Customer Reviews


84 Reviews
5 star:
 (65)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful trip into the past...
This graphic novel reprints one of the classic X-Men stories of old -- the Dark Phoenix saga. For those who might not be up on their comic history, the Dark Phoenix Saga told the story of how Jean Grey -- one of the original X-Men -- found herself cruelly manipulated by the evil mutant Mastermind until she finally lost control of her own powers and became a threat to the...
Published on February 21, 2002 by Jeffrey Ellis

versus
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but my expectations were too high.
As a pretty new comic book reader, I've heard a lot about the Dark Phoenix Saga, but didn't actually read it until recently. Since everyone I heard from raved about how great it was, perhaps my expectations were too high, but I just wasn't thrilled with it. This book is a great, high quality collection of a classic story, but didn't live up to the hype I expected...
Published on July 3, 2006 by Jessica


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful trip into the past..., February 21, 2002
By 
Jeffrey Ellis "bored recluse" (Richardson, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This graphic novel reprints one of the classic X-Men stories of old -- the Dark Phoenix saga. For those who might not be up on their comic history, the Dark Phoenix Saga told the story of how Jean Grey -- one of the original X-Men -- found herself cruelly manipulated by the evil mutant Mastermind until she finally lost control of her own powers and became a threat to the very future of the universe. In the end, it falls to the X-Men (led by Jean's lover, Cyclops) to either bring her back to sanity or destroy her. This was perhaps the pinnacle of the Chris Claremont/John Byrne creative team and certainly very few subsequent X-Men stories have come close to touching the quality of the Dark Phoenix Saga. Chris Claremont's secret as a comic book writer was that he never wrote down to his audience. While some others might have simply said, "Hey, it's only a comic book," and cashed in their paycheck, Chris Claremont approached his X-Men stories with a sincerity and integrity that elavated the best of his work out of the super hero genre. As always the characterization of the individual X-Men is strong with Wolverine truly coming into his own. Even the usually somewhat dull Cyclops is given one of his few chances to shine in this story and Claremont manages to present a multifaceted view of this sometimes overly upright figure. The dialogue, especially Cyclops' final monolouge on the moon, is also far more powerful (and at times genuinely witty) than what is generally expected from a "comic book." Over the course of this story, Claremont and Byrne introduced several characters that would later become key ingrediants to the X-Men's success -- the Hellfire Club, Dazzler, Kitty Pryde, and all of them show their future promise from their very first appearances.
I was a kid when these issues first came out and I can remember what an impact they had on me at the time. Not to be overdramatic but back in 1980, the fate of Jean Grey affected me much the same way the fate of Jay Gatsby affects me now. Now, some might scoff at that or say that its easier to please children but that's not true. Even more so than adults, children and young teens can spot when someone's just going through the motions. Every year, hundreds of new comic books are released. Most cease publication after less than six issues. X-Men survived. It takes a lot to make an impact on you when you're young and that was what made Claremont and Byrne's X-Men so popular. Unlike future writers and artists, they never took their audience for granted. With the Dark Phoenix Sage, they crafted one of the great legends of my youth. When I recently reread it, I do so for the sake of nostalgia but I was overjoyed to discover that even though I'd gotten older and subsequent events in the X-Men had cheapened a lot of what those earlier issues were about, the story hadn't suffered. As both a piece of childhood nostalgia and as a story held up on its own considerable terms, the Dark Phoenix Saga is a powerful piece of work and it is a must-have for all comic book fans -- past, present, and future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best ever, October 9, 2000
The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont and John Byrne was simply the best comic book story I have ever read. While this trade paperback contains most of it, the story really ran for about 25 issues *before* the issues in the TPB.
It started as a subplot when the mutant X-Man, Jean Grey, was possessed by the Phoenix entity, a being of great power that slowly transformed her into one of the most powerful superbeings in the universe. The story contained in this book is the climactic end to the story. As Phoenix, Grey becomes more and more powerful to the point where she can no longer fully control the urges that her godlike abilities give her. A shadowy organization called the Hellfire Club seeks to control her and manipulate her power to their ends. Meanwhile, her fellow X-Men, including her love Scott Summers (a.k.a., Cyclops), seek to infiltrate the Hellfire Club. Ultimately they end up defending Phoenix after she has unleashed her powers in ways they never dreamed imaginable.
The Dark Phoenix Saga is a story of power, love, subterfuge and tragedy. Each of the X-Men has their moment to shine in this story. Of particular note is the sequence wherein Wolverine singlehandedly rescues the entire team, one of the best single-issue stories ever, in my opinion.
Claremont and Byrne were at the peak of their abilities in this story. Neither has shone as brightly before or since. While stories like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen are often said to be the best comic story ever created, my vote goes to the Dark Phoenix Saga.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Story: You MUST read this to be considered a fan., January 29, 1999
By A Customer
The quintessential X-men story. Written almost twenty years ago, the storyline shows the reason why the X-men are so popular: despite having all their powers, they are subject to the same temptations and succumb to the same sins as us mere mortals. Amidst all the action you have to have in a comic book, there is the evolving love affair between Scott and Jean, and Wolverine's side role in it. There's the addition of Kitty Pryde, and her journey as she discovers and develops her talents. There's the first appearance of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, and all the other characters who evolve into important places of the X-men mythology. Of course, there's the fate of Jean Grey, and the final admonition that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" (which has, by the way, since been used ad infinitum by any other comic book writer who wanted to sound cool). A very well-told, well-illustrated, and rich comic book. A good introduction to the X-men, if you've never met them before. If you have, and are more familiar with their current incarnations, this book gives you somewhat of an idea where they came from.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now THIS is Claremont..., February 16, 2005
This review is from: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) (Paperback)
If you are anything like me, and read Claremont's more recent work, scratch your head, and wonder if Claremont has any relevance anymore in comicbookland, THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA is the answer.

