The Dark Phoenix Saga

The Dark Phoenix Saga
"The Dark Phoenix Saga"

Cover of X-Men Legends Volume 2: Dark Phoenix Saga  (1990), trade paperback collected edition. Art by John Byrne.
Publisher Marvel Comics
Publication date January – October 1980
Genre Superhero
Title(s) The X-Men #129–138
Main character(s) X-Men
Hellfire Club
Shi'ar Imperial Guard
Creative team
Writer(s) Chris Claremont
John Byrne
Penciller(s) John Byrne
Inker(s) Terry Austin
Letterer(s) Tom Orzechowski
Colorist(s) Glynis Wein
Collected editions
Dark Phoenix Saga ISBN 0-7851-2213-3

"The Dark Phoenix Saga" is an extended X-Men storyline in the fictional Marvel Comics Universe, focusing on Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force, and ending in Grey's apparent death. It was written by Chris Claremont with art by Dave Cockrum and John Byrne.

It is sometimes divided into two parts, with the "Phoenix Saga" (The X-Men #101-108, 1976–1977) referring to Grey's seeming assumption of the Phoenix power and the repair of the M'Kraan Crystal, and the "Dark Phoenix Saga" (The X-Men #129-138, 1980) referring to her corruption and fall. It is one of the most well-known and heavily referenced stories in mainstream American superhero comics, and widely considered a classic.[1]

It was adapted for the X-Men animated series, and alluded to in the movie X2: X-Men United. A third movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, released in 2006, contains some elements from the saga. Wolverine and the X-Men adapted the Dark Phoenix Saga at the end of its first season, changing many things to make it a fresh and new version.


Plot summary

In comic books, readers know the Phoenix as a psionic cosmic entity linked to Jean Grey. This was not how the character was written in the original story — there, the Phoenix actually was Jean, at the very peak of her power. Returning from a mission in space, the story told of Jean being exposed to the deadly radiation of a solar flare, and briefly attaining her ultimate potential as a telepath and telekinetic. In this moment, Jean became a being of pure thought, and then reformed herself upon return to Earth with the new costume, identity and power of "Phoenix".[2] It was with this incredible power that Jean repaired the fractured M'Kraan Crystal, but voluntarily restrained her powers afterward in order to keep them under control.[3]

Her vast potential made her a target for the illusionist Mastermind, who was attempting to prove himself in order to join the prestigious Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. With the help of a mind-tap device created by the White Queen, Emma Frost, Mastermind (using the alias Jason Wyngarde) was able to project his illusions directly into Phoenix's mind. These illusions caused her to believe that she was reliving the memories of her ancestor, Lady Grey, who in Mastermind's illusions, was Wyngarde's lover. Phoenix was subverted into joining the Hellfire Club as their Black Queen, a decadent role that would allow her to relish the extremes of human emotion and began to break down the barriers that she had erected.[4]

When the X-Men came to her rescue, they were captured by the Inner Circle, and Jean's true love Cyclops faced Mastermind in a psychic duel.[5] When Mastermind killed Cyclops' psychic image, it served to break his hold over Jean's psyche and shattered the final barriers on her power. Experiencing this power in its totality, along with the decadent role she had just played, overwhelmed Jean entirely, and she renamed herself the "Dark Phoenix".[6] The X-Men battled her, but were easily defeated by her power before she departed for the heavens. Intent on satiating her hunger, Dark Phoenix created a wormhole and transported herself to a distant galaxy. Without a thought of the consequences, she dove into the heart of the D'Bari star and devoured its energy, causing the star to go nova — killing billions of innocent aliens in the process. Dark Phoenix was then attacked by a Shi'ar vessel to prevent her from destroying other stars. Dark Phoenix easily defeated her foes, but not before they were able to alert the Shi'ar Empress Lilandra.[7] Gathering a host of intergalactic associates, including the Kree and Skrull empires, the council concluded that Dark Phoenix was an even more serious threat than the planet-consuming Galactus and must be destroyed because she had the power to destroy the entire Universe.

