- —Hosts of Phoenix upon becoming Dark Phoenix
The Phoenix Force is one of the oldest known cosmic entities, representing life that has not yet been born, as well as the forces of creation and destruction. The Phoenix Force is said to predate darkness and is stated to be the fire from which all things were born. The Phoenix Force is an immortal, indestructible, and mutable manifestation of the prime universal force of life. Born of the void between states of being, it is the nexus of all psionic energy which does, has, and ever will exist in all realities of the Multiverse. The Guardian of Creation and a de-facto guardian of the M'kraan Crystal, the Phoenix is among the most feared beings in the entire universe - having the power to cut and regrow existence itself, as well as destroy it entirely, which is part of the Phoenix's purpose: "The Judgement of the Phoenix": to burn away what doesn't work. Recent interventions of the Phoenix suggest that "what doesn't work" is what has become stagnant instead of naturally evolving. The "heart" of the Phoenix is the White Hot Room.
A billion years ago,[verification needed] the alien Demon Lords of Stasis weaved a spell that had halted evolution on their planet. The Phoenix intervened, bonding with one of the aliens of that world and breaking the spell, and purging the world. The Phoenix Host had five "Lights", disciples of sorts that helped the host control the infinite power of the Phoenix.
During its time as a sentient entity, it traveled the cosmos just like other cosmic beings. At first, the Phoenix Force was a formless mass of energy, but a long time ago, it came to Earth and met a magician named Feron, who worshiped the legendary Phoenix, and whose daydream-like visions prompted the entity to adopt the firebird form it has today. Feron asked the Phoenix to help him by lending its energy to project a stone pillar, which resembled a lighthouse, across the Multiverse. In Earth-616 the pillar became the lighthouse base for the British superteam, Excalibur, a team its future host Rachel Summers herself would join. It also had an early human host a million years ago that helped the Stone Age Avengers defeat an out-of-control Celestial they called the Fallen. She fell in love with Odin and claimed to have conceived Thor.
The Phoenix Force came to be worshiped by the Shi'ar as Phal'kon, the "sister" of their other gods K'ythri and Sharra; and claimed the warrior Rook'shir as a host. However, he became the first known host to succumb to its destructive impulses and go insane from the power it embodied, becoming the malevolent force of destruction known as the Dark Phoenix. Rook'shir's rampage led to the Phoenix Force being feared and demonized by the Shi'ar Empire, who went to extreme lengths to exterminate all bloodlines deemed compatible with the cosmic entity.
At some point in Earth's early Middle Ages, the Phoenix Force chose a Viking woman as its avatar and became a member of a team of Avengers that consisted of Thor Odinson, Chief Hellhawk the Ghost Rider, Nehanda the Black Panther, Bodolf the Black, an Atlantean princess bearing the Iron Fist, and Tanaraq. It was also worshipped by North American indigenous cultures as Thunderbird.
At some point in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, the Yu-Ti of K'un-Lun had visions of the Phoenix coming to Earth, and of a red-headed Iron Fist who would confront it. In one vision, she lost control and destroyed the world. In another, she tamed its power. When walking the streets, Yu-Ti came across Fongji Wu, the daughter of a woman who had ventured to the outside world and lain with a man from beyond K'un-Lun. After defeating Shou-Lao and becoming the Iron Fist, Fongji confronted the Phoenix Force and became its host. The Phoenix Force attempted to overwhelm Fongji and turn her into a Dark Phoenix, but she managed to maintain control of it. Determining that she needed to leave Earth in order to prevent the possibility of losing control from coming to pass, Fongji ventured off into space, never to be seen again.
The Phoenix Force was called back to Earth when it felt the mind of a human transcend the physical realm, a mind that resonated with the Phoenix's energy. A young Jean Grey had telepathically linked her mind to her dying friend, Annie Richardson, to keep Annie's soul from moving to the afterlife. In doing so, Jean's mind was being dragged along to the "other side" with Annie. Phoenix lent its energy to break the connection and kept close watch on young Jean, as it felt a kinship with the young mutant.
Years later when Jean was dying on a space shuttle, her mind called out for help and the Phoenix Force answered and saved her. The craft's pilot had to sit in an area without enough shielding to protect him or her from the lethal radiation. Marvel Girl volunteered to pilot, but, while guiding the shuttle to Earth, the solar radiation finally proved to be too great for her to hold back any longer with her powers and she began to succumb to the radiation's lethal effects. The Phoenix Force responded to Jean's anguish and telepathic calls for help, as she was dying aboard the space shuttle. It appeared before her, shaping its form and consciousness after Jean's own. The Phoenix Force told her that she was dying, but that, by taking the Phoenix Force's hand, she would gain her "heart's desire". What Jean most wanted was to save the lives of the X-Men and herself. Jean held onto the Phoenix Force's arm and fell into a coma-like state. Simultaneously, the Phoenix Force fully took on the form, memories, and personality of Jean Grey, by absorbing a portion of her consciousness. The Phoenix Force used its powers to ensure the survival of the X-Men, in their return to Earth and crash landing in Jamaica Bay, off New York City. It was also responsible for casting Jean into a coma-like state and placing her within a cocoon-like construction, which rested for years at the bottom of Jamaica Bay, while her injuries healed completely. Thus, the Phoenix Force fulfilled its pledge to Jean. The cosmic Phoenix Force entity, which had created a duplicate body of Jean and absorbed a piece of Jean's consciousness, acted in her place while Jean's body lay in suspended animation in the bay.
