Published April 27, 2020

7 Things That Really Happened in 'The Dark Phoenix Saga'

Cyclops dies and Dark Phoenix eats a sun?!


Sure, you might think you know what happens in The Dark Phoenix Saga, considering it’s been adapted numerous times in film and television before. But do you know what actually happens in UNCANNY X-MEN #129-137

These issues make up The Dark Phoenix Saga, written by Chris Claremont with art by John Byrne, which follows X-Men Jean Grey as she tries to fight the Phoenix power slowly rising in her — and eventually, it becomes too much for her to handle. 

While you might know the basic story here, so much more happens to Jean Grey and the other X-Men! 

With The Dark Phoenix Saga currently in Marvel Unlimited (which you can read for free!) here are a handful of things you might not realize happens in the issues! Beware of some spoilers if you haven't taken a dive into the comics yet. 

black queen

Jean can’t stop having flashbacks to the 1800s

Out of everything the X-Men have had to fight, “flashbacks to the 1800s” might not seem like a big deal but it’s what ultimately undoes Jean. Mastermind (aka Jason Wyngarde), manages to tap into Jean Grey’s mind and convince her that she’s actually “Lady Grey” from 200 years ago and this is what eventually turns her into the Black Queen — a new ally for the Hellfire Club. 

Kitty Pryde makes her debut! 

The Dark Phoenix Saga actually kicks off with Charlies Xavier sending the X-Men out to go check out a new mutant in Chicago. There they meet Katherine “Kitty” Pryde, a 13-year old girl who is having crazy headaches and suddenly finds that she can phase through walls and other solid objects. Kitty very much accidentally finds herself trying to help free the X-Men after they’re captured! 


Dazzler leaves the mutants behind for disco

Along with Kitty Pryde, Dazzler also makes her debut in this saga! The X-Men find her in a club in New York City where she shows off her singing voice — and her mutant ability. And yes, Dazzler realizes that compared to Jean Grey’s cosmic powers, her ability to dazzle with light pales in comparison. The X-Men extend an offer for her to join them, but Dazzler turns it down — her call to disco is just too strong and she instead chooses to keep pursuing music. 

Cyclops dies

But not in the way you think. Cyclops fights with Mastermind in a “psychic duel” while trying to tap into his connection with Jean. Mastermind (as Wyngarde) wins and stabs Cyclops ending whatever hold Scott still had over Jean — and in the real world, Cyclos’ body crumples to the ground leaving the other X-Men to think he’s actually dead. 


Colossus thinks he can stop Dark Phoenix with a tree 

It’s a small moment, and a pure moment where Colossus thinks he can really stop the all-powerful cosmic Dark Phoenix with a tree. Dark Phoenix then drops the tree on him and turns it to gold but hey, at least he tried! 

Dark Phoenix gets hungry and eats an entire star 

When you go for a snack in the kitchen it’s probably like some chips or possibly some fruit. When Dark Phoenix gets hungry her snack of choice is to consume an entire star. While her hungry might be quenched, unfortunately eating the D'Bari star kills the population of the nearby planet. 


The final battle with Dark Phoenix takes place on the moon 

Specifically, the “Blue Area” of the Moon which the Avengers discovered had a normal atmosphere just like the Earth. This also happens to be where Wolverine takes a wrong step and ends up face-to-face with the Watcher who threatens to send him back to the time of the dinosaurs if he’s not careful.

Read “The Dark Phoenix Saga” in UNCANNY X-MEN right now on Marvel Unlimited for free!

Fans will be able to escape into the Marvel Universe and revisit their favorite stories from a curated selection of complete story arcs – completely FREE – on Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s digital comics subscription service.

To find these stories and more of Marvel’s greatest comic books in print, please reach out to your local comic book shop to ask about services they may offer, including holding or creating pull lists, curbside pick-ups, special deliveries and other options to accommodate. Find and support your local comic book shop at



March's 'X-Men' Titles Decide the Fate of Mutantkind

The 'Fall of the House of X' is upon us! Check out the covers and story descriptions for 'X-Men' issues coming this March as part of the Krakoan Era's finale.


New Season of 'MARVEL SNAP' Invites You to the Hellfire Gala

Get ready to dazzle in an all-new season of 'MARVEL SNAP'!


December 6's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Join Bucky Barnes' revolution, meet the new Sentry, see the X-Men clash with Doctor Doom, and more in this week's Marvel Comics!


The X-Men Gain the Upper Hand Against Orchis in 'Fall of the House of X' #3 and 'Rise of the Powers of X' #3

Check out the covers and learn more about March's installments of 'Fall of the House of X' and 'Rise of the Powers of X,' the two series that will serve as the conclusion of the X-Men's Krakoan Era.