The Dark Phoenix Saga, Part One: DazzledReturn 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 for "The Dark Phoenix Saga, Part One: Dazzled," based on events from Uncanny X-Men #129-132, created
by Chris Claremont and John Byrne.
-Both versions of the X-Men here share Cyclops, Phoenix, Storm, and Wolverine. Both versions of the Hellfire Club Inner Circle portrayed here share Sebastian Shaw/Black King, Emma Frost/White Queen, Harry Leland, Donald Pierce (who wants to take over), and Jason Wyngarde. All mutant (or in Pierce’s case, technological) abilities have been faithfully adapted in the cartoon.
-There are worries from the X-Men about the Phoenix problem. Phoenix is given tests by Moira MacTaggert at Muir Isle (though in the comic, this happened before the saga). There are also hints that Phoenix is growing a little more darker.
-Both versions share a night club scene concerning Scott, Phoenix, Jason Wyngarde, a mutant singer named Dazzler, and mercenaries of the Hellfire Club attempting to kidnap her.
-The Dazzler of both versions assists Cyclops against the Hellfire Club mercenaries with her sound-absorbing light powers (though she proves a bigger assistance in the comic version).
-In both versions, Jason Wyngarde attempts to control Phoenix by planting illusions into her head of a past life in Pre-revolutionary America, with Wyngarde as her lover. These manipulations also serve to corrupt Phoenix.
-The Inner Circle is able to spy on the X-Men through a tap in their Cerebro.
-The cartoon has adapted two of Phoenix’s illusions by Wyngarde: her being on a ship with Wyngarde (without the rescue) and being wedded to him by a pastor clearly resembling Shaw.
-Because of Wyngarde’s manipulations, Phoenix becomes the Hellfire Club’s Black Queen.
-Cyclops possesses a special psychic rapport with Phoenix.
-Both versions have a scene where the X-Men attack the Inner Circle in their HQ, but are defeated. Both versions also share a scene where Leland increases Wolverine’s mass, causing him to plummet to the bottom of the HQ to possible death.
-The cartoon replaces the comic’s X-Men members of Colossus and Nightcrawler with Rogue, Gambit, and Beast. The cartoon version of the Hellfire Club Inner Circle lacks member Tessa.
-The comic version of the Dark Phoenix Saga is broken into three parts: Part 1 concerns the X-Men contacting new mutants in Dazzler and Kitty Pryde, only to be attacked and mostly kidnapped by the White Queen. Part 2 has the X-Men fight and become captives of the rest of the Hellfire Club. Part 3 is Dark Phoenix. This episode combines element of part 1 (Dazzler and the White Queen) with part 2 (Phoenix joining the Hellfire Club, the X-Men becoming captives of the Hellfire Club).
-The comic HC mercenaries not only wanted to capture Dazzler, but the X-Men as well.
-The cartoon White Queen is involved with the X-Men’s defeat and capture by the Inner Circle right after Phoenix joins. Her comic counterpart is missing from this victory, believed to be dead (False) at the end of the Saga's part 1.
-There is a difference on the responsibility of how Phoenix turned to the dark side (besides Wyngarde’s manipulations). The cartoon throws the blame on the Phoenix entity, wanting to feel different sensations from Jean’s human emotions. This deviates from the comic book’s assertion that it was Jean’s fault. It was her dark side, the evil that all human beings possessed, that did it. This holds true for the Phoenix-is-entity-believing-herself-to-be-Jean retcon, since it possessed Jean’s emotions (basically false emotions, true, but emotions that were believed to be real).
-The comic book Phoenix is not treated as a patient like her cartoon counterpart. She has an active part with the team.
-The comic book Dazzler never flirted with Cyclops or made Phoenix jealous. Rather, it was Cyclops who was jealous of Wyngarde’s charm on Phoenix! (At Dazzler's performance, the influences Phoenix locks lips with Wyngarde in front of Cyclops!)
-In the comic book, Jason Wyngarde relied on a device from the White Queen that allowed him to enter Phoenix’s mind (Wyngarde, although an illusionist, is not a telepath). In the cartoon, he gets assistance from the White Queen.
-In the comic, Wyngarde had more time to ensnare Phoenix. There was an earlier storyline where Phoenix believed Cyclops and the team was dead, and thus traveled Europe to recover from her loss. Wyngarde then disguised himself as different people (a priest, a handsome stud) who met the vulnerable Phoenix during her trip, filling her emotional void with kindness, all the while slowly corrupting her with suggestions that broke her morality piece by piece (act sleazier, using her powers for selfish reasons, etc.).
-In the comic, the X-Men infiltrate the Inner Circle’s HQ discreetly as guests to a party (though Wolverine and Nightcrawler infiltrate from below). The cartoon lacks a party, and the X-Men just break in.
-The episode ends with the X-Men defeated. It leaves out the comic’s classic epilogue of this battle, showing the believed dead Wolverine promising round two!
-Among other things, the Dark Phoenix Saga is also notable for being the 1st appearance of Kitty Pryde. In part 1 of the comic Saga, the X-Men seek her via Cerebro, only to get kidnapped, and Kitty helps free them. She became the X-Men’s most popular young member. Unfortunately, she doesn’t appear in the cartoon because it would disrupt Jubilee’s role as X-Men youth.
-In the comic, Dazzler and the White Queen would eventually become X-Men members.
-Donald Pierce's ambitions to take over the Hellfire Club would inadvertedly lead to the creation of the New Mutants.