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Phoenix Force
The Phoenix entity. From the back cover to Classic X-Men #1. Art by John Bolton.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Uncanny X-Men #101 (October 1976)
Created by Chris Claremont
Dave Cockrum
In-story information
Alter ego Various hosts
Species Cosmic Entity
Place of origin Big Bang
Team affiliations X-Men
Hellfire Club
Galactic Guardians
Phoenix Corps
Notable aliases Phoenix, Jean Grey, White Phoenix of the Crown, Star-Child, The Black Angel, Chaos-Bringer, Black Queen, Dark Phoenix, Child of the M'Kraan Crystal
Abilities Vast abilities to manipulate matter and energy[1]
Powerful psionic abilities:Template:Bulleted listLife-force manipulation
Cosmic awareness and prescience

Phoenix Force is a fictional entity appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The entity has bonded with other characters, and often used the alias Phoenix while bonded.

The Phoenix Force is famous for its central role in The Dark Phoenix Saga storyline, and is frequently linked to Jean Grey. In 2009, Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix was ranked as IGN's 9th-greatest comic book villain of all time.[2] Wizard list of Top 100 villains ranked the Dark Phoenix as 38th.

Publication history

The Phoenix first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #101 (October 1976) in the guise of Jean Grey, and was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum.

Fictional character biography

The Phoenix Force is an immortal and immutable manifestation of the universal force of life and passion. Born of the void between states of being, the Phoenix Force is a child of the universe. It is the nexus of all psionic energy that does, has, and ever will exist in all realities of the multiverse, the Guardian of Creation, and of the dangerously powerful M'Kraan Crystal.

The Phoenix is among the most feared beings in all of existence—having the power to cut and re-grow any part of the universe, as well as destroy it entirely, which is part of the Phoenix's purpose: "The Judgment of the Phoenix", to burn away the obsolete. The Phoenix Force is described as being "the embodiment of the very passion of Creation—the spark that gave life to the Universe, the flame that will ultimately consume it."

During its time as a sentient and formless mass of energy, it traveled the cosmos and came to be worshipped by several alien races, among them the Shi'ar, who named the entity as Phal'kon, the "sister" of their other gods K'ythri and Sharra.[3] When the alien Demon Lords of Stasis weaved a spell that had halted evolution on their planet, the Phoenix was attracted to the planet when a female with the ability of Pyrokinesis emerged. She gathered together five powered beings, and together waged a rebellion against the Lord of Stasis, and at last, the Phoenix Force came to them, and they communed, although the Demon Lords fought to prevent it. With the loyalty of her disciples that helped her to control the infinite power of the Phoenix, the spell was broken and the Demons were swept away.[4]

During the Stone Age, the Phoenix came to Earth where it used a primitive female red-haired human to be its avatar. Using the nickname "Lady Phoenix", she joined the time period's incarnation of the Avengers. Her only known fight was with an out-of-control Celestial called the Fallen.[5] It is believed that during this time she and Odin shared a romantic relationship that Odin considers as the one time in his life when he truly felt alive.[6]

The Rise of Dark Phoenix

The entity ended up at some point in Shi'ar space where it bonded with a citizen of the Empire, named Rook'shir, who controlled the power of the Phoenix Force in conjunction with his blade. He was ultimately overwhelmed by the Phoenix's power and became the first known host to succumb to the Phoenix Force's destructive impulses and go insane from the power it embodied, becoming the malevolent force of destruction known as the Dark Phoenix. Rook'shir went on a destructive rampage through the Empire, destroying many planets in the process. He was eventually defeated and killed by the Imperial Guard, a team formed for the purpose of stopping Rook'shir, which later became the first line of defense of the Shi'ar Empire. The Phoenix fled, leaving a small remnant of itself in the blade, which could only be lifted by Rook'shir's descendants. Fearing the power of the Phoenix, the Shi'ar ordered all Rook'Shir's descendants to be killed or sterilized.[7]

As time passed the entity was contacted by a great mage named Feron. Feron worshipped the legendary Phoenix, and his daydream-like visions prompted the Phoenix to adopt the fiery bird form it has today. He asked the Phoenix to help him by lending its energy to project a lighthouse-like stone pillar across the multiverse. The pillar would later become the lighthouse base for the British superhero team Excalibur (a team the Phoenix's future host Rachel Summers would join). Afterwards, Necrom attacked Feron in an attempt to steal the power of the Phoenix. Strengthened by the Phoenix Force, Feron was able to fight back but Necrom was able to steal a fraction of the Phoenix Force's essence forcing it to flee back to space in agonized confusion.[8]

In the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, the Yu-Ti of K'un-Lun had visions of the Phoenix coming to Earth, and of a red-headed Iron Fist who would confront it. In one vision, she lost control and destroyed the world. In another, she tamed its power. When walking the streets, Yu-Ti came across Fongji Wu, the daughter of a woman who had ventured to the outside world and lain with a man from beyond K'un-Lun.[9] After defeating Shou-Lao and becoming the Iron Fist, Fongji confronted the Phoenix Force and became its host.[10] The Phoenix Force attempted to overwhelm Fongji and turn her into a Dark Phoenix, but she managed to maintain control of it. Determining that she needed to leave Earth in order to prevent the possibility of losing control from coming to pass, Fongji ventured off into space, never to be seen again.[11]

Jean Grey

Centuries later the Phoenix Force was once again without a host and returned to Earth when it felt the mind of a human transcend the physical realm and resonate with its energy. A young Jean Grey had telepathically linked her mind to her dying friend, Annie Richardson, to keep Annie's soul from moving to the afterlife. In doing so, Jean's mind was being dragged along to the "other side" with Annie. Phoenix lent its energy to break the connection, and kept close watch on young Jean because it felt a kinship with the young mutant. Years later when Jean was dying on a space shuttle, her mind called out for help and the Phoenix Force answered and saved her, transforming Jean into the Phoenix.[12]

The Phoenix remained with the X-Men for only a short time. She prevented the complete destruction of the universe by repairing the damaged energy matrix at the core of the M'Kraan Crystal.[13] During a skirmish with the X-Men's first and most deadly foe, Magneto, Phoenix and Beast were separated from the other X-Men, with each group believing the other to have perished.[14] In Greece, Phoenix met a young and handsome man named Nikos, later revealed to be Mastermind, a mutant with illusionary powers. He began to plant seeds of dissent within Phoenix's fragile psyche by comparing her to a god and insisting she can do whatever she wants.[15] She would later encounter him again in Scotland, under the guise of Jason Wyngarde, a handsome 18th Century loyalist, believing him to be both the work of the reality-warping mutant Proteus and the lover of one of her ancestors.[16]

After an encounter with the Hellfire Club and manipulation by Mastermind and the White Queen, the Phoenix was transformed into their Black Queen.[17] She broke free of Mastermind's control, but had been transformed into Dark Phoenix. She battled the X-Men and fled to the stars, devoured the energies of the D'Bari star system to satisfy her "hunger" as Dark Phoenix, annihilating the five billion inhabitants of its fourth planet, and destroyed a nearby Shi'ar observatory vessel that opened fire on her before she returned to Earth. There, Dark Phoenix was defeated in psionic combat by Professor X, and Phoenix/"Jean Grey" regained control. The X-Men, along with Phoenix, were then teleported to space by the Shi'ar and given a trial by combat. Just as victory seemed certain for the Imperial Guard, "Jean" once again became Dark Phoenix, but in a moment of sanity and to save her teammates, ultimately committed apparent suicide on Earth's moon before the eyes of a horrified Cyclops.[18]

As originally written, the Jean Grey incarnation of the Phoenix was Jean herself, having attained her ultimate potential as a psi, becoming a being of pure energy and reforming herself as Phoenix,[19] only to become slowly corrupted by the manipulation of such foes as Mastermind and Emma Frost; unable to adapt to her enormous power, Jean was driven mad.

In order to return Jean to the fold several years later, this storyline was retconned to reveal the existence of the cosmic Phoenix Force entity, which had created a duplicate body of Jean, believed itself to be Jean and acted in her place while the real Jean lay in a healing cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay, where the Avengers and Fantastic Four would later discover her.[20] This allowed Jean to be revived as a member of X-Factor. The extent to which the duplicate and Jean are separate entities depends on who is writing the character(s) at the time, some instances portraying them as inherently separate, while others demonstrate a shared consciousness.

