X-Men: Phoenix Rising by Roger Stern
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 25 March 2015

X-Men: Phoenix Rising

Author: Roger Stern
Artist: John Buscema

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

When the Avengers are sent to investigate some activity in Jamaica Bay, they discover a strange tomb emanating great power. Enlisting the help of the Fantastic Four to open it, they discover something that will re-unite the X-Men for the first time in years!

In Phoenix Rising, the return of the Jean Grey is told across multiple issues and includes episodes of The Fantastic Four and The Avengers until finally seguing and launching a new series, X-Factor. This allows Marvel to re-unite, re-brand and re-launch the X-Men, many years after the events of The Dark Phoenix Saga.

Phoenix Rising is an important story arc in an historical context for Marvel but as a stand alone piece is quite strange to read. The plot, though starting off interestingly, doesn't seem to go anywhere in the end. The "never really died" premise in bringing back Jean Grey is seen as a cop out to many fans and though I don't mind it so much, it isn't explained well, nor does it fit into the story in any significant way. In the end, it seems the plot serves to re-boot the series rather than act as a direct sequel to The Dark Phoenix Saga.

Perhaps never really intended to be a stand alone piece and suffering from having multiple writers, Phoenix Rising is a good bridging piece. I'd recommend it as an important reference for the X-Men and Marvel Universe as a whole but not so much as an entertaining read.