PRESTIGE: Page 2 of 10

Publication Date: 13th Jan 2022
Written By: Peter Luzifer, Monolith and Ruth.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer and Douglas Mangum.


Rachel was unaware that she hosted the Force’s essence and her memory was suppressed by it. These conditions were part of the deal as Kate had wanted to give Rachel a new life, without the ghosts of her past haunting her. Yet Rachel’s mind was too strong and, occasionally, fragments of her past came to the surface. When Rachel arrived in the present day of the main reality, she remembered wanting to check what went wrong with the original plan of changing the past to save their future. Soon, she discovered the same thing she had already learned before but did not recall anymore - she had wound up in the past of a timeline not her own. While there were many similarities, the details didn’t quite fit; for instance the existence of a teenage Illyana Rasputin, who, according to the history of Rachel’s reality, shouldn’t be older than a pre-school child. [New Mutants (1st series) #18]

Unsure what to do next, Rachel wandered the streets of New York, where she ran into Selene, who sensed a powerful essence she wanted to “drink.” Rachel managed to run away and was taken in by a night club owner, but Selene followed them and eventually killed the man that Rachel had befriended. The resulting battle was recognized by the X-Men, who rescued Rachel from Selene and took her in. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #184]

Rachel slowly came around to recognizing the extent to which this reality was different from her own. Having Cyclops and Marvel Girl as parents in her own reality, Rachel was shocked to discover that, in this timeline, Jean Grey had died and Scott Summers was married to another woman instead. She chose to keep her true identity a secret from Cyclops when they met, and the X-Men reluctantly acquiesed to Rachel's wishes on the matter. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #185, 188; X-Men / Alpha Flight #1]

Rachel had a lot in common with Magma, a student of the New Mutants team; both were timely displaced outsiders and both hated Selene. They decided to rescue future victims of the energy vampire by killing her and infiltrated the Hellfire Club, disguised as servants. During the following battle, the X-Men interfered and talked Rachel out of performing the crime. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #189]

Upon learning that Cyclops’s wife, Madelyne Pryor, was pregnant, and as such that Scott would soon be the father of a child other than her, Rachel snuck into the house of Jean Grey’s parents. There, she touched the Shi’ar holo-empathic crystal that was imbued with the essence of Jean Grey’s personality. Rachel had read the X-Men’s files on Dark Phoenix, but she didn’t want the world to remember her mother as a killer and chaos-bringer. Wanting to restore her mother’s name, Rachel vowed to take on both her codename, Phoenix, as well as the powers that came along with it. Unaware that she was already hosting the Phoenix Force, this vow apparently allowed Rachel to tap into the Force for the "first time", making her much more powerful than before. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #199]

Before long, Phoenix also designed herself a costume with the raptor totem on it, startling her fellow X-Men, especially Cyclops. Kitty Pryde, with whom Rachel had quickly  established a close friendship, even accused Rachel of deliberately trying to “punish” Scott just for the fact that he was expecting a child that wasn’t her. Respecting Cyclops’ marriage to Madelyne and not wanting to disturb him any further, Rachel continued to keep her true relation to him and his dead love secret. [Uncanny X-Men Annual #9]

A short while later, Madelyne gave birth to Nathan Christopher Summers, Rachel’s half-brother. She was instantly smitten with the cute baby, and while holding him in her arms, Rachel established a psi-bond with her little brother, swearing to protect him from harm as long as she lived. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #201]

Several times, the X-Men had encountered the Beyonder, a near omnipotent being with a child-like nature, whose experiments with humanity endangered every single person on the planet. With her increased power, Rachel decided to go after the Beyonder and kill him, but not even the energies of the Phoenix Force were enough to defeat the entity. Teasing her, the Beyonder even bestowed Rachel with enough power to kill him, but at the same time he put her in a situation where she had to choose between killing him or saving the X-Men. She chose the latter but, a few days later, Rachel thought she had made the wrong decision and wanted to put an end to the threat of the Beyonder, no matter what the cost. She used the essences of her fellow X-Men (some against their will) to get to the M’Kraan Crystal in the Shi’ar galaxy. From there, she touched every living being in the universe, wanting to destroy the entire cosmos and the Beyonder along with it, so that a reborn reality would be rid of the omnipotent Beyonder. Rachel would have been corrupted by the infinite power in her grasp if not for the voice of Storm, who guided her through and convinced her to let her plan go. Back on Earth, when the X-Men next encountered the Beyonder, Rachel returned his energies to him, and also passed on the lesson she had learned about power, responsibility and respecting other people’s lives no matter how small or unimportant they might seem to be. For the first time, the Beyonder understood the wrongness of his actions on Earth. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #202-203]

After the incident with the Beyonder, some of the X-Men no longer trusted Rachel, as she had taken their essences against their will. Rachel’s guilt manifested as recurring nightmares of being in her dark future timeline again, and she accidentally dragged Wolverine’s consciousness into her dreams to hunt her down and kill her. Blaming herself, Rachel secretly left the X-Men and deeply thought about everything she had experienced since coming to the present. Determined to get at least something right, Rachel once again went after Selene, wanting to kill her so that nobody else would have to die at her hands. She tracked her down to the Hellfire Club and this time she was able to overpower the villainess with her Phoenix energies. However, Rachel was stopped short from killing her by Wolverine, who had followed his teammate. As Rachel wouldn’t listen to reason and rejected the X-Men’s rule not to kill, he saw no other way to prevent Rachel from becoming a killer but to ram his claws into her chest. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #207]

To both their surprise, Phoenix survived, instinctively using her telekinesis to block the wounds, keeping her heart whole and pumping. Rachel had never been hurt so badly before and she knew that, if she relaxed her concentration for even an instant, she would die. She ran off into New York’s Central Park, with both the Hellfire Club and the X-Men chasing after her. When the two groups started to fight each other, Rachel observed telepathically, but she was in no shape to enter the battle herself. Suddenly, she spotted a light in the Park’s theater and curiously entered it. Once she made her way through the gate, she was no longer on Earth but in Spiral’s Body Shoppe. Despite having fought the woman earlier on, Rachel didn’t recognize her and was lured deeper inside by Spiral’s promises to heal her, to give her a well needed rest and to improve her looks. Rachel accepted and was sent through a magical doorway that transported her to Spiral’s master, Mojo. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #208-209]

[Note: Originally, there were plans for a Graphic Novel or a limited series to cover Rachel’s time in Mojo’s service, but this project never saw print.]