One of the original X-Men, Jean Grey is responsible, in part, for a generation of internet dwellers being fixated on redheads. She's still a popular character, since, like Madonna, Jean has continually re-invented herself.
"Created" in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Jean Grey was a founding member of the X-Men, along with the Beast, Iceman, Cyclops, and Angel, and Professor X. And while the men in the X-men were all accomplished fighters, Jean was struggling to pick up small objects with her mind. Telekinesis was her only original power, and it took her more energy to pick up a plate with her mind than it would have to bake a casserole. Which, if she had been, would have been more useful to the training of the other X-Men. Afterall, they can't be expected to go into battle on an empty stomach.
In the eighties, presumably with Dio blasting from a boombox nearby, Chris Claremont re-wrote petit Marvel Girl into the insanely powerful Phoenix.
I think there is something wrong with this mirror... or something very, very right.
She became the Phoenix by bonding with a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force, proving once and for all that comic writers hate naming things. This immense power given to what was a fairly weak mutant had the predictable effect of turning her into a soulless killing machine. Learning through trial and error that the only hero that is allowed to mercilessly murder people is Wolverine, they eventually claimed that it was just a clone (clones are such assholes) and that the real Jean Grey was just, like, hanging out somewhere else for a while.
After coming back, she joins X-Factor, a totally different team of mutants that was filled with all the original X-men. This lasted until they re-joined the X-Men and Jean became a prominent member of the Gold Team. Around this time she gets married to Cyclops and starts getting back into her true passion: Bikini Modeling.
I might be confusing that with my true passion
After a while, Jean manages to get complete control over the Phoenix power, and swears to use it for good. She is promptly killed (again).
There have been a few loves for Jean throughout her illustrious career. What is shocking to most people is that in the very early days of the X-Men Professor X had a creepy obsession with Marvel Girl:
They sort of just wrote that out of the books after a while. What is probably considerably less shocking is that all of the X-Men had a crush on Jean, possibly because of her winning personality and (more likely) because she was the only woman they knew. And it was the 60's, man.
In other story lines, the writers occasionally hinted that there might be some sort of quiet attraction between Jean and Wolverine.
Pictured - Quiet Attraction
But the writers always made sure to play up the romance between Scott Summers and Jean. Managing to ride that on-again-off-again relationship for nearly thirty years.
Ultimately Jean marries Cyclopes, and they travel to the future for twelve years to raise Cyclops future baby together on their honeymoon. That story represents one of the more reserved and coherent story archs in X-men history.
Despite what millions of fans may want to be true, there is no concrete evidence that Jean has ever had a relationship with any of the other X-Ladies. No matter how the artists may taunt their readership with images like this:
Jean Grey was played by Famke Janssen in the movies. At the time of the first movie Famke was already a favorite among the comic-book set for her portrayal of Xenia Onatopp in the Bond masterpiece Goldeneye wherein she killed guys by sexing them so damn hard. For some reason, X-Men Director Bryan Singer did not seem to think Jean should attempt that same tactic to defeat Magneto.
There is a Jean Grey Everyone can get behind.
The first two movies in the X-Trilogy had a pretty basic Jean Grey. A Jean that occasionally tried to do a couple of things here and there until she had to stop a damn from bursting to save her X-Buddies. In X-3, under
visionary director Brett Ratner, Jean turns into a vampire the Phoenix. Ultimately Wolverine has to stab her good at the climactic finale.
Pictured - Scene from X-Men 3: The Twilight Saga