After committing suicide, the Phoenix Force reaches the Hot White Room where it encountered a manifestation of Death and then returned itself to Jean in the cocoon. Horrified by what it had done, Jean rejected it and it went on to join with Jean's clone, Madelyne Pryor.[21] This portion of the Phoenix remained with Madelyne until she also committed suicide while fighting Jean Grey and then rejoined Jean's consciousness.[22]

Rachel Summers

Another possessor of the Phoenix Force is Rachel Summers, Scott Summers and Jean Grey's daughter from the Days of Future Past alternate future.[23] The Phoenix Force bonded with Rachel and Rachel became the next avatar of the Phoenix Force.[24] Rachel is one of the longest reigning avatars of the Phoenix, and while she would eventually adopt the uniform, she never became Dark Phoenix.[25] Rachel has been referred by the entity as "The One True Phoenix".[26]

During an encounter with Galactus, Rachel Summers—at the time completely overtaken by the Phoenix Force—battled Galactus in an effort to save a planet he was preparing to devour.[27] The Phoenix Force disrupted Galactus' feeding process and thus was easily able to defeat the depleted world devourer in battle. Galactus accused the Phoenix Force of hypocrisy and revealed to it that its existence in a corporeal state was sustained by robbing energy used to birth future generations. Realizing this to be true, the Phoenix vowed to return to its prior existence of "touching all that is" while allowing an echo of its power to remain with Rachel's now-dominant consciousness.[28][29]

Into the Future

Returning to Earth with all her memories, Rachel finally managed to get back to the future she had come from. While she could not change her past, she and her teammates were able to change the directives of all the Sentinels of the era to preserve all life, thereby ending the genocide that had prevailed for years.[30] On the way back to our time, however, Captain Britain was lost in the timestream and Rachel was eventually forced to switch places with him, because she really did not belong in our time, anyway.[31] She emerged from the timestream about 1900 years in the future and formed the Clan Askani, which was responsible for bringing her brother Nathan to their time to fight Apocalypse. She later encounters Diamanda Nero, which was Apocalypse's High Councilor and viceroy. She even wanted to overpower him, but was left powerless after shortly being bonded to the Phoenix Force.[32]

Phoenix resurrection

Later, as an interdimensional portal transported four villains from the 616 Marvel Universe into the Ultraverse dimension, the Phoenix Force was pulled into the Ultraverse as well and was critically damaged. Needing a human host to help heal the damage, the Phoenix Force bonded with Prime and soon afterwards with Amber Hunt.[33] Amber was unable to control it. She attacked her friends and would have destroyed the planet, if not for the arrival of the X-Men and new Ultra hero Foxfire, who after a long battle were able to separate the Phoenix from Amber and send the cosmic entity back to the 616 universe.[34]

Jean Grey would began to wear the same costume the Phoenix Force had worn and begin to manifest Phoenix firebirds and tap into its cosmic reserves several times which worried Scott as he feared the Phoenix had returned[35] until Jean lost temporarily her powers as a result of the Psi-War.[36]

In order to help Psylocke after the Psi-War, Jean switched powers with her. Jean lost her telekinesis but her telepathy increased greatly. Jean began to manifest "Phoenix raptors" that represented her telepathic powers "honed to their sharpest edge". As a result of the power switch, Jean temporarily displayed a shadow astral form with a Phoenix symbol over her right eye.[37]

Jean again began manifesting the Phoenix raptor, creating a rift between Jean and Scott relationship, and the entity even started to appear as another personality within Jean, even having a conversation with Prof. Xavier on its role in events to come. When the X-Man, Xorn revealed himself to be a traitor who claimed to be Magneto, he trapped Jean and Wolverine on Asteroid M which was drifting closer to the Sun. Rather than watch Jean die a slow painful death, Wolverine tried to kill Jean, but he awoke the Phoenix Force within her. Using her incredible powers, Phoenix/Jean returned with Logan to New York City to face "Magneto". Xorn's last act was to kill Jean with an electromagnetic pulse.[38]

Endsong and Warsong

The Phoenix Force would return to Earth during the mini-series X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong, where it resurrected Jean Grey from her grave. It is not long before she remembers what she has come for—Scott Summers (a.k.a. Cyclops). She needs to feed from the energy from his optic blasts, and confused by Jean's emotions thinks she's in love with Scott. She realizes Scott is in love with Emma Frost (former White Queen of the Hellfire Club and headmistress of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning). Through a number of incidents, including Jean having Wolverine kill her a number of times, Jean trapping herself in a glacier, the Phoenix Force jumping into Emma Frost, and parts of the X-Men being trapped in a Shi'ar-generated event horizon, Jean Grey managed to assert herself and gain control of the Phoenix Force, with emotional support of all the X-Men. Jean then declares that she and the Phoenix force are truly one entity now, have transcended into the White Phoenix of the Crown. This is signified by a new white and gold costume.[39]

As a result of a Shi'ar attack on the Phoenix Force, the entity is currently in an incomplete state and Jean must now search out the remaining parts of the Phoenix Force. The consequences of this were partially addressed in X-Men: Phoenix – Warsong in which a small part of the Phoenix Force joined with the Stepford Cuckoos. After nearly losing control to the Phoenix power, the Stepford Cuckoos developed a secondary mutation, in which their hearts turned to diamond and they were able to imprison the piece of the Phoenix Force.[40]

End of Greys

With the failed attack on the Phoenix Force, which ended with Jean Grey escaping their suicide bomb attack and returned to the White Hot Room to restore herself, the Shi'ar still wanted to permanently prevent the ascension of the Phoenix Force. In hopes of eliminating the possibility of a new Omega-level psionic mutant becoming a host for the Phoenix Force, the Shi'ar sent to Earth a commando unit with the purpose to wipe out the Grey genome and kill Quentin Quire. These Death Comandos arrived at Rachel's family reunion site and killed all the members of the Grey family besides Rachel who was marked and Cable who was not present. Afterward, at the graves of the Grey family, Rachel vowed a terrible vengeance on the Shi'ar and was quoted as saying: "I'm not my mom. I'm not the Phoenix. I'm my own woman. And by the time I'm done... they'll wish I WERE the Phoenix."[41]


During the last issue of Kingbreaker, the Phoenix mysteriously abandons Rachel and Korvus during battle with Vulcan's new guard, leaving them both without its power. As it leaves Rachel mutters "Please, not now… Mom." implying that Jean is calling back the missing pieces of the Phoenix Force, and perhaps planning another resurrection. Rachel later says that it was almost like the Phoenix was never with her for she "Can't feel it... I can't hear it...It's like it was never there."[42]

The Sisterhood

Roughly around the same time, back on Earth in San Francisco the Red Queen and her Sisterhood attack the X-Men; first trapping a sleeping Emma in a psychic barricade by Lady Mastermind. Inside what appears to be the White Hot Room, or possibly just Emma's own mind, a woman resembling Jean Grey appears to Emma and helps her break free of Regan's influence with what appears to be a miniature version of the Phoenix energy raptor, thus letting her assist Logan, who has been robbed of a lock of Jean's hair that was in his possession. Madelyne uses the hair sample to locate Jean's gravesite, and then attempts to repeat a resurrection ritual with her corpse, but Cyclops had ordered Domino to substitute the body for someone else's and it somehow causes Madelyne to either discorporate or become absorbed into the fake.[43]


During a conflict with several Predators X (genetically engineered mutant hunters), the Stepford Cuckoos are overwhelmed and knocked unconscious as the fragment of the Phoenix they captured forcefully escape from the girls' diamond hearts, much to the horror of Cyclops and the rest of the X-Men.[44]

Second Coming

A promotional image for the event of Second Coming was released depicting two versions of Hope Summers, the so-called Mutant Messiah—one angelic, emphasizing her role as a savior, the other as evil and surrounded by the Phoenix Force, depicting her as a destroyer.[45]

During the final confrontation with Bastion, Hope turns into what appears to be the Phoenix and blasts Bastion as Wolverine, Colossus, and Emma watch shocked. Bastion, however, manages to grasp Hope's neck, and states that despite his original programming, he will take great pleasure in killing her. Cyclops blasts his arm, and Wolverine jumps on him, as he tries killing him "for Kurt". Hope touches the ground again, saying she's ready now, going full Phoenix Force, blasts Bastion and the dome all at once.[46] Later at a celebratory bonfire, Emma notices the flames around Hope take the shape of the Phoenix and Emma recalls the Sisterhood attack where the woman resembling Jean freed her from Lady Mastermind's illusion.[47]

