X-Men: Phoenix - Legacy of Fire #3

Issue Date: 
September 2003
Story Title: 

Ryan Kinnaird (writer & pencils), C.B. Cebulski (editor), MacKenzie Cadenhead (assistant editor), Cory Petit (letters), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Bill Jemas (president)


Brief Description: 

Jena and Madalyne step through the gate that brings them to the location of the stolen Phoenix Blade and the whereabouts of their enemy: the Shadow King. The Shadow King quickly takes out Madalyne and teleports her to another realm, to the location of where her old enemies, the Wraithian Core, were hiding. The Core promised the King to learn how to use the Blade if he’d brought them the chance to get rid of another Pyre. Jena bravely battles the Shadow King, but for a moment it looks like the King is about to win. However, he didn’t foresee the fact that today is the same day as Jena’s Passing of the Blade was supposed to take place, giving Jena the upper hand. Because of this, part of the Phoenix Blade’s power passes on to Jena, and she eventually realizes that power isn’t the answer to victory: it’s the hand who wields it. With that knowledge, she creates another one of her energy sticks and manages to stick it right through the Shadow King’s chest, which kills him. They emerge back into the Chamber of Ages, where Jena sees how both the Phoenix Blade and the Sands of Time wither away. But somehow, Jena still maintains the earlier power she gained, and uses it to transport to Madalyne. With one powerful blast, Jena destroys the Wraithian Core and rescues her big sister. Later, they return to Castle Pyre, where Madalyne informs Nublisk about what happened. Nidel congratulates Jena on her victory, who believes she caused the beginning of a new legacy.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere in Limbo...

The Pyre sisters step through the gate, and emerge in another dimension. Once they fully step through it, the portal closes behind Madalyne and Jena. Not immediately able to see their opponent, Madalyne wonders where he is. Jena is shocked: she can see the Sands of Time right in front of her, but never realized the sand glass was actually so big! Madalyne asks her little sister if she can feel the energy in the air. That is the Passing, which is very close now. Madalyne realizes that if the Shadow King doesn’t act soon, he’ll miss an opportunity.

On that very moment, a small whole opens under Madalyne’s feet, and she falls through it! Jena tries to jump after her; but is too late: the hole closes before she can reach her companion. Jena cries over her fallen sister. The Shadow King appears behind her, holding the Phoenix Blade into his hand. He smirks that he would have enjoyed taking Madalyne’s life, but thinks that it would seem her fate has already been spoken for.

Somewhere below the two enemies...

Madalyne falls into a well, which is filled with green slime. As she falls into it, Madalyne recognizes and is disgusted by the Irican bog waters. But she does wonder why the Shadow King sent her to this old territory. She hears someone speaking in an alien language behind her. Madalyne realizes where she is now: she’s in the living areas of the Wraithian Core!


The Shadow King triumphantly reveals to Jena that the Wraithian Core have learned many secrets over the years and, in exchange for the opportunity to take the head of Madalyne Pyre, they have instructed him in how to harness the sword’s power for himself. The King finds it sarcastic, though, as nobody would have thought that by collecting a few of the sword’s former master’s remains, he would be able to use the Phoenix Blade’s gating capability. And now, even in a limited capacity, the Shadow King’s power is unmatched! He laughs at the ironic fact that one of the heads that the Core brought him turned out to be the Pyre bearer who had wielded the great Blade before Madalyne. Her skull is the reason why the King is now able to use the sword against Jena, the last of her kind.

Jena realizes the Shadow King murdered her mother and calls him a murderer. She takes out an energy stick and tries to hit the Shadow King with it, but he just calls this a foolish act. He swings with the Blade and sticks it right though Jena’s chest! The Shadow King wants Jena to tell him how it feels to know that her clan’s great legacy is going to die with her. Almost without breath, Jena asks the Shadow King to tell her: which one of them possesses the Phoenix Blade?

The Shadow King looks at the Sands of Time, and realizes what’s going on: the Passing! He lifts Jena and the sword quickly up, and teleports them both away.

The Abyss landscape...

Jena, almost completely naked, recognizes the space she’s in now. She wonders if she’s dreaming again. She gets up, and feels different. She can feel the... raw power surrounding her. She thinks she must have gone through the Passing. The power of the Phoenix Blade... it’s incredible! Jena tries maintain her balance, as the purple power surrounding her body is almost too much to hold up. She gets a vision of Madalyne in trouble against the Core, and is determined to go help her.

The Shadow King appears behind Jena and curses her: she has created a conflict for the possession of the Blade. He shouts the power of the Blade can only be held by one, and attacks Jena with an energy blast. He hits the asteroid Jena was standing on but, as the dust clears, there’s nothing to be seen. The Shadow King looks up, and finds Jena alive, flying in the air, having created pink wings with the power of the Blade to help her do it. “So be it!”, Jena declares to the Shadow King’s earlier statement.

Jena fires a similar blast toward the Shadow King, which explodes around him. Afterward, Jena can’t see him anywhere, but believes he’s still around... She can sense him! She gets hit by a blast from behind, and falls through some asteroids. Finally, Jena hits the ground, but has a headache. She’s surprised to be still alive but, on that instant, a huge asteroid is dropped on her!

