Astonishing X-Men: What If Ord Resurrected Jean Grey Instead of Colossus?

In this reality, Ord from the planet Breakworld, had resurrected Jean Grey instead of Colossus. The X-Men infiltrate BeneTech Laboratories to free the captive Jean. While there, they are attacked by Ord. Shadowcat locates Jean, and it is Jean who quickly takes care of Ord.

Back home, the X-Men throw a homecoming celebration for Jean. Everyone is happy, except for the White Queen. Her rival for Cyclops’ affection is Jean. She is quick to remind the X-Men that Jean, with her Phoenix capabilities, has proven repeatedly to be dangerous. And according to the Breakworld prophesy, a “mutant”, presumably Phoenix, will destroy Breakworld, thus leading them to experiment on a “cure” to stop the prophesy from coming true.

Beast jumps in with his analysis that the Phoenix force had separated itself from Jean upon her death. The Phoenix force has not made contact to reestablish itself with Jean, and thus the prophesy does not hold true since the “mutant” in question is Jean when merged with the Phoenix.

The White Queen still desires Jean to leave, but everyone else steps in to defend Jean. The White Queen retreats with a warning that the rest are blinded by Jean and that will get the X-Men killed again. She meets up with Cassandra (Xavier’s evil twin) and the three surviving Stepford Cuckoos. Cassandra appears pleased with Jean’s return as the X-Men will be too distracted by her. This also means that the Phoenix force will be lurking nearby, and Cassandra has plans for the Phoenix.

Cassandra reveals to the White Queen that each of the three Stepford girls hold “a small piece” of the Phoenix force “in each of their hearts”. With the pieces combined and channelled into the White Queen, she will “act like a beacon to the remainder of the energy”.

The next morning at dawn, Lockheed awakens Kitty with the discovery that Ord had been murdered under their watch. Following that, Breakworld is destroyed by the Phoenix. Jean senses the destruction following the wake of the Phoenix and awakens screaming. Scott rushes in to comfort her.

Lockheed leads Kitty out to the cemetery behind the mansion where she finds the freshly buried bodies of the Stepford Cuckoos. But the White Queen knock them out to keep them from breaking the secret to the rest of the X-Men. Jean senses the arrival of Phoenix and calls the X-Men to assemble on the front lawn. They come face-to-face with Phoenix, in possession of the White Queen’s form.

Jean and Phoenix/White Queen go at it before S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. (“like S.H.I.E.L.D., but in space”) arrive to contain the Phoenix. Lockheed, spying for S.W.O.R.D., had alerted them to the situation on hand. S.W.O.R.D.’s means of containing the Phoenix would mean separating it from its human host by killing the host. The Phoenix makes its plea stating that it destroyed Breakworld to save Earth.

Cyclops takes out S.W.O.R.D.’s weapons and attempts to reason with the White Queen to give up the Phoenix force. With the Phoenix/White Queen distracted, Jean is able to break the White Queen free from Cassandra/Phoenix’s control. Cassandra/Phoenix throws Jean across the lawn, and Scott goes after her. Cassandra uses this to demonstrate to Phoenix and the White Queen, both jealous for Scott’s affection, that Jean will always come first to him. Outraged, Phoenix is intent on destruction, but the White Queen sees the outcome and urges the X-Men to put an end to Phoenix. With that, Kitty reaches in and yanks out the White Queen’s heart. The Phoenix explodes and disperses from the body. Kitty, who had been standing too close to the body, is killed in the process despite S.W.O.R.D.’s efforts to contain it.

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