Marvel; July 1981
Cover by Frank Miller
Title: “What If Phoenix Had Not Died?”
Synopsis: The Shi’ar give Phoenix a psychic lobotomy, but can their technology really hold such power in check?
Writer: Mary Jo Duffy
Penciler: Jerry Bingham
Inker: John Stuart
Review: Based on strong source material from X-Men #137, this is one of the better issues of What If?. Mary Jo Duffy takes this story in interesting directions, and her Dark Phoenix is capable of real nastiness. Jerry Bingham’s work here is also solid.
Title: “Kree Encounter!”
Synopsis: This short chapter of a longer tale appears to feature part of the origin of the Eternals.
Writer: Mark Gruenwald
Penciler: Ron Wilson
Inker: Bruce Patterson
Review: This installment of “Untold Tales of the Marvel Universe” does little for readers not already following this serial.
Grade (for the whole issue): B+
Cool factor: The Frank Miller cover. While the Phoenix figure isn’t very attractive, this was one of the early indicators that the artist wouldn’t stand pat with the style that brought him fame on Daredevil.
Notable: This issue draws from the then-unpublished original ending to the “Dark Phoenix Saga,” which eventually saw print in 1984’s Phoenix #1.
Character quotable: “I am Phoenix! I am power incarnate! You are nothing!” – Dark Phoenix, right before turning poor Kitty Pryde to dust
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