Following the crash landing in Jamaica Bay, the Phoenix Force took Jean's place, as a member of the X-Men. Emerging from the hospital, the Phoenix battled Firelord and provided the power to transport the X-Men to the M'Kraan Cystal's home-world, where they battled the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. During this time, the Phoenix scanned the human member and leader of the Starjammers to learn it was Cyclops' long thought dead father, Christopher Summers. Using Storm and Corsair's life forces, the Phoenix Force healed the M'Kraan Crystal. After the recent events, Phoenix decided to have a party at her apartment she shared with Misty Knight, and the X-Men briefly battled Iron Fist, until Jean explained he was one of Misty's best friends. After the team was attacked, by Warhawk, Phoenix decided to rejoin and was later controlled by Mesmero to perform in a circus, until Beast rescued them, only to battle Magneto and his robot Nanny after. The Phoenix and the Beast ended up separated from the other X-Men, each group mistakenly believing the other to have died.
At this time, Mastermind began entering the Phoenix' mind and had her question her sanity. After being studied at the Mutant Research Center on Muir Island, by Dr. Moira MacTaggert, it was assessed that the Phoenix entity would become too strong to control, but the other X-Men had no way to know what was happening and little chance of preventing a tragedy. However, the portion of Jean's personality the Phoenix had taken on subconsciously created a series of psionic mental blocks to reduce the level of power she could command at one time, so as not to be overwhelmed by it. After battling Proteus, Phoenix was reunited with Scott Summers. After battling the Hellfire Club Knights and the White Queen, while attempting to recruit new mutants Alison Blaire and Kitty Pryde, Kitty’s parents were about to withdraw their daughter from the school, when Phoenix altered their thoughts. A very questionable move. After battling the Hellfire Club, over recruitment of Dazzler, Phoenix and Scott shared an intimate night, after Phoenix blocked Scott's optic blast and allowed him to see her clearly.
With the new experience of a cosmic entity dealing with human emotions, Phoenix was thus an easy target for the illusionist, Mastermind, who needed a trophy to join the Inner Circle of the prestigious (and infamous) Hellfire Club. With the help of a psionic device, created by the club's White Queen, Emma Frost, Mastermind made Phoenix believe that she was his 18th-century lover, Lady Grey. Phoenix joined the club as their Black Queen, which would allow her to relish the extremes of human emotion and sensuality. When the X-Men came to her rescue, Jean's true love, Cyclops, faced Mastermind in a psychic duel and was defeated. Cyclops' "death" broke Mastermind's hold over Phoenix's psyche--as well as any control Jean's psyche had had over the Phoenix. It brushed aside the X-Men and departed for the heavens.
As the Phoenix was the light and life of the universe, the Dark Phoenix represented power and destruction. The Phoenix became Dark Phoenix due to allowing human emotions to cloud its judgment. In this state, Phoenix was the strongest, but also an evil entity that thirsted for power and destruction. Totally uncontrollable, Dark Phoenix was a force to be reckoned with as it was not bound by a human conscience. When Dark Phoenix flew back into space, her true firebird form was seen across the entire universe and even attracted the attention of Eternity.
To sate its hunger, the Dark Phoenix flew to a distant galaxy and devoured the star of the D'bari system. The resulting nova killed billions of innocent people and a Shi'ar vessel attacked it. The Shi'ar Empress, Lilandra Neramani, was alerted before the vessel was destroyed and called a council of her intergalactic counterparts, including the Kree and Skrull Empires. They concluded that, for the rest of the universe to live, Dark Phoenix must die.
Meanwhile, the Beast had found a way to neutralize Phoenix's immense power, temporarily. When Dark Phoenix returned to Earth, the X-Men held it at bay, while Professor X rebuilt the mental blocks in Phoenix's mind, that Mastermind had broken down. Scott, then, proposed to the Phoenix. At that moment, the Shi'ar arrived and teleported everyone aboard their flagship. Lilandra announced that Phoenix, who everyone believed to be Jean, would have to die. Professor X, unwilling to give up on one of his pupils, but romantically involved with Lilandra, challenged her to Arin'n Haelar, a Shi'ar duel of honor that cannot be refused. Professor X named the X-Men as his champions in the duel, while Lilandra chose her Imperial Guard.
