#1 Posted by 1337f337 (9 posts) - - Show Bio

Hello! I just read the Dark Phoenix Saga graphic novel and loved it! I have one question that really confused me and was wondering if someone could help me out. So from what I gather the Phoenix is actually not Jean Grey it is 100% the Phoenix. It does have her memories and personality but, is not her. The Phoenix actually had Jean in some type of stasis under Jamaica Bay. But my question is, why would the Phoenix go "dark phoenix"? If the Phoenix is 100% the Phoenix and not Jean struggling with the Phoenix power how come it couldn't control its own power? It would make sense if it was the Phoenix force and Jean Grey combined into 1 being; but how does just the Phoenix struggle with keeping it's own powers and what not under control? Also it wasn't like the Phoenix was "evil", it helped Jean fulfilling her wish to save her friends lives. So why would it go "dark"? I really loved the saga but this is the one thing that keeps bothering me. Hope my question makes sense and I would really appreciate a response!

Thanks!!

#2 Edited by ReddKnave (63 posts) - - Show Bio

Because in the original story the Phoenix does inhabit Jean, the cocoon bit was retconned...

2 part answer... 1st part deals with the story itself, 2nd part explains the retcon.

It's my understanding that, in current canon, the Phoenix made a duplicate of Jean Grey to inhabit, and as you said the duplicate retained Jean's memories and personality, so in essence the body it inhabited was, for all intents and purposes, Jean Grey... just a copy. Like the Phoenix stuck her in a copy machine and saved the original. It's likely that, if the Phoenix as Jean Grey never died, and the real Jean Grey was found they would probably both believe themselves to actually be Jean Grey, and they would technically both be right... but only one of them would have actually lived the true life of Jean Grey, while the other would only have remembered it... So, technically this IS the scenario of Jean struggling to control the Phoenix. Two minds inhabiting one body, Jean struggling to stay sane and dominant, and the Phoenix eager to satisfy her curiosity. In The Phoenix Saga, the entity is moved by the positive emotions the Jean copy displays and her motivation to protect life and her loved ones. She goes bad in the Dark Phoenix Saga because she becomes aware of darker human emotions she didn't know about before and hungers to explore them. That hunger drives her to commit horrible acts, solely for the thrill and education of the Phoenix entity. So the Phoenix entity is not evil, but it isn't good either. It is simply a force of nature motivated by curiosity, it was motivated to do good because of Jean's "good emotions", and bad from her "bad emotions". It was really just an experiment for her.

However, there's another reason that the story is written the way it is, and it has to do with the real world, Marvel, and not the story itself.

Initially the story was going to be written with a different ending. In the story, the Phoenix destroys an inhabited planet and kills millions of innocent people for her own satiation. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys) Marvels editor at the time, Jim Shooter, advised Claremont to have the planet the Phoenix destroys uninhabited, but Claremont released the book without making the change. Claremont's original story would progress from there as it is in the book until the moments before Jean kills herself. Originally, after Jean's death the Phoenix force was supposed to bring her back to life (just like in the 90's cartoon version... which is actually the original story as it was written, sans Rogue and Gambit...). But because of Claremont's decision for the Phoenix to be a murderer, she had to pay the piper. Shooter felt "that allowing [Jean] to live after killing billions of people would not be fair." So she was killed. And to bring her back years later, the original story had to be retconned. Where originally Jean had been the one possessed by the Phoenix the whole time (where the story makes sense), NOW Jean was only possessed by the Phoenix for the short trip from the space station to the harbor, and then copied and put away for posterity (instant holes).

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. LOL...

How'd I do guys?

#3 Posted by 1337f337 (9 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the response; that makes the issue clearer for me. If anyone else has any more information or a correction feel free to respond!!

#4 Posted by Djainess (192 posts) - - Show Bio

Because in the original story the Phoenix does inhabit Jean, the cocoon bit was retconned...

2 part answer... 1st part deals with the story itself, 2nd part explains the retcon.

