Liam Neeson as Darkman

quarta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2012

X-Men: A Saga da Fénix Negra (The Dark Phoenix Saga)

Info About  The Dark Phoenix Saga:

"The Dark Phoenix Saga" is an extended X-Men storyline in the fictional Marvel Comics Universe, focusing on Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force, and ending in Grey's apparent death. It was written by Chris Claremont with art by Dave Cockrum and John Byrne.
It is sometimes divided into two parts, with the "Phoenix Saga" (The X-Men #101-108, 1976–1977) referring to Grey's seeming assumption of the Phoenix power and the repair of the M'Kraan Crystal, and the "Dark Phoenix Saga" (The X-Men #129-138, 1980) referring to her corruption and fall. It is one of the most well-known and heavily referenced stories in mainstream American superhero comics, and widely considered a classic.[1]
It was adapted for the X-Men animated series, and alluded to in the movie X2: X-Men United. A third movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, released in 2006, contains some elements from the saga. Wolverine and the X-Men adapted the Dark Phoenix Saga at the end of its first season, though it changed many elements of the story.

Plot summary

In comic books, readers know the Phoenix as a psionic cosmic entity linked to Jean Grey. This was not how the character was written in the original story — there, the Phoenix actually was Jean, at the very peak of her power. Returning from a mission in space, the story told of Jean being exposed to the deadly radiation of a solar flare, and briefly attaining her ultimate potential as a telepath and telekinetic. In this moment, Jean became a being of pure thought, and then reformed herself upon return to Earth with the new costume, identity and power of "Phoenix".[2] It was with this incredible power that Jean repaired the fractured M'Kraan Crystal, but voluntarily restrained her powers afterward in order to keep them under control.[3]
Her vast potential made her a target for the illusionist Mastermind, who was attempting to prove himself in order to join the prestigious Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. With the help of a mind-tap device created by the White Queen, Emma Frost, Mastermind (using the alias Jason Wyngarde) was able to project his illusions directly into Phoenix's mind. These illusions caused her to believe that she was reliving the memories of her ancestor, Lady Grey, who in Mastermind's illusions, was Wyngarde's lover. Phoenix was subverted into joining the Hellfire Club as their Black Queen, a decadent role that would allow her to relish the extremes of human emotion and began to break down the barriers that she had erected.[4]
When the X-Men came to her rescue, they were captured by the Inner Circle, and Jean's true love Cyclops faced Mastermind in a psychic duel.[5] When Mastermind killed Cyclops' psychic image, it served to break his hold over Jean's psyche and shattered the final barriers on her power. Experiencing this power in its totality, along with the decadent role she had just played, overwhelmed Jean entirely, and she renamed herself the "Dark Phoenix".[6] The X-Men battled her, but were easily defeated by her power before she departed for the heavens. Intent on satiating her hunger, Dark Phoenix created a wormhole and transported herself to a distant galaxy. Without a thought of the consequences, she dove into the heart of the D'Bari star and devoured its energy, causing the star to go nova — killing billions of innocent aliens in the process. Dark Phoenix was then attacked by a Shi'ar vessel to prevent her from destroying other stars. Dark Phoenix easily defeated her foes, but not before they were able to alert the Shi'ar Empress Lilandra.[7] Gathering a host of intergalactic associates, including the Kree and Skrull empires, the council concluded that Dark Phoenix was an even more serious threat than the planet-consuming Galactus and must be destroyed because she had the power to destroy the entire Universe.
On Earth, the X-Men were greeted by Avengers member (and former X-Man) Beast. He had designed a device which would neutralize Phoenix's powers long enough for them to defeat her. Dark Phoenix returned to Earth, to her family's home, and was subsequently attacked by the X-Men. During a vicious psionic battle with her mentor, Charles Xavier, he was able to rebuild the psychic "circuit-breakers" in her mind which reduced Dark Phoenix's powers to more reasonable levels and allowed Jean's personality to reassert control, curtailing the destructive impulses of Dark Phoenix.[8]