The duel took place the next day, in the Blue Area of the Moon. The Imperial Guard made short work of the X-Men, leaving Cyclops and Phoenix to make a final stand. A stray bolt hit Cyclops and Jean's control broke and Phoenix became the Dark Phoenix again. Lilandra ordered Plan Omega, which would destroy the whole solar system, in hopes of eliminating Dark Phoenix as well. Professor X ordered the X-Men to subdue Phoenix, so that Plan Omega would not be necessary, and they managed to subdue the Phoenix, for a brief time. In that moment of lucidity, Phoenix fled into a back alley, with Cyclops in pursuit. Phoenix subdued him, with her telekinesis, and told him that she was losing control of herself and that there was only one way to prevent the Dark Phoenix from taking dominance over her again. Unbeknownst to Cyclops, as Phoenix was talking to him, she was using her powers to activate an ancient Kree energy weapon behind her. Phoenix then bade Cyclops an emotional farewell and triggered the weapon, which atomized her on the spot.
It was at the moment of the Dark Phoenix's death that a spark of the Phoenix Force was accidentally bestowed on Jean's clone, Madelyne Pryor. After Dark Phoenix died on the Moon, the Phoenix had sought to return the "borrowed" portion of Jean's soul back to her body, which was in suspended animation. Jean instinctively rejected the Phoenix and it wandered the globe, lost. Eventually, it became attracted to Madelyne in Mister Sinister's lab, since she was an exact genetic clone of Jean. The Phoenix Force, mistakenly, gave a spark of itself to Madelyne, granting her a life force and some of Jean's memories. Madelyne had been a failed experiment until she was brought to life by the portion of Jean's consciousness, that had been borrowed by the Phoenix Force, and a spark of the Phoenix Force, which had been rejected by Jean's body while in the cocoon.
After being manipulated by the demons S'ym and N'astirh, Madelyne learned of her true origins and became mad, calling herself the Goblin Queen. The Goblin Queen locked herself, Nathan Christopher Summers, her and Cyclops' son, and Jean inside a psionic barrier, where she explained her origins as Jean's clone. Both X-Factor and the X-Men's combined efforts seemed to be futile in an effort to break through the telekinetic bubble. Pryor-Summers and Grey fought one-on-one, with Madelyne unleashing a psionic force, intending to destroy both herself and her opponents. X-Factor and the X-Men protected each other and Madelyne was the only one affected, but as she lay dying, she pulled Jean into her mind to die with her. Jean would have succumbed, were it not for the Phoenix leaving Madelyne at that time and returning to Jean. Jean was able to resist and, as Madelyne died, Jean recovered the part of her soul the Phoenix Force had mistakenly given to Madelyne.
Another person who served as avatar for the Phoenix Force was Rachel Summers, Phoenix (Jean Grey-Summers)' daughter from an alternate future. Attempting to change her reality, Rachel used her psionic powers to exchange the consciousness and spirit of the adult X-Man Kate Pryde with that of Pryde's teenage self. Traveling through time and across dimensions to the mainstream reality to learn why their efforts did not succeed in changing her reality, Rachel sent her astral self into that past as well, also arriving in the mainstream reality. While floating above New York City, in preparation for her return, Rachel's meditative astral form was found by the Phoenix Force. Fascinated by Rachel, the alternate reality child of Grey, the Force read her mind and was impressed that Rachel had not given into despair after all she had experienced. Sending a portion of itself in the future of Rachel's reality with Rachel, the Force met Kate, after Rachel passed-out from the strain of the time travel. Kate bargained with the Force to save Rachel from the Sentinels' rule and to keep her from remembering the horrors she had experienced. The Force agreed to boost Rachel's powers so she could physically travel back in time, not just psychically. Kate hypnotized Rachel into using her psionic powers to tap into the Phoenix Force and send herself back in time when Kate said the words "Dark Phoenix". Rachel and Kate illegally entered the laboratory of Project Nimrod, which was the attempt to construct the most highly advanced Sentinel possible with the technology of that time, in the hopes of sabotaging the project. Rachel believed herself and Kate to be trapped, but Kate said the words that caused Rachel to project herself back through time.
Rachel was still shocked to learn of the supposed "death" of Jean in this reality. After meeting Scott Summers of the mainstream reality and not telling him of her true origins, Rachel visited the home of Grey's parents while they were absent and she found a holo-empathic crystal that was imbued with an imprint of Grey's personality. Unaware that Jean had not actually been Phoenix, Rachel refused to believe that Jean could be evil, as people claimed Phoenix was, and she decided to claim the name and power of Phoenix as her own birthright. Sensing this, the Force awoke within Rachel, allowing access to its power. From that time on, Rachel was able to draw to a limited extent upon the vast power of the Phoenix Force.
Rachel became apparently disassociated from the Phoenix Force sometime after swapping places with Captain Britain and becoming lost in time, although she has manifested aspects of the Phoenix Force such as the firebird since her mother's more recent death.
Merging with Jean Grey-Summers
Jean and the Phoenix Force were later revealed as being a single bound entity. The Phoenix Force told Xavier, that "Jean is only the house where I live." Jean Grey was the closest thing the Phoenix Force had to a true earthly Avatar or physical embodiment and further that the Phoenix Force empowered Jean with life in a kind of mutual relationship or psychic bond.
