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The Dark Phoenix Saga Part One, Dark Phoenix
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #41 - The Dark Phoenix Saga Part Three, Dark Phoenix
Original Airdate 12th November 1994

Phoenix returns to Jean Grey's home as the X-Men decide the fate of Jean Grey...

Written By: Larry Parr
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: AKOM

Review: With the Inner Circle crap now out of the way, we can finally get to see Dark Phoenix in all its glory. This episode is easily the greatest out of all the Phoenix episodes, as for once, it’s not strictly the B plot. Here, Phoenix finally takes centre stage. No alien crap, or misfit groups here, it’s all X-Men vs Phoenix, which it arguably should’ve been from the beginning.

Now that she’s evil, the producers can show Phoenix as an all-powerful being, and they wasted no time in having her completely and utterly lay the smack down on the X-Men. There are a few brief moments with the Sh’iar, but thankfully, they’re kept to a minimum, and are only used to explain exactly what Phoenix is doing when she feeds from the star in the uninhabited galaxy.

I loved the scene in which the X-Men debated just what to do with Phoenix, after they realised that the problem concerned more than just themselves, the entire universe was in jeopardy with Phoenix. Norm Spencer delivered throughout this arc, after one or two corny deliveries in the original Phoenix Saga. The music also managed to maintain a high standard throughout the episode. Despite the fact each episode didn’t have it’s own specific score, and the show had no orchestra, the music for the show is above average, and often captured the tone perfectly. Whilst it’s clear from just about every aspect of production that X-Men was made on the cheap, it’s a testament to the quality of the crew just how good the show actually was.

The final moments are arguably the episode’s best, with each of the X-Men simply not having it them to kill Jean. As per usual, it was Wolverine who showed this the best. A lot of people bash the show simply because Wolverine was the dominant character in the show, but it’s clearly obvious why he is indeed more or less the central character. It’s because, beyond a shadow of a doubt, he’s the very best character in the show. The only characters who even come close are Beast and Magneto and on a stretch, Mr. Sinister. For those of you who can’t quite remember this show clearly, or simply never saw it, the whole “Wolverine is overexposed” is much akin to the whole “There’s too much Batman in Justice League Unlimited” argument that pops up every single time Batman appears. Overall, a great cliffhanger ended the very best episode of both Phoenix Sagas, defiantly worth seeing.