The Shadow King, floating in mid-air, admits the power of the Blade is more than he ever imagined. He thinks the Pyre clan has really wasted the sword’s potential. Lightning appears around the asteroid the King threw on Jena. The asteroid gets destroyed into tiny pieces, and Jena merges victorious, with the wings still attached on her back. She shouts that Madalyne has to hold on. She casts a spell with her hand, and creates a huge monster with it. The monster unleashes a sonic boom attack against the Shadow King, who mocks Jena she should have stayed into her little sanctuary. Beyond its walls, only the strongest shall survive! He punches the boom, causing it to ricochet and hits Jena instead!

Jena falls down on another asteroid, but this time quickly gets up. Jena thinks this battle doesn’t make any sense. They’ve been given such incredible power, but it’s equally matched. This conflict could last for a thousand millennia without a victor. She groans Madalyne never said anything about this during her training. She suddenly remembers something from those days...

The past...

Jena and Madalyne are sitting next to each other, training Jena’s telekinesis powers. She has to lift up some small play blocks, but it doesn’t work. Jena suggests they move on to something else. Madalyne explains to Jena that these puzzles are meant to strengthen her mental skills. She knows Jena’s got a strong mind as well as a strong hand to properly wield the Phoenix Blade.

Some time later...

Jena has been defeated in battle by Madalyne, who sits on her, holding her arm in a grip. Madalyne is a bit disappointed she was able to disarm Jena with nothing more than a stick. She wonders if Jena knows why. Jena, screaming a bit in pain, mentions she knows: because an opponent who reacts without thought is already defeated by one who does.

Again later, at the library...

Jena can’t believe she has to read all those many books. Madalyne explains that to wield the sword is to have the ability to shape Limbo. Without knowledge of its past, she is doomed to repeat its mistakes.

Once more later, after a failed training...

Madalyne speeches to the fallen Jena that she’ll find, in the end, no matter how much power she’s given, it all comes down to the wisdom and skills of the hand that wields it.

The present...

Jena is thrilled... that’s it! That’s what this challenge is all about!

The Shadow King, still floating through the air, is searching for Jena but isn’t sensing her. He mocks that what an unchallenging victory. Jena stands behind him, reminding the King not to say that just yet. Looking at Jena stand on an asteroid with an energy stick in her hand, the King notices she has rejected the power of the Blade. Preparing another blast, the Shadow King warns her to take solace in her madness, as it has secured her damnation.

Jena immediately flies toward the Shadow King, who unleashes his blast. But Jena keeps flying through it, shocking the Shadow King. She sticks her energy stick right in the middle of the King’s chest, and he screams!

Seconds later...

Jena, surprisingly enough, finds herself back in the Chamber of Ages! Next to her are the Phoenix Blade, which sticks upside down in the ground, and the skull of the dead Shadow King. Jena has won. Jena reminisces it all became so clear: the Phoenix sword was never meant to be used to rule Limbo. It was created to help guide Limbo into a better future. For that, the true power lies not in the sword, but in the hand of the person that wields it. She guesses the Shadow King didn’t have an older sister to teach him that.

Jena recalls that her sister Madalyne is still in danger. She tries to touch the sword to help her reach Madalyne, but the Blade suddenly withers apart! Jena screams this can’t be happening! Her head... it feels like it’s on fire! She also sees that the Sands of Time get destroyed by a lightning bolt, and wonders what’s going on. Her headache gets worse by the second, causing Jena to scream even louder!


Madalyne has been defeated by the Core and apologizes to Jena for failing her. A voice from above corrects Madalyne she never failed her. Stunned, Madalyne looks up. A portal opens and... Jena lands through it! Jena shouts at the Core to get away from her sister, and they can consider their hunt to be over. The leader of the Core recognizes the other Pyre sister, but notices she doesn’t have the Blade with her. So, they can be both destroyed.

Before the Core can react, Jena destroys them all with a powerful energy blast! Jena tries to help Madalyne up and asks if she’s okay. Madalyne just wants to know how Jena was able to defeat the Shadow King. Crying a bit, Jena explains that the Phoenix Blade is gone. All she can say is she’s been given an incredible gift. As for the Shadow King, well... she’s always had... something he never did. Madalyne wonders what that was. Jena smiles and hugs her sister, making her happy as well. Madalyne cries a bit as well, congratulating her little sister on her victory.

Later, at the Pyre castle...

Nublisk’s library...

Madalyne has informed Nublisk about everything that happened. He concludes that, even with the sword and the Sands of Destiny gone, Jena was still retains the power that the sword encompassed. That’s just incredible! Madalyne admits she doesn’t understand it either. In the history of the sword, she has never heard of anything like this.

Nublisk reminds Madalyne they have never really known the true origin of the Phoenix Blade. Perhaps this is just an evolution of sorts. It’s impossible to know for sure. Madalyne concludes the Great Phoenix works in mysterious ways. Nublisk can only agree.

Elsewhere in the castle...

Nidel happily tells Jena she told her she’d be fantastic. She thinks Jena Pyre will go down into history as saving the day and continuing her family’s everlasting legacy. Jena corrects Nidel that, actually, she thinks the old legacy is over... and a new one is just beginning!

Characters Involved: 

Jena & Madalyne Pyre



The Shadow King

Wraithian Core creatures (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

This issue falls under the mature Marvel Knights comic line for its intense use of nudity.

Written By: