The Original Dark Phoenix Saga

Discussion in 'Comics Central' started by Jimmy Todd, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Active Member

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    The original Dark Phoenix Saga, imho, is the gold standard for comics. Nothing has surpassed it, some have come close. (I also like the original udea that Jean Grey is the Phoenix, as opposed to it being a separate entity that took her place temporarily, according to the retcon. However, I hate 99.9% of the time characters are brought back from the dead, and I have to say the way Jean was first brought back was better than any other I can think of at the moment.)

    My list of stories that come close to the DPS are: Days of Future Past(X-men, 1980)
    The Yesterday Quest(Avengers, 1979)
    The Killing Joke(Batman, 1988)
    Age of Apocalypse (X-men, 1995. The entire multi issue arc)
    Captain America for President(Captain America, 1980? John Byrne)
    The Trial of Reed Richards(Fantastic Four, 1981, John Byrne)
    This Man, This Monster(Fantastic Four)

    The Long Halloween (Batman)
    The Astonishing X-Men(Joss Whedon's run)

    The Silver Surfer #1( Stan Lee)

    What os your "gold standard" and "close to's"?
     
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  2. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    @Jimmy Todd Is this thread about the original Dark Phoenix saga or is it about the gold standard in comics? What makes Dark Phoenix the gold standard of comics in your eyes? Just curious.
     
  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a favourite of mine too.


    Yes. When I was getting really stuck into reading comics Jean was officially dead* and remained so for some years afterwards. And it was a powerful thing to have her legacy hovering over the stories like a cloud.

    *In the UK at the time, British reprint series of American comics were common. Round about 83/84 I was actually following three eras of X-Men stories consecutively: reprints of their earliest issues in the UK Original X-Men series; reprints of the late Claremont/Byrne era in Mighty World Of Marvel (the first issue of that series started with part one of Days Of Future Past); and their current stories in the American comics (my first issue bought "new" was Uncanny X-Men #178).


    I agree with you on both counts. I had no idea Jean would be coming back. FF just happened to be one of the series I read at the time. When I saw the cover I thought it was going to be a flashback or something. Back from the deads weren't as common back then and as I watched it start to play out in FF #286 I was hooked. At the time it was great to just be seeing the original team back together, and it was a clever way to get Jean back without having a lead hero who'd committed genocide.

    But in retrospect it diluted the legacy of the original storyline and was ultimately pointless. Comic deaths mean nothing anymore. You know they'll be back before long. And sadly the return of Jean Grey contributed to that.


    Two great stories.

    A few more I'd throw in as definitive favourites of mine:

    Gods And Mortals (Wonder Woman, 1987)

    The Judas Contract (The New Teen Titans, 1984)

    Origin Of The Hobgoblin (Spider-Man, 1983)

    The Demon Bear Saga (New Mutants, 1984)

    The Night Gwen Stacy Died (Spider-Man, 1973)

    Challenge Of The Gods (Wonder Woman, 1987-88)

    The Kind Who Collects Spider-Man (Spider-Man, 1984)

    Green Goblin Reborn! (Spider-Man, 1971)
     
  4. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Active Member

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    Good question, Zable:) I guess it's about both. Does anyone agree that the DPS is the gold standard or have they read one that they think is better, or at least equal.
    I see the DPS as meriting gold standard status because of
    1. The complexity of the character development.
    2. The pacing. The gradual build up of the the Dark Phoenix story, which began as a subplot before it took center stage.
    3. The sheer scope of it. Some see it as beginning in issue 101 and continuing until issue 138. Some may say
     
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  5. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Active Member

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    I agree with you 100% that it cheapens a story to bring back characters from the dead. It has been done so much it's now expected. Jean's first death was a powerful conclusion to a great story. I loved having her back, but at the same time it diluted the story's impact.

    Are the Wonder Woman titles you mentioned by John Byrne?

    i forgot to include the Teen Titans. I loved when Marv Wolfman and George Perez restarted them in the early 80's. The Judas Contract definitely deserves mention.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They're from George Perez's run on the title. Gods And Mortals is the retrospective collective term for the first seven issues or so of Perez's 1987 series relaunch, while Challenge Of The Gods is the next group of issues, which includes a whole lot of backstory and the introduction of the Barbara Minerva Cheetah.

    [​IMG]

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    I must confess I'm not a fan of Byrne's version of WW. At all.


    Same here. That entire run was just amazing.

    As single issue stories go, here's another favourite of mine from that series:

    [​IMG]
     
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