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The Phoenix Saga, Part One: Sacrifice
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 Phoenix Saga, Part One: Sacrifice," based on events from Uncanny X-Men #98-100, created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum.

Similarities:
-The X-Men of both versions have Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, and Jean Grey.
-Professor Xavier suffers from nightmares concerning outer space and a mysterious alien (it's actually a mind rapport). He fears madness.
-The plot concerns the X-Men taking a space shuttle to a space station, where they fight a battle.
-Dr. Corbeau pilots the shuttle that takes the X-Men into space.
-Eric the Red's role is a Shiar spy on Earth. His imperial-ordered job in this storyline is to keep Lilandra from reaching Earth. He also possesses brainwashing technology.
-The X-Men's departure back to Earth is endangered by the damaged shuttle's inability to make re-entry without destruction by the Earth's hot stratosphere. Jean Grey offers to pilot the ship, using her telepathy to know Dr. Corbeau's piloting skills while protecting the shuttle with a telekinetic shield. Cyclops protests this decision, forcing Jean to psionically knock him out. As Corbeau and the X-Men board a protective ward within the shuttle, Jean pilots the ship through re-entry. But the strain proves too much...

Differences:
-The comic had Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Banshee among the X-Men. The cartoon has Gambit (who wouldn't join until much later in the comics), Jubilee (ditto) and Beast (who was an Avenger at this point of the comic). It's interesting to note that the animated version has contrived Rogue (who was also not a member yet in the comic) from not appearing in this mission. In order to faithfully keep Jean's shuttle sacrifice, it was probably the writers' best interest that Rogue not be involved, since her absorption powers and invulnerability would make her a better choice of safely piloting the ship through re-entry than Jean.
-In the comic, Jean Grey has retired as an X-Men. She is kidnapped by the Sentinels during a Christmas party with Scott.
-In the comic, Storm goes with the team in the space trip. In the cartoon, she remains to help Jubilee.
-The villain is different. In the comic, it is Steven Lang, a human mutant-hater using Government connections to exterminate mutantkind by turning humanity against them through robot dopplegangers of the original X-Men. He also uses Sentinels. In the cartoon, it is Eric the Red using the space-station's resources to blow away the fugitive vessel carrying Lilandra.
-The reason for the X-Men's space trip is different. In the comic, the team goes because Lang's Sentinels has kidnapped Jean Grey, Wolverine, Banshee, and Professor Xavier, taking them to the space station for study. In the cartoon, Professor Xavier, influenced by his nightmares, believes something terrible is going to happen in space, especially to Dr. Corbeau and his crew. He has the X-Men investigate.
-In the comic, Eric the Red attacks the X-Men as part of his mission. He does this by brainwashing Havok and Polaris and employing Black Tom Cassidy, Juggernaut, and Magneto [the latter he cures of an infancy state brought on by a previous battle] to destroy the group. In the cartoon, Eric's confrontation with the X-Men is coincidence.
-The reason behind Dr. Corbeau's assisting the X-Men is different. In the comic, Corbeau is old friends with Xavier. He is present when the Professor is kidnapped by Sentinels, learns their location, and pulls a few strings to have the X-Men secretly board the shuttle disguised as astronauts. In other words, Corbeau is helping the X-Men on his own free will. In the cartoon, Corbeau is telepathically manipulated by Jean Grey into believing the team are his crew (the real ones have been knocked out).
-Jean Grey and Wolverine's goodbye is different. In the comic, when Wolvie protests, Jean persuades him to back off (verbally bites his head off). In the cartoon, Wolvie accepts her wishes with farewell (in the comic, it is Storm who does that).

Interesting Points:

-In the comic, this story reveals several facts about Wolverine: his face unmasked, his claws are part of his body, and his animal senses.
-There were two Eric the Reds. The first one, spelled Erik, was a disguise by Cyclops to fool a robot Magneto and Mesmero. The second one is the Shiar agent.
-In present continuity of the comic book, UXM#100 marks Jean Grey's last appearance in the Marvel Universe for a long time. Try about ten years!

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