On Earth, the X-Men were greeted by Avengers member (and former X-Man) Beast. He had designed a device which would neutralize Phoenix's powers long enough for them to defeat her. Dark Phoenix returned to Earth, to her family's home, and was subsequently attacked by the X-Men. During a vicious psionic battle with her mentor, Charles Xavier, he was able to rebuild the psychic "circuit-breakers" in her mind which reduced Dark Phoenix's powers to more reasonable levels and allowed Jean's personality to reassert control, curtailing the destructive impulses of Dark Phoenix.[8]

Phoenix consumes a star, inadvertently killing billions of people.

The Shi'ar then abducted the X-Men, told them of Dark Phoenix's casual genocide, and indicated that she must be put to death because of it. Xavier, who was romantically involved with the Shi'ar Empress, challenged Lilandra to Arin'n Haelar, a Shi'ar duel of honor that cannot be refused. After conferring with her allies, who insisted the contest be staged to ensure a guaranteed victory on their part, Lilandra ceded to Xavier's demand.

The next day, the X-Men and the Shi'ar Imperial Guard were teleported to the Blue Area of the Moon where they would do battle, with the victors deciding the fate of Phoenix. The Imperial Guard, led by Gladiator, was able to defeat all of the X-Men, leaving Cyclops and Phoenix alone to make a final stand against them. When a stray bolt of energy hit Cyclops, Jean Grey's panic overrode the psychic circuit-breakers Xavier had placed within her mind and the full might of Phoenix's powers was once more unleashed. At this point, Lilandra abandoned the delicate approach and ordered Plan Omega, which would consist of destroying the whole solar system in hopes of eliminating Dark Phoenix in the process.

With events spiraling out of control, Xavier ordered the X-Men to subdue Jean to preempt Lilandra's emergency measure. The team battled her until she regained her senses. Running to a back alley on the moon, Jean, struggling to keep control, activated a Kree weapon and disintegrated herself after an emotional good-bye to Cyclops.[9] He later deduced that Jean had planned her sacrifice from the moment they had landed on the moon.

This pivotal story ends with Uatu the Watcher commenting that "Jean Grey could have lived to become a god. But it was more important to her that she die...a human."[9]

Editorial controversy

Cover to Uncanny X-Men #136. Art by John Byrne.

The ending of the story was a matter of intense controversy with the editorial staff. Claremont and Byrne originally wanted Jean to be depowered by Lilandra's alliance to prevent any recurrence of Dark Phoenix's havoc, so that they could bring Jean (and her evil Dark Phoenix alter ego) back for future stories. Their editor, Louise Simonson, agreed to this ending. But problems surfaced when then Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter objected, weeks before Uncanny X-Men #137 was published. After learning of the plot point, he expressed to Claremont and Byrne his feelings that such a light punishment was wholly disproportionate to the magnitude of her crime, which was essentially genocide. Shooter ordered the original ending scrapped and a new ending produced, which would have Jean pay the supreme penalty for her crimes.[1]

Shooter suggested a scenario where Jean would be banished to a radioactive asteroid, where she would be forever burning from cosmic radiation, but was open to alternate suggestions from Claremont and Byrne. Ultimately, it was decided by Byrne and Claremont to have Jean commit suicide after her Dark Phoenix persona resurfaces at the climax of the fight against the Imperial Guard.[1] The original ending ultimately saw print in 1983 in a special edition reprint of Uncanny X-Men #137 called Phoenix: The Untold Story. Besides reprinting Byrne and Claremont's original version of Uncanny X-Men #137, it featured a transcript of a round-table discussion between (among others) Claremont, Byrne, and Shooter, discussing the story behind the original ending and why it was changed. The interview is also important for an exchange which shows how early Byrne had hatched plans to resurrect Jean.