It's my understanding that, in current canon, the Phoenix made a duplicate of Jean Grey to inhabit, and as you said the duplicate retained Jean's memories and personality, so in essence the body it inhabited was, for all intents and purposes, Jean Grey... just a copy. Like the Phoenix stuck her in a copy machine and saved the original. It's likely that, if the Phoenix as Jean Grey never died, and the real Jean Grey was found they would probably both believe themselves to actually be Jean Grey, and they would technically both be right... but only one of them would have actually lived the true life of Jean Grey, while the other would only have remembered it... So, technically this IS the scenario of Jean struggling to control the Phoenix. Two minds inhabiting one body, Jean struggling to stay sane and dominant, and the Phoenix eager to satisfy her curiosity. In The Phoenix Saga, the entity is moved by the positive emotions the Jean copy displays and her motivation to protect life and her loved ones. She goes bad in the Dark Phoenix Saga because she becomes aware of darker human emotions she didn't know about before and hungers to explore them. That hunger drives her to commit horrible acts, solely for the thrill and education of the Phoenix entity. So the Phoenix entity is not evil, but it isn't good either. It is simply a force of nature motivated by curiosity, it was motivated to do good because of Jean's "good emotions", and bad from her "bad emotions". It was really just an experiment for her.

However, there's another reason that the story is written the way it is, and it has to do with the real world, Marvel, and not the story itself.

Initially the story was going to be written with a different ending. In the story, the Phoenix destroys an inhabited planet and kills millions of innocent people for her own satiation. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys) Marvels editor at the time, Jim Shooter, advised Claremont to have the planet the Phoenix destroys uninhabited, but Claremont released the book without making the change. Claremont's original story would progress from there as it is in the book until the moments before Jean kills herself. Originally, after Jean's death the Phoenix force was supposed to bring her back to life (just like in the 90's cartoon version... which is actually the original story as it was written, sans Rogue and Gambit...). But because of Claremont's decision for the Phoenix to be a murderer, she had to pay the piper. Shooter felt "that allowing [Jean] to live after killing billions of people would not be fair." So she was killed. And to bring her back years later, the original story had to be retconned. Where originally Jean had been the one possessed by the Phoenix the whole time (where the story makes sense), NOW Jean was only possessed by the Phoenix for the short trip from the space station to the harbor, and then copied and put away for posterity (instant holes).

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. LOL...

How'd I do guys?

Well I'm by no means a comic expert, but I think you pretty much nailed it :)

#5 Edited by cattlebattle (14170 posts) - - Show Bio


However, there's another reason that the story is written the way it is, and it has to do with the real world, Marvel, and not the story itself.

Initially the story was going to be written with a different ending. In the story, the Phoenix destroys an inhabited planet and kills millions of innocent people for her own satiation. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys) Marvels editor at the time, Jim Shooter, advised Claremont to have the planet the Phoenix destroys uninhabited, but Claremont released the book without making the change. Claremont's original story would progress from there as it is in the book until the moments before Jean kills herself. Originally, after Jean's death the Phoenix force was supposed to bring her back to life (just like in the 90's cartoon version... which is actually the original story as it was written, sans Rogue and Gambit...). But because of Claremont's decision for the Phoenix to be a murderer, she had to pay the piper. Shooter felt "that allowing [Jean] to live after killing billions of people would not be fair." So she was killed. And to bring her back years later, the original story had to be retconned. Where originally Jean had been the one possessed by the Phoenix the whole time (where the story makes sense), NOW Jean was only possessed by the Phoenix for the short trip from the space station to the harbor, and then copied and put away for posterity (instant holes).

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. LOL...

How'd I do guys?

She was originally supposed to be just depowered. The final page where it happens instead of her death was actually drawn and inked an you can probably find on the internet...but yeah, everything else was right.

#6 Edited by PhoenixoftheTides (3826 posts) - - Show Bio

@reddknave: That's a pretty good summation. There was a lot of politics and editing going on with this story. Apparently, Claremont wanted the Phoenix evolution to deal more with Jean dealing with her enhanced, cosmic power levels. The editorial leadership ixnayed that, but approved the version where she becomes evil.

