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X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel Legends, Vol. 2) Paperback – August 1, 1990

4.7 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (August 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785111476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785111474
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Ellis on February 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
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.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: 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.
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