Comics
Published October 6, 2023

The White Hot Room, Explained

What is the White Hot Room? Learn more about the mysterious home of the Phoenix Force and its history with the X-Men here!

From the prehistoric days of AVENGERS 1,000,000 BC to the far future, the Phoenix Force has endured as a symbol of life, rebirth, and unimaginable cosmic power across the far reaches of the universe. But the Phoenix still needs a home, and it finds one in the White Hot Room

Located outside of time and space, the White Hot Room is the mysterious home of all past and future Phoenix hosts. While Jean Grey and several other powerful telepathic mutants have spent time there in the past, a legion of mutants now call it home following the collapse of the nation Krakoa in the FALL OF X.

Now, let's take a closer look at the White Hot Room and how it is connected to the Phoenix Force. We'll also explore the White Hot Room's unique place within the Marvel Universe as mutantkind establishes themselves there in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #16 by Kieron Gillen, Lucas Werneck, David Curiel, and VC's Clayton Cowles.

WHAT IS THE WHITE HOT ROOM?

The White Hot Room exists within the M'kraan Crystal, on the edges of the Marvel Multiverse. Also known as the Above-Place, the Mysterium Tremendum, the Heart of Creation, and by a dozen other names, the White Hot Room is frequently depicted as an endless white void, but it can appear in other forms, too. 

This dimension debuted in a CLASSIC X-MEN (1986) #8 story by Chris Claremont, John Bolton, and Glynis Oliver, and it was named for the first time in NEW X-MEN (2001) #152 by Grant Morrison, Marc Silvestri, Joe Weems, and Billy Tan. A dying Jean Grey bonded with the Phoenix Force for the first time in the White Hot Room, which serves as a kind of afterlife and astral waiting room for all past and future hosts of the Phoenix. 

Beyond the Phoenix Force itself, the White Hot Room has acted as home to Jean Grey and her alternate reality daughter Rachel Summers, a fellow Phoenix host. The current Phoenix, Echo, spent time in the White Hot Room while fighting the Adversary, an ancient mystical entity. The White Hot Room also includes past and future Phoenix hosts like the prehistoric Avenger Firehair, the Shi'ar warrior Rook'shir, and Quentin Quire, the powerful telepath also known as Kid Omega

Magik, one of the Phoenix Five who split the Phoenix's power during AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012), has been seen in the White Hot Room, and the rest of that group—Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, and Namor the Sub-Mariner—could presumably have a place there too. The White Hot Room also held the Void, the dark aspect of the Sentry, as well as the essence of Exitar the Executioner, a world-destroying Celestial, after their bodies were destroyed.

THE WHITE HOT ROOM AND THE PHOENIX SAGA

When Jean Grey piloted a shuttle carrying the X-Men to Earth without proper radiation shielding, she sent a telepathic cry for help into the universe, and the Phoenix responded in "The Phoenix Saga." Although the full details of Jean's interaction with the Phoenix were not revealed for years, the Phoenix Force took her to the White Hot Room as radiation ate away at her body. 

As Jean accepted the Phoenix Force, the cosmic entity used her as the template to create a human form; it bonded with Jean's essence and created a healing pod for the young telepath. As the shuttle crashed into New York's Jamaica Bay, the Phoenix emerged from the White Hot Room and took Jean's place in the X-Men. The healing pod sank into the bay, where Jean recovered in stasis. 

While posing as Jean, the Phoenix eventually became corrupted and turned into the Dark Phoenix, who destroyed a galaxy before sacrificing her human life. After this, the Phoenix returned to the White Hot Room in a CLASSIC X-MEN (1986) #43 story by Chris Claremont, Michael Collins, and Joe Rubinstein

In the White Hot Room, the Phoenix—still bonded with part of Jean—appeared as the White Phoenix, a pure and powerful form representing the perfect synthesis between the Phoenix Force and Jean. There, the White Phoenix encountered a construction worker building a tower. After helping him, the White Phoenix realized the construction worker was Death, leading her to experience the final moments of several people she killed as the Dark Phoenix. 

After talking about the nature of life and death, the construction worker helped the White Phoenix understand how much the Phoenix Force had already shaped Jean's life and appreciate the good they did, too. The builder sent the White Phoenix on her way, while the original Jean eventually healed and returned to the X-Men, where she still remembered this encounter with Death.

THE WHITE HOT ROOM AND JEAN GREY

After Jean Grey returned to life, she and the Phoenix had several subsequent dealings in the White Hot Room. When Jean was killed by Xorn in NEW X-MEN (2001) #150 by Grant Morrison, Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning, and Simon Coleby, Jean and the Phoenix Force were sent to the White Hot Room. Jean was eventually reborn in a future where Cyclops quit the X-Men and a Sublime-possessed Beast destroyed much of the world. 

Meanwhile, the Phoenix ascended into the White Hot Room and encountered several other Phoenix hosts. Ultimately, the Phoenix absorbed this timeline before effectively erasing it by encouraging Cyclops to stay with the X-Men and pursue a relationship with Emma Frost in NEW X-MEN (2001) #154 by Morrison, Marc Silvestri, and Joe Weems

The Phoenix continued to heal in the White Hot Room until a group of Shi'ar summoned it prematurely in X-MEN: PHOENIX ENDSONG (2005) #1 by Greg Pak,Greg Land, and Matt Ryan. When the weakened Phoenix tried to resurrect and inhabit Jean's dead body on Earth, Jean manifested the Dark Phoenix costume as a way to warn the X-Men. 