You can read up on the alternate version here Gentlemen of Leisure - The Untold Story of Phoenix - that blog has some panels from the alternate version (see above for two of them).

You might be interested to follow the links in that blog; one in particular talks about a 'What If?' establishing the restoration of her powers: Alternate Jean Resurrection Retcon. Pretty hilarious clips can be found in there, such as Jean incinerating Kitty Pryde:

#7 Edited by oldnightcrawler (5102 posts) - - Show Bio

She was originally supposed to be just depowered. The final page where it happens instead of her death was actually drawn and inked an you can probably find on the internet...but yeah, everything else was right.

#8 Posted by Koays (3834 posts) - - Show Bio

@reddknave: Lol good job, I was going to try a response myself last night but realized how complicated it may end up being.

#10 Posted by LordOfAllHumans (4788 posts) - - Show Bio

Because in the original story the Phoenix does inhabit Jean, the cocoon bit was retconned...

2 part answer... 1st part deals with the story itself, 2nd part explains the retcon.

It's my understanding that, in current canon, the Phoenix made a duplicate of Jean Grey to inhabit, and as you said the duplicate retained Jean's memories and personality, so in essence the body it inhabited was, for all intents and purposes, Jean Grey... just a copy. Like the Phoenix stuck her in a copy machine and saved the original. It's likely that, if the Phoenix as Jean Grey never died, and the real Jean Grey was found they would probably both believe themselves to actually be Jean Grey, and they would technically both be right... but only one of them would have actually lived the true life of Jean Grey, while the other would only have remembered it... So, technically this IS the scenario of Jean struggling to control the Phoenix. Two minds inhabiting one body, Jean struggling to stay sane and dominant, and the Phoenix eager to satisfy her curiosity. In The Phoenix Saga, the entity is moved by the positive emotions the Jean copy displays and her motivation to protect life and her loved ones. She goes bad in the Dark Phoenix Saga because she becomes aware of darker human emotions she didn't know about before and hungers to explore them. That hunger drives her to commit horrible acts, solely for the thrill and education of the Phoenix entity. So the Phoenix entity is not evil, but it isn't good either. It is simply a force of nature motivated by curiosity, it was motivated to do good because of Jean's "good emotions", and bad from her "bad emotions". It was really just an experiment for her.

However, there's another reason that the story is written the way it is, and it has to do with the real world, Marvel, and not the story itself.

Initially the story was going to be written with a different ending. In the story, the Phoenix destroys an inhabited planet and kills millions of innocent people for her own satiation. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys) Marvels editor at the time, Jim Shooter, advised Claremont to have the planet the Phoenix destroys uninhabited, but Claremont released the book without making the change. Claremont's original story would progress from there as it is in the book until the moments before Jean kills herself. Originally, after Jean's death the Phoenix force was supposed to bring her back to life (just like in the 90's cartoon version... which is actually the original story as it was written, sans Rogue and Gambit...). But because of Claremont's decision for the Phoenix to be a murderer, she had to pay the piper. Shooter felt "that allowing [Jean] to live after killing billions of people would not be fair." So she was killed. And to bring her back years later, the original story had to be retconned. Where originally Jean had been the one possessed by the Phoenix the whole time (where the story makes sense), NOW Jean was only possessed by the Phoenix for the short trip from the space station to the harbor, and then copied and put away for posterity (instant holes).

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. LOL...

How'd I do guys?

Nice breakdown, expect originally, it was all Jean her powers had been fully unleashed she became a being of pure thought rebuilt her body and started calling herself Phoenix. They created and introduced the concept of the Phoenix Force and the duplicate body angle about 6 years after the death on the moon (Fantastic Four 286), so that they could bring Jean back, because even if she was possessed they wouldn't have needed to retcon it as you could still just blame the Phoenix.

