PHOENIX IV: Page 4 of 11

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12th April 2007

BIOGRAPHY - Page 3
Back on Earth, Jean confronted her parents and explained to them everything about the X-Men, and their dream. She also had to bring up the changes she had undergone recently and didn’t fully understand herself. To that regard, though, she decided to (re-)join the X-Men as a full time member to get a handle on these vast powers at her disposal. [X-Men (1st series) #109-110] Things turned out differently, though.
Soon thereafter, the X-Men were hypnotized by Mesmero into believing themselves to be a circus crew. Phoenix worked as the trapeze artist named Miz Destiny. Not having heard from his friends in quite a while, The Beast went looking for them and eventually tracked them down. He was able to snap his friends out of the trance but not before Magneto had taken advantage of the situation and abducted the entire group to his sub-Antarctic headquarter. There, a battle between Phoenix and Magneto damaged the base’s structure and earthquakes and molten lava separated Jean and Beast from the rest of the team. Believing the others to be dead, Jean created a tunnel to the frozen wasteland above where she and Hank were spotted by the pilots of a military helicopter. After returning home, Phoenix had the unpleasant task of informing Xavier of her teammates‘ death. [X-Men (1st series) #111-114]

Jean dealt with her loss on a holiday trip to the Greek Isles and, afterwards, she went to Muir Island, since Xavier, without students to teach, had joined Lilandra in the Shi’ar Empire. Jean‘s old friends and teammates, such as Moira MacTaggert, Havok and Polaris, tried to support her as good as possible. [X-Men (1st series) #117, Classic X-Men #24, X-Men (1st series) #119]

Unnoticed by anyone, Phoenix was being stalked by Mastermind. For weeks the illusionist had been following her in many different guises and, presenting himself as a handsome stranger, he even introduced himself to Jean when she went shopping in a nearby town. Slowly but surely, Mastermind began to influence the unsuspecting woman with his illusions. For a few seconds, reality would shift and she found herself in some late 18th century setting, wearing the typical clothes of the time and apparently in love with Sir Jason Wyngarde, the attractive guise in which the villain had approached Jean. [Classic X-Men #24, X-Men (1st series) #122, 125]

In the meantime, the other X-Men, who had also escaped from Magneto’s base before it was fully destroyed, had made their way back to Xavier’s mansion too. Phoenix and the rest of the team learned of each other being alive, when the dangerous mutant Proteus escaped from his detention cell on Muir Island and ran loose. Upon arriving in Scotland, the X-Men found Phoenix unconscious. Cyclops immediately tended to his lover but, in her dazed state, she addressed him as Jason, the man she kept seeing in her visions. [X-Men (1st series) #126] Once, Proteus was defeated, Cyclops and Phoenix made up with each other. He explained that after her apparent death he did not allow himself to feel anything at all, fearing that he would go insane over his loss. Scott even admitted to have dated another woman shortly afterwards, to which Jean replied that it was okay, as she would want him to be with someone else once she was gone. However, Phoenix was not as open as Cyclops and she continued to keep her timeshift episodes secret, even though they were happening more and more often. [X-Men (1st series) #129]

Right after Professor Xavier returned from space, Cerebro registered two new mutant signatures and the X-Men split up to get in touch with both of them. While approaching Dazzler in a night club in New York, Jean again bumped into Jason Wyngarde and immediately was hit by another 18th century illusion, in which she ended up marrying Jason Wyngarde. After the ceremony, Jason presented Jean to the wedding guests as the new Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. The illusion at an end, Jean and her friends learned that the other half of the X-Men, contacting the second new mutant, Kitty Pryde, had been taken captive by a woman named White Queen and other operatives of this same-said Hellfire Club. When Phoenix and the White Queen fought each other, it seemed at first that their telepathic powers were equally matched. However, once she spotted her opponent‘s weaknesses, Jean showed no mercy and hospitalized the White Queen for the next months. Phoenix also used her power irresponsibly when she “convinced“ the parents of Kitty Pryde to let her enroll at Xavier‘s school. [X-Men (1st series) #130-131]

Deciding that the Hellfire Club needed to be investigated, the X-Men flew to New Mexico where they met with their former teammate, the Angel, who happened to have inherited a membership in the Club from his parents. After getting some valuable information from him, there was also the chance to relax for a few days. During a picnic on an isolated mountain butte, Phoenix surprised Cyclops with yet another powerful feat - able to telekinetically hold his optic beams in check, she took off his visor to get a good look at his face for the first time.

Returning to New York a couple of days later, the X-Men attended one of the Hellfire Club‘s parties with invitations that the Angel had organized for them. They walked straight into a trap, though, as Jean fell prey to another illusion of Mastermind; this time it being permanent. As the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club‘s Inner Circle, she helped to capture all the other X-Men, who in the illusionary world she was trapped in were rebellious slaves and unpleasant servants to Jean‘s role as an 18th century noble woman. Through their psi-bond, Cyclops managed to enter the illusion, only to be confronted and killed by Jason Wyngarde on the astral plane. Seeing her true love “die,“ Jean snapped out of the trance she was in and freed her teammates. While the other X-Men fought the rest of the Hellfire Club, she took a most cruel revenge on Mastermind, making his mind one with the universe, overloading his sensory input. [X-Men (1st series) #132-134]

Even though the villain was defeated, it was too late, and the damage was already done. Wyngarde’s manipulations had awakened and strengthened Jean’s darker side and, lusting for power, she transformed into Dark Phoenix during the flight back home to Xavier’s mansion. In this state, she had no moral code anymore. Easily over-powering her fellow X-Men, she took off to the stars. In the matter of seconds, she left the Milky Way behind and reached other galaxies deep in space. Soaring through the universe at this incredible speed, however, Dark Phoenix needed more energy. Passing D’Bari, a star of approximately the same size as Earth’s sun, she decided that this would do just fine and entirely consumed it without a thought of the consequences. Her actions doomed the entire D’Bari systems, as the planets and all their inhabitants were scorched when the sun went super-nova. Five billion people died, but their deaths were recorded by the crew of a Shi’ar vessel close by. [X-Men (1st series) #135]

As Dark Phoenix returned to Earth to see her parents one more time, she was surprise-attacked by the X-Men. They strapped a neural inhibitor on her, but her incredible powers soon overloaded the device. Professor Xavier then engaged his student in a telepathic battle, during which tried to bind her power once again. He couldn’t have done it without Jean‘s good side emerging and fighting to her Dark Phoenix self, though. Willing herself to be Jean as she was before she had been cosmically empowered, she collapsed into the arms of Cyclops, who then proposed to her. [X-Men (1st series) #136]
The joyful moment was interrupted by the Shi’ar, who filled the X-Men in on what Dark Phoenix had done while she was in space. Classifying her as a threat to the whole universe, the aliens demanded her death and the X-Men had to engage the Shi’ar Imperial guard in a duel over Jean’s fate. The Blue Area of the moon served as a battleground for this duel but, unfamiliar with the powers of many of their opponents, the X-Men didn’t fare too well. After all her teammates had been defeated, Phoenix’s cosmic power levels resurfaced. With her last strength of will before succumbing again to the dark influence inside of her, Jean used her telekinesis to activate an alien weapon to vaporize herself. [X-Men (1st series) #137]