The Phoenix Force destroys theEarth-81727 universe. Marvel Comics.
In our short-story of love, passion, destruction and extinction, we begin with Uatu in the Earth-616 universe.
To begin,the Watcher ponders the Phoenix's journey with the X-Men. In his musings, he contemplates an alternate reality...
Here, Phoenix did not die! Instead, the X-Men lost their battle against the Shi'ar and the Phoenix Force was psychically lobotomized from Jean Grey. But in reality, this was further from the truth.
On a fateful day, the X-Men were called into battle by Lilandra. On the alien planet Arama, our children of the atom were to face Galactus trying to consume the planet... and his herald Terrax! A fierce battle followed during which Terrax struck down the X-Men, even threatening Cyclops.
At that moment, we realized that the Phoenix had been laying dormant. Violently, she emerged and removed the Power Cosmic from Terrax. Then, she valiantly engaged Galactus in combat. Soon, she defeated him and repelled his invasion. However, Jean is overwhelmed by the fury and the passion of the Phoenix. A cosmic fiery bird of death and rebirth, Phoenix destroyed asteroids and consumed a star.
Eventually, the X-Men returned to Earth. When Shadowcat berated Jean for losing control, the telepath killed her. Soon, Dark Phoenix destroyed the X-Men one by one. Finally, the death of her lover, Cyclops, was the last straw.
In a fit of rage, folly and cosmic madness, the fiery bird consumed Earth, then the galaxy, and finally, the universe and beyond.
Here ends the story of the Phoenix which should serve as a cautionary tale to not let this fiery cosmic bird to reign unimpeded in the cosmos.
Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Olivier Coipel.
‘Avengers vs X-Men’ #1-12.
THE PHOENIX FORCE IS COMING TO EARTH, SEEKING HOPE SUMMERS
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #1, the Avengers come into world-wide conflict with the X-Men. To begin, Nova crashes into the Empire State Building in New York City. Critically injured, he states “it’s coming” before falling into a coma. Later, at a White House, Captain America and Iron Man brief the President on recent events. Briefly, Iron Man has analyzed the energy signature on Nova’s uniform. Sinisterly, it points to the Phoenix coming to Earth. Importantly, it is locking for a host in order to potentially lay waste to Earth.
Suddenly, Tony’s programs signal a Phoenix flare on Earth. Soon, Captain America meets Wolverine at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning. Despite his resistance, Cap recruits Wolverine. Indeed, he intends to convince Scott Summers to stop the Phoenix threat. Previously, Cyclops and Hope Summers are training for the Phoenix’s arrival. As Cyclops pushes Hope to her limits, the young mutant manifests the Phoenix Force. Later, Captain America comes to Utopia to take Hope Summers into protective custody.
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #2, it is all-out war between the Avengers and the X-Men. Meanwhile, Hope is locked safely in a room with the Lights. When neither side has the upper hand, Wolverine and Spider-Man seek out Hope. There, they find Hope having dealt with the Lights. However, before Wolverine can gut her, Hope blasts him and Spider-Man. Then, she makes her escape.
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #3, Wolverine comes to an hour later. Quickly, he realizes Cyclops’ surrender is a ruse. In fact, Magik has created the illusion that she is Doctor Strange transporting herself. Before he can act, the X-Men teleport to Long Beach to hunt down Hope. At Avengers Tower, Marvel Girl tells Wolverine they have traced Hope’s energy signature to five different locations.
Soon, Captain America divides the Avengers into five teams sent to the five locations: Wundagore Mountain, Tabula Rasa, Wakanda, Latveria and Savage Land. In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #4, Hope recruits Wolverine on a mission to the moon. There, she hopes to bond with the Phoenix. On site, Wolverine betrays Hope and gives her location to the Avengers.
At the same time, Emma Frost intercepts Cap’s transmission. Soon, the X-Men meet the Avengers in the Blue Area of the moon. In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #5, the X-Men battle the Avengers. In an explosive battle, Hope rejects the Phoenix. At the same time, Iron Man’s Phoenix-Killer Armor detonates the Phoenix splitting it. As the smoke disappears, the Phoenix Five rise from the ashes. Mysteriously, they depart with Hope.
REBUILDING THE WORLD, THE PHOENIX FIVE TAKE AVENGERS PRISONERS
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #6, the Phoenix Five begin world-building. Cyclops rebuilds Utopia, Magik ends war, Emma Frost destroys the Sentinels, Colossus destroys nuclear misssiles and King Namor removes nuclear submarines. Certainly, the Phoenix Five seem unstoppable. However, Captain America and the Avengers question their new-found omnipotence. Seeing the Phoenix Five as a threat, they commandeer a tactical mission to retrieve Hope Summers.
When Utopia is under attack, Scott’s adoptive granddaughter changes sides with the Avengers. Decisively, it turns the battle and shatters Cyclops’ humanity. On the Blue Area of the moon, Scott consults with Jean Grey created out of moon dust. From there, he decides to rid the world of the Avengers. Earlier, Scarlet Witch had a grim vision where the Phoenix Five annihilated the Avengers. Soon, that vision may come to pass.