#11 Posted by HopesummersFORtheFUTURE (5022 posts) - - Show Bio

i like the 90's cartoon version better where jean died and was revived by the phoenix by taking the life force of all the x-men

#12 Posted by Daycrawler (554 posts) - - Show Bio

@reddknave said:

Because in the original story the Phoenix does inhabit Jean, the cocoon bit was retconned...

2 part answer... 1st part deals with the story itself, 2nd part explains the retcon.

It's my understanding that, in current canon, the Phoenix made a duplicate of Jean Grey to inhabit, and as you said the duplicate retained Jean's memories and personality, so in essence the body it inhabited was, for all intents and purposes, Jean Grey... just a copy. Like the Phoenix stuck her in a copy machine and saved the original. It's likely that, if the Phoenix as Jean Grey never died, and the real Jean Grey was found they would probably both believe themselves to actually be Jean Grey, and they would technically both be right... but only one of them would have actually lived the true life of Jean Grey, while the other would only have remembered it... So, technically this IS the scenario of Jean struggling to control the Phoenix. Two minds inhabiting one body, Jean struggling to stay sane and dominant, and the Phoenix eager to satisfy her curiosity. In The Phoenix Saga, the entity is moved by the positive emotions the Jean copy displays and her motivation to protect life and her loved ones. She goes bad in the Dark Phoenix Saga because she becomes aware of darker human emotions she didn't know about before and hungers to explore them. That hunger drives her to commit horrible acts, solely for the thrill and education of the Phoenix entity. So the Phoenix entity is not evil, but it isn't good either. It is simply a force of nature motivated by curiosity, it was motivated to do good because of Jean's "good emotions", and bad from her "bad emotions". It was really just an experiment for her.

However, there's another reason that the story is written the way it is, and it has to do with the real world, Marvel, and not the story itself.

Initially the story was going to be written with a different ending. In the story, the Phoenix destroys an inhabited planet and kills millions of innocent people for her own satiation. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys) Marvels editor at the time, Jim Shooter, advised Claremont to have the planet the Phoenix destroys uninhabited, but Claremont released the book without making the change. Claremont's original story would progress from there as it is in the book until the moments before Jean kills herself. Originally, after Jean's death the Phoenix force was supposed to bring her back to life (just like in the 90's cartoon version... which is actually the original story as it was written, sans Rogue and Gambit...). But because of Claremont's decision for the Phoenix to be a murderer, she had to pay the piper. Shooter felt "that allowing [Jean] to live after killing billions of people would not be fair." So she was killed. And to bring her back years later, the original story had to be retconned. Where originally Jean had been the one possessed by the Phoenix the whole time (where the story makes sense), NOW Jean was only possessed by the Phoenix for the short trip from the space station to the harbor, and then copied and put away for posterity (instant holes).

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. LOL...

How'd I do guys?

Nice breakdown, expect originally, it was all Jean her powers had been fully unleashed she became a being of pure thought rebuilt her body and started calling herself Phoenix. They created and introduced the concept of the Phoenix Force and the duplicate body angle about 6 years after the death on the moon (Fantastic Four 286), so that they could bring Jean back, because even if she was possessed they wouldn't have needed to retcon it as you could still just blame the Phoenix.

Nope, she was originally part phoenix, part Jean. It's confirmed in X-Men issue #137 where she tell Colossus "Two beings -- Jean Grey and Phoenix....separate....unique...bound together. A symbiote, Peter; neither can exist without the other. Phoenix provides my life-force, while I provide a focus for its infinite power.". The issue also starts with the Watcher talking about how Jean had become one with "a primal force, second only to that of the Creator.". Plus, in the issue prior, Llilandra and her consort discuss the bird flame and the Phoenix in terms that allude to them being aware of such a force existing before it ever bonded with Jean.

#13 Posted by darthphoenix (1425 posts) - - Show Bio

The phoenix didn't have feelings before. It went dark when it kept on feeding/amplifying the rage/passion and bad temper of jean.