Tricked by the Magneto impostor, Phoenix and Wolverine ended up trapped on Asteroid M drifting closer to the Sun. Dying, Wolverine killed Jean and awoke the Phoenix Force within her. Using her incredible powers, Phoenix returned with Logan to New York City to face "Magneto". Defeated, his last act was to give Phoenix a stroke on the planetary level. Dying in Scott's arms, she urged him to live on.
The Phoenix Force was reconstituted before its time by a Shi'ar vessel attempting to eliminate the Phoenix forever. The attempt failed, and the Phoenix Force was wounded, driven nearly insane. It traveled to Earth, craving Scott's power and forced Jean to return to life so that it could be with him. This time however, the two were at odds, with Jean struggling to regain control over her body.
This event was further complicated with the arrival of Quentin Quire, awakened by the Phoenix's arrival. Quire wanted to use the Phoenix Force to resurrect Sophie, one of the Stepford Cuckoos, who had died trying to stop him from taking over the Xavier Institute. Further inflaming the situation were the crew of the Shi'ar warship, converging around Earth to attack the Phoenix.
Escaping an attack by the Shi'ar, the Phoenix and Wolverine teleported to the North Pole, where Jean asserted control once more. She asked Wolverine to kill her, forcing the Phoenix to bring her back over and over again, until the Phoenix was weak enough that Jean could kill them both by submerging herself under a glacier. The Phoenix left Jean's body however, and was confronted by the X-Men. Confused, it attempted to force Cyclops to open his eyes so that she could feed on his optic blasts. In a desperate gambit, Emma Frost convinced the Phoenix to inhabit her, since Scott was in love with her now. The Phoenix complied, and Scott took the chance to push them both into a containment unit.
The plan seemingly worked, trapping the two of them in an equilibrium inside the containment unit. But the unit was breached by Quentin, who desperately wanted the Phoenix to resurrect Sophie. The Phoenix, hoping to understand love through him, complied. When Sophie instantly rejected Quentin, and died again, he had a breakdown, and the Phoenix, upset by what had happened, decided to burn the entire world.
In an act of desperation, Cyclops freed Jean's body from the glacier, restoring her to life and causing her to attack the Phoenix-possessed Emma. As Jean was a part of the Phoenix, she was more than a match for it, and separated it from Emma's body, merging with it again. The Phoenix's rapid deterioration continued however, and realizing that the Phoenix had come back due to Jean's longing, Scott had the Cuckoos and Emma telepathically link Jean with all the X-Men, allowing her to experience their love for her.
However, as this happened, the Shi'ar warship created an Event Horizon above the North Pole, which annihilated everyone there. As a gift of mercy, Phoenix had saved all of the X-Men present, but not before they had saved her.
Now alive once again as the White Phoenix, Phoenix returned to the White Hot Room to begin the task of finding the missing billions of fragments of the Phoenix Force that still remained scattered through space.
Soon after, three of the Phoenix Force fragments found the Stepford Cuckoos. Manipulated by both the Phoenix and Sublime, the Cuckoos awoke their dead sisters and traveled to The World, a laboratory created by Weapon Plus. During the sisters' visit to "The World," they discovered that they were all genetically engineered daughters of Emma and that the Phoenix fragments had manifested in order to destroy the Cuckoos and all of their sisters to prevent them from being activated as a weapon and kill all mutants. Sublime's machinery attacked the Cuckoos and successfully absorbed the cosmic fragment and distributed it among each of the sisters. Now referring to themselves as the Thousand-in-One and under Sublime's control; the cosmically-empowered psychics proceeded to enact their programmed destiny of mutant destruction. Celeste however, who was still in partial control of both herself and her sisters' super-mind, alerted the X-Men that they could short-circuit the girls' linkage by destroying Sublime's machinery. Phoebe, distraught at having lost access to the cosmic power, sent a bolt of her last remaining energy through the facility's floor, prompting an explosion that would destroy everything within a half-mile radius. Celeste, at Emma's behest, accepted her role as a Phoenix host, and stopped the explosion by temporarily freezing localized time. She then went on to destroy the thousand Cuckoos, shattering their newly-manifested Diamond forms. Celeste, Phoebe, and Mindee were the only ones left. They trapped the force in their own diamond hearts, which, unlike their mother's diamond composition, didn't have a single flaw. Due to their diamond hearts' flawless states, they could not be destroyed even by the splintered Phoenix itself. The price the sisters paid for this was that they could no longer feel emotion, leaving them even more cold-hearted and detached from their fellow man than they were before.
Prelude to the Second Coming
The Young X-Man Ink briefly had access to the Phoenix Force (or a powerful facsimile of the Phoenix Force) granted by a tattoo of the Phoenix symbol over his left eye by the mutant tattoo artist Leon Nunez. Nunez collapsed into a catatonic state by empowering the Phoenix tattoo. Ink used the Phoenix powers to resurrect his fallen teammate Dust, leaving him in a comatose state with the Phoenix tattoo disappearing.