Jean Grey and Phoenix as separate entities

Shortly before the publication of Uncanny X-Men #137, future freelance writer Kurt Busiek, then still a college student, heard about the upcoming events through the fan grapevine, as did fellow future comics pros Carol Kalish (who would go on to head up Marvel's Direct Sales Department for years) and Richard Howell (artist of the Vision and The Scarlet Witch 12-issue limited series, among others). The three of them also heard that Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter had declared that Jean Grey could not be revived unless it was done in such a way as to render her guiltless of Dark Phoenix's crimes. Taking this as a creative challenge, all three then-fans decided to come up with their own resurrection scenario. Busiek's involved the discovery that Jean Grey was still on the bottom of Jamaica Bay in suspended animation following the original shuttle crash and that the Phoenix entity had used her body and mind as a lens, creating an immensely powerful duplicate of Jean, but one which grew more corrupted and distorted the longer it remained separate from the true Jean.[10]

In 1982, Dark Phoenix resurfaced in the DC Comics/Marvel Comics intercompany crossover one-shot The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans, written by regular X-Men writer Chris Claremont. The story (which is not part of DC or Marvel canon) has the cosmic villain Darkseid resurrect Jean Grey in her Dark Phoenix persona as part of his quest to discover the secret of the Anti-Life Equation. In the end, Dark Phoenix is betrayed by Darkseid and sacrifices her life yet again to stop Darkseid.

In 1983, X-Men writer Claremont introduced character Madelyne Pryor into the X-Men.[11] Madelyne was a commercial airline pilot who survived with no injuries from an airliner crash that happened on the same day Jean Grey died, and who was the mirror image of Jean Grey. Madelyne met Cyclops when he went to visit his grandparents in Alaska and found himself drawn to Madelyne. The villainous Mastermind, seeking revenge against the X-Men for being driven mad by Dark Phoenix, manipulated the team into thinking Madelyne was Dark Phoenix reincarnated. Ultimately, Mastermind's scheme was defeated and Cyclops and Madelyne were married and soon had a son, Nathan Christopher Summers.

Also in 1983, shortly after beginning a freelance writing career, Kurt Busiek attended a comics convention in Ithaca, New York, staying at the home of Marvel writer Roger Stern. In conversation, both writers' longtime interest in the X-Men came up, and Stern expressed regret that there was no way to bring Jean back, not while satisfying Shooter's edict. Busiek told Stern his idea, not expecting it to amount to more than idle conversation. Later, Stern told the idea to John Byrne, then writer/artist of Fantastic Four.[10][12]

In 1985, Jim Shooter greenlit a new series that would reunite the original X-Men into a new team called X-Factor, to be written by longtime freelancer Bob Layton. Hearing of this, Byrne called Layton and suggested Busiek's idea as a means of raising Jean Grey from the dead while satisfying Shooter's demands for total absolution for Jean.

A three-part crossover was planned to launch X-Factor, involving the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the debut issue of X-Factor, thus involving Avengers writer Stern, Fantastic Four writer/artist Byrne and X-Factor writer Layton. Busiek, by that time, was working at Marvel as a freelance assistant editor on Marvel Age Magazine. He was paid and credited for the idea,[13] and edited a series of interviews for Marvel Age promoting the new series. Ironically, everything in the interviews pertaining to Jean's resurrection was marked out with black tape to create an air of mystery about the revelations that the crossover would involve, and Busiek thus found himself taping over the names of the writers giving him credit for the idea.

Storyline follow-ups

Over the years, writers have attempted to do sequels to the "Dark Phoenix Saga" as well as attempt to further explain the true nature of the Phoenix Force.


During the Inferno crossover, Madelyne Pryor was revealed to be a clone created by the X-Men villain Mr. Sinister to serve as a replacement for Jean Grey in Mr. Sinister's scheme to produce a mutant child to destroy Apocalypse. Furthermore, it was revealed that when Dark Phoenix died, the Phoenix Force visited Jean Grey and sought to free her from her cocoon prison/healing pod. The Phoenix Force even offered to give Jean the memories it had acquired while posing as Jean as a means to make amends for impersonating her, but upon realizing that the Phoenix Force had committed genocide in her name, Jean rejected the Phoenix Force. The Phoenix Force circled the globe to find something to make amends for the problems it had caused and in the process, merged with the then-mindless Madelyne Pryor. The merging caused Madelyne to come to life, though the Phoenix Force remained buried within her until several years later, when the evil demon S'ym activated Madelyne's latent telepathic and telekinetic powers after tricking Madelyne into entering into a contract to aid S'ym in exchange for revenge on her estranged husband Cyclops, who had abandoned her and their son for Jean when he discovered she was really alive.

