#1 Posted by 1337f337 (6 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 (62 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 (6 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 (137 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 (12579 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 (3450 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 (4249 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 (1218 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.