After Cable rescued the first mutant baby born since M-Day and ferried her into the time-stream, she manifested a Phoenix flamebird in her eyes while Cable battled Bishop, suggesting that she would host the Phoenix.
On Utopia, while under assault from four Predators X, the Phoenix Force fragments inside the diamond hearts of the Stepford Cuckoos abruptly left. The Cuckoos have since missed the added power granted by the Phoenix and lamented their return to "normal" telepath status.
Around the same time deep in Shi'ar space, the Starjammers battled the Emperor Vulcan's forces. Then without warning, Korvus' Blade of the Phoenix lost its power and Rachel lost her connection to the Phoenix Echo. Upon the cosmic powers departure, Rachel exclaimed "Please, not now…Mom". All across the universe, fragments of the Phoenix Force escaped their hosts and prisons.
After Cable and Hope returned from the future, Emma and many others saw Hope manifest a Phoenix flamebird from the flames of a bonfire. She manifested similar raptors multiple times. Belief that she was the new host of the Phoenix spread amongst the X-Men.
The Phoenix Force Raptor began approaching Earth, and in its path it destroyed Birj, as witnessed by Nova. It was revealed that the Phoenix Force was coming to Earth in order to claim its next host.
Nova traveled to Earth just ahead of the Phoenix, and warned the Avengers that the Phoenix was coming. At the same time, Hope manifested the Phoenix's energies more powerfully than ever. The Avengers, driven on by Wolverine's warnings, departed for Utopia in full force, and demanded that Cyclops turn over Hope for protective custody. Cyclops refused, telling them that they had the situation in hand, and when Captain America refused to depart, a battle broke out.
As the Phoenix drew closer, Hope traveled to the Blue Area of the Moon to confront it, with the X-Men and Avengers in pursuit. As the Phoenix descended on the Moon, Iron Man used a special weapon to try and destroy the Phoenix. He only managed to splinter it, and desperate, it took the five other X-Men present as hosts; Namor, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, and Colossus. They returned to Earth with Hope to prepare her to be host and to do the Phoenix's work.
Using their new powers, the Phoenix Five worked to make the world a better place. For mutantkind, they crafted a grand new Utopia. Under Cyclops' direction, they created supplies of fresh water, food, and power in places of need. They also outlawed war and destroyed all the weapons they found. Hope revealed that the Phoenix still called to her, and Cyclops asked if she would accept the Phoenix. Hope said that she would, but Cyclops refused her, saying that she proved herself unworthy of it when she denied it on the Moon.
The Phoenix Five were briefly captured by Mr. Sinister and using his technology, he managed to harness the Phoenix Force into six clones of Madelyne Pryor. Emma managed to enter the mind of one of the clones to talk to the Phoenix. While the Phoenix was initially uncaring of what became of it or what it was used for, Emma countered that Sinister would merely keep it locked up for eternity, and reminded it that it had come to Earth for a reason. The Phoenix responded positively, and left the Madelyne Pryor clones, re-entered the Phoenix Five, and destroyed Sinister.
The Avengers, distrustful of the Phoenix and the X-Men, invaded Utopia to kidnap Hope Summers, believing that she was the key to defeating the Phoenix Five. Hope went with them freely however, prompting a renewal of the conflict between Avengers and X-Men.
The Avengers waged guerrilla warfare against the X-Men and the Phoenix Five but were ill matched against their vast power and continued to lose members for each battle. Namor, the most volatile of the Phoenix Five resolved to destroy the Avengers himself in order to prevent them from destroying the peaceful world they had created. Despite the might of the Avengers and the effectiveness of the Scarlet Witch against Namor, they still managed only narrowly to defeat him at the cost of great destruction to Wakanda. After Namor fell, his portion of the Phoenix left him for the other four remaining hosts.
Now forced to control even more of the Phoenix Force, some of the Phoenix Five began to lose their sanity and grip on reality. Colossus and Magik were turned against each other by Spider-Man, and both lost their fragments. This made things even worse for Emma and Cyclops, particularly Emma, who had already had problems controlling her portion before Colossus and Magik fell. The Avengers then teamed up with several X-Men who had realized that Cyclops and Emma had completely lost control. Together they attacked Cyclops and Emma and gained the upper hand until Cyclops was forced to take the final piece of the Phoenix from Emma, making him the sole host. Cyclops was wholly incapable of hosting the entire Phoenix Force on his own however, and became Dark Phoenix.
Completely losing his grip on reality, Cyclops fought the Avengers and X-Men, while at the same time fighting the Phoenix within himself. In a moment of lucidity, he gave the Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers the chance they needed to weaken him, allowing Hope to take the Phoenix within her. As Hope surged with the incredible powers of the Phoenix, the Scarlet Witch reminded her of her purpose, and together, they used the Phoenix's powers to reverse the Scarlet Witch's spell, and restore mutantkind.
The Phoenix, having completed its task, vanished to be reborn again.