In the end, Madelyne (calling herself the Goblin Queen) and Jean Grey fought during the Inferno and revealed that her powers and existence was brought about as a result of Jean rejecting the Phoenix Force. Becoming suicidal upon the discovery of being a clone, and in a desperate attempt to take her counterpart with her, Madelyne telepathically linked her mind to Jean's mind and then killed herself. As Jean lay at death's door, the Phoenix Force reappeared and told her that the only way for Jean to live would be if she accepted the Phoenix Force and the memories of what the Phoenix did while pretending to be her. Jean agreed and gained in the process not only the memories of Phoenix/Dark Phoenix, but Madelyne Pryor's memories too. Sadly, these memories began manifesting themselves as actual personalities inside Jean's head. This happened shortly after the Inferno and at the worst possible time, as X-Factor and their spaceship headquarters were kidnapped into outer space by their ship's creators, the Celestials. In the end, Jean purged herself of these alternate personalities when she used her remaining Phoenix Force powers to battle a member of the Celestials.

Excalibur and Rachel Summers

In 1988, Marvel Comics launched a new X-Men spin-off book called Excalibur, which featured Rachel Summers. Claremont established earlier, in Uncanny X-Men #199, that Rachel Summers could channel the energies of the Phoenix Force to boost her own mutant powers of telekinesis and telepathy. In said issue, she rechristened herself "Phoenix", having exposed herself to a memory crystal of her "mother" (in truth the Phoenix Force impersonating her mom) which granted her the knowledge needed to replicate her mother's power signature. Claremont's attempts to further the storyline were halted by the resurrection of Jean Grey/Phoenix Force retcon, ultimately leading to Rachel being written out of the series. When she resurfaced in Excalibur, in 1988, Claremont resurrected some of his threads by having Rachel having a bounty placed on her head by Saturnyne, who feared the potential for Rachel turning evil like her mother did.

Necrom and Rachel Summers

In 1992, Alan Davis took over the book as head writer and brought the Phoenix Force back to the forefront. Under Davis, the Phoenix Force's nature was revealed to be that of the embodiment of all life in the universe, and the Phoenix Force's appearance as a flaming bird was based on visions of the magician Feron, ally of Merlyn and Necrom. In a plan conceived of by Necrom, Feron called on the Phoenix Force to "project" a tower on "the prime Earth" across an infinite number of Earths, serving as a common point of alignment and thus creating a powerful energy matrix. This tower later would later be Excalibur's lighthouse headquarters. Necrom's true goal, however, was to use this matrix to collapse the various alternate Earths into a singularity. He would capture the energy released and gain the power of a god. Merlyn and Feron realized Necrom's deception. In the resulting battle between Feron and Necrom, Necrom ripped away a portion of the Phoenix Force and placed it into a corpse with a portion of his life essence to create the Anti-Phoenix. He left this to incubate and disappeared from Earth-616.[14]

Merlyn made it his goal to master the energy matrix himself. As part of his plans to defeat Necrom, Merlyn faked his death and arranged for the founding of Excalibur. He would use them to draw out Necrom without risk to himself, and to prevent the convergence of the multiverses that would have destroyed the energy matrix. Necrom returned to Earth merged with the Anti-Phoenix. Excalibur stabilized the convergence before Necrom attacked and challenged Rachel either release the Phoenix Force to him or battle him for control of it; otherwise, he would kill her friends. Rachel wouldn't risk losing them. She fought Necrom until she tricked him into absorbing the full power of the Phoenix, knowing full well that Necrom would die trying in vain to contain its vast powers. She succeeded, but the process left Rachel in a coma, sustained only by the Phoenix Force. The remaining members of Excalibur chose to destroy the Lighthouse to prevent Merlyn from further utilizing the energy matrix.[14]

