PHOENIX IV: Page 7 of 11

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12th April 2007

BIOGRAPHY - Page 6
During their honeymoon, the consciousnesses of Scott and Jean were taken 2000 years into the future by an elderly Rachel (who had ended up too after entering the timestream and living several decades in this era). It turned out that Rachel was the driving force behind the infected baby, Nathan Christopher, being transported to the future after being infected with Apocalypse’s techno-organic virus. While there was no cure for the infection, at least Rachel and her followers had stabilized the child’s condition for a while. However, now the techno-organic virus was spreading again, and could only be held in check with telekinesis. Under the aliases of Redd and Slym, Jean and Scott raised the boy, who one day would become Cable, and taught him how to use his powers to keep the virus in check. The lived together as a happy family for about twelve years, until the day that Mother Askani, Rachel’s alias in that time, died of old age. Her last act was the request of Jean to take on the codename “Phoenix,“ since, to her, a lot of good was attached to the name and she wanted it restored. Then, the couple was sent back in time to their rightful bodies. [Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1-4]

Upon their return to the X-Men, the team was under attack by the alien Phalanx. Fighting the members of this techno-organic collective, the mutants learned what Jean had long feared - her sister Sara had been murdered by enemies of the X-Men. Shortly after her disappearance, Sara had been assimilated by the Phalanx, but she never became truly one of them, her will being too strong. [X-Men (2nd series) #36] When the techno-organic collective was destroyed, the last remnants of Jean’s sister perished as well. A few days later, Jean visited her parents to inform them of the sad news. Her father informed Jean that, on some level, he had already known that Sara was gone. [Uncanny X-Men #322]

When Magneto’s space station, Avalon, was under attack, Jean and Scott were teleported there by Amelia Voght to help. They arrived too late to prevent the destruction of the base but they aided the remaining Acolytes to evacuate. Separated from the others, jean was the only one who could reach Skids, one of the mutants X-Factor had found and trained for a while. Trapped in some debris, Jean and Skids fell down to Earth and passed through the cosmic radiation belt. For Jean, it must have been a déjà-vu to the shuttle flight during which she was approached by the Phoenix Force. However, apparently Skids‘ force field powers filtered out the cosmic rays, and they two mutants were not harmed by the radiation. [X-Men (2nd series) #42-44]

Soon afterward, the X-Men learned of a new, powerful threat named Onslaught. Still trying to figure out who or what Onslaught was, Jean found herself under attack by the enigmatic entity while she was shopping. Taken inside Onslaught’s mind, Jean had to witness his awesome might, and was taunted with the fact that Xavier once had romantic feelings for her, despite being happy for both her and Scott. Later, when the Juggernaut came to Xavier’s mansion on the run from Onslaught, Jean figured out the villain’s true identity – it was Professor Xavier himself. Before she could warn her teammates, though, Onslaught made his move and went on a rampage. [X-Men (2nd series) #53-54, Onslaught crossover] It took the combined might of Earth’s major superheroes to defeat him.

During the Onslaught incident, the X-Men had also met Nate Grey, another child of Scott and Jean from an alternate timeline. Sensing that he was in trouble, Jean tracked him to the Swiss Alps and found him in the company of Madelyne Pryor. Nate had unwittingly resurrected Jean’s rival, by given her psionic ghost a corporal form. Immediately, Madelyne attacked Jean, and Nate was unsure what to do. When he learned of the full story, he sided with Jean and even tried to set things right by uncreating Madelyne, only to find that he could not. After she angrily left, Jean comforted Nate and offered her friendship. She even asked him to come back to the X-Men with her, but he wasn’t ready to make that decision yet. [X-Man #24-25]

