Jean Grey and Wanda Maximoff are arguably the best-known female mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jean Grey’s character first appeared in the X-Men comics as a superhero, whereas The Scarlet Witch’s (whose real name is Wanda Maximoff) character first appeared in the X-Men comics too, but as an unwilling supervillain. The question all comic and superhero film fans want to know the answer to is if they were to ever face each other, who would come out victorious in that fight?
Having been shown at different levels of their abilities multiple times, if both characters are at their prime (Scarlet Witch having full control of her Chaos Magic and Jean Grey having total command of the Phoenix Force), Jean Grey would be the ultimate victor.
The two characters have evolved extensively within the universes they are based on, and making a case for one character winning over the other has to be founded on extensive evidence. Let me prove my case and show what gives Jean Grey an advantage over Scarlet Witch.
Who Is Jean Grey?
Frequently referred to as the Phoenix or the Dark Phoenix, her full name is Jean Elaine Grey, a member of the mutant species in the X-Men universe within the Marvel Comics. She is the daughter of John and Elaine Grey and was born with telekinetic and telepathic abilities.
Her abilities first began to manifest at the age of 10 after she mentally linked and experienced the emotions of her best friend who was dying after being hit by a car. This experience almost killed her and left her comatose until her parents took her for treatment by Charles Xavier (more commonly known as Professor X), an exceptionally powerful mutant with telepathic abilities like hers and the architect of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Realizing the great potential but destructive power her mind held, Professor X decided to create psychic barriers in her mind, with the aim of preventing her from using her telepathic abilities until she was mature enough to control them. Professor X then later created the X-Men, and by then a teenager, Jean Grey was recruited into the team as a founding and only female member of the team, with the epithet ‘Marvel Girl.’
With the goal of finding other mutants like them and protecting humans from malicious mutants, he removed the psychic barriers from Jean’s mind and sent her on several missions, where she demonstrated incredible competence in being able to control her telepathic powers.
During one of such missions in outer space, Jean and her team are exposed to extremely high levels of radiation. On the brink of death, a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force noticed Jean Grey’s potential and helped her and her friends and in the process, duplicated Jean’s body, memories, and consciousness, essentially making her its host.
Who Is Scarlet Witch?
Named at birth Wanda Maximoff, not much is known about her real origins. Born in Eastern Europe as a mutant, Wanda had one sibling, Pietro Maximoff, a twin brother and mutant as well. She became separated from her family as a young child and grew up hiding her magical and telepathic abilities.
In the comics, Wanda and Pietro reunited as adults and became recruited by X-Men’s greatest foe, Magneto, to join his outlaw group, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Adopting the epithets ‘Scarlet Witch’ and ‘Quicksilver’, respectively, Wanda and Pietro clashed frequently with the X-Men and, in time, became aware that Magneto was using them for his violent schemes.
The twins decided to leave the group and, wanting to redeem themselves from a life of depravity, they accepted an invitation from Captain America to join the Avengers after the original members of the group disassembled.
In the films, Wanda and Pietro were Sokovian refugees that survived a missile explosion in their apartment, which killed their parents. Another missile that landed but did not explode terrorized them for days, as they stayed in the rubble caused by the previous explosion, scared to move and trigger the dormant missile.
Years after the incident, they underwent voluntary genetic experimentation by HYDRA using the mind stone that was affixed to Loki’s scepter. Surviving the deadly experiments, Wanda obtained telepathic and magical abilities, while Pietro obtained superhuman speed and accelerated perception.
They later met Ultron, a sentient robot created by Tony Stark that wished to destroy the Avengers. Sharing a similar disdain for Tony Stark because of seeing his name inscribed on the dud missile in their apartment, the twins formed an alliance with Ultron and engaged the Avengers.
However, when they learned the ulterior motives of Ultron, they switched sides, allied with the Avengers, and fought to stop him. Pietro, unfortunately, died protecting Sokovian citizens, and Wanda joined the Avengers fully and fell in love with one of its members, Vision.
Jean Grey Vs. Scarlet Witch
Jean Grey is an Omega-Level mutant, meaning she possesses powers with limitless potential and no foreseeable limits. Her abilities include:
- Empathetic powers: She can alter, control and manipulate people’s emotions.
- Telepathy: Classified as an Omega Level Telepath, she can read, project, and broadcast her thoughts while manipulating and interacting with the minds of humans and intelligent animal species such as dolphins and dogs.
- Telekinesis: Using psychokinetic energy, she can levitate, propel or manipulate objects, people, and herself as she wishes. This allows her to create explosions, create defensive shields and simulate flight.
- Psychic siphoning: She can drain psychic energy from other people to improve her psionic powers.
- Self resurrection: She can resurrect herself by reconstructing her body using psionic energy.
- The Phoenix Force: A cosmic entity, The Phoenix Force is described as an invincible, everlasting, and mutable embodiment of the supreme universal force of life. Its purpose is to burn away what doesn’t work and is one of the most feared cosmic entities in the multiverse. It chose Jean Grey as its host after it detected her mind during her link with her dying best friend and felt her energy resonate with it.
Scarlet Witch is an exceptionally powerful witch who possesses the ability to alter probability and reality itself. Her abilities include:
- Witchcraft: Born with magical powers, she can naturally control magic.
- Spells and Phrases: Possessing a vast knowledge of mystical spells and having been taught by Agatha Harkness how to use her magic, she can invoke incantations from extradimensional sources of power.
- Divine sources: She can tap energy from other dimensions.
- Chaos Magic: A dark magic received from Chthon, the God of Chaos, it enables her to alter reality and manipulate mystical energy.
Having listed their abilities as such, it seems a little obvious who would win this fight. Scarlet Witch can alter reality with chaos magic, but Jean Grey can destroy reality with the Phoenix Force.
The Phoenix Force can reconstitute everything, meaning Scarlet Witch would destroy Jean Grey only to have the Phoenix Force resurrect Jean and destroy the very reality Scarlet Witch exists. The very characterization of the Phoenix Force is that it is immortal. This means that Scarlet Witch would enter a fight she has already lost.
Verdict: Jean Grey 1 Scarlet Witch 0