Captain Britain contacted Professor Xavier and Jean Grey, seeking their help to restore Rachel. Xavier, Jean Grey, and Excalibur communicated with the Phoenix Force and agreed to let it take Rachel into space while it repaired her psyche.[15] The Phoenix Force, acting in Rachel's body, was confronted by Galactus, who warned her to reject the temptation of a human existence for the sake of all living beings; according to Galactus, the Phoenix Force drained the universe's collective life force with its great displays of power and by living and acting with human awareness.[16] When Rachel regained consciousness, the Phoenix Force spoke directly with her for the first time. It explained that its natural state was to simply exist, and it must return to this state without feeling or awareness. Furthermore, Rachel's spirit was bonded with the Phoenix Force's essence, making her the "one true Phoenix". The Phoenix Force warned Rachel to resist the temptation of unlimited power and then left for the stars. Rachel retained a more limited version of the Phoenix's powers and returned to Earth.[17]

Rachel Summers returns

Years later, in the mini-series, The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, Jean Grey and Scott Summers were telepathically teleported to the future by Rachel Summers. Dying, Rachel asked her mother to reclaim the Phoenix name in her honor before sending the two back to their proper time. However, Rachel would later return after the death of Apocalypse eradicated the future timeline from which she originated, thus casting her adrift in the timestream. She was soon rescued and returned to the present by Cable.

Kelly and Seagle thwarted

In 1998, Uncanny X-Men writer Steve Seagle sought to do a sequel to "The Dark Phoenix Saga" where Jean would begin to manifest powers similar to those of the Phoenix Force. The planned storyline would see Jean slowly manifesting Phoenix powers again, culminating in those powers finally manifesting in full, after Cyclops would be mortally wounded during an X-Men adventure. This would then trigger the invasion of Earth by an armada of aliens, that had been secretly monitoring the Earth to watch and make sure Jean would never become Dark Phoenix again. This storyline was nixed at the last minute by Marvel editors Bob Harras and Mark Powers, who instead demanded that Seagle and Joe Kelly, the writer of X-Men, remove Jean from their books entirely and substitute in a Magneto storyline ("The Magneto Wars") they had cobbled together without Kelly and Seagle's knowledge. When Seagle argued to at least keep Jean on the book's roster, he was denied this and ordered to replace her with Gambit.

Seagle, along with Kelly, both quit their respective X-Men books after this demand, though Seagle's plot had already begun. Jean Grey began wearing the green and gold Phoenix costume and began manifesting the signature fire "Phoenix Effect" when she used her powers. Alan Davis, who took over the position as writer for the two X-Men books, sought to resolve the issue in Uncanny X-Men #375 with Xavier and Jean Grey playing a gambit where Xavier accused Jean of becoming Dark Phoenix again, attempting to weed out any possible alien Skrulls who might have infiltrated the team. A fight broke out between the X-Men as a result, concluding with Gambit confronting Jean Grey, who morphed into Dark Phoenix and threatened to kill Gambit before stopping when she realized that Gambit wasn't a Skrull. At the end of the issue, it was revealed that the fight had not, in fact, taken place - the combined telepathy of Xavier and Jean Grey had created the battle in the minds of the other X-Men.

Morrison's New X-Men

Several years later, Grant Morrison took control of writing New X-Men, and began planting the seeds for a proper return of Phoenix. In this series, Jean Grey and Scott Summers had both returned to the X-Men following a period in which Cyclops had been merged with Apocalypse (The Twelve and Search for Cyclops). Jean's powers were once again in a state of flux: having briefly lost telekinetic powers as part of a "swap" with Psylocke, she was able to fully restore her powers with help of Eternity, who once again exposed her to the Phoenix Force in order to stop the cosmic super-villain (and former X-Men foe) Stranger. Her relationship with Cyclops was also on the rocks; Cyclops began distancing himself from Jean, having been severely traumatized by his time possessed by Apocalypse, as well as unresolved sexual issues involving Cyclops longing for Jean to wear both the Black Queen and Dark Phoenix uniform in bed, two costumes that were associated with the Phoenix Force and not Jean herself. The growing rift between her and Scott and the stress of having Professor Xavier out himself as a mutant on live television (then leaving Jean to run the school while he was away) begun to tax Jean heavily. When the school was attacked by a murderous group of body modificationists calling themselves the U-Men, Jean manifested the Phoenix Effect as she threatened to kill the ghoulish villains if they ever came near the school again.

