One of the original five X-Men, Jean Grey has proven herself to be not only one of the most powerful members of the team but also one of the most stalwart. Xavier’s first student, she’s been honing her powers for most of her life. Beyond that, she’s learned what it takes to be a hero and run a team and a school.
In fact, the argument can be made that Jean is a better leader than Cyclops. While she doesn’t have nearly as much leadership, she has many qualities that he doesn’t, ones that would maker her a better leader. That said, there are some places in which she’ll never be better than Cyclops. This list is going to look at the ways she’s better and the ways she’s not.
10 Better Than Cyclops: She’s Better With People
If there’s one thing that Cyclops has a problem with, it’s his relations with the people around him. This isn’t a problem that Jean has. People are more willing to open up to her and trust her than Cyclops because when it comes down to it, she’s just more pleasant.
People are more willing to follow her orders because they like her more.
9 Never Be Better: Too Trusting
One of Jean’s biggest problems is that she has proven that she’s a bit too trusting when it comes right down to it. The best way to illustrate this is by looking at how she died the last time it happened to her.
After freeing Manhattan from Magneto’s (well, Xorn’s clutches because of very dumb retcons on Marvel’s part) clutches, she reached out her hand to help him up… and he killed her. It’s one thing to trust your allies but trusting a villain? That’s a little much.
8 Better Than Cyclops: More Powerful
Cyclops is no slouch in the power department. His optics blasts have been shown to be able to pulverize mountains. However, when it comes right down to it, Jean’s power level dwarfs his like a sun dwarfs a campfire.
While the team leader doesn’t always have to be the most powerful person on the team, it certainly helps because the leader can more easily pull the team’s fat out of the fire if need be.
7 Never Be Better: She’s Not As Good A Trainer
One of Cyclops’s strong suits is how good he is at training his fellow X-Men. The X-Men wouldn’t be nearly as formidable a team if it wasn’t for his ability to pass on what he’s learned and hold his teammates to a higher standard.
With only a little bit of work, Cyclops can whip just about any group into shape and make them a formidable fighting force and this is a skill that Jean just doesn’t have.
6 Better Than Cyclops: Her Powers Are Better For A Leader
Jean’s power are much better for a leader than Cyclops’s are. His optic blasts are a devastating in combat, but that’s all they’re good for- combat.
Jean can use her powers for so many more things- she can telepathically link her team up, allowing for near instantaneous communication, she can read the minds of their enemies, and whip up telekinetic shields to protect the team. Her powers are just better suited to being a leader.
5 Never Be Better: Doesn’t Delegate As Well
One of the things Cyclops has learned, because of the nature of his powers, is to delegate among his team. He knows his powers are best at offense, so he has the other members of the team do what they’re best at. This takes things off his shoulders and lets him focus on leading.
Jean’s powers allow her to do so much and this has taught her to rely only on them more than others. This isn’t good for a leader, as it bogs them down because they’re filling too many roles.
4 Better Than Cyclops: Her Telepathy Allows Her To Understand Her Teammates Better
Cyclops has a hard time relating to other people partly because he doesn’t really understand them. His whole life has been about fighting and overcoming obstacles, whether they be with his own powers or on the battlefield with the X-Men. This makes it hard for him to empathize with the people he leads.
Jean’s telepathy allows her to understand people because she can go into their minds and experience everything they have. This allows her to get to know them better and be a better leader.
3 Never Be Better: Too Emotional
Jean can be very temperamental and this can be a big problem for a leader. A leader who loses their cool in battle is a liability to the rest of the team and can cost them the battle.
Cyclops never loses his cool. Every decision he makes is made with a steely deliberation that emotion has little to nothing to do with. It would take a lot of time for Jean to master this and that’s time her team doesn’t have.
2 Better Than Cyclops: Can Handle The Phoenix Force
The X-Men and the Phoenix Force are inextricably linked. The last time it came to Earth, things went very bad for everyone- five X-Men gained its power and lost their way before Cyclops took all of the power for himself, becoming a new Dark Phoenix and killing Professor X.
A mistake most people make is thinking that Jean also went Dark Phoenix but this is actually not true at all- the Dark Phoenix at that time was a Jean simulacrum the Phoenix made. Before her death in New X-Men, Jean was in possession of the Phoenix Force on her own and was in complete control.
1 Never Be Better: Not As Good A Strategist
One place where Cyclops excels is at strategy. He’s able to analyze a situation in seconds and immediately come up with the best strategy to bring his team through to the other side victorious.
Jean doesn’t have this ability and that will cost any team that she leads. As powerful as she is, she can’t completely depend on herself to save her team because they’ll depend on her too much to save them and not fight as hard.
Jean Grey of the X-Men has proven now she can be a good leader, but is she better than Cyclops?