The Phoenix Egg, however, didn't hatch until the final incursion occurred between Earth-616 and Earth-1610. As forces from Earth-1610 attacked Earth-616 over Manhattan, the incursion point, the Phoenix Egg finally hatched. Cyclops once again bonded with the Phoenix Force, only this time without going dark. With the Phoenix's Power, he obliterated Earth-1610's forces. The mutant teleporter Manifold then transported Cyclops aboard a life raft created by the Future Foundation to survive the final incursion, thus allowing him and the Phoenix to survive the end of the Multiverse.
The life raft eventually landed on Battleworld, a planet created and ruled by Doctor Doom by putting together the remnants of destroyed realities. After spending eight years in suspended animation, Cyclops and the other heroes aboard the life raft were awakened by Doctor Strange.
When Strange, Cyclops, and the other heroes fought the Cabal, they were confronted by Doctor Doom. The Phoenix attacked Doom; however, as the master of this new universe, Doom was too powerful even for the Phoenix and killed Cyclops by snapping his neck.
A Phoenix Egg reappeared in the restored universe and was taken by Terrax before being stolen by Thane with the help of the Champion of the Universe, Starfox, and Nebula. When Nebula learned that she had been manipulated by Thane into doing so, she killed him. However, his death triggered the egg to hatch, and the Phoenix Force resurrected Thane to make him its new host. It was eventually stripped from Thane by the Coven during his final battle against Thanos in the God Quarry.
During Thor's battle against the Phoenix Force, which had been caused by the Shi'ar gods Sharra and K'ythri, Quentin Quire absorbed a small piece of it, thus becoming its host, and replaced Sharra and K'ythri as the new god of the Shi'ar. Quentin came back to earth and sacrificed his phoenix shard to save the life and restore the powers of Jubilee.
The Phoenix Force later manifested on Earth to claim the younger incarnation of Jean Grey as its host. When she refused to share her older self's fate and fought back against it, the cosmic entity immolated her and set about resurrecting the elder Jean Grey - resulting in a number of psionic disturbances.
The X-Men eventually discovered that the Phoenix Force had been keeping the older Jean in a construct of her old neighborhood and with no memory of her past life all in an attempt to turn her into its host again. Jean eventually remembered who she was and told the Phoenix that she no longer wanted to be its host. The Phoenix accepted Jean's decision and promptly left. The Phoenix also tried to destroy the younger Jean in the White Hot Room with psychic constructs of its past hosts, but Jean somehow took control of the White Hot Room and commanded the Phoenix to resurrect her. The Phoenix complied just to be rid of her and sent the younger Jean back to Earth.
During his ongoing campaign against the surface world and the Avengers, Namor used a latent link with the Phoenix from his time as a co-host of the entity to seek out its power. The Phoenix was further drawn to Earth when the vigilante Moon Knight prayed to it in order to obtain the necessary power to oppose his master, the Moon God Khonshu. The Phoenix merged with Moon Knight, but once it attempted to persuade him to destroy the Earth, he let himself be defeated in battle against Thor, causing the Phoenix to leave him. The Phoenix remained on Earth, and nested in the Arctic Circle.
Not long afterward, the Phoenix decided to hold a contest to chose its next host. To this end it summoned a group of champions from across the globe to the White Hot Room. Empowering them with a portion of its power, the Phoenix pitted the contestants against each other in trials by combat. The participants of this contest were the Black Panther, Captain America, Hulk, Namor, Shang-Chi, Wolverine, the Orb, American Eagle, Red Widow, Black Knight, Man-Thing, Echo, Shanna the She-Devil and Zabu, Hyperion, Nighthawk, Luke Cage, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Howard the Duck, Valkyrie, and Doctor Doom; although the latter forfeited in the first round, displeased with the parameters of the contest.
During one of the tournament's earliest bouts, Namor overpowered Echo and left her for dead in the ocean floor. The Phoenix was drawn to her suffering, as well as her ability to adapt and wield its power in different ways. It resurrected Echo and chose her as its host. In the final round of the contest, Echo reemerged from the bottom of the ocean and proceeded to interrupt all the different fights taking place across the globe. Absorbing the portions of the Phoenix from each of the remaining contestants, Maya fully became the Phoenix, and flew away.
The Phoenix Force is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, possessing the unlimited power to create and destroy anything and everything. It has been stated to be an Extinction-Level Threat by Quicksilver and an Omega-Level Threat by Mister Fantastic.
While how the Phoenix Force works is not clear, it seems to amplify existing emotions. As the emotions grow, the host's perspective grows infinite. Individual feelings like joy, grief, and love for another become insignificant. The memory of even incredibly traumatic events, such as Scott Summers's memory of Jean Grey's suicide on the moon, fades.
The Phoenix Force's powers include:
- Nigh Omnipotence: The Phoenix Force is practically omnipotent, however it is limited in undetermined and undefined ways as seems to suit its current mission/purpose. As the White Phoenix of the Crown, it was able to warp reality on a universal scale. This was not the result of divergence, but rather the effect of reality manipulation which changed history.
- Future Life-Force Tap: The Phoenix Force can tap into the energy provided by life-force reserved for future generations, thus denying them existence. The Phoenix Force possesses limitless cosmic energy. With or without a host, it is one of the most powerful entities in the Marvel Universe, capable of existing in any plane, time-line or dimensional existence.
