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Rachel's mother

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LimboMaster
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Rachel's mother

Post by LimboMaster » 19 Jan 2021, 17:36

I suspect this has been covered somewhere but I couldn't find it if so. Given that Rachel thought of her mother as Jean Grey, the Phoenix, but later the Jean who was Phoenix was retconned to be the Phoenix in Jean's form (at least in 616), has it been explained if her mother was actually the original Jean Grey of her timeline or instead the Phoenix in Jean's form? That is, is she the daughter of the human or of the Phoenix force? Or was this perhaps explained away (hopefully earning a No-Prize) that because Phoenix perfectly mimicked Jean that Jean's genes (ahem) spawned Rachel so it really doesn't matter.

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Lavettye
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Re: Rachel's mother

Post by Lavettye » 19 Jan 2021, 19:34

Short answer: No, it was never really addressed.

Long answer: Difficult.

In Excalibur #52, you have the Phoenix Force narrating a sequence of flashbacks how - after dying on the moon it wanted to return the stolen essense to Jean Grey at the bottom of Jamaica bay, but along the way it found the consciousness of the time-travelling Rachel floating above New York. The Force sensed the similarities to Jean and curiously probed the woman, discovering her to be Rachel Summers, future daughter of Scott Summers and his wife, Jean Grey, from another timeline. The Force also mentions that these X-Men never encountered the Phoenix and that Jean Grey-Summers was killed when Rachel was very littl. Cause of death was a bomb detonated by Mastermind in Pittsburg. This all indicates that Rachel's mother was the one and only Jean Grey and no Phoenix-made replica.

However, in earlier X-Men stories, it was actually not the identity of Rachel's mother that was put into question, but that of her father. You see, in the days of Future Present annuals crossover, Ahab briefly transforms the Invisible Woman and Cyclops into Hounds ordering them to track their own offsprings, Franklin and Rachel, and while Sue easily did as told, Scott said he couldn't sense Rachel despite Ahab's outrage that this should be impossible. This of course started speculations that maybe Scott wasn't Rachel's father after all... and fans came up with the notion that Rachel could be the result of Jean hooking up with Logan at least once. It sure would fit, she was mentioned to have been Ahab's best hound ever, which might hint at some telepathy enhanced tracking skills,... and of course she is mostly portrayed somewhat shorter than Jean despite being no longer a teenager.

When Claremont was asked about it in an interview years later, he claimed that his idea was for Rachel to have no father at all or rather the Phoenix Force having fathered/created her while inhabiting Jean's body. This doesn't go along with Excalibur #52 (which Claremont didn't write), but I don't think that anything in the books actually supports this. If there were any hints that point to Phoenix being Rachel's creator (opposed to merely Scott not being her father), then I am not aware of them.

After that it becomes even messier. Another few years later, in UXM #384 the X-Men encounter an alien slaver named Tullamore Voge. He belongs to a race of obese, blue-skinned slavers first seen during Excalibur's Cross-Time-Caper in Excalibur #17, and there they were seen operating with mutant Hounds, similar to how Rachel used to look. They are even refers to as "Hounds" in the story. Whatever the connection between these alien slavers and Ahab's future Hound programmm was, it was never revealed.

In UXM #384, however, while entering Tullamore Voge's mind, Jean finds him thinking about using Jean and Logan in his slave program and that - if one were to mix their genes just right, the marketing potential for their offspring would be endless. Both Jean and Logan are depicted in Hound outfits in Voge's thoughts.... his comment further fanning the fan idea that these two are Rachel's actual parents. Both issues were wrtten by Claremont, though the later long after the aforementioned interview.
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LimboMaster
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Re: Rachel's mother

Post by LimboMaster » 19 Jan 2021, 23:14

Oh wow. Thanks for that great summary.

Interesting. I didn't realize there had ever been an account that Phoenix was never in Rachel's timeline. I actually thought I remembered running across some account that Rachel's Jean was actually the Jean from Phoenix: The Untold Story (the original plan for the story where Jean was lobotomized by the Shi'ar on the moon after her Dark Phoenix rampage, such that her powers were removed), but that may have been just some fan theory.

I don't know how I missed that whole Jean/Logan hound storyline you summarized. I thought I had read all things Phoenix-related from that era.

Patch
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Re: Rachel's mother

Post by Patch » 21 Feb 2021, 22:07

WOW I think I totally forgot about that storyline in Excalibur. That's a pretty big retcon and I wonder if that still holds true? At the time of Rachel's introduction in the 616, this was actually the defining event of divergence from earth-811 (where Jean merged with the Phoenix rather than been replaced by it (thus Rachel was truly Jean Grey-Summers' daughter)). In Uncanny X-Men #199, Rachel even goes so far as to revisit her history and remarks the difference between her world and the 616 is that when the dark side of Phoenix started taking over Jean, Jean's father rejected her in 616 (sending her further over) while in 811 his compassion and love helped bring her back. That would be HUGE to later say that the Phoenix never encountered them in Rachel's world. That may be why I completely blocked this out of my head because it erases so much of history.