Weeks later, some X-Men were busy battling the Phalanx in Shi’ar space. Those that remained on Earth, including Jean, were captured and imprisoned by the troops of Operation Zero Tolerance. They later escaped from their secret base and managed to demolish their Prime Sentinel factory. However, while in Bastion's clutches, Cyclops had been implanted with a nano-tech bomb. When the X-Men returned to the mansion, it took a combination of all the old and new X-Men to save Cyclops with a last minute operation organized by Cecilia Reyes. During this operation, Jean provided a mental anaestethic, and also kept telekinetically held the parts of the bomb apart so that it wouldn’t detonate. [X-Men (2nd series) #70]
To ensure Scott‘s recovery, the couple quit the X-Men and moved to Alaska. However, after a while, Jean had Scott worried, as she slowly seemed to turn into the Phoenix. She began to wear the green Phoenix costume and, various times, manifested an energy signature that resembled the so-called Phoenix effect, a bird-shaped energy signature. Jean explained that for years she had suppressed her powers out of fear of becoming too powerful and being corrupted just like her cosmically empowered duplicate, but now, she considered herself ready to deal with increased power levels and she wanted to explore herself to become all that she could be. The costume was just a symbolic gesture to express this fresh start. [X-Men (2nd series) #71, Uncanny X-Men #353-357]

However, that development was cut short when the Psi-War, a fight on the astral plane between Psylocke and the Shadow King, caused a temporary worldwide blackout of psionic abilities. Being “headblind“ once more hit Jean quite hard, but her husband promised to help her through these troubled times. While originally they had moved to Alaska for Scott to recover, they now stayed there while awaiting that Jean’s psionic abilities would return. [Uncanny X-Men #358-359]

Months later, Xavier pushed the X-Men too far and Storm called in Scott and Jean to reason with the professor. They failed to help Xavier, who then dissolved the X-Men and told them to go their own way, since, as he put it, he had no use for failures. The majority of the team left on personal vacations but Storm stayed behind to keep Xavier from harming himself. Before they could return to Anchorage, Scott and Jean were contacted the Mannites, who requested the X-Men's aid. Along with Wolverine, the only remaining member of the former team, Cyclops and Phoenix gathered Archangel, Cable and X-Man as the new team. They proceeded on a mission to save the Mannites from Death, one of the new Horsemen of Apocalypse. After Death killed Wolverine with one thrust of his sword, the others rushed him back to the mansion. There, they met up with Xavier and the recently scattered team. Xavier revealed that he had only pretended to lose control in order to uncover a traitor he had sensed in their midst. The traitor was discovered when Wolverine's deceased body reverted to its true form: that of a Skrull warrior. In order to help find the real Logan, the Summers couple decided to stay with the X-Men. [X-Men (2nd series) #92, Astonishing X-Men (2nd series) #1-3, Uncanny X-Men #375]

Their search also uncovered the list of the infamous Twelve, and the names of both Cyclops and Phoenix were on it. Actually wishing to fully retire and start a family, Scott and Jean opted to help out the X-Men a final time before fully retiring. However, Apocalypse and his forces captured all of the Twelve during the battle, and he started to use them in a ritual to that would give him near unlimited power. Magneto and Polaris created opposite magnetic polarities, Iceman, Storm and Sunfire provided elemental extremes, Cyclops, Phoenix and Cable gave the unity of family and the vast energies of the Summers bloodline, Xavier provided the power of mind, while Bishop and Mikhail represented control over time and space. The Living Monolith linked all their energies together. Nate Grey was to be Apocalypse's new host, a powerhouse to store his massive lifeforce. Before the transfer was complete, though, the Twelve managed to free themselves and Cyclops sacrificed his own body and lifeforce to keep Apocalypse from getting Nate. Jean was horrified to see Apocalypse fuse body and soul with her husband, Cyclops. This new gestalt being attempted to use the absorbed power of the Twelve to rewrite history at various crucial points in order to dominate the future. The X-Men, however, defeated the new Apocalypse, who then escaped. [The Twelve crossover]

Earlier on, Jean had learned that Psylocke had imprisoned the Shadow King in her mind and as such could no longer access her telepathic powers, as that would have allowed the villain to escape. She had promised to help Betsy with this after the imminent crisis was dealt with [X-Men (2nd series) #96] and, indeed, after a few months that she needed to mourn for Scott, Jean kept her word. However, the experiment misfired, resulting in a power-switch between the two women. While Jean lost her telekinesis to Psylocke, she added the other woman’s telepathic powers to her own, including her shadowy astral image. However, instead of Psylocke’s Crimson Dawn mark, Jean sported a small Phoenix logo over her eye. [off-panel, during the six month gap]

