Surely you know: a Phoenix dies -- only to be reborn!

It's very, very rare for me to review a trade from my own collection. I usually get trades from the library, simply because they're free, they're new to me, and they're easy. Also, there's the fact that, you know, I actually paid cash money for the trades in my collection, so there's a good chance that I already approve of the trade on sight. Doesn't make for a fair-sided review, does it?

But this doesn't exactly apply when I was just getting into comics. Hence, I ended up buying stuff like

X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong
by Greg Pak and Greg Land

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Marvel wanted to give a last story for the Phoenix, and saw fit to give reins to screenwriter Greg Pak, and fan-favorite, semi-photorealistic penciller Greg Land. He tries to tell a story of power of love against an omnipotent cosmic destroyer of worlds.


This was before Pak and Land hit FAME status, before Pak's World War Hulk, and Land's "Dude you trace porn," to give you some sense of where this story belongs and when it was told.

WHAT I LIKED: Land is still Land, so even if he traces here, he traces some pretty darn pretty faces for Jean and Emma, and lord knows I have a small fan crush on both of those X-dames.

It works on the Emma/Scott relationship, and it's kind of a wake-up call, "Hey Cyclops. Stop being all angsty, and get over Jean. You have a totally hot telepath who turns into diamond in front of you." And you know what? It works. It works pretty darn well.

DIAMONDS are Emma's best friend

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: So sure, Land knows how to draw/trace a pretty girl. He doesn't know how to do it consistently though. One panel, Jean has one face, the next panel, it's like she went and got a facelift! Frustrating, Land. Frustrating.

Also, the nature of the Phoenix is really confusing. First, it needs Jean's corpse to corporealize itself, but then Jean separates herself from it, at which point it manifests a form by itself, without her help? And at one point it even possesses Emma? I really shouldn't think about this, so I won't.

EXTRAS?: Maybe 3 or 4 pages of sketches from Land, and a collection of the variant covers for the miniseries. The variants were just differently-colored versions of the original retail covers, so not very exciting.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was supposed to be something of an "endsong" for the Phoenix entity, and it's a pretty good one. It's a little annoying that there's a nod to its sequel though. Phoenix is like Freddy Krueger; it's always back for a sequel!

There are some pretty unprofessional-looking sound effects that clash with Land's hyperrealistic style, but it's a product of its time, which is about. . . 5 years ago. All in all, an exciting, emotional Phoenix story. What more could you want.

Stats a-go-go