Jean Grey and Wanda Maximoff are two of the most prominent female members of the X-Men. Their abilities are similar to an extent, but they come from different sources – especially after Jean hosts a cosmic entity, the Phoenix Force. So, if Jean Grey and Scarlet Witch were to battle, who would come out on top, and why?
If both were at their strongest – meaning Jean has control over the Phoenix Force and Wanda knows how to control her powers – Jean would win against Scarlet Witch. The Phoenix Force is a separate, multiversal cosmic entity whose powers transcend anyone’s on Earth.
Nevertheless, if Jean is without the Phoenix Force, Scarlet Witch would easily overpower her and win even though she’s still an Omega Level mutant. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the comics to compare their powers and decide who’d win and why.
Jean Grey And Her Powers
Jean Grey is a character appearing in The X-Men #1 in 1963. Stan Lee created the character as the writer and Jack Kirby as the artist. She is an Omega Level mutant with incredibly powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities that, in some aspects, transcend even those of Professor X.
When she was a teenager, her friend got hit by a car and killed. Jean still didn’t know how to control her powers, so she telepathically linked to her friend, feeling her pain and almost dying with her. She fell into a coma before Professor X came, woke her up, and blocked her telepathic abilities until she could control them.
She joined the X-Men as Marvel Girl, and as she progressed, Professor X removed the mental block, letting Jean use and control her telepathic abilities as well. Later, she sacrificed for the greater good, but a multiversal cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force saw potential in her and used her as a host, which is also when her powers are the strongest.
Jean Grey is an incredibly powerful telepath. She can penetrate the minds of almost any being, even those with incredible telepathic powers and resistance. Jean can read minds, implant her thoughts into others, form psychic links with them, control and manipulate their minds and bodies, cast mental illusions, etc.
What is more, she can control psionic energy, projecting bolts of psionic force to hinder her opponents mentally. And, her powers are so strong, she can control countless minds at once if she’s in their physical presence.
One other powerful aspect of her telepathic power is empathy. She can make others feel the same pain they’ve caused. Grey can manipulate emotions and feel what others are feeling as well.
While Xavier blocked her telepathic powers, Jean only had her telekinetic abilities, and she was still one of the strongest mutants around. She can manipulate force fields around her to levitate while controlling matter to the atom level and do whatever she pleases with it.
Manipulating energy allows Grey to use it as a weapon to stun her opponents or create protective force fields and shields around herself and her allies. The limits to her telekinetic powers haven’t been explored, but it’s clear that she is at an Omega Level with this power as well.
After Jean Grey becomes a host of the Phoenix Force, she becomes unmeasurably more powerful on a cosmic level. She can seamlessly manipulate all matter to the atom level while generating all forms of energy in unlimited amounts.
The cosmic entity residing in her has unimaginable reality-warping powers, and when Jean is one with the Phoenix Force, she is indestructible. However, she can’t always control the Phoenix Force, causing her huge mental distress and difficulty.
Scarlet Witch And Her Powers
Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, is another member of the X-Men (later the Avengers) that has powers of unfathomable proportions. She appeared in The X-Men #4 in 1964, also written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby.
At first, it is believed that Wanda is a mutant capable of projecting hex beams – energy beams with reality-warping abilities. We later find out that her powers come from a bloodline with incredible talent for magic.
They can control Chaos Energy (hence, the hex beams), and Wanda’s powers were immensely amplified with genetic experiments done on her and her brother by the High Evolutionary.
Wanda’s biggest issue is that she never learned to control or focus her powers. She is unimaginably powerful, but she learns just how much she can do after Agatha Harkness reveals to her who she is and teaches Wanda what she’s capable of.
Energy, Matter & Reality Manipulation
The most obvious manifestation of Scarlet Witch’s powers is the red glowing energy she’s projecting with her hands. She can do so much more, though, as Wanda is a very powerful energy and matter manipulator, allowing her to warp reality and bend it at her will (especially during the House of M events, where she created an alternate reality within reality).
All these powers stem from her access to chaos energy, whose users throughout history were known as witches. Wanda is by far the most powerful of them all, hence, the name Scarlet Witch.
This power is tightly connected with Scarlet Witch’s reality-warping abilities. By controlling and manipulating probabilities, Wanda can make the most improbable situations manifest to her use. She uses it mostly for defensive purposes, evading attacks, etc., but the use of such power is virtually limitless.
Time & Space Manipulation
Wanda’s powers also grant her the ability to manipulate time and space at will. She’s a nexus being, influencing the flow of time dramatically. Maximoff can also fly and even teleport to some extent.
When you combine all those powers, Wanda Maximoff becomes one of the most powerful – if not the most powerful – sorcerers and spellcasters in the world. Even Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, acknowledges her incredible raw power as higher than his own.
However, her problem is that she doesn’t know how to control her powers and emotions. They manifest in horrendous, out-of-control ways, and she loses her mind as a result. Nevertheless, she was able to wipe out over 9’% of the X-gene at one point, de-powering almost all mutants in the world. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her magic powers.
Jean Grey Vs. Scarlet Witch: Who Would Win, And Why?
When it’s all said and done, the answer to who would win in a fight between Jean Grey and Scarlet Witch is quite simple.
If Jean Grey had the Phoenix Force, she would win against Wanda comfortably. Not only are her powers amplified (despite already being an incredibly powerful mutant), but she gains access to even more powers of incredible proportions. Although Scarlet Witch is incredibly powerful, she can’t compete with cosmic forces on a multiversal scale, such as the Phoenix Force.
Also, they showed their powers have a very detrimental impact on both of their mental healths – they just couldn’t cope with everything. But even if Jean Grey gets in the worst mental shape ever, the Phoenix Force is a separate entity working through her, so it’ll still be incredibly powerful. When Wanda went insane, it completely hindered her.
However, after Jean Grey parted ways with the Phoenix Force, Scarlet Witch has the upper hand and would likely win in a fight between the two. Although Jean is still an Omega Level mutant without the Phoenix Force, Wanda’s powers are just too incredible to overcome.
So, if Jean Grey has the Phoenix Force, she wins comfortably. If she were without the cosmic entity, Wanda would destroy her, provided that she’s mentally sane and sharp.