Jean returned to the X-Men full-time and became part of a small group that had adventures all over the globe. Her teammates were Storm, Beast, Gambit and Cable, who had joined the X-Men to replace his father, Cyclops. Her increased telepathic energies more than made up for her loss of her telekinetic abilities, especially as Jean could mentally reach out to access Cable’s telekinesis and augment them with her psionic potential. Cable, however, was somewhat concerned about Jean’s incredible power and the ease with which she wielded it. In order to prevent her from being corrupted by her powers, Cable at one point decided to stab Jean with his psimitar, which would have resulted in both of them losing their powers. Fortunately, the remaining X-Men stopped him in time. [Uncanny X-Men #381-383]

Not much later, Jean, along with several others, was contacted by Prosh for a mission of great importance with a great impact on the future of humanity. Their minds were sent back in time to crucial events in their lives, where Jean and the other Cataclysm Keys, as Prosh called them, were to gather specific knowledge required for their mission. Some of the time-jumps took Jean back to the planet that was to be judged by the Celestials, to her time in the healing cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay and also to the meeting between Death and Phoenix, right after she had committed suicide on the moon. Death made Jean realize that actually she had chosen the Phoenix Force as much as it had chosen her. Back during that shuttle flight, when the Force first approached her, indeed Jean’s primary reason for accepting the offer was to save her fellow X-Men. However, she also sensed its infinite power and its unfathomable knowledge, and she yearned for growth. That aspect, Death further revealed, is what made her so special and what caused the fundamental forces of the universe to notice humanity. In Jean, the unlimited potential of mankind was met by the unquenchable desire to grow, as such representing a legitimate challenge to the fabric of reality itself. [X-Men Forever #1-3]

Claiming that the higher forces of the universe considered humanity a threat that had to be removed, the Stranger took Jean to a different plane of existence, where he told her that he wanted to help her and all of humanity to nurture and utilize their unique gift. A Phoenix raptor appeared before them and, referring to the Phoenix Force as the Resurrection Force - as such both beginning and end - he told Jean not to be afraid. She touched the Force, and bathed in the Phoenix’ fire she saw the universe with new eyes - innately understanding and reveling in the scope and scale of the concepts involved. She witnessed the next millennia of years of evolutionary growth until humanity becomes Eternity. Still trying to take that all in, suddenly the Stranger got frozen in time and Eternity appeared before Jean to set things right. He revealed that while it was correct that humanity would one day replace the higher forces of the universe, they had no problem with that, as they considered this the natural way of things and had accepted their inevitable fate. On the other hand, the Stranger’s only desire was to spark humanity’s evolution premature to turn it into a raging inferno, which would engulf the entire cosmos and leave him as the sole survivor of a new universe. As Eternity vanished, she informed the other recruits of Prosh and together they thwarted the Stranger’s plan before he could carry it out. [X-Men Forever #6] Whereas during the months prior to this incident, Jean might have been subconsciously tapping into the Force while exploring the limits of her powers, she was now fully aware of her link to it.

A few days later, Jean found herself under attack by the Starslammer, the sole survivor of the D’Bari, who happened to be off the planet when Dark Phoenix consumed D’Bari’s sun. Entering his mind and accessing the buried Phoenix memories in her head, Jean re-lived the incident from both perspectives, from Phoenix’s and from the D’Bari’s. Well aware that the Starslammer wouldn’t back down until he had some sort of revenge, she created the telepathic illusion that he had killed Jean. Afterwards, though, Jean couldn’t help but wonder if she wasn’t to blame for the D’Bari incident somehow. While Dark Phoenix was a different person, Jean reasoned that she set events in motion when she allowed the Force to merge with her. From that perspective, one might consider her responsible, so she decided to set things right by establishing the name “Phoenix” once more a force for good, as someone who represents the fire and passion that creates life rather than destroy it. [Uncanny X-Men #387]
As various clues pointed to her husband still being alive and fighting the merger with Apocalypse, Jean and Cable embarked on a search for Cyclops. When they found the merged individual, he had reverted back to Scott Summers in appearance, no longer displaying any mutant powers and was amnesiac. In the final battle between many forces aligned either for or against Apocalypse, Jean managed to use her psi-bond with Scott to drag out Apocalypse’s essence and Cable disrupted it with his Psimitar, finally killing the multi-millennia-old villain. However, Scott’s and Jean’s psychic rapport also seemed to be disrupted as a result. [X-Men: Search for Cyclops #1-4]