For those who have not heard the tale before (with apologies to those who have), when the X-Men found themselves in the Savage Land, thinking Jean dead (again) Chris and I plotted a moment where Scott, off on his own, contemplated current events. He was joined by Storm, who apologized for intruding on his grief.
Now, what was then SUPPOSED to happen was that Scott would tell Ororo he had no grief to be intruded upon. When the shuttle crashed, he literally FELT Jean DIE, and the Jean who had come back was not the Jean he'd fallen in love with.
In a classic Claremont moment, Chris had Scott refer to Jean as the "girl" he'd fallen in love with, which triggered in Storm a feminist tirade that forever changed Scott, in the minds of many readers, into a jerk. (Or "dick" if we use Joss Whedon's language). The intended scene, which was supposed to be something of a deep dive into Scott's psyche, and, as such, very touching, was lost. When I saw the published comic I called Chris and asked WHAT THE F**K?? and got a response of which I had already grown weary, "That was how I felt when I scripted it."
So, yes, today's page is me using ELSEWHEN to correct something that has bugged me for forty years. (It's not easy being me!)
The great thing about ongoing stories, like this, is that there's the opportunity to revisit a moment from the past (if desired) or to let it go, and JB has done both in various series-- all with the goal of giving the best reading experience, the most "bang for the buck."
In this case, today's page addresses something that had been hanging between Scott and Ororo for a long time, and does a nifty job of tying it off. Not often us readers get to see a plot point handled that notes a past, anomalous conversation AND addresses their current moment at the same time.
@JB: What was the path forward from that intended point, before Claremont hijacked it? i.e. Scott feeling alienated from the Jean Grey/Phoenix that "died" in Magneto's base would lead to (or implied)...what?
Surely you didn't have the body-switch idea fully fleshed out at that time, correct?
One thing is for sure: With all these ret/cons, rewrites, reincarnations, and recriminations from this crucial nexus in the character's development, it's clear there was a colossal fail from an editorial perspective at a critical time, resulting in the s-show that has resulted since.
I remember seeing some promotional image of some sort of "Phoenix Team" some years ago and thought, "ugh, just leave that poor character alone ..."