The Dark Phoenix Saga, Part 3: The Dark PhoenixReturn to X-Men Comparisons: Comics to Cartoon
Comparison By A. Magik, Media By Stu and James Harvey
X-Men often adapted stories from the comic to the screen. But due to the different nature of each medium,
no episode could be directly translated. Presented in the list below is a list of changes from the comics to the
episode. This episode is based on Uncanny X-Men #135 - 137.
-Both versions have Cyclops, Phoenix, Storm, Wolverine, and Beast as X-Men.
-Phoenix goes insane and becomes Dark Phoenix. She enters battle with the X-Men, defeating them with ease.
-Battle scenes adapted for the show:
· The X-Men falling to a park (see Differences).
· Phoenix ricochets Storm's lightning blasts back at her.
· The strongest X-Man uproots a tree to use against Dark Phoenix. Dark Phoenix turns the tree into solid gold, which
pins this X-Man and Wolverine to the ground.
-After defeating the X-Men, Dark Phoenix has a moment of sanity, horrified by her actions. The moment is
brief, and Dark Phoenix departs.
-Sebastian Shaw sees the Phoenix raptor.
-Manhattan heroes sense Dark Phoenix, and Dr. Strange is included in both versions.
-Dark Phoenix leaves Earth, warp speeding through the galaxy. She enters the D'Bari system, feeds on
its sun, causing its destruction and the planets surrounding it.
-A nearby Shi'ar cruiser detects this destruction and goes into battle with Dark Phoenix. She guts their ship.
-Lilandra, now Majestrix of the Shi'ar Empire, is contacted about the planetary system destruction. She
designates Phoenix as a universal threat.
-Cyclops is sure that Phoenix cannot be a threat, under the evidence that she hasn't destroyed them yet.
-Beast create a scrambler headband to inhibit Phoenix's thinking.
-Dark Phoenix returns to Earth, going to the Grey residence, her family home.
-Both versions show Jean's parents and her sister Sarah.
-At her old home, Dark Phoenix appears sane, despite her costume.
-The X-Men renew their battle with Dark Phoenix at the Grey household. Scenes adapted:
-Storm creating a fog.
-The scrambler is planted on Dark Phoenix's head.
-While the team plan to take Dark Phoenix down alive, Wolverine decides to get lethal. He has a moment
to finish her with his claws, but Dark Phoenix has another temporary moment of sanity, pleading with
Wolverine to kill her now. Wolverine hesitates, and gets blasted away.
-Dark Phoenix overloads the scrambler, making it melted slush. She telekinetically restrains the X-Men,
ready to execute them.
-Cyclops enters the scene, using his love for Jean to restore sanity to Dark Phoenix. He succeeds.
-Her guard down, Dark Phoenix gets a mindblast by Professor X from behind (Good one, Prof!).
-Professor X and Dark Phoenix enter a psychic duel. Getting help from the good side of Phoenix, Professor X is
able to contain Dark Phoenix, restoring her back to sanity (he puts up a barrier of psychic circuit breakers within
Phoenix's mind, suppressing her power to safely normal levels).
-Cyclops and Phoenix have a romantic moment, happy that things are over. Unfortunately, the X-Men come into
contact with the Shi'ar, with Lilandra declaring official execution to Phoenix!
-Again, the cartoon blames the Phoenix entity for the descent to evil, not the dark emotions of Jean Grey.
-The cartoon replaces comic book members Colossus and Nightcrawler with Rogue and Gambit. Although not a member as
in the cartoon, the comic Beast joins the team to help out with Dark Phoenix. Angel also aids the team in the comic.
-Although the X-Men fall into the park in both versions, where the X-Men fall from is different. In the comic, it is from
the skycraft that Dark Phoenix blows up. In the cartoon, Dark Phoenix throws them from the Hellfire Club (quite a distance!)
-In the comic, it is Colossus (not Rogue) who attacks Dark Phoenix with a tree. Dark Phoenix transforms his metallic
form back to flesh, making him unable to lift the tree, a weight that becomes heavier when it turns into gold!
(Incidently, this makes better sense than Rogue being unable to lift a solid gold tree!)
-The scene where Cyclops and Nightcrawler are mentally and physically battered senseless by Dark Phoenix
-The comic had Spider-Man, Mr. Fantastic (through machines), and Silver Surfer sensing
Dark Phoenix. The cartoon has Thor, Uatu the Watcher, and Eternity.
-In the comic, the planetary system Dark Phoenix destroys was inhabited by aliens called
the D'Bari (creatures with asparagus heads). Their population of 5 billion are killed in the
destruction. The cartoon avoids this by stating the system to be lifeless (sounds like the Saban
dub to Dragon Ball Z, where Gohan buries some Namekian corpses, then commenting that it was a
good thing the place was uninhabited. Ironically, Saban helped make X-Men: The Animated Series!).
-The Shi'ar cruiser that intercepts Dark Phoenix also gets destroyed, its crew killed (but
not before giving Lilandra a distress call, which shows their obliteration by the Phoenix raptor).
-Unlike the cartoon, Dark Phoenix meets her family at their home. She goes ballistic over reading her family's
primal fear of her, threatening them. Her father declares that she is not her daughter (quickly changes his mind
right after Dark Phoenix is contained).
-In the comic book, Professor X isn't with the team until his own attack with Phoenix. Before, he is with
Angel at the latter's villa in Arizona.
-In the comic, it is Nightcrawler (not Gambit), who affixes the scrambler to Dark Phoenix.
-The cartoon omits Phoenix being butt naked after her battle with Professor X (her father gives her a robe).
-The cartoon omits Cyclops' telepathic wedding vow, implying a wedding proposal.
-In the comic, the Shi'ar teleport the X-Men to their ship (not teleporting to Earth in the cartoon).
-Part 3 of the comic saga features the 1st app. of Senator Robert Kelly, the political force against mutantkind. He
is at the party of the Hellfire Club. After the X-Men escape- framed as party crashers by the Inner Circle- Sebastian Shaw
talks to Kelly about the mutant threat, advising the use of Sentinels (Kelly has no idea that Shaw and his
associates are mutants themselves).
-Dark Phoenix's destruction of the D'Bari race was a last-minute addition by artist John Byrne, not appearing in
the original script. This addition angered Marvel editor Jim Shooter, who pressured Chris Claremont and Byrne to give
Phoenix a harsher punishment than was originally planned (despite Claremont's protest that Phoenix was not in the
right frame of mind when the destruction happened).
-Rogue's attempt to absorb Dark Phoenix's powers (and failure) is probably based on her attempt to do
likewise to Magneto (and failed) in the "Fatal Attractions" saga.
-Dark Phoenix blasting Cyclops and his visor off is probably based on a scene from What If... #27
- What if ... Phoenix hadn't died?. That comic was made to support Jim Shooter's claim that the fate he gave to
Phoenix was a necessary thing.
-Professor X used a gladiator form to his astral self several times.