WITH THE FULL POWER OF THE PHOENIX, CYCLOPS IS DEFEATED BY HOPE SUMMERS AND SCARLET WITCH
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #12, occurs the final battle. Finally, Cyclops has attained the full power of the Phoenix while the other Phoenix Four have been depowered. In a titanic battle, Cyclops is omnipresent on Earth across time and space. Earlier, Tony reveals that the reason the Phoenix has been defeated by Scarlet Witch. Really, the Phoenix and Scarlet Witch’s Chaos Magic are like yin and yang. In fact, when Wanda said “no more mutants”, Phoenix said “more mutants.”1
During the battle, Hope and Scarlet Witch go toe-to-toe with Cyclops. In a final Iron Fist punch, Hope fells Cyclops. With Cyclops defeated, Hope claims the Phoenix. Sensing the urgency, Wanda helps her extinguish the Phoenix flame. At the same time, the Phoenix is used to recreate the mutant population on Earth. In the end, though homo superior survives, it is at great cost. Indeed, Professor X is dead, Cyclops is in custody, and the X-Men are divided among themselves. Visiting Scott in prison, Cap acknowledges his responsibility. Over the years, he did not work sufficiently for mutants’ civil rights and plans to set up the Uncanny Avengers.
WITH SCORCH’S HELP, MARTIAN MANHUNTER OVERCOMES HIS FIRE WEAKNESS
In “JLA: Trial By Fire,”Martian Manhunter becomes Fernus The Burning. In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz meets with Superman over barbeque. Joyfully, he tells Superman he has overcome his fire weakness. With Scorch’s help, it has taken training to the limits of his mind and body. Soon, J’onn invites Superman to stay for dinner. But the Man of Steel has to respond to a JLA signal and flies away. As he departs, J’onn tells him he wants to remain on his vacation. Though, he intends to come back soon.
Later, the Justice League of America convenes on the Watchtower. Recently, at Arkham Asylum, Blackgate Prison and other prisons have reported their prisoners bawling over their crimes and watching Sesame Street on television. Green Lantern (John Stewart) hypothesizes it is a telepath. Soon, the JLA also find out that President Luthor is catatonic. Courageously, Superman enlists Martian Manhunter’s help. Unfortunately, J’onn is unable to repair Luthor’s mind. Moreover, he is caught in an energy feedback. And, the disembodied voice of Fernus speaks about its mysterious “gifts” to the JLA.1
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz reveals to Superman that he has overcome his fire weakness with Scorch’s help. AP Photo/DC Comics.
FEAT: GREEN LANTERN GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH FERNUS FOR 60 SECONDS
THE GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE FEARED THE BURNING MARTIANS
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern (John Stewart) tells the origin story of the Martian race. 20,000 years ago, Mars was peopled by the Burning Martians. In a few words, the Burning Martians lived on a planet of Chaos. Certainly, they were a “barbaric, ruthless, brilliant” species.2 Moreover, they constantly battled amongst themselves. Eventually, their wars and tremendous power attracted the Guardians of the Universe’s attention. As the self-appointed Guardians of Order, the Guardians felt it necessary to intervene to stop the spread of Chaos. Indeed, Mars was centuries away from achieving space travel.
Battling the Burning Martians, the Guardians wanted to avoid genocide. Then, they turned to genetic manipulation. Brilliantly, the Guardians repressed the Burning Martians with the psycho-somatic weakness to fire. But, as John notes, they were short-sighted. Truly, they neglected to account for the Martian collective consciousness. So, J’onn J’onnz overcame his weakness. Effectively, he gained access to the Burning Martian genetic block through the Martian collective consciousness. As Fernus, he needs the suffering and the burning of the entire human population in order to reproduce asexually.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern tells the origin story of the Burning Martians. AP Photo/DC Comics.
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FERNUS TAKES ON PLASTIC MAN AND THE JLA
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #88, Fernus takes on Plastic Man and the JLA. Previously, Batman recruited Plastic Man (Patrick O’Brian) into active duty. Going toe-to-toe, Plastic Man is able to contain Fernus for some time. Correctly, Batman states Plastic Man’s mind is no longer organic. His shape-shifting which is based on inspiration, can adapt to Martian telepathy. However, Superman fails to destroy the last of the nuclear warheads that Fernus detonated. Unfortunately, the warhead detonates in the city of Chongjin in North Korea.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89,Flash runs at light speed to save its 532,000 men, women and children. Suddenly, Scorch turns the tide of the battle. Courageously, the demon absorbs Fernus’ fire allowing Superman and the League to obliterate the Burning. Sadistically, Fernus triggers Scorch’s fire. Jubilantly, Fernus is about to spawn only to find Martian Manhunter ripping through his entrails. The faith of the JLA freed him from the Dreamwalk. Meanwhile, Green Lantern turns off the city-wide flames with a wave of water. Finally, Martian Manhunter obliterates Fernus with his Martian vision.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89, Fernus takes on the JLA and Plastic Man. AP Photo/DC Comics.