Unlike X-Men: The Last Stand, the new Dark Phoenix movie features a little more of the source material from The Dark Phoenix Saga. It's always tough to decide what makes the cut and what doesn't in the limited time frame of a movie, but you've got to make sure the essentials are there. Following a failed mission in space, Jean Grey is exposed to a living mass of energy known as the Phoenix Force. The power eventually corrupts her, turning her into the fearsome Dark Phoenix.
Including Jean’s already powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities, Dark Phoenix has other abilities at her disposal. As formidable as she is, though, even she is not completely invincible. Let's take a look at some of her heightened powers, as well as some of her surprising weaknesses.
10 Superpower: Energy Absorption
One of the most fearsome things about Dark Phoenix is that she can absorb all forms of energy and use them to fuel her powers.
In X-Men: Phoenix-Endsong, Dark Phoenix uses this ability to absorb the energy produced by Cyclops' optic blasts. Furthermore, she appears to have virtually no limit to how much energy she can absorb, considering that she was able to absorb the power of an entire star. This power is one of Dark Phoenix’s strongest defensive abilities. Although, for someone of her level, it can also be used to wipe out entire planets by draining the energy of a star to the point of causing supernovas.
9 Weakness: Can be sealed behind mental barriers
A powerful telepath in his own right, Charles Xavier was responsible for teaching Jean how to use her psychic abilities. However, as Dark Phoenix, Jean reaches a level that even Professor X can’t hope to match. While there are very few obstacles that can stand in her way, Professor X is strong enough to temporarily incapacitate her. Using his psychic powers, Professor X successfully pushed back Dark Phoenix and created psychic barriers within Jean’s subconscious to keep her darker persona at bay.
While a temporary solution, it is possible that multiple telepaths working together could seal her away for longer periods of time.
8 Superpower: Cosmic Pyrokinesis
As her name suggests, Dark Phoenix shares several abilities and traits with the mythological beast she is named after. This includes the power to control fire. However, Dark Phoenix’s abilities go beyond the level of regular pyrokinesis. She has the power to produce and manipulate her own brand of cosmic flames.
Additionally, she does not have the same limits and weaknesses of regular pyrokinetics. For example, she can produce her flames in environments where fire cannot thrive, like outer space or underwater. Additionally, these flames are so powerful that they can incinerate anything they touch, to the point that not even ashes remain.
7 Weakness: Her power can be stolen
Although the Phoenix Force chose Jean as its vessel, she is not the only one able to wield its power. In the Wolverine and the X-Men TV series, the Stepford Cuckoos of the Hellfire Club were able to extract the Phoenix Force from within Jean and absorb it into themselves.
In Excalibur #50, the mage Feron (one of the Phoenix Force’s earlier hosts) lost against his master Necrom, who was able to extract part of the Phoenix Force’s power and forced it to flee back into the cosmos. If it can happen to one host, then it makes sense that even Dark Phoenix is susceptible to having her powers stolen.
6 Superpower: Molecular Reconstruction
In some legends, the power of the phoenix is often associated with the ancient art of alchemy. Likewise, the Phoenix Force grants Dark Phoenix a similar ability. She can easily reconstruct an object’s subatomic structure, changing it into any form she chooses. For example, she can change how her clothes look or even turn brittle wood into priceless gold.
With this ability, Dark Phoenix has complete control over anything, or anyone. If she wanted to, she could even rearrange a human body into a grotesque blob or even disintegrate them, as she demonstrates several times in X-Men: The Last Stand.
5 Weakness: Mortal Body
Dark Phoenix’s power makes her one of the most dangerous beings in the universe. Her overwhelming power over time, space, energy and matter practically make her a god. However, even with god-like powers and the ability to simulate super strength with telekinesis, Dark Phoenix’s body is still human. While it may prove to be a difficult task, all that it would take to defeat her is a single well-placed blow.
In the Dark Phoenix Saga, Wolverine could have easily ended Dark Phoenix if he had stabbed her with his claws. Wolverine has also used this method to defeat Dark Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand.
4 Superpower: Psionic Nexus
The Phoenix Force is the source of all psionic energy in the multiverse. As a result, only individuals with extraordinary psychic abilities can host its power.
As an omega-level mutant, Jean is easily one of the Phoenix Force’s strongest hosts. In the Phoenix Saga, she soon realizes that she is too strong and intentionally holds back her power to avoid hurting others. When she finally transforms into Dark Phoenix, she proceeds to cut loose and unleash her power. By tapping into the infinite source of psionic energy within her, all of Dark Phoenix's abilities increase exponentially. Without human morals holding her back, Dark Phoenix’s full power could potentially tear the entire universe apart.
3 Weakness: Zombie Virus
Thanks to her connection with the Phoenix Force, Dark Phoenix can resurrect herself upon her death. Although it seems that even this power has its limits.
During the events of Marvel Zombies, Dark Phoenix is one of many super-powered beings that fall victim to the zombie virus. Naturally, one would assume that it would be a simple task for Dark Phoenix to turn herself back into a living human. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. Even with the unlimited power of the Phoenix Force, Dark Phoenix is unable to restore her humanity and is forced to endure endless hunger.
2 Superpower: Future Life Force
As the representation of all life in the Multiverse that has, does and ever will exist, the Phoenix Force possesses unlimited energy. As its host, Dark Phoenix can freely access this energy and use it however she wishes. She can even tap into the life force of future generations. However, using this power carries great risk, as Dark Phoenix essentially steals the life force of people that have yet to exist.
In other words, Dark Phoenix is so powerful that she can even affect time by preventing the births of billions and therefore destroying future timelines. Yet another reason why Dark Phoenix is such an incredible cosmic threat.
1 Weakness: Shi’ar Technology
Even with near-godlike power, Dark Phoenix and the Phoenix Force are somewhat susceptible to certain forms of alien technology. The technology produced by the Shi’ar Empire is especially effective. In X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong #1, the Shi’ar Empire reconstitute the Phoenix Force, in the hopes of finally destroying it. While their attempt failed, they still managed to wound it.
In Phoenix: The Untold Story, the Shi’ar used "Psi Amplifiers" to increase the abilities of their telepaths in order to combat the threat of Jean. By removing her powers, they also succeed in cutting off her connection to both the Phoenix Force and Dark Phoenix.