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Marvel Tease the Return of Dark Phoenix


By Steve Morris

Subject of one of the most famous X-Men stories ever told and perpetual fear for Jean Grey fans around the World, Marvel have released a new Adam Kubert-drawn teaser image for AvX which suggests that Dark Phoenix is finally coming back.

The Dark Phoenix first appeared The Dark Phoenix Saga, in which X-Man Jean Grey lost control of her powers and ate a whole planet of brocolli-people (which explains her rosy skin subsequently – just think of all those antioxidants). An extension of Jean’s powers at the time, the Phoenix was later revealed to be a primal energy force which ‘burns away what doesn’t work’, ‘corrupts totally’, or ‘makes you wear a thong’ dependant on what decade it takes over your body.

But in every scenario, Dark Phoenix is the flipside of the Phoenix, a dark passenger for the most powerful energy force in the Marvel Universe. It’s The Villain.

The teaser image hides the face of whichever character is being possessed by DP, although both Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers would be two rather smart guesses. Hope in particular, as this has been set up as her story from the start.

This also suggests we’re heading into a final big battle for the last issues, with all the Avengers and X-Men teaming up to fight Dark Phoenix. Marvel have made sure to tell us that somebody is going to die during this event – will it be Hope’s last stand? And are we ever going to get back to the ‘Mutant Messiah’ aspect of Hope which Marvel spent four years setting up? Bishop fans want to know!

  1. I’m sure the X-Men will all be very worried. The Avengers, on the other hand, won’t see the difference.

    Odds are it’s Hope, yeah. I can’t imagine Marvel killing her off, though–like you say, her role as Mutant Messiah is still far too unrealized.

  2. Regardless who dies, it is sensless, just like all the others, the dead shall rise in probably 1 years time in a Brand NEw #1 ($4) Marvel Now! comic………I mean who hasnt died in the Marvel Universe? Even Aunt May has…..lol

  3. The worst thing about “Dark Phoenix” at this point is that the Phoenix Force (PF) can act independently. That was the basis for the Avengers seeing it as a threat; in UXM #17, Gillen has Emma tell the PF— bizarrely, since she and the others have been channeling its energy— to get itself together and free itself. The PF then overwhelms Sinister.

    Since it’s sentient, the PF practically has to be developed as a character, have its motivations explained, etc. What’s happened in AvX to this point, with the remaining members of the Phoenix Five becoming stronger as some are defeated, makes no sense whatsoever if the PF is sentient and in control of its power. It can empower the Phoenix Five, the Phoenix 25, none at all, or destroy the Earth with the Avengers and mutants on it and end AvX prematurely—if the PF wished to do so. But Marvel Editorial and its creators can’t seem to think of anything to do with the PF, ultimately, except to have one person channel its power menacingly, because doing that in the past produced a hit.


  4. If comics stayed on model (which they rarely do), I might suggest that the Phoenix Force is inhabiting the Scarlet Witch. The hair is very reminiscent of John Byrne and George Perez’s depiction of her curly locks. Plus it’d fit in with the “everything old is new again” meme at The Big Two since Wanda had a storyline where she went all Dark Phoenix during the Avengers Chthon arc back in the 80s.

    I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t been reading AvX so I don’t know what all is going on issue to issue, but it might make sense after they reintroduced Wanda after she was in limbo all this time. I’m just throwing this out there. It might even be Rogue for all I know…

  5. @alex: Those already exist. Those would be the Avengers movie tie-in comics (e.g., “Fury’s Big Week”) that Marvel put out.

  6. Ugh. If only the Scarlet Witch would whisper “no more crossovers”.

    Because for one you don’t need the annual big bloated event to create the feel of a shared universe and two contriving an excuse for the heroes to fight each other is just pandering to those idiotic “my dad can beat up your dad” type arguments among fans.

    I don’t know why any fan needs to validate their love of a hero by having it be canonical that he or she can destroy another hero.

    Having some conflict when they first meet and don’t know each other can be fun but past that it just makes everyone look too rock stupid to realize their basically on the same side.

  7. Seems to me Wanda would make the most sense, by dividing the loyalties of the teams, uniting them in the end against a mutual threat- the phoenix for the Xmen, plus Wanda for the Avengers. Now both teams are invested and want a safe outcome, knowing what both the PF and SW are capable of.

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