Generation Hope

While fighting the fifth so-called "Light", who was out of control, Hope attempts to take some of his powers only to exhaust herself and collapses. She is then contacted by the Phoenix Force who refers Hope as her "child" and that the other lights needed her. Hope then regains consciousness and went back to face Kenji Uedo. Due to Phoenix's words, it's implied that the five lights are all connected to the Phoenix Force.[48]

Age of X

The Age of X reality was created when Legion's mind reacted to Doctor Nemesis's attempt to restore its sanity.[49] A new persona, with new powers, was born creating the new reality in order to protect Legion's many personalities. This new manifestation of Legion's power took the appearance of Moira MacTaggert, in order to confuse Xavier and protect Legion. In this reality Jean Grey's Phoenix Force ability manifested causing a tremendous amount of destruction and death in Albany.[50] Though she was presumed deceased when the Air Force bombed the area, a new phoenix shape emerged from the rubble.[51] Under the name of Revenant, it is not known whether she is Jean Grey (presumably dead after the Albany incident[50]) or a totally new incarnation. She joins Magneto and becomes part of the Force Warriors.[52] She also states she got lost on her way home and she does not look like herself.[53]

When the truth about the Age of X was finally revealed, Legion apologizes to everyone before rewriting the universe and putting everything back the way it was. However, Revenant who should not even exist is brought back to Utopia also.[54] Later, as all mutants begin to regain their true memories, Revenant is revealed to be actually the mind of Rachel Summers given human form.[55]

Fear Itself

During the Fear Itself storyline, the Phoenix Force appeared once again to Emma Frost (who's in Utopia's infirmary after she was overwhelmed by the cosmic powers of Juggernaut who had become the Worthy known as Kuurth: Breaker of Stone). The Phoenix soon began mocking Emma that Scott Summers would never love her as he loved Jean Grey revealing also that Jean had been reborn and that Emma Frost already knows it. This Phoenix, however, seems to be a side effect of when Emma invaded Juggernaut's mind and began feeding into Emma's fears. As the Phoenix manages to convince Emma that Hope is Jean reincarnated, it tells Emma that she knows what to do. Emma, in a trance like state, takes her pillow and heads towards Hope, about to smother her to death,[56] and she would have killed Hope if not for Namor's intervention.[57]

Avengers vs. X-Men

The emergence of the Phoenix Five. Art by John Romita Jr. Avengers vs. X-Men #5 (June 2012)

During the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, the event has the Phoenix Force returning to Earth, presumably to reclaim Hope Summers, the "Mutant Messiah", which led to a confrontation between the Avengers and the X-Men on how to deal with its arrival. With the Avengers anticipating the destruction that the Phoenix could bring while Cyclops hopes to use the Phoenix Force to restart the mutant population.[58] It has also been revealed that the Phoenix Force was once wielded by a young red-headed girl named Fongji,[59] who became an heir to the legacy of the Iron Fist.[60]

As the Phoenix Force nears Earth, the Avengers fight the X-Men on the Blue Area of the Moon with Hope caught in the middle, while Iron Man and Giant-Man prepare a disruptor weapon to kill the Phoenix Force. Iron Man pilots the weapon against the Phoenix Force. But, when he uses it to blast the Phoenix Force, instead of killing it, the entity is forcefully altered and divided into five fragments that bond with Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus and Magik. They defeat the Avengers and head back to Earth with Hope.[61] It has since been theorized that Scarlet Witch's spell of "No more mutants" angered the Phoenix, and to calm the entity, a new host was needed along, with five acolytes, to succeed at bringing about evolution (the acolytes were actually revealed to be the first five new mutants that have appeared around the globe since the decimation of the mutant population), and that was the reason the Phoenix came to Earth.[62]

When the Avengers manage to defeat Namor with a mass assault on him during an attack on Wakanda, his portion of the Phoenix Force becomes divided between the other four members of the "Phoenix Five," making it harder to defeat them.[63] Spider-Man then baits Colossus and Magik into taking each other out by playing off of their fears when fighting them in a volcano, as they begin to argue about the other's recent actions, forcing their portions of the Phoenix to be divided between Emma and Cyclops.[64] When Cyclops invades the mystical city of K'un Lun, Lei Kung defends the city on the back of the immortal dragon Shou-Lao the Undying, revealing it had defeated the Phoenix in a past incarnation. While Cyclops defeats the dragon, Hope is able to absorb its power and defeat Cyclops who then goes to seek the other remaining portion of the Phoenix Force possessed by Emma Frost.[65] Emma Frost had been using the Phoenix Force to control all of Utopia, read the thoughts of everyone on the planet, take vengeance on anyone who had ever harmed a mutant and dismantle all Sentinels.[66] In a clash against the Avengers and the X-Men with both remaining Phoenix hosts increasingly hostile towards the other, Cyclops defeats Emma and elevates to the level of Dark Phoenix, killing Professor X in the process.[67]

In the final issue, the X-Men and the Avengers battle the Dark Phoenix, but they lose ground swiftly as the Dark Phoenix starts to burn the world. As a last resort, Captain America sends in Hope and Scarlet Witch, who together manage to take down the Dark Phoenix, while Jean Grey appears within Cyclops' mind and convinces him to let go of the Phoenix Force. The Phoenix escapes Cyclops' body and enters Hope Summers'. Together, Hope and the Scarlet Witch wish away the Phoenix Force and the damage it caused, in the process activating the X-gene that allowed the creation of new mutants around the world.[68]

Even with the Phoenix gone, its effects remain in various ways, with four of the former Phoenix Five—Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus and Magik—suffering from various problems with their powers as well as Magneto, due to his prolonged time on Utopia. Cyclops and Magneto's control over their abilities has regressed back to the level of control that they had possessed in their first appearances, Emma Frost retains her diamond form but only has erratic control over her telepathy,[69] and Colossus' body fluctuates between his organic and his metal parts rather than completely transforming into one or the other.[70] And, while Magik's powers initially appeared to have been increased to the point where she can channel the power of Limbo on her own,[71] a confrontation with Dormammu revealed that her new power was actually destroying Limbo each time she used it.[72] However, it was later revealed that the power disruptions experienced by Cyclops, Emma, Colossus, Magik and Magneto were actually the result of nano-sentinels unleashed on them by Dark Beast.[73]

Simultaneously, while spending some time in deep space, Iron Man helps to defend an ancient planet from space pirates. His selfless acts of heroism win him the heart of a beautiful princess, but he is later confronted by robotic police officers looking to arrest Stark for deicide. Before he is able to escape the planet, Stark realizes that the planet's people, known as the Voldi, worship the Phoenix Force and his hand in its disappearance has angered the population.[74]

Time Runs Out and Secret Wars

At some point during the Time Runs Out storyline, Cyclops acquired a Phoenix Egg that he holds in reserve, hoping to use it to end the Incursions.[75]

During the Secret Wars storyline, Cyclops is standing on top of the Phoenix Egg during the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610. Cyclops eventually uses the Phoenix Egg to become one with the Phoenix Force again and uses his powers to decimate the Children of Tomorrow.[76] After the realities collapsed together, the Phoenix-Cyclops was one of the few survivors to come through the Incursion with full memory of what had come before, proclaiming that resurrection was the goal of their mission,[77] but he was killed by God Emperor Doom in a subsequent confrontation.[78]

All New, All Different Marvel

It has since been revealed that thousands of years ago, the civilization of planet Maveth was able to create a bomb that, when used, scorched the entire surface of the planet, killing all life within a generation; however, a second bomb was discovered by Gamora (who had been apparently contacted by the bomb itself after she had submitted to The Black Vortex) and Kitty Pryde to be hidden in the tomb of Maveth's king, which in turn was also being sought by the Chitauri. To Kitty's surprise, the bomb was actually an artifact that contained a fragment of the Phoenix Force. In order to escape from the Chitauri alive, Kitty accidentally activated the bomb, which killed the Chitauri and apparently released the fragment of the Phoenix Force into the Universe again.[79]

The deities of the Shi'ar, Sharra, and K'ythri, can summon at will the entity and consider itself as their sister.[80]

Under unknown circumstances, Terrax the Tamer acquired a Phoenix Egg and stored it on his warship. Thane eventually learned about this, and deceived his allies (the Champion, Starfox and Nebula) into helping him invade Terrax's warship to steal the egg.[81] After being shot and killed by Nebula, Thane managed to open the egg and become the new host of the Phoenix. Using his new powers, Thane defeated his own father and conquered the Black Quadrant.[82] When Thane decided to finally kill Thanos, he found him and the two fought, resulting in them falling into the entrance to the God Quarry.[83] Inside, the Coven sensed the Phoenix Force inside of Thane and separated it from him so that Thane could fight his father as the man he truly is. The Phoenix Force flew off and presumably left the God Quarry.[84]