- Concussive Force Blasts: It can wield this energy to project beams of immense concussive force powerful enough to destroy whole planetary bodies.
- Quantum Singularity: It can transmigrate throughout time and space by folding its energy back into itself, causing it to collapse akin to a black hole. It then reforms itself upon reaching its destination, much like the Phoenix of ancient myths.
- Energy Absorption: It can directly absorb, manipulate, and fully control any type of energy such as Cyclops' ruby-red-colored optic blasts or the entire energy of a star, black hole, or even a whole galaxy. Jean, as the "One-True Phoenix", was shown to be able to activate and deactivate the mutations of other's with just the use of her psychic abilities.
- Life-Force Control: The Phoenix Force can control and manipulate life and death itself, as such, it can take the "life energy" from something, rendering it "dead" or vice versa.
- Psionic Nexus: As the nexus or center of all psionic energy throughout the cosmos, the host attains nigh-infinitely powerful mental abilities, including telepathy, empathy, and telekinesis, and often seeks out hosts who have psionic abilities (i.e. Nate Grey, Jean Grey-Summers, The White Queen, and The Cuckoos). When bonded with a host, the Phoenix Force vastly strengthens and amplifies all of their superhuman mutant powers and abilities to immeasurable and innumerable power levels that have been shown to be near unlimited such as the Phoenix's one-true host.
- Matter Transmutation: It can manipulate and transmute matter on a subatomic level (e.g., turning wood to gold, stone to crystal, cause physical bodies to disintegrate, convert Homo mermanus to Homo superior, etc).
- Cosmic Teleportation: It can teleport others across vast distances such as another planet or galaxy, and the vast vacuum of space itself or even an entire timeline all-together.
- Disintegration Waves: It can consume and remove a near infinite amount of molecules per second.
- Resurrection Force: It can resurrect anyone it wishes with its near infinite powers, as it is the embodiment of life and death itself. It could also bring itself back as well as its host (it has done this many times over in the form of Jean).
- Immortality: The Phoenix Force is immortal and indestructible. It cannot die or be destroyed. After its "death" in Avengers vs. X-Men it was said to be destroyed, but, as it has happened many times, the entity never truly died. It forms itself in a cosmic egg in the White Hot Room and stays in there until it is ready to come out. Some hosts get true immortality, but other get it from never aging or needing food, water, and oxygen to breath and, if they were killed, the Phoenix Force would bring him or her back to life.
- Cosmic Pyrokinesis: It can create 'cosmic' flames under any conditions even the impossible ones such as vacuum space or underwater. These flames do not require oxygen to burn, and burn so intensely that matter is consumed without by-products such as ash. It has perfect control over these flames, and they only consume what it wills. These flames are shown to be able to burn even underwater. Typically they manifest as a raptor or part of a raptor such as a claw or wings, in the case of an avatar. It is unclear whether these flames are an extension of its powerful psionic abilities or a literal punctuation to its purpose to 'burn away what doesn't work.'
- Temporal Manipulation: The Phoenix Force can manipulate the past, present, and future across large temporal distances and with a profound knowledge of the causal effect her actions will have. It may be the case that time as a concept doesn't apply to the White Hot Room. it has only been shown when Jean Grey as the White Phoenix of The Crown held her universe in the palm of her hands, possessing the infinite power to write what she would as the "One True Phoenix" in any timeline, using to save her timeline from becoming a horrible future, altering the memories of everyone in reality itself in the process.
- Atmokinesis: The Phoenix Force is capable of manipulating and creating cosmic weather. It can create cosmic storms, solar flares, geomagnetic storms, cosmic rays, coronal mass ejection and black holes.
- Existence Mastery: It possesses total control over the entire existence as shown by The White Phoenix of the Crown (c.f. The White Hot Room). It can warp the reality, bring anything into existence, freely manipulate all existing things, and return them to nothingness when their purpose is extinguished.
Its immeasurable cosmic powers and abilities appear to be at their strongest and most powerful when bonded to Jean Grey ("the One-True Phoenix" who is completely compatible with the entity, possessing incredibly strong and powerful levels of telepathic, empathic, and telekinetic godhood status abilities, complete control and manipulation over the realms of matter, energy, space, time, existence and thought), as the two have a strange, profound connection to each other (Jean is the closest thing the Force has to physical form as “their souls were cut from the same cloth”). It has yet to explain how Jean is "the true phoenix" and why, however, it has been theorized that the Phoenix is the true manifestation of Jean Grey’s psychic abilities.
- Like Jean Grey, the Phoenix used telepathy and telekinesis, but at a much, much greater limitless power levels (unlimited as White Phoenix). She was able to rearrange the molecular structure of matter and fly at high hypersonic speeds while inside a planetary body. Using the Phoenix Force, she could travel through hyperspace and destroy Shi'ar battle cruisers with little effort.
Because Phoenix was linked to Jean's psyche, she maintained a psychic link with Cyclops.