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Lavettye
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Re: Rachel's mother

Post by Lavettye » 21 Feb 2021, 23:13

Patch wrote:
21 Feb 2021, 22:07
In Uncanny X-Men #199, Rachel even goes so far as to revisit her history and remarks the difference between her world and the 616 is that when the dark side of Phoenix started taking over Jean, Jean's father rejected her in 616 (sending her further over) while in 811 his compassion and love helped bring her back. That would be HUGE to later say that the Phoenix never encountered them in Rachel's world. That may be why I completely blocked this out of my head because it erases so much of history.
I think you're mis-remembering UXM #199.

In that issue, Rachel does go down memory lane, and it sure isn't made easier that she keeps refering to both 616 Jean/Phoenix and DOFP Jean as "mom", but there is one narration box in UXM #199 that makes it clear that some of the scenes she telepathically "sees" are based on the X-Men's files on the Dark Phoenix saga and are actually Rachel envisioning (not remebering) Xavier talking to the Greys or the Greys being shocked when "Jean" loses the struggle with Phoenix in front of their eyes, and then on the other hand there are actual childhood memories of the Dseems to be not rectOFP Jean and Scott holding Rachel as a baby.

UXM #199 left it vague as to whether or not DOFP Jean ever was Phoenix or not, as such EXC #52 would be no retcon. I've included the panel from UXM #199.
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Patch
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Re: Rachel's mother

Post by Patch » 22 Feb 2021, 01:44

Lavettye wrote:
21 Feb 2021, 23:13
I think you're mis-remembering UXM #199.

In that issue, Rachel does go down memory lane, and it sure isn't made easier that she keeps refering to both 616 Jean/Phoenix and DOFP Jean as "mom", but there is one narration box in UXM #199 that makes it clear that some of the scenes she telepathically "sees" are based on the X-Men's files on the Dark Phoenix saga and are actually Rachel envisioning (not remebering) Xavier talking to the Greys or the Greys being shocked when "Jean" loses the struggle with Phoenix in front of their eyes, and then on the other hand there are actual childhood memories of the Dseems to be not rectOFP Jean and Scott holding Rachel as a baby.

UXM #199 left it vague as to whether or not DOFP Jean ever was Phoenix or not, as such EXC #52 would be no retcon. I've included the panel from UXM #199.
So Excalibur is definitely trying to go in one direction, but I'm not sure this is the case (with X-Men #199) unless they're intentionally making this vague. Rachel here in that issue is clearly oscillating between memories from her reality and 616. But she does start off that page you're referencing by saying "mom became phoenix...that part's the same in both histories". That heavily implies that the Phoenix did exist in Rachel's reality as well.

Image
Image

And you may be right with the direction of where they're going with this, but I would say LimboMaster is also correct in what they're recalling as Rachel/Phoenix history.

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Lavettye
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Re: Rachel's mother

Post by Lavettye » 22 Feb 2021, 06:41

Oh, right !!
I overlooked her thought bubble in that panel, was mainly looking at the images that are clear homages to UXM #135-137. That's odd.

It still doesn't say that DOFP Jean was replaced by the Phoenix for a while, .... though at that time in comic history, it wasn't known in the 616 either so they couldn't possibly reference that. So YES, initially it seemed that they were going with both Jeans became Phoenix and one lived where the other died, but first you had the 616 Phoenix retconned into not having been Jean but a Phoenix-made replica and then DOFP Jean was retconned in Excalibur #52 into never having been Phoenix either.

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If I were to come up with a no-prize explanation for that, I'd probably have it be something like that during that fateful shuttle flight, DOFP Jean (being bombarded with cosmic rays) tapped into her true omega level mutant potential for the first time. So no Force involved, but a severly increased power level. And in the wake of that she'd have troubles adjusting to these new power levels, but maybe as she was "the real" Jean (and not a replica) and she had accessed those powers on her own, she had a slightly better chance at keeping these powers contained with the help of friends and family. And possibly on her Xavier's do-hickey headband from the Dark Phoenix Saga worked, keeping her powers on a more manageable level.

That might be a way to make both issues sort of correct. But it's all speculative and clearly the writer of Exalibur #52 did not know or recall that line from UXM #199. Personally, I think Jean shouldn't have been brought back in the first place, or at least they shouldn't have done a repeat of her dying and being reborn some 25 years after the original storyline. It loses impact each time.

Likewise I think Rachel's story should have ended with her becoming Mother Askani and her helping to provide her little brother with a loving familiy by pulling Jean and Scott into the future to raise him. It was a nice full loop on her arc, there was no need to bring her back afterwards, only for her to go through several unneccessary re-designs and codename changes. But that's all opinion based talk and shouldn't be in this part of the forum. :-)
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