Psych War

While on a solo mission against the Wrecking Crew, teen Jean receives a vision that the Phoenix Force is coming back to Earth[85] and determined to not succumb to the fate that befell her adult counterpart, Jean tries to fight the future and forge her own destiny, and when the Phoenix finally arrives, teen Jean, backed by a host of former Phoenix Force wielders, Emma Frost, Quentin Quire, Hope Summers, the Stepford Cuckoos and even the spirit of the adult Jean Grey, tries to defy destiny and stop the Phoenix before it can take her over and bent her to its will and while she is able to wound the Phoenix with the aid of Cable's Psi-mitar, the Phoenix seems just too strong for anyone to overcome. Teen Jean eventually managed to push the cosmic force far away from her friends and allies, where a final battle can take place. However, both Jean Greys soon realize how wrong they were, as the Phoenix was never coming for teen Jean, at least not like they believed. Actually, the Phoenix wants the adult Jean, but to do that it needs the young Jean out of the way. Thus, the force floods her body with flaming psychic energy, incinerating her from the inside out, leaving only a skeleton.[86]

Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey

Strange psychic occurrences around the world, which includes a large bird flaring out from the sun and an explosion on the moon, raises red flags for the X-Men, who quickly launch an investigation on these events.[87] After a string of bizarre encounters with familiar enemies, many of them considered deceased, the X-Men come to one conclusion, the Phoenix Force is back on Earth.[88] The X-Men also discover that psychics are going missing or falling ill, which prompts the team to investigate the grave of Jean Grey. As they find the coffin of their long-dead teammate empty, they race to locate the Phoenix Force before it can find a suitable host. As it turns out, with the time-displaced teen Jean Grey out of the Phoenix Force's way, the cosmic entity had already resurrected the present adult Jean Grey. However, she does not recall her life as a mutant and an X-Man, and terrible visions from her previous life have left Jean unsure of the differences between reality and fiction.[89] As she lays inside of what appears to be a Phoenix Egg, the X-Men theorize that the strange psychic occurrences are subconscious cries for help made by Jean Grey and must try to stop the Phoenix Force from merging with their old friend.[90] Old Man Logan is able to make Jean Grey remember her true life and as she learns about the fate of her family and several friends, among them Cyclops, Jean faces the Phoenix Force and is finally able to convince the cosmic entity to stop bringing her back as its avatar and to let her go. Alive once again, Jean is reunited with her friends as the Phoenix Force journeys back into space.[91]

Returning to Earth

However its time in space is too brief as Namor embittered by the surface world's reckless disregard for his underwater kingdom beckons the Phoenix Force to Earth and vows to sacrifice every part of himself to reunite with the entity once more. Namor even makes the proposal that if the Phoenix helps him lay waste to the Avengers, then he will help it set the galaxies ablaze.[92] However the Phoenix chooses Moon Knight as its new host instead, allowing the misguided hero to get out from Khonshu's sway, but also provides him with an insane amount of tempting power that is really problematic considering Moon Knight's mental instability. As the Fist of the Phoenix, Moon Knight rejects Khonshu as his master, uppercutting Khonshu with the full might of the Phoenix Force, sending him crashing back down to Earth and losing his hold over Thor's hammer Mjolnir as well. Moon Knight determines that the new age will now belong to him instead. Once on the ground, Black Panther and Ghost Rider get to work, calling back the Spirit of Vengeance, Iron Fist and Eye of Agamotto out of Khonshu's grasp. With that, the Avengers assemble and Khonshu's forces begin to weaken. However, Moon Knight is still floating up in the atmosphere, reacting and dwelling on the new power that now lies within him. The voices in Moon Knight's head suggest that if he were to burn the world with the Phoenix Force, the parasite of humanity would be purged and he would be a hero that saved the world. It's in this moment of the voices in his head telling him to raze the planet that Moon Knight understands that he has truly lost his mind. After he reignites the sun and Thor breaks free from his entrapment with his hammer regained, Moon Knight almost welcomes the beating he gets from Thor, and the Phoenix Force subsequently leaves him as its host.[93] However instead of returning to space, the Phoenix remains on Earth to find a new avatar.[94]


  • Jean Grey: The most powerful and complete Phoenix Force and Host combination. Together they have become the White Phoenix of the Crown.[95] Death has stated that Jean is the rightful owner of the Phoenix Force and the embodiment of the Phoenix.[96] Jean is later revived to be a full host for the Phoenix Force, but she is able to convince the cosmic entity to stop repeatedly returning her to her life and let her go so she could live as she wanted.[91]
    • Time-Displaced Jean Grey: Hosted a spark of the Phoenix that enabled her to be transported to the White Hot Room when the Phoenix Force killed her as it did not considered her a true host, since Jean had conspired against the Phoenix from the beginning. The Phoenix Force was, however, forced to resurrect the Time-Displaced Jean Grey in order to expel her from the White Hot Room.[97]
  • Rook'shir: A Shi'ar that wielded the Phoenix Force through the Blade of the Phoenix. He almost decimated the Shi'ar Empire.[7]
  • Feron: Ancestor of the modern-day Feron whose daydream-like visions prompted the Phoenix to adopt the firebird form it has today.[98]
  • Necrom: Stole a fraction of the Phoenix Force from Feron that would be later known as the Anti-Phoenix.[99]
    • Anti-Phoenix: A corpse which was animated and incubated the fraction of the Phoenix Force that Necrom stole from Feron, along with a portion of his own life essence for future use.[100]
  • Fongji: Not much is known about this red-haired girl, who lived in K'un-Lun centuries ago and was trained in the ways of the Iron Fist, as all of the previous guardians of K'un-Lun decided to keep her existence and the Phoenix Force's connection to the legacy of the Iron Fist a secret until the time of its next return.[101] Her name means bird of fire.[102]
  • Madelyne Pryor: A clone of Jean Grey that was brought to life by a fraction of the Phoenix Force.[103] Sinister later created six clones of Madelyne to take the energies from the Phoenix Five (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Namor and Magik), and while they managed to siphon some of the energy from the Phoenix, the entity eventually burns away the Madelyne clones and frees the Phoenix Five, who then incinerated Mister Sinister and his whole city.[104]
  • Rachel Summers: Daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers from an alternate timeline. Has been referred to as "The One True Phoenix".[105] Rachel is the longest Earth-born host of the Phoenix and she never became Dark Phoenix.[106] She mysteriously lost her connection to the fragment of the "blue" Phoenix within her, while at the same time the "hound" markings reappeared on Rachel's face.[107]
  • Professor X: Charles Xavier briefly possessed an echo of the Phoenix Force during his time with the Starjammers.[108]
  • Diamanda Nero: She briefly became the host of the Phoenix after her fight with Rachel. However, she was not truly able to contain the Phoenix.[32]
  • Prime: Prime was briefly possessed by the Phoenix Force while it was in the Malibu Universe.[109]
  • Amber Hunt: was possessed by the Phoenix Force while it was in the Malibu Universe and retained her Phoenix-enhanced power levels even after the entity returned to Earth-616.[110] She would eventually lose this power enhancement when Maxis absorbed the Phoenix energy and used it to permanently stabilize its humanoid shape, without the need for a host body to form around.[111]
  • Foxfire: Siphoned some of the energy from the Phoenix while it was in the Malibu Universe, and has a small portion of the Phoenix Force bonded to her at a sub-atomic level.[112]
  • Quentin Quire: Reconstituted his body using a fragment of the shattered Phoenix Force when it came to Earth but the Phoenix eventually left him to his "sickness".[113] He later became the host of the Phoenix Force during the "Asgard/Shi'ar War" and was even asked to become the New God of the Shi'ar, as the Phoenix.[114] This arrangement apparently did not last, though, as Quentin appeared back on Earth,[115] possessing only a shard of the Phoenix Force that he had to let go of to use it to save Jubilee from certain death.[116]
  • Emma Frost: Emma Frost has become the host for the Phoenix Force on two occasions. In the first instance she was not truly able to contain it, stating that she was not "strong" enough.[117] Greg Pak later elaborated on this in an interview after the second series X-Men: Phoenix – Warsong that "perhaps the Phoenix requires a willingness to open oneself up or give oneself away" in a way that Emma at the time could not, which is why Celeste Cuckoo was the only Emma Frost clone to truly become Phoenix.[118] She would later become a true host to the Phoenix (see Phoenix Five).
  • Stepford Cuckoos: Possessed a fraction of the Phoenix Force that they had to imprison inside of their diamond hearts.[119] Yet the Cuckoos later mysteriously lost their connection to the Phoenix fragment, as the fragment escaped their diamond hearts, leaving for parts unknown.[44]
  • Korvus: Descendant of Rook'shir. Wielder of the Blade of the Phoenix.[120] Currently the Blade is powerless after the connection to the Phoenix fragment was somehow lost.[107]
  • Captain Marvel: Resurrected by a fragment of the Phoenix Force.[121] He later willingly allowed the Phoenix to reclaim the fragment, which killed him in the process.[122]
  • The Phoenix Five: During the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, the Phoenix Force nears Earth but the Avengers fearing the entity, made Iron Man and Giant-Man prepare a disruptor weapon to kill the Phoenix Force, which instead of killing it, the blast alters the entity and divides it into five fragments that forcefully bonds with:[61]
    • Namor: Possessed by a fragment of the Phoenix Force, he would be the first one to lose it after he was defeated by the Avengers.[63]
    • Magik: Possessed by a fragment of the Phoenix Force that eventually left her after Spider-Man baits her and Colossus into taking each other out.[64]
    • Colossus: Possessed by a fragment of the Phoenix Force that eventually left him after Spider-Man baits him and Magik into taking each other out.[64]
    • Emma Frost: Possessed a second time by a fragment of the Phoenix Force, whom it refers to Frost as its "beloved child" after she alerts it to Mister Sinister's plot after the Phoenix Five were captured during the attack on Sinister London.[44] Frost's half of the Phoenix Force was later stolen by Cyclops to increase his power during the final battle with the Avengers and X-Men.[67]
    • Cyclops: Possessed by a fragment of the Phoenix Force, he was the last one to fall under the corrupted influence of the Phoenix Force and becomes Dark Phoenix after hosting all five fragments,[67] but Jean Grey's essence convinces him to let the Phoenix leave his body, as he is attacked by Hope Summers and the Scarlet Witch.[68] He later acquired the Phoenix Egg,[75] and uses it to become one with the Phoenix Force again in order to decimate the Children of Tomorrow during the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610,[76] retaining the Phoenix even after the remaining universes crashed together,[77] but eventually lost it when he was killed by Doctor Doom.[78] The Phoenix Force temporarily resurrected Scott in an attempt to convince Jean Grey to accept the entity, but was soon afterwards returned to the dead when she refused. However, an alternate version of Cable had made arrangements to place a device near Scott's heart that siphoned some of the Phoenix's energy when it resurrected him, which allowed Scott's rebirth.
  • Hope Summers: According to Cable and later confirmed by the Scarlet Witch, the so called "mutant messiah" is the incarnation of the Phoenix Force itself, which explains her resemblance to Jean Grey, and for that same reason, she is able to let its powers go.[68] Hope and the Phoenix temporarily became the White Phoenix.[68]
  • Thane: The half-Inhuman son of Thanos, the Mad Titan. He became a host of the Phoenix Force after his death and subsequent rebirth managed to open a Phoenix Egg. He would lose his connection to the Phoenix when the Coven separated it from him when he and his father would have one last fight in the God Quarry.[123]
  • Lady Phoenix: The Phoenix Force came to Earth during the Stone Age, used a red-haired prehistoric woman as its host and joined the Stone Age incarnation of the Avengers. Its only known fight was with an out-of-control Celestial called the Fallen. The Stone Age Avengers defeated the Fallen and sealed it underground in what would become South Africa.[5] It's believed that during this time, she and Odin who was also among this incarnation of the Avengers shared a romantic relationship.[124]