To fix the Phoenix's incomplete resurrection process, Wolverine attempted to send the Phoenix back to the White Hot Room by fatally wounding Jean's body several times. Jean eventually emerged from the White Hot Room and bonded with the Phoenix again. With the line between Phoenix and Jean blurred, they returned to the White Hot Room to continue to heal and only emerged to collect scattered pieces of the Phoenix Force.  

However, Jean Grey's next White Hot Room encounters with the Phoenix broke their longstanding connection. When a young Jean Grey time-traveled into the present and died, she was taken to the White Hot Room in JEAN GREY (2017) #11 by Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum, Victor Ibanez, and Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque

Having previously rejected the Phoenix and continuously clashed with it, this younger Jean briefly seized control of the White Hot Room and used it to resurrect herself. Shortly after that, the Phoenix tried to resurrect the present-day Jean to bond with her. However, the resurrected Jean refused the Phoenix Force, and the two went their separate ways.

THE WHITE HOT ROOM AND THE MARVEL UNIVERSE

Beyond Jean Grey, several other heroes and villains have spent some time in the White Hot Room. When the Scarlet Witch changed reality in HOUSE OF M (2005), Psylocke (Betsy Braddock) and Rachel Summers were pulled into the White Hot Room. During the war between Asgard and the Shi'ar, Thor (Jane Foster) and Kid Omega visited the White Hot Room. The Six—a group of mutants working for S.W.O.R.D.—also used the White Hot Room to forge Mysterium, a rare and valuable metal that helped establish mutantkind's place in the cosmos. 

After splitting from Jean Grey, the Phoenix brought several heroes and villains together for a tournament to decide who would be its next host in the "Enter the Phoenix" storyline in AVENGERS (2018) #40 by Jason Aaron and Javier Garrón. While they waited to compete in various playing fields across the Marvel Universe, Wolverine, Captain America, Shang-Chi, and the other potential Phoenix hosts waited in the White Hot Room for the duration of the competition. 

After Echo became the Phoenix's new host, she used her Phoenix power to bring an ancient mystical entity known as the Adversary into the White Hot Room in PHOENIX SONG: ECHO (2021) #4 by Rebecca Roanhorse, Luca Maresca, and Kyle Charles. Although the Adversary trapped Echo in an illusion and siphoned her energy, Echo ultimately broke free and destroyed the Adversary at the beginning of time with help from her allies Forge and River. 

As revealed in IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #16, the White Hot Room is now home to thousands of mutants from the island nation Krakoa. After the mutant-hating group Orchis attacked the Hellfire Gala, a defeated Professor X forced many of the X-Men and the world's other mutants to go into corrupted Krakoan gates that took them to parts unknown. 

After traveling through the Krakoan Gates, Hope Summers, Destiny, Exodus, and thousands of other mutants landed in an arid wasteland. They wandered through the desert until they found Mother Righteous, an ambitious clone of Mister Sinister's late wife who is obsessed with gathering mystical power. Mother Righteous transported Krakoa's sibling island to the White Hot Room and the mutants settled there, despite the threat of roaming feral Wolverines. 

Between their powers and the island's resources, the mutants have found a way to survive in the White Hot Room, but it's not clear how the Phoenix will feel about having so many guests in its home...

Visit the White Hot Room in IMMORTAL X-MEN #16, on sale now!

Grab these comics and more at your local comic book shop! Or redeem then read your digital copy on the Marvel Unlimited app by using the code found in your print comic. Find and support your local comic book shop at ComicShopLocator.com.

To read your Marvel comics digitally, download the Marvel Unlimited app for iOS and Android devices. Gain an expansive catalog of 30,000+ comics spanning Marvel Comics history, plus access your entire digital library including comics redeemed from print.

Related

PHOENIX #1 cover by Yasmine Putri

Comics

Jean Grey Takes to the Stars as Phoenix in New Series

Set in the X-Men’s upcoming From the Ashes era, Jean Grey headlines a new 'Phoenix' ongoing series by Stephanie Phillips and Alessandro Miracolo this July.

SPIDER-WOMAN #7 Black Costume Variant Cover by Peach Momoko

Comics

Marvel Heroes Suit Up for the 40th Anniversary of Spider-Man's Iconic Black Costume

Check out new Black Costume Variant Covers, on sale in May.

Our Complete Comics Guide to ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ S5 on Disney+

Comics

Our Complete Comics Guide to ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ S5 on Disney+

Binge-watch the final season of the hit cartoon, then head over to Marvel Unlimited to read the comics behind each episode!

Our Complete Comics Guide to 'X-Men: The Animated Series’ S4 on Disney+

Comics

Our Complete Comics Guide to 'X-Men: The Animated Series’ S4 on Disney+

Head to Marvel Unlimited to binge the comics behind the cartoon.