or is that motivating his decisions?

YOST: Cable’s future is much, much farther away. That baby’s role in his future is ancient history, something Cyclops wouldn’t have casually stumbled across. And we don’t know the baby’s full role yet – it might be something behind the scenes of history, but crucially important. Bottom line, most Americans can’t name more than seven or eight of our presidents. It’s possible this didn’t come up.

This makes it sound like the baby is firmly tied to the immediate future and specifically what potentially causes Bishop's future and mutants to end up in camps.

While that wouldn't directly prohibit her for eventually ending up in the Askani future, that may needlessly complicate the situation.

I think that the flashbacks are only references to what Scott is thinking about without resorting to thought bubbles, not some clue about who the baby is.

The baby could have a role in something mentioned in Askani lore though.

In the Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix , Mother Askani tells Jean and Scott, that "for almost a century before this, the world enjoyed an almost unprecedented racial harmony. The Age of Xavier was a time when all races lived in peace. A peace Apocalypse used against an unsuspecting, trusting planet. "

It could be that the baby grows up to have some role in causing the Age of Xavier, and Cable wants to ensure that history repeats itself. Or, could it be that Cable wants to alter history so that people aren't quite so peaceful and trusting that they can be prayed upon by a tyrant like Apocalypse?

If the baby’s connection to Cable is only due to her role in history, then what about the locket the baby is seen holding in the flashbacks? One of the clues readers point to that the baby may be Jean or Rachel is baby playing with Scott's locket that has a photo of him and Jean in it. Is it simply something the baby was playing with? A clue that the baby is Jean or related to Jean? Or that Jean was involved in restarting the mutant population some how from the White Hot Room?

Or, is the locket merely one of the "misdirections" Mike Carey referred to?

Marvel continued to toy with fans about Jean's return by releasing a cryptic "Phoenix Rising?" cover with no details. The image and post seem to imply Jean may be returning, but it is clearly a misdirection and a merely a cover for X-Men: Legacy.

I suspect that all of these hints about the baby being a known character is to simply increase reader interest in the new Cable series, since a major plot will be revealing the background of the messiah baby. Marvel staffers may assume that readers might pick up the book just to find out if the baby turns out to be known character, such as Jean or Rachel. But I think it's highly unlikely that she will be.

This also could be testing the waters for a return of Jean Grey. It seemed like as speculation grew that the baby was Jean, the more "clues" there were that it was her. Cynically, I'd say that was Marvel being mean spirited and messing with emotions of Jean's fans who are desperate for her to return. However, it could have been a light bulb going off at Marvel and the increased number of “clues” is to make sure they leave their options open for one possible way that Jean could return.

When Cable was first introduced, it was never intended that he turn out to be Nathan Christopher Summers. While more planning has likely gone into the story for the Messiah Complex baby then Cable‘s introduction, her ultimate fate, or even her name, might not even be decided yet or could deviate from plan.

So, is the baby Rachel? Or an Askani? It's highly doubtful. Is it Jean? I also highly doubt that, but you never know. My guess is that the baby is the indirect cause of the peaceful Age of Xavier mentioned in the Askani future and a new character.


Edit: A new blog post about the Messiah Complex baby has been added on 7/11/08: Who Is The Messiah Complex Baby?.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008


Havok on the X-Men Divided We Stand #2 Cover

X-Men Divided We Stand 2 Artist Brandon Peterson posted the cover for X-Men Divided We Stand #2 in his gallery, and it shows a very angry Havok in the upper left hand corner.

The first Divided We Stand issue was solicited last month, and featured short stories about what happened to various mutants following the end of Messiah Complex, as they went their own ways. The first issue included stories about Cannonball and Husk, Storm and Gentle, Anole and Nightcrawler.

It looks like the second issue will feature Havok, Surge, Forge and Beast.

So far it's unknown what the story will be about Havok. It's likely to be about his imprisonment at the hands of Vulcan. Rachel could possibly be mentioned, and it hopefully will give an update on what the situation is for the Starjammers following the cliff-hanger, non-ending of Emperor Vulcan.

Marvel's May Solicitations are due out early next week, so we'll likely know more about this then.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008


Askani Era Rachel Images in Thunderbolts 118

While Rachel isn't appearing in the core X-Books, she is showing up in some rather odd places - like Thunderbolts 118, which was written by Warren Ellis with art by Mike Deodato, Jr.

Several images of Rachel from X-Men: Book of the Askani are shown in Dr. Leonard Samson's office. If you recall, Doc Samson is the superhero psychiatrist who (rather unsuccessfully) tried to treat Rachel following the massacre of the Grey family in Uncanny X-Men 469. I guess he's rather proud of working with her if he has pictures of Ray all over his office.

Here's the panels with Doc Samson's office. It's like playing Where's Waldo with Mother Askani!