Other characters were only possessed by the Phoenix Force during out-of-continuity tales. This includes Franklin Richards,[125] Nightcrawler,[126] Storm,[127] Wolverine,[128] Thor,[129] Cosmic Ghost Rider[130] and Gabriel Summers,[131] in separate What If... stories, as well as Cyclops in the X-Men / Teen Titans inter-company crossover.[132] Quentin Quire was revealed to be a host in the Here Comes Tomorrow storyline and in the visions of Deathlok,[133] and in the timeline of Nocturne, the Phoenix Force possessed Colossus's soulless body and reshaped it into a female form.[134]

Powers and abilities

The Phoenix Force can manipulate cosmic energies and tap into the life-force reserved for future generations, thus denying them existence. It can wield this energy to project beams of immense destructive force. It can migrate throughout time and space by folding its energy back into itself, causing it to collapse akin to a black hole and then reform itself upon reaching its destination. It can directly absorb energy such as Cyclops' optic blasts or absorb the energy and life-force from a foe. As it is the nexus of all psionic energy, it has mental abilities of cosmic scope, including telepathy and telekinesis.

It allows its preferred host to perform cosmic pyrokinesis, as it allows Lady Phoenix from 1,000,000 BC Avengers to perform preternatural flames that can melt supernovas.[135] As for Jean Grey, it allows her to perform cosmic pyrokinesis strong enough to easily defeat Terrax, as she is in complete control of her own cosmic fire that after Terrax submits to his defeat, the fire dissipates at her will leaving him charred. She also does the cosmic fire blast to counter Galactus, as he is quickly engulfed in her cosmic flames before he counters her.[136] In some conditions, even just a bit of cosmic fire can easily burn anything it comes into contact, as when it possesses young Jean Grey the medics tried to put oxygen equipment on her yet she unconsciously melt the equipment. When she is accidentally on fire, the medics are also having hard times to put out the cosmic fire.[137]

The extent of the Phoenix Force's abilities has not been fully clarified. Jean Grey as The White Phoenix of the Crown was able to change the future of a universe by reaching back in time and pushing her husband Cyclops to move on with his life.[138]

Another major display of the power of the Phoenix was during the Secret Wars II, when the nearly omnipotent Beyonder wanted to destroy all life. Rachel Summers, who was the avatar of the Phoenix Force at that time, sought to kill the Beyonder. The Beyonder expressed both amazement and disappointment to Rachel, claiming that she denies herself her own glory when she can be so much more. With that, the Beyonder gave Rachel the full access to the power of the Phoenix as well as some of his own. With such power, Rachel was able to absorb the consciousness of every sentient mortal being in the universe, and when expelling the sum total of the power back at the Beyonder, the input felt overwhelming even to his senses.[139]

The Phoenix often seeks hosts with strong inherent psionic abilities so they can withstand its power. When the Phoenix Force enters a host, a small fragment of its power is left behind when it leaves. Even a small fragment can be stronger than an inexperienced host using the Phoenix Force's powers; as seen by Rachel Summers, who had full access to the Force, but her opponent Necrom threw moons at her with only a fragment.[issue # needed] When bonded with a host, the Phoenix Force amplifies their abilities to incalculable levels. It can manipulate matter on a sub-atomic level and transmute elements, like turning wood to gold or stone to crystal; on a smaller scale, it can alter the molecular fabrics.[140] It can teleport others across space and open interdimensional portals to instantly access distant portions of the Universe. If an avatar of the Phoenix Force is harmed or killed, it will form an "egg" of cosmic power, incubate in the White Hot Room, and hatch out completely healed. Also, as one of the oldest cosmic beings the Phoenix Force possesses a high level of cosmic awareness and prescience.

Other versions

31st century

Giraud, the 9th Phoenix

In the 31st century in the Guardians of the Galaxy comics series, ordinary human Giraud of New Haven becomes host to the Phoenix Force. As Phoenix, Giraud is a rarity for a Phoenix host; since he is an ordinary human with no active magic or psionic abilities—only those powers granted him directly by the Phoenix Force.[issue # needed] However, the Phoenix Force spoke to Giraud directly, telling him that he did, in fact, have latent psi-abilities, and it was that latent psi-potential that drew it to him.[issue # needed]

Age of Apocalypse

In the Age of Apocalypse reality, after Jean Grey's death at the hands of Havok, nuclear bombs set to destroy America were suddenly destroyed by a bird-like display of fiery psionic power. It was Jean, awakened as the Phoenix (known as "Mutant Alpha", the legendary ultimate mutant). Sinister captured Phoenix, and brainwashed her into becoming one of his Sinister Six. He then turned Phoenix against the X-Men, displaying the personality of Dark Phoenix. Phoenix generated so much heat that even Sunfire was nearly burned to death, but Psylocke used her psychic knife to bring her to her senses. Jean used the Phoenix Force to incinerate her former "master", and became leader of the X-Men in Magneto's absence.

