Dark Phoenix fizzles out Fox’s X-men franchise

The final installment of the Fox’s owned movie X-men franchise was released last week (June 7, 2019). Directed by Simon Kinberg, the movie did not live up to its iconic source material (The Dark Phoenix Saga Uncanny X-men issues #129-138) originally written by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Byrne. This was disappointing to the many X-men fans that read the original comic story arc, hoping that the film would live true to the X-men Mythos. Perhaps that was why the movie did not receive favorable reviews.

Spoiler Alert: The following write-up reveals plots of the movie

The beginning of the movie reveals that Charles Xavier’s dream is happening. Unlike past movies wherein our heroes the X-men were NOT accepted and persecuted, the world portrayed in the Dark Phoenix movie shows mutants have been accepted. In fact, society finds them somewhat normal and the X-men are celebrities thanks to their acts of heroism. This is why the X-men respond to a call for help from the president. The NASA shuttle full of astronauts is headed towards a solar flare. So the X-men head off into space to save the day with Jean later getting possessed by the Phoenix Force.

This is different from the comic book origin, because in the original comic book plot, the X-men were leaving a space station returning to earth when tragedy struck forcing Jean to pilot the space shuttle alone. Unprotected from the radiation in space, Jean encountered a cosmic entity known as the phoenix force and agreed to bond with the entity to save her friends.

In Simon Kinberg’s film, while saving the NASA shuttle, a freak accident occurs sucking Jean into outer space right into path of the solar flare. The solar flare being the catalyst to Jean’s possession. The cosmic entity’s presence in Jean is so powerful that it corrupts Jean and makes her a threat to all of existence.

Xavier and the X-men attempt to help her, to no avail. With the X-men’s actions leading to the tragic death of Mystique and a division of the team. Jean attempts to get help from Magneto, but only makes matters worse when a military containment squad attempts to apprehend her. Later Magneto finds what happens to Mystique and along with his fellow mutants attempts to avenge her death.

The corruption of Jean by the Phoenix force is consistent with the original storyline but what was the purpose of introducing the alien race D’bari? An alien shapeshifting race whose leader Vuk wants to acquire the Phoenix force. Their presence in the movie is unusual and they appear to be a weirded out version of the Hellfire club. (It is important to note that the D’bari was the alien race that Dark Phoenix had destroyed in the comics)

In any event, Vuk tricks Jean into relinquishing some of the Phoenix force to her. And as a result, the two characters battle each other at the end of the movie for dominance. Vuk motivated by her desire for the Phoenix force, and Jean motivated by love for her family.