#14 Edited by LordOfAllHumans (4788 posts) - - Show Bio

#

@lordofallhumans said:

@reddknave said:

Because in the original story the Phoenix does inhabit Jean, the cocoon bit was retconned...

2 part answer... 1st part deals with the story itself, 2nd part explains the retcon.

It's my understanding that, in current canon, the Phoenix made a duplicate of Jean Grey to inhabit, and as you said the duplicate retained Jean's memories and personality, so in essence the body it inhabited was, for all intents and purposes, Jean Grey... just a copy. Like the Phoenix stuck her in a copy machine and saved the original. It's likely that, if the Phoenix as Jean Grey never died, and the real Jean Grey was found they would probably both believe themselves to actually be Jean Grey, and they would technically both be right... but only one of them would have actually lived the true life of Jean Grey, while the other would only have remembered it... So, technically this IS the scenario of Jean struggling to control the Phoenix. Two minds inhabiting one body, Jean struggling to stay sane and dominant, and the Phoenix eager to satisfy her curiosity. In The Phoenix Saga, the entity is moved by the positive emotions the Jean copy displays and her motivation to protect life and her loved ones. She goes bad in the Dark Phoenix Saga because she becomes aware of darker human emotions she didn't know about before and hungers to explore them. That hunger drives her to commit horrible acts, solely for the thrill and education of the Phoenix entity. So the Phoenix entity is not evil, but it isn't good either. It is simply a force of nature motivated by curiosity, it was motivated to do good because of Jean's "good emotions", and bad from her "bad emotions". It was really just an experiment for her.

However, there's another reason that the story is written the way it is, and it has to do with the real world, Marvel, and not the story itself.

Initially the story was going to be written with a different ending. In the story, the Phoenix destroys an inhabited planet and kills millions of innocent people for her own satiation. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys) Marvels editor at the time, Jim Shooter, advised Claremont to have the planet the Phoenix destroys uninhabited, but Claremont released the book without making the change. Claremont's original story would progress from there as it is in the book until the moments before Jean kills herself. Originally, after Jean's death the Phoenix force was supposed to bring her back to life (just like in the 90's cartoon version... which is actually the original story as it was written, sans Rogue and Gambit...). But because of Claremont's decision for the Phoenix to be a murderer, she had to pay the piper. Shooter felt "that allowing [Jean] to live after killing billions of people would not be fair." So she was killed. And to bring her back years later, the original story had to be retconned. Where originally Jean had been the one possessed by the Phoenix the whole time (where the story makes sense), NOW Jean was only possessed by the Phoenix for the short trip from the space station to the harbor, and then copied and put away for posterity (instant holes).

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. LOL...

How'd I do guys?

Nice breakdown, expect originally, it was all Jean her powers had been fully unleashed she became a being of pure thought rebuilt her body and started calling herself Phoenix. They created and introduced the concept of the Phoenix Force and the duplicate body angle about 6 years after the death on the moon (Fantastic Four 286), so that they could bring Jean back, because even if she was possessed they wouldn't have needed to retcon it as you could still just blame the Phoenix.

Nope, she was originally part phoenix, part Jean. It's confirmed in X-Men issue #137 where she tell Colossus "Two beings -- Jean Grey and Phoenix....separate....unique...bound together. A symbiote, Peter; neither can exist without the other. Phoenix provides my life-force, while I provide a focus for its infinite power.". The issue also starts with the Watcher talking about how Jean had become one with "a primal force, second only to that of the Creator.". Plus, in the issue prior, Llilandra and her consort discuss the bird flame and the Phoenix in terms that allude to them being aware of such a force existing before it ever bonded with Jean.