Amalgam Comics

The Jean Grey version of Phoenix with is combined with DC Comics character Fire to make Firebird in JLX #1.[141] She was subsequently brainwashed into becoming the Dark Firebird.[142] The Rachel Summers version of Phoenix was combined with Legion of Super-Heroes member Kinetix to make Phoenetix in Spider-Boy Team-Up #1.[143]

Earth X

Though the origins and history of Phoenix of Earth-9997 match that of her Earth-616 counterpart, the following information has been revealed by both 3-D Man (Kyle Richmond) and the Watchman (X-51): The Phoenix Force was originally a citizen of the first universe that existed prior to the Big Bang that created the current universe in which Earth-9997 resides. This original universe collapsed due to the manipulations and reproduction of the Celestial race. There were a number of survivors who were referred to as "The Elders of the Universe", the Phoenix Force being one of these elders. It was later revealed that the Elders plotted to reunify the fragmented universe (and all its parallel universe and alternate history counterparts) through the Realm of the Dead and with the aid of Death.[issue # needed]

The Phoenix Force was a part of this plot to reverse the damage the Celestials had already created. It was foreseen that eventually Death would be destroyed and that an Elder of the Universe would have to live in the Realm of the Dead in order to facilitate the collection of souls, which was at least one important step in reunifying the broken universe. As the Elders were all nearly immortal and could not die, the Phoenix Force had to bond itself to a being that would be capable of sacrificing itself for others. This being was Jean Grey of the X-Men, who during a mission in space was the lone pilot of a space shuttle traveling through a radiation storm while her comrades were in a shielded room. Unable to bond with the severely burned body of Jean Grey, it became a binary being with her, assuming her identity, personality and physical form and sealing her charred body in a cocoon to heal. When the shuttle crashed the cocoon remained at the bottom of Jamaica Bay, and the Phoenix Force took Jean's place.[issue # needed]

Eventually the Phoenix sacrificed her life and the real Jean Grey returned. The Phoenix ended up in Death's realm, still in the guise of Jean Grey, and was one of the few beings in this realm that were aware that they were indeed dead (Citizens in the Realm of the Dead believe that they and those are around them are still alive, while others who are not present are deceased). She eventually joined up with Mar-Vel's army to battle Death and her army. During this time, Scott Summers (new Mr. S, leader of the X-Men, who was assisting Mar-Vel in the land of the living) was able to establish a mental rapport with the Phoenix and kept him informed as to the goings on in the Realm of the Dead and (later) Mar-Vel's Paradise. This soon became a great aid to Reed Richards and others who were trying to determine why the mortally wounded would no longer die following Death's death.[issue # needed]

After the creation of Mar-Vel's Paradise, Phoenix became one of the Avenging Host, a group of former champions who were transmogrified by technology once belonging to the High Evolutionary. They were to act as guardian angels to those in Paradise and help those in the Realm of the Dead realize that they were indeed dead so that they could travel over to Paradise and live out their perfect afterlife. During her time as one of the Avenging Host, its members began to doubt Mar-Vel's intentions, believing that he was no aware that he had no idea what occurred outside Paradise, that as it grew it threatened to consume the Negative Zone. Their doubts in Mar-Vel's quest were further strengthened when they began to realize that no new dead were appearing in Death's former realm. Phoenix would relay this information to Scott Summers, prompting the heroes of Earth-9997 to seek out Jude, the Entropic Man to become the new death. When Cap, 3-D Man, Comet Man, Benny Becksley and Thanos learned that each "Paradise" created for the realms citizens were simply wish fulfillment, the Avenging Host aided in freeing each citizen from their private "heaven" and resolved to confront Mar-Vel about his intentions.[issue # needed]

The host (and Rick Jones) were all summoned and put on trial by Mar-Vel. Confronted by Mar-Vel with Captain America, Phoenix and the rest of the host were killed by their leader when Cap refused to take Mar-Vel's power. Shortly after their death, the Kree army invaded Paradise and a large battle erupted. During the combat, Reed Richards arrived from the Negative Zone and confronted Mar-Vel himself. During their talk, Mar-Vel resurrected the Avenging Host to aid the citizens of Paradise defeat the Kree invaders. After the battles conclusion, Reed Richards being given the cosmic consciousness and Mar-Vel leaving Paradise, Phoenix's current whereabouts are unknown. It is presumable that she remains in Paradise guarding those who have chosen to remain in this realm.[issue # needed]

Legacy of Fire

In a reality similar to the Marvel Mangaverse, the Phoenix Force is not just an entity, but a weapon. The Phoenix Sword as it was called was guarded and wielded by the sorceress Madelyne Pyre, who inherited the sword from her mother. When Madelyne's time as wielder of the sword was nearly up, she trained little sister Jena in the arts of fighting and magic. When their reality's version of Shadow King stole the Phoenix Sword, Jena tried to get it back, and Shadow King stabbed her with the sword. But in doing so, he inadvertently passed the powers of the Phoenix Sword to the dying Jena, who became the Phoenix Force's first host. She used the powers of Phoenix to vanquish Shadow King, and is now the guardian of her dimension.[144]

Marvel Zombies

Phoenix appears in the Marvel Zombies 2 mini-series. The zombie survivors of the first series, who now possess the powers of Galactus, have been joined by other "cosmic level" zombies including an unnamed Dark Phoenix who appears to be Jean Grey. She is responsible, along with the others for eating most of the sentient life in the universe. A long trip back to earth and a delaying action fought by the last human colony leads to Jean and the others regaining their sense of morality and control over their own hunger. In fighting to defend the colony, Jean is destroyed by the hunger crazed Hulk.[145]

Ultimate Marvel


The Phoenix being attacked by its creations

In the Ultimate Universe, Jean Grey was placed in a mental institute after she began hearing voices and seeing visions of an omnipotent Phoenix God. After her release, she later thought she had contacted a celestial God-entity that destroyed worlds.[issue # needed]

As a result, the Hellfire Club believed that it would be in their best interests to summon the Phoenix and merge it with Jean Grey via a ritual. With Jean acting as the Phoenix Force's human avatar, she would be worshipped in a greater world. While the ritual was successful, the Phoenix had different plans and promptly slew the Hellfire Club. In the Ultimate X-Men: Hellfire and Brimstone arc, the Phoenix Force makes its first appearance as the entity/personality within Jean's body.[issue # needed]

Subsequently, Jean managed to gain some control over Phoenix, though not without using dangerous amounts of its power and causing extreme destruction. In the process, she telekinetically lifted a mass of land and atomized it, destroyed a helicopter and ten men within, created a giant Phoenix Raptor, and subdued a woman named Spiral.[issue # needed]

Charles Xavier was confronted by Lilandra Neramani, the leader of a religious group known as the Church of Shi'ar Enlightenment, who worship a God known as the Phoenix. Lilandra claims that the Phoenix God is the force that created life itself, first creating the stars, planets, as well as everything else in the universe. Many millennia later, the Phoenix created life-forms on those planets and watched them grow and prosper. However, as time went by, the civilizations grew more advanced and sophisticated, and soon became jealous of the Phoenix. They wanted its raw, unimaginable, and limitless power for themselves. Soon after, the inhabitants of the planets waged war upon the Phoenix, trying to control it, as well as its power. They amassed a great army, bringing together a hundred civilizations. But the Phoenix fought strongly for thousands of years until the life-forms found a way to imprison it since it could not be killed. But as conventional methods could not imprison it, they created a vortex to suck in the asteroids and planets around it, creating a spherical cage, but at a cost—the Phoenix would be trapped in it forever. As the millennia went by, the Phoenix Force's cage began to evolve; oceans formed, mountains rose, plants grew and life-forms began to sprout upon it. Soon those life-forms evolved into humans and the cage in which the Phoenix resided became known as Earth. The Shi'ar Church believed that the Phoenix was the very core of the planet.[issue # needed]

As a result of their meeting, Lilandra asks for permission to study Jean Grey to determine whether or not she truly is the embodiment of the Phoenix Force. During the examination, the Phoenix entity apparently asserts itself in an evil form but is seemingly suppressed by Professor Xavier's more experienced psychic powers and his emotional outreach to Jean Grey's normal personality.[issue # needed]

After the suppression of what seems to be the Phoenix Force, Lilandra and Charles are informed by Gerald, Lilandra's assistant, that Jean's test has proven to be negative. Gerald also reveals that Jean Grey's parents have a connection to the Shi'ar Church and postulates that Jean's subconscious has manifested a false Phoenix persona after being subjected to Phoenix Force stories in her youth. Feeling that she has lost her mind, Jean slips into a depressed state and begins seeing green creatures latched on to her body. However, it is then revealed to the reader that Jean has actually tested positive as the carrier of the Phoenix Force and Gerald has covered it up under orders from his actual superiors: the Hellfire Club.[issue # needed]

