THE PHOENIX SHOWS SUPERHEROES’ AND SUPERVILLAINS’ FIGHTS ARE GLADIATORIAL COMBAT
In ‘Avengers’ (2021) #40, Phoenix seeking a host causes gladiatorial combat among superheroes on Earth. The Avengers have located Phoenix rising out of the arctic ice on a volcanic island. Apparently, Phoenix was called to Earth by Namor who seeks to marry her. In fact, the Phoenix has summoned heroes and villains in order to fight each other to claim her as host. “Enter the Phoenix” shows superheroes’ fights are reminiscient of ancient gladiatorial combat.
We begin the first gladiator combat between Captain America and Doctor Doom. The battle is vicious and Doom ultimately gains the upper hand. Doom manages to kill Captain America twice with cosmic blasts, however, aided by the Phoenix, Captain America rises from the ashes to continue fighting. Noticing this as the Phoenix’s testament to Captain America’s valor, Doctor Doom forfeits the battle. Captain America is then transported by Phoenix to the White Hot Room where the other combatants wait their turn.
BLACK PANTHER HAS TO DECIDE TO END THE PHOENIX’S CONTEST
In ‘Avengers’ (2021) #41, the Phoenix continues its gladiatorial combats by selecting combatants from the White Hot Room. We have the following matches: Black Panther vs Man-Thing. Luke Cage vs American Eagle. Shanna The She-Devil vs Moon Girl. Valkyrie (Jane Foster) vs Orb. Hyperion vs Shang-Chi. Red Widow vs Howard The Duck. Black Panther vs Nighthawk. Maya Lopez vs Namor.
In the White Hot Room, the Phoenix speaks to Black Panther in aparte. She tells him to end the contest. Phoenix tells him she knew the old Panther king who fought with glowing rocks but who could end gods. Black Panther promises to end the contest no matter the cost. Phoenix says she wants T’Challa and that she will burn Wakanda’s name across the stars if he agress. Otherwise, she will burn it to ashes. Black Panther refuses and asks Phoenix to become benevolent. Otherwise, he will show Phoenix how he deals with a blizzard.
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IN A NEW ORIGIN STORY WITH PHOENIX, THOR BECOMES THE SON OF A MONSTER
In ‘Avengers’ (2021) #42, the Avengers attempt to end Phoenix’s gladiatorial combat. Outside the White Hot Room, on the volcanic island, the Avengers are attempting to contain the Phoenix. The Avengers battle the Phoenix in order to keep her contained in the volcanic island. As the Phoenix is freed, Thor reflects on the link he has shared with the Phoenix time and again. He feels some form of love. She tells him, he is her son. This is the new origin story of Thor and effectively makes him the son of a monster. In ‘Avengers’ (2021) #43, Thor battles his way against Phoenix through his new origin story. The Phoenix finally escapes the volcanic island.
Thor does not believe the lie and tells her Gaia is her mother. He throws his hammer at the Phoenix Force which phases through her. Then, Phoenix Force explains that the lie was necessary for Thor to protect the Earth. She tells the Thunder God is a child of Fire and Thunder. The Avengers are worried about Thor but Iron Man tells Okoye to delay the Wakandan Helicarriers. The Phoenix Force tells Thor, Gaia kept her trapped inside Earth for thousands of years. However, when the final host came, she was free. And now, she remembers Thor. Thor battles Phoenix Force but she soon gains the upper hand. Elsewhere, Captain America is about to face Black Panther in gladiatorial combat.