To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) Paperback – August 1, 1990
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Believe the hype: the Dark Phoenix saga is one of the greatest comics stories ever. Conceived by writer Chris Claremont and penciller John Byrne (credited as co-plotters, and aided immeasurably by inker Terry Austin), the story begins in The Uncanny X-Men #129 when Professor X sends his team in search of two new mutants detected by Cerebro. The figures in question turn out to be Kitty Pride, who would eventually join the team as Sprite, and the flashy disco singer Dazzler, who would go on to star in her own book. Little do the X-Men know that they're walking into a trap set by the Hellfire Club, a group of supervillains that seem perfectly matched to counter our merry mutants. The insidious part of the plot, however, is how a mysterious man named Jason Wyngarde seems to have been Jean Grey's lover in another time, another era, and how that might give him control over her now. Jean Grey was, like Cyclops, an original member of the X-Men, and had the power of telepathy (a gentle power, like that of the Invisible Girl of the same era). When she was reborn as Phoenix in issue #108, however, she became power incarnate. Can it be controlled, or must the X-Men make a choice between the woman they love and the fate of the universe? It's all here in this nine-issue volume, plus Wolverine alone, Emma Frost, the return of original members Angel and Beast, and a showdown with Lilandra's Imperial Guard in one of comics' great milestone issues, X-Men #137. Read it, true believer--'nuff said. --David Horiuchi
Top customer reviews
I'm not a big X-Men fan though the many issues I have read deal with teenage angst, relationships and flaws that Marvel made famous. Marvel was unique in showing the flaws in their heroes.
In the late 1970s/early 1980s many of the X-Men are grown up. In the Dark Phoenix saga, we see several themes -- Professor Xavier struggling with his not completely running the X-Men and resents Cyclops' leadership and questions him constantly; the bad guy Mastermind as he struggles with taking over the Hellfire Club, which has a secret branch of mutant fanatics; and finally Cyclops -- how can one man with such power be obsessed with Jean Gray, struggles with being a leader of the X-Men without dissing his mentor Professor X, and at the same time deal with an extra-Solar menace, whose planets were just wiped out?
Without giving too much away, I was really impressed with how Claremont and Byrne built up the storyline with great fight scenes. Their introductions of the Dazzler (who had her own book for a time) and Kitty Pride were well done as well. The emotional impact of these characters has to be experienced.
Criticisms: Yes, there were a few, but they don't detract from the overall great graphic entertainment of this graphic novel.
I could have done without the Watcher. He is used as a plot device to introduce various characters and makes opinions on Dark Phoenix and even tells Wolverine off -- but really, was this really needed?
Another criticism has to do with the death scenes -- "they'll never bother us again" or "don't worry about that one" is a bit disconcerting. Were these villains killed or live to see another day? (spoiler -- and will Mastermind's mind wipe be permanent?)
Bottom Line: I love the angst and guilt-ridden aspects of some of the characters and the bravery in confronting foes that they know they probably won't win. The theme of absolute power corrupting absolutely follows well with not only Dark Phoenix, but to a degree Mastermind and the White Queen as well. Masterful story.
This graphic novel contains the X-Men comics 129-137, and some original art in the back.
Enjoy the Masterworks Series too:
Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 1
And some aspects of Dark Phoenix are alluded to in the X-Men Last Stand film:
X-Men: The Last Stand [Blu-ray]
The art is dated, but still genius. Less dramatic and more frame bound than I was used to from Ultimate Marvel obviously, but the few large panels were used brilliantly, especially the 'Phoenix Rising' motif. I was a bit confused amid the action near the end, but the art served well up to the climactic bits.
The writing was what blew me away. The story is intricate, and well told; new characters are introduced and quickly established, while older ones are clearly on clearly defined arcs of their own. It was wordier than more contemporary comics, less show and more tell as opposed to the sparsely plotted, action-packed and 'tent-pole panel' filled style of today. It felt more novel-like as a result.
I can see why this is one of the most enduring, iconic X-Men tales ever told, and I cannot wait to read the next major arc which follows on from this one - Days of Future Past are a coming!