In the coming months, the Second Coming event will begin in the Marvel Universe. This will be the conclusion to the Messiah stories that started in 2007 with Messiah Complex and continued last summer in the X-Force/Cable crossover, Messiah War. Second Coming will see Hope return to the present along with Cable. This will hopefully prove to be a huge payoff for the X fans that have followed this story over the past few years. I only hope (pun!) a few possible paths for this story to play out are avoided.

One of the potential outcomes of this 3 year story is that Hope is some kind of reincarnated Jean Grey. This is the one outcome I do not want to see. Obviously, this being a comic book, I’m sure Jean won’t stay dead forever. However, I don’t think the X-Men are to a point yet where she needs to be brought back. With the recent Utopia storyline and, consequently, the segregation of the mutants from the rest of the world, allows for many more intriguing us vs. them storylines. Also, despite my initial misgivings, I’ve found that I’ve actually liked the Scott/Emma relationship. By being pushed against the wall and tasked with keeping the few remaining mutants alive, this has allowed Scott to be a bit tougher. All these stories still feel like there’s some life left in them, therefore Jean Grey should not be returning anytime soon.

Another potential outcome is that Hope has some, if not all of the Phoenix Force inside of her. How different could Hope’s possession be from Jean’s? There are certainly some possible storylines fleshing out this question much more thoroughly. Didn’t we have Rachel Summers a few years ago that was possessed by the Phoenix Force though? Those storylines were a bit before I really followed comics, so I’ve only gotten the gist recently. I just don’t feel like we need yet another couple of years detailing another red-heads battle with the Phoenix.

Finally, she may not have anything to do with Jean or the Phoenix. I think this allows the most freedom for the writers. They can explore what actually makes Hope the Messiah…or cause of the mutant’s destruction like Bishop believes. I am hopeful that she brings about mutantkind’s salvation. After this many years, I would be disappointed if she does bring about Bishop’s dystopian future. This may also lead to her being something even more powerful or special than we may believe due to her being the first mutant born after M-Day. She could even be some new breed of mutant or something. After seeing how she cured Rouge near the end of Messiah Complex, she may even have some way to restore some, if not all, of the mutants’ abilities that were lost on the day that Scarlet Witch spoke those three words.

Of course, I’m no comic book writer, so they may certainly go some other path that I could never imagine. Regardless of what happens, I’m in the hands of Marvel’s best as I anxiously await Hope’s Second Coming.

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