Fire is terrible and beautiful. From someone deep down in our earliest roots, we as human beings know that fire can be useful and can be deadly, sometimes both at the same time. Action movies love to watch things explode, and artists can tickle our emotions with depictions and metaphors of the ever-burning flame. I certainly don’t have to be the one to tell you that fire can also slip out of control and ruin lives and forests; to burn away something you love means you’re never going to get it back.
The Phoenix myth, at heart, needs both of these qualifiers. After all, it’s a cycle of death and rebirth, not just one or the other. Death is normally the first part of the equation, as we need to lose something forever to have it be reborn, not just resurrected. It’s also kind of a fiery chicken-or-the-egg story, too, as the Phoenix myth is a cycle, but the two essential elements are clear: death and rebirth.
WARNING: We’ll be talking about the reasonably guessed ending to the recent Uncanny X-Men #17 and the Sinister Earth story line. Grab your finest ascot and a copy of the comic and read along!