If you are new to the X-men universe, and want to know the merry mutants at their very best, or your only exposure to them has been in the movies, this is the book that should be first on your list.

Claremont, the writer, and Byrne/Austin, the art team, are as if they were thinking with the same brain. The result is one of the most breathless, rollercoaster, and truly epic sagas in comic book history. Cyclops, Phoenix, Wolverine, and the rest are written and rendered so well, you can almost hear the dialogue being delivered.

In short, this is the closest you will ever come to holding a wide-screen summer blockbuster in your own two hands. You will not regret this purchase.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most important comic stories of all time, March 17, 2004
By 
Edward Aycock (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) (Paperback)
The Dark Phoenix saga has too much backstory to really mention in a review. Both the history of the character of Jean Grey and the writer/artists conflicts with the then editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics isn't found anywhere in this book (and believe me, it adds a lot to the tale) but the co-plotters Chris Claremont and John Byrne (assisted by Terry Austin on inks and a huge acknowledgement to the overlooked Tom Orzechowski and his lettering) have written such an engaging tale that you can jump in anywhere and enjoy the story. The best thing is that they were not consciously setting out to write a "saga" and therefore, they weren't pressured to create something that would sell in the trade paperbacks twenty years on. It's just far and away a story with a punch: a gut wrenching finale and some of the most beautiful artwork of the era.
This latest edition of the trade spruces up the artwork (no more dot matrix colors) and includes (for the first time) the much needed cover gallery, which was absent from previous printings. The art and story have hold up so well that almost a quarter of a century later it still stands as one of the best comic stories of all time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Phoenix must pay for the death of the asparagus people, November 14, 2005
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) (Paperback)
So, here we are two decades down the road after "The Dark Phoenix Saga" played out in the pages of "The Uncanny X-Men" and with the transformation of Jean Grey from Marvel Girl into Phoenix set up by the ending of the movie "X2: X-Men Unlimited." In reading the stories from "X-Men" #129-137 again from this vantage point in the space-time continuum I find it impossible not to think about the original ending that writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne had envisioned for the saga, in which Jean Grey is stripped of her mutant powers and down the road Magneto shows up and offers her the powers of the Phoenix. The intention was for Jean to refuse the powers and to stay an ordinary human being. I always thought that road not taken was a better payoff to "The Dark Phoenix Saga" than her allowing herself to be killed on the moon, but when Dark Phoenix ate the sun around which orbited the planet of the asparagus people, Marvel's editor-in-chief Jim Shooter dictated that Jean Grey had to pay for her life.

Actually, this trade paperback collection has two distinct but related storylines. "X-Men" #129-134 constitutes the culmination of the Hellfire Club plotline. Jason Wyndgarde has been playing mind games with Jean, laying the groundwork for a seduction that will turn her to evil. His goal is to make her his black queen, the counterpart to his white queen Emma Frost. But when he unleashes her dark side the result is the birth of Dark Phoenix. This is actually the better story arc in this collection with a lot more happening than in the issues specific to the rise and fall of Dark Phoenix. We have the introduction of both Kitty Pryde (#129) and Dazzler (#130), and when the Hellfire club takes out most of the X-Men that sets up the stage for an unleashed Wolverine to make a rescue attempt (#133). Apparently all of the Hellfire minions he slices and dices in that issue were acceptable casualties in Shooter's ledger (or maybe they were all saved by emergency surgery; you never know).

Although there are flashes of Dark Phoenix where Jean battles the Hellfire Club, she only announces her presence with authority at the end of #134 (the fact that her costume turns from green to scarlet is a big clue as well). At that point things happen pretty quickly, even for a comic book and especially from the perspective of today when virtually every story arc lasts five or six episodes. Dark Phoenix only rampages through the universe in #135, the X-Men and Professor Xavier bring her down in #136, and then they end up on the Shi'ar imperial dreadnought of Empress Lilandra's grand fleet for Phoenix's trial. The fact that Jean has been "cured" does not enter into the equation, and it is as Marvel Girl that she faces her fate. The point at the end is not the battle, but the sense of self-sacrifice, which was not only going to be the original endgame for this storyline but which was also set up at the end of #136 when Jean acquiesced in her own defeat. Otherwise, I am wondering why they managed to bring back both Angel and the Beast, the latter on the roster of the Avengers at that point, but not Iceman for what is essentially the last hurrah of the original X-Men.