The original story starts before the Dark Phoenix Saga which was created to get rid of Jean because she had become too powerful for her team. It starts when issue 100 (1976) ends with the radiation winning out against Jean, then in issue 101 she is Phoenix, with no explanation as they never show what happened between the shield giving out and her rising as Phoenix. Liliandra meets her in issue 105 (1977) and does not recognize her to be anything because the Phoenix Force did not exist in continuity yet. Not until issue 125 (1979) do we get a glimpse of what happened to Jean on the shuttle between 100 and 101 from Moira who had bee,conducting several tests on Jean, she says in that issue that Jean reached her full potential as a psi, became a being of pure thought and reformed as the Phoenix, she has more internal dialog about the power and how she and Xavier knew Jean had the potential to be this powerful. All of these events happened before the actual Dark Phoenix Sage which doesn't officially start until issue 129, and as I said they were at this point trying to find a way to get rid of Jeans Phoenix powers. Originally they wanted to have the X-men lose the trial and have her lobotomized removing the part of her brain responsible for her Mutant powers, but she killed billions and needed to die for those actions so they killed her and made the Phoenix Force so she could come back for X-Factor.


The Entire saga from beginning to end was reprinted in the form of Classic X-men starting with issue 9 and ending in issue 43. Issue 9 shows what happened on the shuttle according to the events that retconned Phoenix in Fantastic Four issue 286 as I mentioned. So in light of what the Watcher says at the end, originally per Moiras dialog before Dark Phoenix (and it's saga) Jean was just a mutant expressing godlike power thanks to her full potential being released. He also does not name the Phoenix as a Force only Jean as Phoenix, because there was no Phoenix Force yet and in the beginning she was only supposed to be using her own power. Lilandra already met her in 105 and would have been aware of her from that encounter and the fact that she saved all that is from the M'Kraan crystal. She was merely telling her councilors about her first time meeting Phoenix and how she was no longer beneficent like she was when she stopped D'Ken. So like I said the Phoenix Force was not something that came about until they decided to bring Jean back, because if she was merely possessed there would have been no reason to go further with a story about a duplicate body being operated by a separate being that had stolen a portion of her soul/lifeforce to make the transformation complete.

#15 Edited by PhoenixoftheTides (3826 posts) - - Show Bio

@lordofallhumans: I discovered that background, as well, and I really liked it more than the Phoenix Force (as you can tell from my posts). It's ironic I put Phoenix in my username, and am so sick of hearing about it at this point. Thanks for reiterating! I personally think the "mutant power enabling god like power" storyline was potentially much stronger than the Phoenix Saga, which is why that is what we are seeing nowadays with Iceman, Nate, and others. Claremont was ahead of the times with the initial idea he had, and I think it would have left more storylines than the random space opera did.

I think the Phoenix Force, as lovely as it was as a self-contained story, was the moment when the X-Men jumped the shark.

#16 Posted by Daycrawler (554 posts) - - Show Bio

#

@daycrawler said:

@lordofallhumans said:

@reddknave said:

Because in the original story the Phoenix does inhabit Jean, the cocoon bit was retconned...

2 part answer... 1st part deals with the story itself, 2nd part explains the retcon.

It's my understanding that, in current canon, the Phoenix made a duplicate of Jean Grey to inhabit, and as you said the duplicate retained Jean's memories and personality, so in essence the body it inhabited was, for all intents and purposes, Jean Grey... just a copy. Like the Phoenix stuck her in a copy machine and saved the original. It's likely that, if the Phoenix as Jean Grey never died, and the real Jean Grey was found they would probably both believe themselves to actually be Jean Grey, and they would technically both be right... but only one of them would have actually lived the true life of Jean Grey, while the other would only have remembered it... So, technically this IS the scenario of Jean struggling to control the Phoenix. Two minds inhabiting one body, Jean struggling to stay sane and dominant, and the Phoenix eager to satisfy her curiosity. In The Phoenix Saga, the entity is moved by the positive emotions the Jean copy displays and her motivation to protect life and her loved ones. She goes bad in the Dark Phoenix Saga because she becomes aware of darker human emotions she didn't know about before and hungers to explore them. That hunger drives her to commit horrible acts, solely for the thrill and education of the Phoenix entity. So the Phoenix entity is not evil, but it isn't good either. It is simply a force of nature motivated by curiosity, it was motivated to do good because of Jean's "good emotions", and bad from her "bad emotions". It was really just an experiment for her.