The Shi'ar then abducted the X-Men, told them of Dark Phoenix's casual genocide, and indicated that she must be put to death because of it. Xavier, who was romantically involved with the Shi'ar Empress, challenged Lilandra to Arin'n Haelar, a Shi'ar duel of honor that cannot be refused. After conferring with her allies, who insisted the contest be staged to ensure a guaranteed victory on their part, Lilandra ceded to Xavier's demand.
The next day, the X-Men and the Shi'ar Imperial Guard were teleported to the Blue Area of the Moon where they would do battle, with the victors deciding the fate of Phoenix. The Imperial Guard, led by Gladiator, was able to defeat all of the X-Men, leaving Cyclops and Phoenix alone to make a final stand against them. When a stray bolt of energy hit Cyclops, Jean Grey's panic overrode the psychic circuit-breakers Xavier had placed within her mind and the full might of Phoenix's powers was once more unleashed. At this point, Lilandra abandoned the delicate approach and ordered Plan Omega, which would consist of destroying the whole solar system in hopes of eliminating Dark Phoenix in the process.
With events spiraling out of control, Xavier ordered the X-Men to subdue Jean to preempt Lilandra's emergency measure. The team battled her until she regained her senses. Running to a back alley on the moon, Jean, struggling to keep control, activated a Kree weapon and disintegrated herself after an emotional good-bye to Cyclops.[9] He later deduced that Jean had planned her sacrifice from the moment they had landed on the moon.
This pivotal story ends with Uatu the Watcher commenting that "Jean Grey could have lived to become a god. But it was more important to her that she die...a human."[9]

Editorial controversy

The ending of the story was a matter of intense controversy with the editorial staff. Jim Shooter's recollections on his blog relate that the original intent of the Dark Phoenix storyline was to introduce Dark Phoenix as a cosmic adversary for the X-Men who could serve as a secondary archnemesis after their primary foe, Magneto. This was what had been discussed originally amongst the creative team and Shooter, and this was the story development that had been approved. When Uncanny X-Men issues 136 and 137 were in the final artwork stages, Shooter happened to look at the proofs for the issues and noticed that the story included the destruction of an inhabited solar system, with an explicit mention of billions of lives lost, and that it ended with Jean being permanently depowered by the Shi'ar and released into the custody of the X-Men. Shooter disagreed with this development both from a storytelling standpoint as well as, secondarily, a moral standpoint, likening the ending to "taking the German army away from Hitler and letting him go back to governing Germany," and doubting highly that Storm and the other X-Men could remain on anything approaching friendly relations with a being who had committed genocide. [10]
Shooter, during a conversation with Claremont, suggested a scenario where Jean would be permanently imprisoned as a compromise, and Claremont responded that such a scenario was unfeasable since in his opinon, the X-Men would want to continually try to rescue Jean from imprisonment. During a heated argument between Shooter and Claremont, Claremont reportedly then suggested that Jean either be killed or die by her own hand, and that the death be permanent. Although Shooter claims that the suggestion was a bluff by Claremont, playing on the unwritten rule that main characters were not to be killed permanently, he accepted the idea. Ultimately, it was decided by Byrne and Claremont to have Jean commit suicide after her Dark Phoenix persona resurfaces at the climax of the fight against the Imperial Guard.[10] The original ending ultimately saw print in 1983 in a special edition reprint of Uncanny X-Men #137 called Phoenix: The Untold Story. Besides reprinting Byrne and Claremont's original version of Uncanny X-Men #137, it featured a transcript of a round-table discussion between (among others) Claremont, Byrne, and Shooter, discussing the story behind the original ending and why it was changed. The interview is also important for an exchange which shows how early Byrne had hatched plans to resurrect Jean.

