The phases of Phoenix:
|Posted: 27 May 2020 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 9
Jean is bombarded by cosmic rays, like the FF (tac tac tac) and her powers are greatly boosted.
Chris keeps writing her bigger and bigger, until I start grumbling that she’s dominating the book.
Steven Grant suggests a solution: make her a villain. I don’t really like the idea (I’ve been in love since the first issue), but it seems like the only way of setting the book back on an even keel. Significantly, Chris has already laid the groundwork without realizing it. I suggest Mastermind as the mechanism for corrupting Jean.
IMPORTANT: At this point Phoenix is still a manifestation of Jean Grey’s boosted powers. She is Jean thru and thru.
We set about the Great Corruption, stealing heavily from the TV AVENGERS episode “A Touch of Brimstone”. Dark Phoenix goes full blast, and to emphasize that we’re not kidding around, she wipes out the D’Bari.
Shooter comes in on “Monday morning”, and his latest whim of iron is that all the stories should be about CONSEQUENCES. He realizes he can’t unleash this on the big guns like Doctor Doom or Magneto or Galactus, so he turns his Eye of Sauron on Phoenix. Despite having been told what was coming, he claims he “didn’t understand”, and that Phoenix must be “taken to a prison asteroid to be horribly tortured for all eternity.”
My response is “F**k that, I’d rather kill her.”
The result is A MUCH BETTER STORY.
Chris will never accept this. He cannot let go of Phoenix. Every chance he gets he hints that Phoenix was a beautiful, benign force that was corrupted by Jean’s human spirit. I maintain it’s the other way around.
Chris flogs the dead horse to the point that people in the Office begin referring to Phoenix as Marvel’s least dead dead character.
kurt busiek suggests Phoenix was a COPY of Jean, and the real Jean is in an energy cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay (where the StarCore shuttle crashed). I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!
When Marvel is getting ready to launch X-FACTOR, starring the original X-Men, I suggest we use the idea to bring Jean into the book. Roger Stern and I, presided over by Shooter, plot a crossover between the AVENGERS and the FANTASTIC FOUR to engineer Jean’s return. All is done, all is set, all is approved and ready to go to the printers.
Then I make a fatal mistake. I accept DC’s invitation to “reboot” Superman. Mike Hobson, Shooter’s boss, sends me a letter of congratulations, saying “Anything that’s good for DC will ultimately be good for Marvel.” (At this point I intended to work for both companies.)
Shooter declares the previously approved FF half of the story flawed and in need of a major overhaul. I see what he’s doing and refuse to play along. “He needs to punish me,” I say to editor Mike Carlin. Jackson Guice is called in to redraw. For an extra twist of the knife, Chris is called in to do the rewrite.
A while later, I leave Marvel.