However, there's another reason that the story is written the way it is, and it has to do with the real world, Marvel, and not the story itself.

Initially the story was going to be written with a different ending. In the story, the Phoenix destroys an inhabited planet and kills millions of innocent people for her own satiation. (Correct me if I'm wrong guys) Marvels editor at the time, Jim Shooter, advised Claremont to have the planet the Phoenix destroys uninhabited, but Claremont released the book without making the change. Claremont's original story would progress from there as it is in the book until the moments before Jean kills herself. Originally, after Jean's death the Phoenix force was supposed to bring her back to life (just like in the 90's cartoon version... which is actually the original story as it was written, sans Rogue and Gambit...). But because of Claremont's decision for the Phoenix to be a murderer, she had to pay the piper. Shooter felt "that allowing [Jean] to live after killing billions of people would not be fair." So she was killed. And to bring her back years later, the original story had to be retconned. Where originally Jean had been the one possessed by the Phoenix the whole time (where the story makes sense), NOW Jean was only possessed by the Phoenix for the short trip from the space station to the harbor, and then copied and put away for posterity (instant holes).

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing. LOL...

How'd I do guys?

Nice breakdown, expect originally, it was all Jean her powers had been fully unleashed she became a being of pure thought rebuilt her body and started calling herself Phoenix. They created and introduced the concept of the Phoenix Force and the duplicate body angle about 6 years after the death on the moon (Fantastic Four 286), so that they could bring Jean back, because even if she was possessed they wouldn't have needed to retcon it as you could still just blame the Phoenix.

Nope, she was originally part phoenix, part Jean. It's confirmed in X-Men issue #137 where she tell Colossus "Two beings -- Jean Grey and Phoenix....separate....unique...bound together. A symbiote, Peter; neither can exist without the other. Phoenix provides my life-force, while I provide a focus for its infinite power.". The issue also starts with the Watcher talking about how Jean had become one with "a primal force, second only to that of the Creator.". Plus, in the issue prior, Llilandra and her consort discuss the bird flame and the Phoenix in terms that allude to them being aware of such a force existing before it ever bonded with Jean.

The original story starts before the Dark Phoenix Saga which was created to get rid of Jean because she had become too powerful for her team. It starts when issue 100 (1976) ends with the radiation winning out against Jean, then in issue 101 she is Phoenix, with no explanation as they never show what happened between the shield giving out and her rising as Phoenix. Liliandra meets her in issue 105 (1977) and does not recognize her to be anything because the Phoenix Force did not exist in continuity yet. Not until issue 125 (1979) do we get a glimpse of what happened to Jean on the shuttle between 100 and 101 from Moira who had bee,conducting several tests on Jean, she says in that issue that Jean reached her full potential as a psi, became a being of pure thought and reformed as the Phoenix, she has more internal dialog about the power and how she and Xavier knew Jean had the potential to be this powerful. All of these events happened before the actual Dark Phoenix Sage which doesn't officially start until issue 129, and as I said they were at this point trying to find a way to get rid of Jeans Phoenix powers. Originally they wanted to have the X-men lose the trial and have her lobotomized removing the part of her brain responsible for her Mutant powers, but she killed billions and needed to die for those actions so they killed her and made the Phoenix Force so she could come back for X-Factor.

The Entire saga from beginning to end was reprinted in the form of Classic X-men starting with issue 9 and ending in issue 43. Issue 9 shows what happened on the shuttle according to the events that retconned Phoenix in Fantastic Four issue 286 as I mentioned. So in light of what the Watcher says at the end, originally per Moiras dialog before Dark Phoenix (and it's saga) Jean was just a mutant expressing godlike power thanks to her full potential being released. He also does not name the Phoenix as a Force only Jean as Phoenix, because there was no Phoenix Force yet and in the beginning she was only supposed to be using her own power. Lilandra already met her in 105 and would have been aware of her from that encounter and the fact that she saved all that is from the M'Kraan crystal. She was merely telling her councilors about her first time meeting Phoenix and how she was no longer beneficent like she was when she stopped D'Ken. So like I said the Phoenix Force was not something that came about until they decided to bring Jean back, because if she was merely possessed there would have been no reason to go further with a story about a duplicate body being operated by a separate being that had stolen a portion of her soul/lifeforce to make the transformation complete.