Yes, when several years later it was revealed that Jean Grey did not really die and had never become Phoenix it was another one of those moments when a comic book resurrects a character and ruins a memorable death. Not as bad as Gwen Stacy's clone, mind you, but not good, I can tell you that. But then Scott Summers had already married Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean created by Mr. Sinister, which would be the part where the love affair between Scott and Jean jumped the shark. Fortunately, none of that nonsense has happened in these nine issues and we can enjoy this walk down memory lane and forget about what is going to happen. Even if the ending is not as good as the set up it still has a certain power simply because Jean and Scott had been star-crossed lovers more often than not from the very beginning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gold Standard of Comics, June 1, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) (Paperback)
I still remember the day when X-men #137, the finale of the Dark Phoenix saga, came out at my local comic shop all those years ago. I got the last one there, and it was hidden in the magazines. Even then, I had the sense that this was a major event in comic book history - possibly the best comic book story ever written. It's amazing to me that, after all of this time, that still holds up. Other comic epics are routinely compared to the Dark Phoenix story, and I have yet to read or even hear about anything that approaches it.
For those that think comics are exclusively for kids, I hold this book up as Exhibit A. After seeing the X-men movies, my wife actually read it out of curiosity. She's the antithesis of a comic book person and had never heard of the X-men. She was actually impressed enough to read the rest of Byrne's X-men in Essential X-men Volume 2, and now looks down her nose a bit less at my childhood hobby.
From the reviews I've seen so far, I don't need to go into detail about the story. For those of you who are relying on the X-men movies to give you the scoop, I have one word of advice: DON'T. The movies are really messing with the stories in an unacceptable way. While it's clear that they're going to attempt some kind of Phoenix plot in the next movie, it won't do the real story justice. The only way to truly experience this story is through these pages, panel by panel.
I moved on from the X-men and comics a few years after the Dark Phoenix story was done, and I missed the whole return of Jean Grey. When I heard about it, I was severely disappointed that Marvel would take such a tragic character that transcended comics and reduce her to just another super hero that avoided death. Phoenix was so much more significant at the end of X-men #137, and bringing Jean Grey back has made both much less so. Most unfortunate. Still, it doesn't change my view of this story - truly amazing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitome of an X-Men saga, May 15, 2000
By 
Derrick Walker (Chicago, Illinois) - See all my reviews
This is a great introduction book for any reader who has just started getting into the X-Men. A tale of love and disaster, this tragic story was what brought the X-Men to the forefront of the comics industry. Simple enough for a first grader to understand, yet, as an adult if you look beyond the action you get the deep sense of what true power can mean in the wrong hands. Newer readers, who have read the recent X-books, will be able to understand the convoluted mess that is the character Jean Grey's life, by checking out how she weilds evil as the Black Queen and as Dark Phoenix. You will also see Dazzler and Kitty Pryde in their debut appearances. Also the last chapter, "Elegy", gives a condensed version of the X-men's origin, which will enlighten any newer reader. This book should have been the basis of the X-Men movie due out in summer of 2000. Fantastic reading
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever. Game over. Give up. Go home., August 31, 2004
By 
J. SHARP (Alabama - United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) (Paperback)
The epic scale and grand drama of this story arc was like nothing ever seen before when it hit the stands a quarter century ago. It has been emulated since but never surpassed.

"The Watchmen," "Dark Knight Returns," and "Kingdom Come" might be mentioned in the same breath because of their innovation, daring, or nostalgic grandeur. But the depth and breadth of "Dark Phoenix" has no peer.

Never before had a character as virginal, compassionate, and heroic as Jean Grey become so ravenous, genocidal, and colossally evil. The astronomical immensity and irresistible seduction of the Phoenix are clearly crafted by Claremont and Byrne. The darkness and scale are so palpable the reader can almost feel like he or she is on the event horizon of a massive black hole and could be sucked in just like Jean at any moment.

Are there flaws? The remnants of 1970s kiddie superhero dialogue, costuming, and "hipness" (i.e., Dazzler) are evident early on but they are vestiges of a framework that was being dismantled by this team as this story unfolded and are a distant memory by its end. Switching from a crass, cheesy disco to the elitist, conspiratorial (and overtly sexual) Hellfire Club is just one of the indicators of this pardigm shift.

This volume includes only the final chapters of the total Phoenix arc (Jean died and was revived from the sea by its power in preceding years. She went to the dark side in these stories.) But it's still incredibly strong on its own.

"Dark Phoenix" is alluded to in the second X-Men movie (with Jean's leap in abilities and a faint phoenix visible in the water before the end credits) but it will be rough going not making a hash of this tale in the third film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Edition Available, April 17, 2003
By A Customer
Just a note: Marvel recently reprinted this book, with a great new cover by Salvador Larrocca, though for some reason the major online bookstores haven't received it (at the time of this review). Unless you are specifically collecting old editions, there is no reason to pay twice the cover price for a used copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2)
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) by Chris Claremont (Paperback - August 1, 1990)
Used & New from: $7.44
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.