This year’s Dark Phoenix marks both the end of Fox’s long-running X-Men series and the second adaptation of the critically acclaimed and beloved X-Men comic arc The Dark Phoenix Saga. Unlike X-Men III: The Last Stand, which only took elements of the source material, Dark Phoenix will be a loose but closer adaptation of the famous comic storyline.
But even if it leans closer to the comic books, Dark Phoenix leaves some interesting facts and events about Jean Grey, her Phoenix persona, and the saga as a whole on the cutting floor. Now that Marvel regained the rights to the X-Men, these details may make it to the big screen in the future but for now, here are 10 facts about Jean Grey and the Phoenix that Dark Phoenix leaves out.
10 Dark Phoenix Killed The D’Bari
In Dark Phoenix, Jean learns more about the cosmic powers inside her through the D’Bari leader Vuk and her loyalists. Here, the D’Bari are an alien race that seek to use the cosmic powers within Jean to revive their planet.
However, they had almost nothing to do with the Dark Phoenix. Originally, the peaceful D’Bari are Dark Phoenix’s first victims when their star system is wiped out after she ate their sun by making it go super-nova. Their only purpose in the Dark Phoenix Saga was to establish stakes and give Jean a body count of more than 5 billion.
9 Alien Races Tried To Kill Dark Phoenix
After the X-Men temporarily subdue the Dark Phoenix, the mutants are teleported into an intergalactic courtroom where they decree that Jean Grey must die for killing 5 billion people.
Some of the races present in the hearing are familiar Marvel mainstays, such as the Kree and the Skrulls. Leading the trial are representatives of the Shi’Ar empire, who were allies of the D’Bari. The movie only uses one of the many races featured in the saga, and it just so happened to be the dead one.
8 Dark Phoenix Ate Planets
Jean Grey may have been possessed by one of the most powerful and malevolent forces in the whole galaxy, but she still needed to eat. Using her immense powers drained her energy, so she ate the first star that she lucked into: the sun of the D’Bari system.
Dark Phoenix consumed the system’s sun so fast that the planets’ populations had no time to react or even realize what was going on. To her, this massive genocide was as easy as tearing paper. It’s a shame the movies never showed Jean eating a sun.
7 Dark Phoenix Thrives On Life-Force
Though it’s not really clear in the latest movie, Dark Phoenix thrives from living beings’ life-force. In fact, it was the D’Bari sun’s energy and the combined life-forces of more than 5 billion individuals that made her even more powerful.
The closest that Dark Phoenix has to showing this is when it’s stated that the cosmic power in Jean relies on its host’s life-force to stay alive, which is why transferring it from Jean to Vuk could prove fatal for the telepathic mutant.
6 The Phoenix’s Name
After seemingly coming back from the dead during the X-Men’s latest rescue mission in space, the students in Xavier’s school begin to call Jean “Phoenix.” None of the characters explicitly call her (or the power) “Phoenix,” though the image of the fiery bird constantly appears.
In the comics, the cosmic entity calls itself the “Phoenix Force,” and Jean Grey adopts the name when she fuses with it. For a while, Jean (now more powerful) was known as Phoenix, and this served as the foundations for the Dark Phoenix Saga.
5 The Phoenix Force Is A Sentient Being
The Phoenix Force is a sentient being that was eventually corrupted when its host – Jean – got her first taste of evil thanks to Mastermind. Jean even compared it to a symbiote that was egging her to commit more atrocities to satisfy its growing hunger.
In Dark Phoenix, however, the Phoenix Force is a cloud of mysteriously destructive cosmic power that just so happened to pass by Earth. Whatever it was, it wiped out the D’Bari’s planet and now Vuk wants to use it to resurrect the planet – despite it never being clarified how exactly she can do this.
4 The Hellfire Club Awakened Dark Phoenix
Jean turns into the feared Dark Phoenix only after coercion and corruption, and the corruptor changes depending on which story is followed. If Vuk gaslit Jean in Dark Phoenix, it was the doing of Mastermind and the Hellfire Club in the comics.
Mastermind wanted to bring out Jean’s evil side (named The Black Queen) so the Hellfire Club could gain a new ally, and he did so by manipulating her mind. This worked too well and awakened Dark Phoenix’s full potential, whose first act with her amplified abilities was to permanently break Mastermind by driving him insane.
3 Jean Grey Was Phoenix Before Dark Phoenix
In Dark Phoenix, Jean is possessed by shapeless cosmic energy that amplifies her already strong telekinetic and telepathic abilities. She’s barely able to control it, unleashing her more powerful and terrifying persona as a result.
Conversely, Jean was able to keep her strengthened powers in check for a long period of time in the comics. Going by the codename “Phoenix,” Jean proved to be one of the X-Men’s most powerful psychics. The move forgoes this, instead immediately jumping to Jean’s tragic downfall from heroism to evil without any of the comics’ build-up.
2 Jean Grey Accepted The Phoenix Force
Jean’s transformation into Phoenix didn’t only make her stronger but it showed how far she’d go to save her family. When the Phoenix Force says that its powers could kill its host, Jean willingly lets it possess her to save the X-Men’s lives. This impresses the Phoenix Force, and it lends Jean its strength.
In Dark Phoenix, however, the cosmic energy possesses Jean because she just so happened to be in its way. Vuk says that it was looking for a host, but it’s hard to overlook a catalyst that only happened because of bad luck and terrible timing.
1 Jean Grey’s Death Was A Sarcastic Suggestion
Dark Phoenix ends with Jean leaving Earth, even if she died in the comics – a death that’s regarded as one of comics’ most tragic. It’s worth noting that the landmark event only happened because X-Men writer Chris Claremont sarcastically suggested that Jean should die.
Claremont and co-creator John Byrne originally planned to let Dark Phoenix survive as Jean Grey but editor Jim Shooter disagreed, saying that doing so was tantamount to letting Adolf Hitler govern Germany after World War II. A frustrated Claremont made the aforementioned snarky retort, which Shooter surprisingly approved of and endorsed. The rest is history.