It was Jean herself, not Moira, who states that she, briefly, became a PSI being of pure thought before being reforming as Phoenix. This was said during a flashback that Jean was having/narrating. At this point it can be taken that this statement is true, Jean's abilities saved her, but the Dark Phoenix Saga resolution ultimately showed us that this is not what happened, Jean was just unaware at that point of the Phoenix's involvement. As for Moira, she is just scrambling for answers and has no clue as to the cause of Jean's transformation. As she says to Jean earlier in issue 125, when asked if her tests have yielded any answers - "Jean, I'm just barely figuring out the questions."

I agree that an awful lot of Phoenix stuff was retconned, starting with FF issue 286, but i'd argue that there were no overt retcons during the whole narrative ( and by that I mean no obvious contradictions from Jeans initial appearance as Phoenix right through to her death in X-Men 137). Sure there were behind the scenes discussions on the Saga ending, but key people involved in the direction of the story up to and including the DS Saga exemplify the inherent ambiguity of Phoenix's true nature/origin. John Byrne is on record as saying that he had always viewed the Phoenix as a 'tennant' in Jean, that she was possessed and that the entity could be removed. He spoke to Claremont suggesting this be made clear via the absence of thought balloons whenever Jean became Phoenix. Claremont, whose original intent almost certainly was for Phoenix just to be Jean concedes that the writing is open enough to interpretation one way or another "Was the Phoenix inherently separate from Jean, was it a separate entity that moved in on her....?". Jim Shooter on the other hand always though Phoenix was just Jean. (All of this is paraphrased from an interview in 1983's 'Phoenix - The untold story'). It's clear that different people had different views as the narrative progressed and this, plus the ongoing ambiguity / mystery of Jeans transformation ultimately allowed for a number of different endings (even an ending which the original writer had not thought of or intended). Ultimately the idea of the Phoenix as a separate cosmic force was present well before the DF Saga, was settled on as a story device/fact when Shooter decreed that Jean needed to die and there was nothing in-story that contradicted/prevented this as a story resolution.

The decision to bring back Jean was taken a few years later, after the above-mentioned interview and well after the Phoenix Saga had been written. Therefore, given that the DF saga reveals the Phoenix as a separate entity within Jean, the Phoenix Force as a concept (as sketchy as it was at that point) pre-dates the decision to bring back Jean.

Two final points. The Watcher doesn't mention the Phoenix force as possessing Jean but what he does say strongly allude to the fact that she's possessed by (or sharing her mind with) a cosmic force. This is set-up for Jeans confirmation of that fact later in the issue. Second, regarding Llilandra's recognition of the Phoenix in issue 135. This can be taken either way - 1) 'Last time I met her she was crazy powerful and now shes snapped' or 2) 'Yikes, this confirms our fear that the cosmic entity called the Phoenix is back and is using Jean as an avatar'. I'd say both options are viable/believable.

#17 Edited by HopesummersFORtheFUTURE (5022 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthphoenix said:

The phoenix didn't have feelings before. It went dark when it kept on feeding/amplifying the rage/passion and bad temper of jean.

she gets her temper from her mother, lol......have you read end of greys?!?!?!?!?!?!?

#18 Posted by darthphoenix (1425 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthphoenix said:

The phoenix didn't have feelings before. It went dark when it kept on feeding/amplifying the rage/passion and bad temper of jean.

she gets her temper from her mother, lol......have you read end of greys?!?!?!?!?!?!?

YES! I was talking about the Phoenix force not Rachel. Jean does have bad temper. Jean's personality and essence was used by the phoenix force and it was the one that got corrupted thus turning itself into dark phoenix!