Phoenix Resurrection #1
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Penciler: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
A review by Greg Brothers
Anyone who is a fan of any of the major “super-hero” franchises know that death is semi-permanent at best. Some deaths do not even last an entire story arc. So, the fact that Jean Grey version 1.0 has been dead for 10 years is an amazing feat. Do not worry though, if you are a fan of people shaking off a bit of rigor mortis and returning to the living, Phoenix Resurrection #1 has you covered.
Phoenix Resurrection #1 has the X-Men Gold team responding to a situation in Annandale-On Hudson, New York. Seems there are some kids that are floating unconscious in the streets. Quickly Kitty Pryde realizes that what ever is going on is much to large for her team alone and calls in all the active X-men. After giving a breakdown of what they face, Kitty sends out three teams to assess the situation they are facing.
Before I get into the heart of the story it would be a monumental mistake for me not to mention how Rosenberg is handling Kitty here. While I have been a fan of X-Men Gold in general, Kitty has been inconsistent at times. Here she is confident, commanding, and no nonsense. She knows what needs to be done and she is not worried about who she offends as she takes control. An exchange with Sabretooth and a dire warning to any X-Men not sent on the mission to keep their mouths shut reiterates that point perfectly. I do have a small issue with one of the small teams that are put together, but I think that there is a purpose as to why the time displaced X-team was sent out. It more than likely will tie into their own series and the younger Jean Grey’s solo series.
As for the story itself. Phoenix has always been a creepy and dangerous entity within the Marvel Universe. Rosenberg captures those qualities perfectly throughout Phoenix Resurrection #1. Even before we see the actual Phoenix you can sense it’s influence throughout other panels. It causes an anticipation that has you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen next. While each team is battling something else it becomes obvious at some point that they are all tied to one common player. Having the three teams allows Rosenberg to show how big the threat is, while also serving as a reminder of how much the Phoenix force has touched.
Drawing a comic that is as large in importance as Phoenix Resurrection #1 is no easy task. Yu seems to be up to the task for this first issue. He is able to capture the creepiness that Rosenberg is going for in his writing. Several panels give off an unsettling feeling and one in particular of a little girl with black eyes is the stuff that nightmares is made of. Some of the panels are a bit cluttered when the teams head out, but I do not know if that was Yu’s choice or a directive he was given. Even in those panels however he is able to draw the readers eyes to the important piece of the panel. The real pleasure comes in the last few pages. The coloring here is spot on and the difference between facing a rather bright light source is subtle yet obvious.
Buy! Phoenix Resurrection #1 is obviously the first step in what is shaping up to be an epic story by Rosenberg. His ability to capture the essence of the Phoenix Force shows that Rosenberg has put in the research that is needed to do this story justice. Every panel feels as if it is leading to something bigger, and by the end many of those bigger parts are revealed. By the end you are left in awe of what is in those panels, and left with questions as to what the reveals mean for the Marvel Universe moving forward.