Jean Grey and Phoenix as separate entities

Shortly before the publication of Uncanny X-Men #137, future freelance writer Kurt Busiek, then still a college student, heard about the upcoming events through the fan grapevine, as did fellow future comics pros Carol Kalish (who would go on to head up Marvel's Direct Sales Department for years) and Richard Howell (artist of the Vision and The Scarlet Witch 12-issue limited series, among others). The three of them also heard that Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter had declared that Jean Grey could not be revived unless it was done in such a way as to render her guiltless of Dark Phoenix's crimes. Taking this as a creative challenge, all three then-fans decided to come up with their own resurrection scenario. Busiek's involved the discovery that Jean Grey was still on the bottom of Jamaica Bay in suspended animation following the original shuttle crash and that the Phoenix entity had used her body and mind as a lens, creating an immensely powerful duplicate of Jean, but one which grew more corrupted and distorted the longer it remained separate from the true Jean.[11]
In 1982, Dark Phoenix resurfaced in the DC Comics/Marvel Comics intercompany crossover one-shot The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans, written by regular X-Men writer Chris Claremont. The story (which is not part of DC or Marvel canon) has the cosmic villain Darkseid resurrect Jean Grey in her Dark Phoenix persona as part of his quest to discover the secret of the Anti-Life Equation. In the end, Dark Phoenix is betrayed by Darkseid and sacrifices her life yet again to stop Darkseid.
In 1983, X-Men writer Claremont introduced character Madelyne Pryor into the X-Men.[12] Madelyne was a commercial airline pilot who survived with no injuries from an airliner crash that happened on the same day Jean Grey died, and who was the mirror image of Jean Grey. Madelyne met Cyclops when he went to visit his grandparents in Alaska and found himself drawn to Madelyne. The villainous Mastermind, seeking revenge against the X-Men for being driven mad by Dark Phoenix, manipulated the team into thinking Madelyne was Dark Phoenix reincarnated. Ultimately, Mastermind's scheme was defeated and Cyclops and Madelyne were married and soon had a son, Nathan Christopher Summers.
Also in 1983, shortly after beginning a freelance writing career, Kurt Busiek attended a comics convention in Ithaca, New York, staying at the home of Marvel writer Roger Stern. In conversation, both writers' longtime interest in the X-Men came up, and Stern expressed regret that there was no way to bring Jean back, not while satisfying Shooter's edict. Busiek told Stern his idea, not expecting it to amount to more than idle conversation. Later, Stern told the idea to John Byrne, then writer/artist of Fantastic Four.[11][13]
In 1985, Jim Shooter greenlit a new series that would reunite the original X-Men into a new team called X-Factor, to be written by longtime freelancer Bob Layton. Hearing of this, Byrne called Layton and suggested Busiek's idea as a means of raising Jean Grey from the dead while satisfying Shooter's demands for total absolution for Jean.
A three-part crossover was planned to launch X-Factor, involving the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the debut issue of X-Factor, thus involving Avengers writer Stern, Fantastic Four writer/artist Byrne and X-Factor writer Layton. Busiek, by that time, was working at Marvel as a freelance assistant editor on Marvel Age Magazine. He was paid and credited for the idea,[14] and edited a series of interviews for Marvel Age promoting the new series. Ironically, everything in the interviews pertaining to Jean's resurrection was marked out with black tape to create an air of mystery about the revelations that the crossover would involve, and Busiek thus found himself taping over the names of the writers giving him credit for the idea.

In other media


  • The Dark Phoenix Saga, along with the Phoenix Saga, was adapted in X-Men. During the Phoenix Saga, the X-Men had to help the Shi'ar fight Lilandra's deranged brother, D'Ken. Jean Grey's powers fully manifest during the Dark Phoenix Saga, turning her against her comrades. The X-Men, with the help of the Shi'ar, defeats the Dark Phoenix.
  • The Dark Phoenix Saga was foreshadowed in X-Men: Evolution. In "Power Surge", Jean loses controls of her powers, making her dangerous around others. At the end of the episode, Rogue absorbed some of Jean's mind, defeating her. At the end of the series, Professor Xavier saw Jean transforming into the Dark Phoenix when he was under Apocalypse's control. The Dark Phoenix Saga was going to be adapted in Season Five. Unfortunately, the saga did not appear after the series was cancelled in 2003.
  • The Dark Phoenix Saga was adapted at the season finale of Wolverine and the X-Men. In the three-part episode "Foresight", the Hellfire Club kidnaps Jean after the X-Men saved her from the Marauders. Wolverine finds out Emma Frost was in league with the Hellfire Club and locks her in a containment unit. Cyclops released Frost, enraging Wolverine. While the X-Men went to Genosha to fight the Sentinels, Frost tells Jean about the Phoenix Force. Later, Frost tells Cyclops of Jean's whereabouts when the X-Jet was crashed by the Sentinels. The two went to Jean's location, where the Hellfire Club betrays Frost and imprisons them. Selene reveals to Cyclops that Frost was the one who triggered Jean's powers when the Xavier Institute was destroyed. After the Hellfire Club was defeated at the hands of Jean, she and Scott left Frost after finding out Frost was trying to unleash the Phoenix Force within her. After saving the X-Men from the Mutant Response Division, Wolverine found Frost at the Club's hideout. Reluctantly, he releases her, and the two went to find Scott and Jean. After Magneto and the Sentinels were defeated, Jean unleashes the Phoenix Force. Frost absorbs the Phoenix Force into her body, seemingly killing her in the process.


  • The Dark Phoenix Saga was alluded at the end of X2. After Jean supposedly dies while protecting her teammates from drowning, a sign that bears a striking resemblance to the Phoenix Force is seen at the final scene.
  • Despite being an original story and not a strict adaptation, the plot of the film X-Men: The Last Stand contains elements of the Dark Phoenix Saga. In this film, the Phoenix is adapted as a repressed dual personality of Jean's psychological status which was awakened when Jean cocooned herself in telekinetic energy to survive the collapse of Alkaline Lake. Throughout the film, the Phoenix acts irresponsibly and has no control over her decision-making, including scenes where Jean succumbs to exposing her sexual desires for Wolverine, siding with Magneto and murdering Professor X. The Phoenix is destroyed when Jean is euthanized-by-stabbing by Wolverine.

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