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Aug. 29th, 2018


[info]katara

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Title: Phoenix: The Untold Story (1984) #1
Author: Chris Claremont, John Byrne (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.9/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 29, 2018
Book Summary: Read the epic conclusion to the legendary Phoenix Saga but with a twist ending!
Book Review: This issue is a retelling of the finale issue of the Dark Phoenix Saga but with a twist at the end.

The issue opens with the Watcher whom has come to watch the finale events of the Dark Phoenix Saga. As the Dark Phoenix, Jean has returned from her destruction of the D'bari system and come to see her family. Unfortunately they only reject her. It is at this moment Dark Phoenix notices the fog appearing outside and goes out to investigate. She finds the X-Men and battles them when they place a metal crown on her head with the hopes of surpressing the Phoenix force within Jean Grey. It works only momentarily before Phoenix re-emerges and takes on Professor Xavier. In the end, it is Xavier whom is victorious and the Phoenix is surpressed within Jean's mind.

It is then that the Shi'ar whisk the X-Men aboard and the Empress Lilandra is given no choice but to tell her beloved Charles Xavier that the galactic council has called for the destruction of the Phoenix. Charles, however, stops the Shi'ar guard from ascending upon his team with a "Duel of Honor". Lilandra knows she has no choice but to honor his challenge.

The X-Men leave to rest up for their fight to save Jean Grey from her fate. As each X-Men prepares, Jean appears to Scott wearing her Marvel Girl outfit. The two decide to spend their evening together as neither know how the morning will turn out for them.

The next morning the X-Men and several members of the Imperial Guard are sent to the moon where they learn that the fliers cannot fly too high due to the protective dome. A battle enrages between the X-Men and the guards until it is just Jean and Scott left over. The two go head-to-head against their agressers until Jean is unable to control the dark side of her power and unleashes it full force. It is then the X-Men wake up and focus their power on the Dark Phoenix. Colossus strikes a blow to Phoenix which temporarily allows Jean's sanity to return. She begs the X-Men to kill her but neither of them can deal the final blow to end her life. She realizes that she has to do it and runs off with Scott at her heels. She traps him in a telekenetic bubble and awakens an old Kree trap, once long forgotten and now awakened and aiming toward Jean Grey. Unable to do anything to save her, Scott can only watch in horror as Jean is destroyed.

And that would actually be the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga.

That would have been the end of the series if there had not been a set of alternate pages that would have changed everything in the X-Men universe.

[SPOILER AHEAD}


What if Jean had not died on the blue of the moon? What if she and Scott were the last remaining X-Men and were actually defeated without the Dark Phoenix appearance? This would entirely change the course of the finale. Jean would be returned to the ship and under goes a procedure that completely wipes her of her mutant abilities. Of course, the X-Men can only watch from the sidelines and were given no choice in the matter. They lost and thus they had to abid by the rules of the Honor Duel. Of course, there is animosity at the end but then it is no surprising. The Shi'ar took something away from Jean that made her part of something bigger and now she will no longer be part of that something. Exactly how Jean felt or what her life was like was really left up in the air.

But remember these were alternate pages to an incredible saga that still resonds in the X-universe even now.

Back in the early 90s, I was introduced to the X-Men by my now ex-boyfriend. He was a big fan of the Wolverine and I thought I would try to get into something that we could talk about. Unfortunately our relationship ended but my love for the comics never have. Jean Grey has always been a close favorite (she ranks second below Anna Marie/Rogue) so I was happy to have found this comic book while comic book shops were really popular in the 90s.

For those who love the X-Men and appreciate the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga, then this issue a must for your collection.