All 7 versions of Jean Grey ranked from worst to best

Discover Jean Grey's most memorable portrayals and why she continues to captivate fans around the globe.
DF-SU-09290 – Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) has the dual powers of telepathy and telekinesis. Photo Credit: Alan Markfield.
DF-SU-09290 – Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) has the dual powers of telepathy and telekinesis. Photo Credit: Alan Markfield. /

Oh, Jean Grey, where do we start with this fiery redhead?

Jean is one of the coolest members of the X-Men, rocking some seriously wild psychic powers. Imagine being able to read minds, lift mountains with just a thought, and even see into the future - Jean does all that with a flick of her red locks. She’s the kind of teacher you’d want at a mutant school because she not only knows her stuff but also really cares about her students, she’s the one who’ll stop a flying car with her brain to save a kitty... And let's not forget, she's got this alter ego, the Phoenix, a cosmic force who's like her inner superhero rockstar who sometimes wants to go on a world tour solo.

Now, the Phoenix part of Jean is where things get super spicy. When she’s the Phoenix, Jean’s power goes off the charts - like, hold on to your pants because things are about to get wild levels of power. She can heal wounds instantly, fly through space, and her fashion sense gets an epic upgrade - fiery bird motifs are her go-to! But here's the twist: while it’s super cool to see her light up like a Fourth of July firework, this power can be a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s all fun and games until the Phoenix decides it’s had enough of being the good guy. Still, through thick and thin, Jean's heart and courage make her a true hero, always fighting on the side of good (even when her other side has different plans). She’s not just a powerhouse; she’s the heart and soul of the X-Men.

Let's take a look at all the versions of Jean Grey we've had the pleasure of witnessing and ranking them. We're not necessarily ranking the actors to play her here (we've already done that), but the versions that they are playing. So, which Jean stunned us most?

X-MEN '97, Jean Grey and Cyclops
(L-R): Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase) and Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

7. The Super Hero Squad Show (2009)

In this super-duper simplified and kiddie-friendly take, Jean is less about the cosmic doom and gloom and more about zapping bad guys with a giggle and a wink. Think of her as the superpowered neighbor who's always ready to lend a hand, or a psychic blast, when pesky villains mess up playground peace. Sure, this Jean doesn’t dive deep into the emotional whirlpools or flaunt galaxy-shaking power like her other versions, but she sure knows how to keep the tots entertained with her sunny-side-up superheroics.

6. The X-Men prequel movies (2016-2019)

After Fox made some creative choices with the X-Men film series that left them without many options, the saga went back to the beginning to explore the origins of the X-Men. That meant introducing newer, younger versions of the beloved characters in what would become a new timeline. Surely, Jean was part of the line-up, first appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Sophie Turner, known for her fiery role as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones brought a fresh, youthful spark to the character in the frachise between 2016 and 2019. Stepping into the mutant scene with a whole lot of promise, Sophie’s Jean was a blend of raw power and untapped potential, like a supernova waiting to go boom.

But here's the kicker—amidst a galaxy of X-Men stars, her Jean sometimes felt like she was still waiting in the wings, not quite stealing the show as much as we'd hoped. Despite this, Sophie gave us glimpses of Jean’s complexity and strength, especially when she began to tangle with her fiery alter ego, the Phoenix. It was a bit like watching someone trying to ride a supercharged rocket without the instruction manual, promising an explosive performance that left us wanting more screentime to really see her soar.

5. Wolverine and the X-Men (2009)

In the animated world of Wolverine and the X-Men, Jennifer Hale brought a mysterious and thrilling twist to our favorite psychic. The show ran for just one season in 2009, but that didn't stop Jean making an impression in her limited appearances.

Hale's voice adds layers of intrigue and emotion to Jean, making her disappearance feel like a real brain-twister. As the X-Men scramble to find her, we get bits and pieces of the puzzle, each voiced with a suspenseful elegance by Hale. It’s like a superhero version of a whodunit, where instead of looking for the culprit, we’re hunting for clues to find Jean. And when she does show up, the series makes sure we feel every bit of Jean’s confusion and power (which also has a lot to do with Hale's performance), keeping us glued to our seats, eager to see how this cosmic game of hide and seek ends.

4. X-Men: Evolution (2000-2003)

Venus Terzo brings us a teenage Jean Grey who's not just your average high school girl - she's a budding superhero figuring out her powers while juggling exams and crushes. This younger Jean is all about growth, zapping into her abilities like she's leveling up in a video game. Imagine having the power to move things with your mind during dodgeball or knowing the answer to a math question before the teacher even finishes asking. Cool, right?

But it's not all super-powered smooth sailing - Jean's got to learn the ropes of her abilities, making mistakes that are both awkward and awesome. Venus Terzo gives us a Jean who’s relatable, like the girl next door, if the girl next door could read minds and lift cars. Her portrayal is a fresh, vibrant dive into what it means to grow up mutant and mighty.

3. X-Men '97 (2024)

Jennifer Hale is back in the superhero saddle in X-Men '97, and she’s bringing Jean Grey to life like you’ve never seen her before. Jennifer's voice has that magical touch, making Jean not just powerful but super relatable - you feel like she could be your wise, slightly sassy big sis who just happens to be able to read minds and toss cars around for fun.

This new show is like a time machine back to the '90s with a modern twist, and Jennifer's Jean is right at the heart of the action. Whether she’s soaring through the air or diving deep into someone’s thoughts, Jean makes sure the X-Men stay cool, calm, and collected. Yes, it's the same version of Jean we met in X-Men: The Animated Series, but he's different in her own ways, having grown after the events she had been put through. And that's not even taking Madelyn Pryor's involvement into account.

X-Men '97 is a whirlwind for Jean but not nearly as much of a whirlwind as she is.

2. X-Men original trilogy (2000-2006)

The incredible Famke Janssen as Jean Grey in the original X-Men trilogy and my personal favorite version of Jean, ever, is like the superhero version of a dramatic opera star - she truly brings the house down. The version of Jean that she playes goes from the super cool telepathic and telekinetic teacher everyone admires to the awe-inspiring, yet terrifying Phoenix. Famke serves up a storm of emotions, making us feel every bit of Jean's struggle and transformation.

Whether she's saving her mutant buddies with her mind or wrestling with her fiery alter ego, she nails it, adding a whole layer of drama that keeps you glued to your seat. Though the movies themselves had some folks scratching their heads, Janssen's performance was like a deliciously intense rollercoaster ride - and she is the reason for the shade of red and hairstyle I've been sporting for the last few years. I love you, Famke!

There are few adaptations of Jean as compelling as this one, and Janssen did a phenomenal job bringing the character to life.

1. X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-1997)

Talk about nailing a role! Catherine Disher brought Jean to life in a way that made every Saturday morning an adventure. Her Jean Grey was strong, compassionate, and seriously powerful, and that's also down to the strength of writing on the series. When she transformed into the Phoenix during the oh-so-dramatic Dark Phoenix Saga, it was like watching a superhero rock concert. The emotions were high, the stakes even higher, and Disher made every moment feel real and intense.

Fans of the series loved how true to the comics this version of Jean was, with her psychic powers in full swing and her heart always leading the way. X-Men: The Animated Series wasn’t just a cartoon - it was a weekly dose of epic action and deep feelings, all wrapped up in one redhead’s journey through the cosmos and back. Catherine Disher didn’t just voice a character - she gave life to an icon, making her Jean Grey unforgettable for anyone who tuned in.

dark. Next. All 6 versions of Cyclops ranked from worst to best. All 6 versions of Cyclops ranked from worst to best