Jean Grey: Jean Grey is one of the few weaknesses of the Phoenix. The Phoenix has been shown to be mentally and physically incapable of harming Jean Grey,  and Jean has even been able to have full control of the Phoenix Force and The White Hot Room, without being the host, and she has even been able to forcibly rip the Phoenix out of Emma Frost against the Phoenix’s will. 
Vulnerability of Host: While the Phoenix Force gives its host incredible strength and durability, neither is infinite. A long battle can potentially exhaust the host, leaving the host vulnerable to attack.
Chaos Magic: When Cyclops was possessed by the Phoenix, he was harmed when he touched Scarlet Witch. Emma Frost (also Phoenix-possessed) suffered when she telepathically detected Wanda's presence, but as the Phoenix Five gained more portions it becomes less effective, becoming ineffective when Wanda tried to hurt Cyclops.
Iron Fist: The dragon, Shou-Lao was able to hurt Cyclops when he was possessed by Phoenix. It was claimed by the Watcher that the dragon once beat the Phoenix, but there is no evidence to show that. An Iron Fist named Fongji Wu used the powers of the dragon to help tame the Phoenix and master its powers. It is unknown if the power proves less effective as the Phoenix Five gained more portions of Phoenix.
Despite these weaknesses the Phoenix Force itself has never really felt it or ever even said it hurts. It only affects it host and even if the Phoenix is in control only the host feels pain, but its weakness is its control over its host. Even if the host is destroyed, the Phoenix Force can resurrect it.
Flight under her own power, intergalactic flight through hyperspace, X-Men Stratojet, access Shi'ar Star-Gates
- In order to return Jean to the fold several years later, after her death at the conclusion of the Dark Phoenix storyline a retcon revealed that the Phoenix Force entity had replaced Jean and had created a duplicate body of Jean, believing itself to be Jean. It acted in her place while the real Jean lay in a coma in the ocean. This let Jean be revived as a member of X-Factor, without laying the moral burden of genocide on the character. The extent to which the duplicate and Jean are separate entities depends on who is writing the character(s) at the time, and in Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1 the younger Jean Grey pondered if her older self may have been hosting the cosmic entity during the scenario Kobik created for their interaction within the Vanishing Point.
- The specific timeline for the Phoenix's firebird form's origination involves an interdimensional traveler known as Feron from an alternate reality with a unique concept of time, and as such is difficult to define, though Lady Phoenix was shown already manifested as a fiery bird in 1,000,000 BCE.
- The Phoenix appears to favor certain bloodlines as hosts (such as Jean Grey and Rook'shir).
- According to the Shi'ar, Jean Grey's blood relatives (carriers of Grey Genome), Rook'shir's blood relatives, omega level mutants (as well as potential omega level mutants), and powerful telepaths all have the potential to bond with the Phoenix Force.
- Jean Grey was allegedly the third person who ever bond with the Phoenix Force, although previous hosts included Korvus's ancestor Rook'shir, 1,000,000 BCE's Lady Phoenix, the equivalently old[verification needed] Messiah, and Fongji Wu, the Iron Fist centuries from now.
- Since the Phoenix Force is the embodiment of one of the primal forces, if the Phoenix ceases to exist, the cosmos would be condemned to "ultimate extinction" in which there would be zero possibility of new life.
- Phoenix's costume was originally going to be white. With the quality of paper that comics were printed on at the time, editor-in-chief Archie Goodwin was afraid readers would be able to see the page on the other side through the character's figure.
- According to Dave Cockrum on an interview for Comics Creators on X-Men, when he and Chris Claremont first introduced the Phoenix, they wanted her to establish her power levels by having her fight Thor or the Silver Surfer. An executive shot that idea down because he wouldn't allow a woman to defeat such iconic characters. They snuck around that prohibition by having her fight Firelord, a character who had once fought Thor to a standstill.
- The name and bird-like appearance of Phoenix are derived from a mythological bird from Greco-Roman mythology. Spelled "phoinix" in Greek, and variously as "phoenix" and "fenix" in Latin, the bird was supposedly extremely long-lived. When its long life-cycle ended, the phoenix bird died in a show of flames and combustion. Only for a reborn phoenix to rise from the ashes of its predecessor, meaning that it never really dies since it is constantly reborn or regenerated. The Phoenix bird is an enduring symbol of immortality, renewal, the Sun associated with its flames, time, metempsychosis (reincarnation), and resurrection. It has appeared in literature and art for millennia and there are other phoenix-like birds mentioned in various world mythologies.
- In celebration of Marvel Comics' 80th anniversary, Dark Phoenix, along with Mystique and Storm were featured in a special line of Barbie fashion dolls.
- 264 appearance(s) of Phoenix Force (Earth-616)
- 98 minor appearance(s) of Phoenix Force (Earth-616)
- 132 mention(s) of Phoenix Force (Earth-616)
- 633 image(s) of Phoenix Force (Earth-616)
- 14 quotation(s) by or about Phoenix Force (Earth-616)