Jean soon learned to control the powers of the Phoenix more and more. When Apocalypse prepared to kill Xavier, Jean accepts the Phoenix, creating a humanoid fiery entity whose power was able to bring down the ancient being. She alters reality completely and resets time to undo the damage done by Apocalypse and supposedly by Professor Xavier.[issue # needed]

In Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four Annual #1, a teenage Franklin Richards is shown to be host to the Phoenix, and a member of that timeline's X-Men.[125]


In Marvel 1602, Jean, who disguised herself as a man in this series, dies of sickness on Carlos Javier's ship. As a funeral, this version of Angel carries Jean's corpse into the sky, where 1602 Cyclops tearfully burns her to ashes with his eye beams. The fire briefly formed a shape similar to the Phoenix before vanishing.[issue # needed]

X-Men: No More Humans

When Raze—the future son of Wolverine and Mystique, now trapped in the present—attempted to force the X-Men to accept his new 'status quo' by teleporting all humans off Earth and summoning other mutants from worlds where they were being oppressed, one of the mutants he summoned to be a member of his new Brotherhood was a Jean Grey who was still in her 'Dark Phoenix' state, barely under the control of her world's Mastermind. However, when she confronted the temporally displaced Jean Grey, the younger Jean was able to appeal to her Dark Phoenix self to help them undo Raze's actions and save the displaced humans while also creating a new Earth in a pocket dimension for the refugee mutants.[146]

What If?

The Phoenix has been the subject of What If on a number of occasions.

  • The timeline shown in What If? vol. 2 #32 and #33 diverged from the main timeline just before the Phoenix dies. Rather than committing suicide, the Phoenix was given a psychic lobotomy by the Shi'ar and returned to Earth with the X-Men, to live as Jean Grey. Phoenix and Cyclops got married, and Phoenix gave birth to Rachel Summers. Phoenix refused Magneto's offer to restore her powers, not wanting to become a monster again, but eventually regained her powers during an encounter with Mastermind. In a fit of despair Phoenix then killed the real Jean Grey, who was still lying in stasis at the bottom of the sea. When the rest of the X-Men discovered that "Jean" had become the Phoenix again she left them to be alone, but returned to save them from an attack by the Sentinels. Scott and Phoenix reconciled, but Destiny told Phoenix that she only saw death in her future if she tried to remain among mortals and so the Phoenix left the Earth to wander the universe alone.[147]
  • The timeline shown in What If? vol. 2 #79 diverged from the main reality on the fateful day when the X-Men's shuttle passed through cosmic radiation during re-entry to Earth. Jean Grey had been knocked out and could no longer pilot anymore. So it was Storm who volunteered to steer the capsule with her elemental powers. However, she was not as successful as Jean, and all of the X-Men, except for Wolverine, died during the crash. Storm seemingly survived and emerged from the wreckage as Stormphoenix, now displaying absolute control over all aspects of the weather.She erected a benevolent dictatorship on Earth, drawing young mutants to her side and freezing the super-beings who opposed her in the atmosphere. As she grew more cruel and detached from humanity, the remaining heroes—as well as her acolyte, Kitty, and her mentor, Ahadi—hatched a plan to get rid of her. They examined the space capsule and found the real Storm, who had been placed in a healing cocoon and submerged in the Hudson Bay. Kitty took over her body and they confronted Stormphoenix as the fake she was. Shocked back to its senses, the Phoenix left Earth, but the real Storm died in the process.[148]
  • The What If? X-Men: Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire looks at what would have happened if Vulcan had inherited the powers of Phoenix via the M'Kraan Crystal. In this reality it was Vulcan who ended up inside the M'Kraan Crystal, instead of Professor X. Through the M'Kraan Crystal, Vulcan ascends to the White Hot Room where he meets the Phoenix Corps, one of them being Kid Omega, who says that Vulcan does not belong there. Vulcan takes Kid Omega's powers. He slays all the Phoenix Corps taking all their powers along. He goes out of the Crystal and takes the pieces of the Phoenix Force out of Rachel and Korvus. Wielding supposedly the full Phoenix Force, he soon destroys the Shi'ar Empire, Xavier, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Warpath, Darwin, the Starjammers, Gladiator and Lilandra. Only Rachel and Havok survive, because they escape through a teleportation portal that mysteriously appears next to them. They are not sure who or what caused a stargate to seemingly open. Then Vulcan destroys one third of the Annihilation Wave along with Annihilus himself. Nova pleads to Ronan the Accuser to escape. However, like he did to the Shi'ar Empire, Vulcan destroys the Kree Empire. The Watchers comment, that the Phoenix "consumed" a galaxy, it was the 7th galaxy to fall. Rachel and Havok arrived at Earth and with Cyclops and Cable engage Vulcan. The match takes place in the island that was torn to pieces, Krakoa; however, apparently wielding the Phoenix Force holds no limits to what it can do as Krakoa is now alive and intact. However, as the battle erupts Vulcan begins to lose control. Rachel warns Gabriel, that the Phoenix Force reacts poorly to negative emotions. The consequences of losing total control will not only consume himself but the entire reality. Finally letting go of the rage and hate he holds, he proceeds to halt his rampage, and accept his death. As Vulcan, now a child once again, ascends to the White Hot Room, he meets none other than Jean Grey who is the White Phoenix of the Crown. Soon all the actions are revealed as it turns out it was Jean that opened the teleportation portal so Rachel and Havok could escape to Earth; she also prevented Vulcan from having access to the full Phoenix Force and also shows Gabriel that wielding the ultimate power would not give him what he truly wanted, which was being loved. He's comforted by Jean who jokingly tells him that she always had a soft spot for Summers men.[149]


Phoenix has appeared in the following intercompany crossovers:

In other media


The Phoenix's power displayed via Jean Grey in the X-Men animated series

  • The entire saga of the Phoenix is retold and adapted in the third season of the X-Men animated series, subdivided into the five-part "Phoenix Saga", in which Jean Grey (voiced by Catherine Disher[citation needed]) acquires the power of the Phoenix and the battle for the M'Kraan Crystal occurs, and the "Dark Phoenix Saga", showcasing the battle with the Hellfire Club, the Phoenix Force's transformation into Dark Phoenix (voiced by Tracey Moore[citation needed]), and the battle to decide her fate. These particular episodes are as close as the cartoon came to directly duplicating the comic book storylines—the "Dark Phoenix Saga" is so accurate to the original stories that the episodes have the additional credit, "Based on stories by Chris Claremont". Notably, however, as the Phoenix Force retcon had occurred before the creation of the series, the episodes were made with this change in mind—rather than having Jean develop her powers independently (as was the original intent of the comics), or be replaced by the cosmic Phoenix Force entity (as events were later retconned), the two concepts were merged, into Jean's actual body being possessed by the Phoenix Force, leading to a true struggle between two independent entities. Jean is shown piloting a shuttle, and when her telekenetic shield fails Phoenix enters her body. Rather than destroying an inhabited system—which was the cause for the decision to kill off the character in the comics—the animated story had her destroy a deserted system and only disable the attacking Shi'ar cruiser. These changes made it possible for aspects of the original ending of Uncanny X-Men #137, in which Jean survives, to be used. Jean does still commit suicide (taking control of the Shi'ar's laser beam to fire on herself, rather than finding an ancient weapon), but with her death, the Phoenix Force is purified, and then uses its powers to resurrect Jean, drawing on the combined life-force of the assembled X-Men to bring her back to life. Jean retained her original basic powers, whereas in the aborted comic book ending, she would have been lobotomized by the Shi'ar and lost them entirely.
  • The Phoenix Force makes a cameo appearance in the last episode of X-Men: Evolution. During a confrontation with Professor X as a Horsemen of Apocalypse, the Phoenix briefly forms from Jean Grey's shield made during their psychic battle. Following Apocalypse's defeat, her other cameo is part of Professor X's glimpse of the future, and shows her host screaming out as the Phoenix.[151]
  • The Phoenix makes an appearance in the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series. In this series, the Phoenix Force is an entity that has afflicted psychic mutants since the Homo Superior race first appeared. It enters the host at birth, growing with it. Once they reach maturity, the Phoenix Force takes over the host, going on to cause mass destruction.[152] It is revealed that it was Jean who caused the explosion at the Xavier Institute as she transforms into The Phoenix. Initially, Emma Frost's own intent was to use the Stepford Cuckoos to lure the Phoenix out of Jean Grey's body to prevent any damage. However, the Hellfire Club reveal their intention to take the power for themselves. Jean and Cyclops end up fighting the Phoenix themselves head on, risking it devastating the planet and creating the future that the X-Men had been trying to prevent, but Wolverine (originally angered about Emma betraying the X-Men's trust) is able to trust in Emma again, allowing her to get to the fight so that Emma can seemingly sacrifice herself to stop the Phoenix by absorbing it into her body, turning into her diamond form then shattering herself into pieces, thus the Phoenix Force seemingly vanishes without a host.
  • The Phoenix makes appearances in the beginning and final episodes of Marvel Anime: X-Men.


