This week, the Major Spoilers Crew checks out the disturbing Jean Gray and her Phoenix Force.

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

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Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Man, one of my favorites. John was really at his best here with Terry inking, but I don’t think he would ever admit that he’s not near the artist now.

  2. A couple quick thoughts about the Dark Phoenix Saga (Spoilers included–but is it spoilers on a 30 year old storyline?):

    –I’ve never been a huge fan of cosmic elements introduced into the X-Men. As much as I like the Shi’ar or the Imperial Guardsmen, they always feel like an odd fit for the X-Men. Cosmic adventures, Avengers yes/X-Men not so much.

    –I think the longetivity of the X-Men franchise has diminished the impact of this storyline. If it had been a self-contained story which came to a definitive conclusion and no other X-Men stories were to be told (or even no other stories about the Phoenix), then Jean Grey’s sacrifice would still have some resonance. It didn’t take long before Marvel began to undo this ramifications of the story

    –This is probably a bold statement however, I think this storyline is probably more famous for the last minute editorial changes Jim Shooter demanded for the ending than for the story itself. To this day, I still cannot decide if Shooter’s editorial decision was the correct one. Maybe because of the editorial interfence, the various X-creators felt inclined to slowly undo the story’s conclusion.

    –The length of time Jean Grey was dead–X-Men #137 (September 1980)-Fantastic Four #287 (January 1986): 5 1/2 years;
    The length of time Jean Grey’s resurrection Fantastic Four #287 (January 1986)-New X-Men #50 (February 2004)–18 years;
    The length of time of her most recent bout of death–February 2004-current: 6 years.
    Looking at the teaser ads, she might be due for a resurrection.

  3. This is the story that made me an X-men reader back in the day. I often pull out the old issues and read them just for this story. I really enjoyed it.

  4. What has diminshed the Xmen and other Marvel titles is the too many titles that Marvel has of the same book. I followed and loved the Xmen when it was just one title: Uncanny Xmen. I hung around when there was XForce and read a little bit of Xcalibur. Then it all went crazy and now there is what 20 x books. Yeah I know it is exagerated but it feels like it. Oh, and lets not forget Avengers. Same thing. Why? Yes there are a lot of stories to tell, but damn cant you tell them in a few titles? So until Marvel cures their greed I will always be with DC. I even thought about coming back for Avengers, but now they are going to cancel all Avengers books and start them over again? HUH? What is the sense? The novelty and newness of it gets old very quickly.

  5. The thing I love about this is the irony. Jim Shooter makes them kill Jean Grey only to have creators and editors revive her (and make copies) *ONLY* to have Morrison kill her all over again. ;D

    Still, it’s a good story if you don’t take into account Death’s revolving door. It’s also the most popular since we’ve had 3 mainstream adaptions of it (Fox’s X-Men cartoon, Wolverskunk & X-men and X3 which I feel is the worst adaption) and it was hinted at in the last “X-Men:Evolution”.

    Still, the arc I really want to be reviewed is “Fatal Attractions” where Magneto rips the adamantium out of Logan nearly killing him. Good times ;)

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