On the right hand side, in both panels there is the Rachel Summers: Askani Warrior painting. And in the upper left hand side of the bottom panel is the classic Mother Askani painting. Also, the cover of Excalibur 83 is on the coffee table in the middle of the bottom panel.

For reference, here's the images that are being shown:








Thanks to Cerridwen for the heads-up!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007


Trade Paperbacks Coming Out Spring 2008

Rachel may be out of X-books for a while after Emperor Vulcan ends, but she will be showing up in quite a few trade paperbacks coming out this spring:

New Mutants Classics TPB Vol 3 - April 23, 2008
Contains Rachel's first appearance in mainstream 616 continuity in New Mutants #18.
View Amazon Listing


X-Men: Emperor Vulcan TPB - May 14, 2008
Contains Emperor Vulcan 1-5.
View Amazon Listing


Excalibur Classic Volume 5 TPB - May 21, 2008
Contains Excalibur #29-34
This is a mixed bag of issues (mainly Girls' School From Heck) and not a lot of great Rachel issues. However, it means they are getting closer to the incredible Alan Davis run from Excalibur 42 to 67.
View Amazon Listing


Cable Classic Volume 1 TPB - March 19, 2008
New Mutants #87, Cable: Blood & Metal #1-2, and Cable #1-4

This trade doesn't contain any issues Rachel or Mother Askani are in yet, but I'd like to think I had a little part in making this happen. A few months ago I suggested to several Marvel staffers that they release a Cable trade before the new Cable series comes out. They didn't have any plans then, but thought it was a great idea!

Hopefully we'll get Bob Weinberg's run collected eventually!

View Amazon Listing

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Monday, October 29, 2007


Rachel Summers & Phoenix Fan Videos

While we're all waiting for the next issue of Emperor Vulcan, here's some fun stuff to watch.

Some very talented Rachel fans have put together some fan videos.

Have a look:

Marvel Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9PQDrl5Ib4

Marvel Girl will be loved
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvoTgpOfEU0

Summers Family
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEO8pC1MJfU

Phoenix (Rachel & Jean)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRVQE7sYTVc

Jean and Rachel: The Dream Must Stay Alive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPw3pWOSPEQ

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Friday, September 7, 2007


Rachel Mentioned in Endangered Species Chap. 10

Rachel and Cable are mentioned on the last page of Endangered Species Chapter 10, which is in Uncanny X-Men 490 and written by Christos Gage.

Beast's quest to find a solution to the effects of M-Day has lead him to Bishop.

In the last panel, Bishop explains to Beast why he's not worried about M-Day: "I'm from the future, remember? There were plenty of mutants where I came from."

Beast replies,"You're from an alternate future, like Cable, or Marvel Girl. You're very presence here makes it unlikely that it will ever... wait! That could be it!"

(Although, technically, Nathan isn't from an alternate future. He was born in this timeline and taken to the future by the Askani to save him from the T-O virus.)

In the next issue, Rachel and Cable appear in hologram type projection on the first page.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007


John Byrne on Rachel & DoFP

John Byrne was asked about creating Rachel Summers for Days of Future Past on his message board:
Question: When you came up with DOFP, was Rachel supposed to be the daughter of Scott and Jean or was that something that got tacked on later?

John Byrne: As originally plotted by me, months before "The Fate of the Phoenix", Rachel was supposed to be Scott and Jean's daughter. As issue 137 turned out, that became impossible, but she was too central to the story to be eliminated, so I just left her as a generic telepath, and assumed Chris would not use the Scottt & Jean connection since it no longer worked.

Byrne continues on with later in the thread with more background information about Days of Future Past (caution, lots of Rachel and Chris Claremont bashing).

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Phoenix Costume at Dragon Con


A woman was dressed as Rachel Summers in her red Hound costume at Dragon Con this past weekend. A fan took a picture and posted it on Flickr.

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Friday, July 13, 2007


Rachel In the Women of Marvel Vol. 2


Marvel Collections Editor Jen Grünwald posted on Bendis' Board the cover for Women of Marvel Vol 2, which features female-centric issues of various comics.

Rachel is behind Spider-Woman and Psylocke. Grunwald explained, "It's actually Rachel! This is some crazy costume she's got on in X-Men #189 which is in the book. I thought it would be cool to use it for the cover as we always see her in the other ones."

The trade contains: Avengers #83, West Coast Avengers #15, Spider-Woman #10, Strange Tales #10-11, Uncanny X-Men #168, 189, 201 & 218 and Vision and the Scarlet Witch #12.

Rachel is also in Uncanny X-Men 201.

Women of Marvel Vol 2 will be in stores August 22nd.

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Saturday, September 9, 2006


Rachel Summers Cameo in Phoenix: Warsong 1

Rachel appears in a one panel flashback in Phoenix: Warsong 1, which mainly focuses on Emma Frost & the Stepford Cuckoos, and has little to do with Jean or the Phoenix.

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