Although Jean seemed to have complete control of her abilities, the rest of the X-Men began to show concern for her, afraid that they were looking at the start of another Dark Phoenix incident. While traveling on a world tour, Jean and Xavier began to investigate the remanifestation of Phoenix. Xavier managed to communicate with the Phoenix Force directly, who informed him that there was a great and terrible event coming, and that the Phoenix was there to keep it from occurring. Meanwhile, Cyclops used Jean's increased abilities as justification to further distance himself from Jean and instead turned to Emma Frost, and the two began a telepathic affair. Jean found out about the affair from Emma's students, and hurt and humiliated by this, she unleashed the full fury of her powers on Emma in the astral plane, forcing her to tell Jean the truth about the affair as well as admit why she always seemed intent on hurting other people. This "psionic catfight" left Emma deeply humiliated and shattered, causing Cyclops to leave the X-Men for a while to choose who he wanted: Jean or Emma.

The terrible event that the Phoenix spoke to Xavier about turned out to be the return of a mind controlled Magneto, who was a pawn of the villainous master of the U-Men: John Sublime. Sublime had Magneto (later haphazardly retconned to being Xorn posing as Magneto posing as Xorn) exile Jean and Wolverine on Astroid M which was flung into the sun. To save Jean from suffering, Wolverine killed Jean only to unknowingly fully activate the Phoenix Force, which resurrected Jean. The X-Men managed to defeat him, but Jean was killed by an electromagnetic pulse from Magneto before she could identify Sublime hiding within Magneto's mind. Although she died in Scott's arms, everyone expected Jean to return sooner or later but it was enough of a trauma to cause Scott to quit the X-Men after Jean's death.

As the series "New X-Men" took a 150-year leap into a dismal future for Morrison's final storyline, Jean hatched from a Phoenix egg only to be turned into a pawn of future Beast, who was Sublime's new host. With help from a redeemed Cassandra Nova, Wolverine helped her break free and defeat Sublime once and for all. Returning to the M'Krann Crystal, the newly proclaimed "White Phoenix of the Crown" tried to erase the future she woke up in. Taking heed of Wolverine's claim that Scott's departure from the team was the event that caused the future to happen as it did, Jean reached backwards to tell Scott to "live," thereby setting the universe straight once more, as Scott chose to stay with Emma Frost and the X-Men.


X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong was to be the "final" chapter in the Phoenix Saga, with the Force itself coming back and briefly resurrecting Jean Grey and even possessing Emma Frost. Originally, the story was to have ended with Jean's body being destroyed to prevent any further resurrections, but this was changed at the last minute to simply having Jean's spirit sacrifice being resurrected in order to drive the Phoenix Force off of Earth.

Phoenix: Endsong and Warsong

In 2005, the story arc "Phoenix: Endsong" began publication. During the course of this storyline, it was revealed that the Phoenix Force had once more survived the death of its host, and had gone on. Forced into a premature and incomplete rebirth by a rogue Shi'ar Empire crew and then attacked using an Eleka'an event horizon, the Phoenix was nearly destroyed. A remnant escaped and, harnessing the solar power of Cyclops' optic blasts, forced the dead Jean Grey back into life.

Immediately realizing that the Phoenix Force was not complete and thus a danger, Jean tried to prevent the Force from remembering what it had been looking for: Scott. As Jean spoke with Wolverine, she manifested the Dark Phoenix and blasted him. As Jean struggled for control, she forced a conflict with her former teammates, attempting to make them (specifically Wolverine) kill her before she was once more too powerful to stop. Seeking to prevent committing another act of genocide, Jean enlisted Wolverine's aid in weakening her in an arctic wasteland. Breaking open the ice with her telekinesis, Jean attempted to stop the Phoenix Force by encasing herself in the ice.

Abandoning Jean's body, the Phoenix Force manifested a semi-physical form and attempted to force Cyclops to use his powers - his optic blasts fed the Phoenix Force - only to be intercepted by Emma Frost, who offered herself as a new host. Emma quickly found herself being used up from the inside out, as her willpower wasn't strong enough to contain the overwhelming hunger of the Phoenix. Turning on her friends, Emma sought nothing but destruction and freedom.