  • Famke Janssen plays Jean Grey in the first three movies. During the 2000 film X-Men, Jean uses Cerebro for the first time, which causes strain on both her mind and abilities, and is affected when Magneto tries to use a machine to turn the world leaders into mutants by said machine's destruction.
  • In the 2003 film X2, a fiery aura appears in Jean's eyes when using her powers, and is engulfed in a fiery aura as she sacrifices herself to hold back a tsunami of water from a burst dam and lift the X-Jet to save the X-Men. In the final scene, a giant flaming bird-shaped object can be seen reflected in the water.[153]

Famke Janssen as Dark Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand

  • The Phoenix appears in the 2006 movie X-Men: The Last Stand. Having survived her supposed death, Jean "becomes" Dark Phoenix, the only known class five mutant. Her mutation was seeded in the unconscious part of her mind, and as such, Professor X feared the great danger of would could happen if she could not control her near-infinite abilities. Trying to prevent that from happening, he used his mutant psionic powers to build several psychic barriers in her mind at a young age in order to isolate most of her powers from her conscious mind. This, however, ended up causing a split in her psyche—between Jean whose limited powers were always in her control, and the dual personality of her dormant side, a purely instinctual, powerful creature that called itself the "Phoenix" with little to no regard toward anyone that Jean cares about. During the movie, with the psychic barriers removed by everything that Jean had gone through in the previous films, Phoenix is eventually able to gain dominance over Jean. First, Phoenix kills Scott Summers (off-screen). Then Phoenix destroys the Professor and joins Magneto. Finally, near the film's end, Phoenix abstains from the battle on Alcatraz until military reinforcements show up and try to shoot Jean; Phoenix enraged gains full control and in its fury demolishes the island, ripping it, everything within range on it and the seawater around it apart on the molecular level, the power of the rampage threatening to bring great destruction. Facing Phoenix alone, Wolverine calls out to Jean, but there is only Phoenix showing contempt for this. As Wolverine climbs the way up, much of Wolverine's flesh is repeatedly and painfully peeled from Adamantium covered bones; the healing factor being the only thing keeping Logan alive. When Wolverine reaches Phoenix, it asks if Logan would die for the rest of humanity, to which Logan tells it and Jean that Logan would only die for her. Logan's heartfelt words pull Jean to the fore; unable to stop Phoenix, she tells Logan to save her. Left with no other choice, Logan, saying that he loves her, stabs Jean with the claws, killing her and ending the destruction. Jean's tombstone lies on the X-Mansion ground, beside the markers of her slain teammates.
  • Jean Grey appears in the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse, portrayed by Sophie Turner.[154] Jean is one of the most ostracized of Charles Xavier's students because she struggles to control her powers as exhibited when she suffers a premonitic nightmare, shaking the school and causing Xavier strain as Charles tries to wake and calm her. In the film's climax during the X-Men's battle against Apocalypse, Xavier tells Apocalypse in an astral battle ground that Charles is not the most powerful psychic. After bringing Jean there, Charles convinces her to unleash the full extent of her powers. She shatters Apocalypse's astral projection, before disintegrating his physical body and finally destroying the ancient mutant, her body surrounded by a flaming bird-shaped aura.
  • The 2019 film Dark Phoenix loosely adapts The Dark Phoenix Saga. Jean loses control of her mental abilities and unleashes the Phoenix.[155] While the original trilogy stated that the Phoenix was 'just' Jean's darker personality traits, here Jean has some difficulties but has generally suppressed them since her childhood. When the X-Men go up to rescue the shuttle Endeavour from an apparent solar flare, Jean is left behind in the shuttle when the 'solar flare' strikes it, only for her body to absorb the energy. Jean is later contacted by Vuk, a member of the D'Bari, an alien race, who claims that her world was destroyed by the "solar flare" that struck Jean, Vuk explaining that it is actually a cosmic force of supreme power, a fragment of the energy of the universe itself, although only Jean has been able to contain and handle its immense power. Vuk attempts to encourage Jean to tap that power, allegedly to move beyond old standards, but really intending to absorb the power herself so that she can remake Earth for her people. With the X-Men's support, Jean is able to harness the power inside her and destroy the D'Bari forces, but subsequently departs Earth (although the flashforward at the end of the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past tells that she will return to Earth).

Video games

  • Jean Grey appears as "Phoenix" in the X-Men: Mutant Academy games for the Sony PlayStation under the codename Phoenix.
  • In X-Men: Next Dimension, several of Jean Grey's powers take base from the Phoenix. The game also includes the Dark Phoenix separately as an unlockable bonus character. Her attacks are mainly related to the Phoenix Force itself. In the hidden cutscene "The Fury of Dark Phoenix", it is revealed that after Jean Grey/Phoenix successful defeats Bastion on Asteroid M, Cyclops will transport to Asteroid M. Before Cyclops and Jean can re-united, Bastion shoots a laser beam at Cyclops, which knocks him outside of Asteroid M into space, instantly killing him. This dramatic events forced the Dark Phoenix to manifest in Jean. As the Dark Phoenix, she screams out "Bastion!" before destroying Asteroid M, which destroys Bastion and presumably killing Wolverine and Magneto, who were also on Asteroid M. From the X-Mansion, Professor Xavier senses the Dark Phoenix. She then transforms into her fiery bird form and destroys the moon, and then proceeds to go on a rampage.
  • In Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, a costume called Spider-Phoenix represents Spider-Man as host of the Phoenix Force. Although Spider-Man cannot use Phoenix's powers in game, the costume grants player Invulnerability as well as greater Strength and Webswing Speed.
  • In X-Men Legends, Jean Grey also appears as a playable character. One of her alternate costumes is a green and yellow/gold Phoenix costume. Her "X-treme attack" is "Phoenix Force".
  • In X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, Jean Grey, who is a playable character, has some attacks related to the Phoenix Force, such as the ability to resurrect another character during game play, and the player can also select for her both the original and Dark Phoenix costumes. In addition to Jean, the PlayStation Portable version of this game also includes the Dark Phoenix separately as an unlockable bonus character. Her attacks are mainly related to the Phoenix Force itself, and is arguably the most powerful playable character in the game.
  • In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, the Dark Phoenix made an appearance in the ending of the game if the player chooses to save Nightcrawler instead of saving Jean in Mephisto's realm. Since Jean Grey does not die in the Infinity Vortex, she will return to Earth in the form of the Dark Phoenix to take vengeance upon those who did not save her.
  • In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, Jean Grey is playable, and has her Phoenix costume as her primary outfit. Two of her 4 power attacks take base from the Phoenix, resulting in fire mixing with telekinesis, and a massive fire blast. She also has an ability that gives her a chance to "resurrect" if knocked out.
  • Jean Grey appears as "Phoenix" as a playable character in the crossover fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. She has the ability to resurrect herself as the Dark Phoenix.
  • Jean Grey appears as "Phoenix" as a playable character in the Adobe Flash network game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Her special abilities take base from the Phoenix. Also, during the game's third Special Operation (inspired by the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline), the Phoenix Force is hosted by Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik and Jean Grey herself (as the Dark Phoenix). The game's Phoenix Five (which has Jean as their fifth member, while the original storyline has Namor as the fifth host) can either be the player's allies or enemies depending on which side the player chooses in the conflict.
  • Phoenix is a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Dark Phoenix is also available via DLC.
  • In Marvel Heroes, Jean Grey is an unlockable character with a power of the Phoenix. The Phoenix Force is represented by a shifting of all of her mental abilities into a fiery representation of the powers the Phoenix wields while Jean herself is enveloped in flames complete with flaming wings. She also has the ability to temporarily shift into the Dark Phoenix for a time. The character herself can be purchased or attained using a character token that can be obtained within the game.


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External links

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