Cyclops blasted the ice encasing Jean, and she burst forth. Once more, Jean sacrificed her own peace for the sake of her friends and the world. She ripped the Phoenix Force from Emma and proclaimed them the same being. Manifesting as Dark Phoenix, Jean struggled to control the cosmic force of the Phoenix, aided by the moral support of her friends, as Emma had her Stepford Cuckoos telepathically reach out to past and present X-Men and students at the Xavier Institute whose lives Jean had touched.

Manifesting the white and gold costume of the "White Phoenix of the Crown," Jean held back the event horizon of the Eleka'an by sheer force of will, saying a tearful goodbye to Scott once again, before Scott symbolically removed his visor for her, as he had done during the Dark Phoenix Saga. Jean then neutralized the event horizon and returned to the White Hot Room to restore herself and the Phoenix Force to full strength and to find their missing pieces.

At the end of Phoenix: Endsong, a piece of the Phoenix was seen approaching the Stepford Cuckoos. This storyline was continued in the mini-series Phoenix: Warsong. Greg Pak had this to say in an interview with Newsarama: "X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong is not a Jean Grey resurrection story. It's far too early to bring Jean back, both in terms of her own emotional storyline and the Marvel Universe as a whole. But we're doing our best to tell a story with Warsong that respects and deepens the Jean Grey/Phoenix mythos by exploring surprising new revelations and characters, pushing our heroes and themes to the next level, and laying the groundwork for the future."[18] The story dealt mostly with the Stepford Cuckoos, John Sublime, Weapon XXII, and Emma Frost. In the end, the Cuckoos split the Phoenix Force and hold it within themselves.

Collected editions

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Phoenix Saga, it was announced that this storyline would be reprinted in an oversized trim hardcover. The X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga hardcover (352 pages, July 2010, Marvel, ISBN 978-0-7851-4913-2) collects The X-Men #129-138, Classic X-Men #43, Bizarre Adventures #27, Phoenix: The Untold Story (one-shot), and What If? #27.[19]

The story (The X-Men #129-137) has been collected into a number of trade paperbacks:

The story is also included in Essential X-Men, Volume 2 (584 pages, October 1997, Panini Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-0298-4), part of Marvel's Essential series of black-and-white trade paperbacks. The volume collects The X-Men #120-144 and The X-Men Annual #3-4.

Finally, the story is included in the hardcover Marvel Masterworks: Uncanny X-Men, Volume 4 (The X-Men #122-131, Annual #3) and Volume 5 (The X-Men #132-140, Annual #4), and the opening of the story is in the final pages of Uncanny X-Men Omnibus, Volume 1, which includes Giant-Size Uncanny X-Men #1, The X-Men Annual #3, and The X-Men #94-131.


  1. ^ a b c Deeley, Michael (June 16, 2001). "Silver Soapbox: Dark Phoenix: The Director's Cut". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  2. ^ Uncanny X-Men #101 (Oct. 1976)
  3. ^ Uncanny X-Men #107–108 (Oct. – Dec. 1977)
  4. ^ Uncanny X-Men #132 (April 1980)
  5. ^ Uncanny X-Men #133 (May 1980)
  6. ^ Uncanny X-Men #134 (June 1980)
  7. ^ Uncanny X-Men #135 (July 1980)
  8. ^ Uncanny X-Men #136 (August 1980)
  9. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #137 (Sept. 1980)
  10. ^ a b Cronin, Brian (December 15, 2005). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #29". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  11. ^ Uncanny X-Men #168 (April 1983)
  12. ^ Ivery, Shane (September 12, 2006). "Comics of 1986 #30: X-Factor". Revolution Science Fiction. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  13. ^ Fantastic Four #286 (Jan. 1986). Ironically, Busiek's name is misspelled "Busek".
  14. ^ a b Excalibur #50 (May 1992)
  15. ^ Excalibur #52 (July 1992)
  16. ^ Excalibur #61 (January 1993)
  17. ^ Excalibur #64 (April 1993)
  18. ^ "Greg Pak Talks X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong". Newsarama. June 2, 2006. 
  19. ^ "Marvel Collected Editions". Marvel Previews (New York, NY: Marvel Worldwide, Inc.) (81): 3, 91. April 28, 2010. 

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