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Real name: Rachel Anne Summers Other aliases: Rachel Grey, PhoenixMother Askani,
Hound Identity: Known to British legal authorities and the W.H.O. (Weird
Happenings Organization) Occupation: Adventurer, (formerly) Leader of the
Askani sisterhood, mutant-hunting "hound," later student
Citizenship: Citizen of the United States of an alternate timeline, honorary
subject of the United Kingdom on "mainstream" Earth. Legal status:
Criminal record in the future of her alternate timeline, no criminal record on
"mainstream" Earth; still a minor Place of birth: Unrevealed location
on an alternate Earth Marital status: Single Known relatives:
Scott Summers (of an alternate timeline, father, deceased), Jean Grey Summers
(Phoenix I, of an alternate timeline, mother, deceased) Former bases of
operations: Professor Xavier's School for
Gifted Youngsters, Salem Center, Westchester County, New York State in her
alternate timeline. A concentration camp in New York City of her alternate timeline.
Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Salem Center, Westchester County,
New York State in "mainstream" timeline. Excalibur's lighthouse off the British
Coast. Braddock Manor, England. Group affiliation: X-Men, (formerly) Clan Askani
and X-Men First appearance: (as Rachel Summers) UNCANNY X-MEN
#141, (as Phoenix) UNCANNY X-MEN #199
History: Two different beings calling
themselves Phoenix and possessing extraordinary psionic powers are known to have
appeared in this universe. The first was a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix
Force which duplicated for itself and assumed the form and consciousness of Jean
Grey, who is also known as Marvel Girl, one of the original members of the X-Men,
a team of superhuman mutants. The second Phoenix is a human being, Rachel Summers,
who is said to be the daughter of the Jean Grey of an alternate Earth.
The Phoenix Force is a manifestation of a primal force of the universe which derives
from the psyches of all living beings in the universe, and which therefore has
limitless power. The Phoenix Force embodies emotion rather than intellect, specifically,
the passion to create or destroy.
Jean Grey and other members of the
X-Men were kidnapped by the Sentinel robots commanded by Steven Lang, a scientist
who was out to destroy superhuman mutants. After defeating Lang, the X-Men had
to escape back to Earth aboard a space shuttle through the path of an unusually
intense solar flare. The shuttle's pilot had to sit in an area where he or she
would be exposed to the lethal radiation. Grey volunteered to be pilot, using
her telepathic abilities to absorb the knowledge of how to fly the shuttle from
the mind of her ally Dr. Peter Corbeau, and using her telekinetic powers to shield
herself from the radiation. But while she guided the craft back to Earth, the
solar radiation finally proved to be too great for Grey to hold back any longer
with her powers. The radiation began killing her painfully. The sentient Phoenix
Force sensed Grey's desperate desire to save the lives of the X-Men, especially
Scott Summers, alias Cyclops, the man she loved, and to save her own life. The
Phoenix Force appeared to Grey in a form resembling her own; it also took on a
human-like consciousness by reading Grey's mind and replicating her consciousness.
The Phoenix Force offered to save the lives of the dying Grey and her friends
in exchange for an unstated price. Afraid of death, but determined to save Summers
and the other X-Men, Grey accepted the entity's offer, and grasped the entity's
arm. The Phoenix Force then took on full human form, an exact duplicate of Grey's.
The Phoenix Force transferred a portion of Grey's "soul" or consciousness to itself.
Hence, from that point onward, Grey existed as both the human Marvel Girl and
as Phoenix. Grey's original human form fell into a coma-like state.
The shuttle crashed in Jamaica Bay near New York City, but the energy being insured
that all of the X-Men and Corbeau survived. The entity itself emerged from the
shuttle calling itself Phoenix, and the X-Men believed it to be the real Jean
Grey, who they believed had died and returned to life with vast new powers. Meanwhile,
Grey's original human self remained in a coma-like state within a strange pod-like
object while the phoenix-force's power gradually healed her injuries. She remained
safe within the pod for years until she was finally found by the Avengers and
revived from her coma-like state.
Shortly after the shuttle crash, Phoenix
and the X-Men traveled to a planet in the Shi'ar Galaxy where the crazed Emperor
D'ken was about to use the M'krann Crystal to obliterate the cosmos. The Crystal
is a tesseract (hyperdimensional construct) within which this universe's scientific
laws do not apply. Within the Crystal, imprisoned by a magnetic stasis field and
reduced to the size of a pinprick, lies a so-called Neutron Galaxy, which is composed
of neutron stars, whose super-compressed matter generates so much gravitational
force that not even light can escape its surface. If the Crystal were cracked
open, the entire universe would collapse upon itself due to the Neutron Galaxy's
tremendous gravitational forces, and the universe would be sucked into a black
hole. D'ken had triggered this destructive process, but Phoenix entered the Crystal
and, drawing upon her full powers through love of the X-Men and Grey's innate
courage, repaired the disintegrating stasis field, thus saving the cosmos.
Phoenix served as a member of the X-Men. But since Grey had never been trained
to cope with such immense power as the Phoenix Force possessed, Phoenix, in human
form, proved to have difficulty in dealing with her power. At first Grey's strong
moral sense kept the Phoenix Force under control. After the episode with the Crystal,
she subconsciously prevented herself from using her powers beyond a certain limit,
lest she become overwhelmed by the intense passions that the use of the Phoenix's
vast powers aroused in Phoenix's now-human consciousness.
fell victim to the psionic manipulation of Mastermind, who was attempting to prove
his worthiness to become a member of the secret Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club
by mesmerizing Phoenix, whom he believed to be the real Grey, into becoming its
new Black Queen. Using a device created by the White Queen, Mastermind projected
dream-like fantasies into Phoenix's mind from afar which slowly brought closer
to the surface of her now-human mind the dark desires which Grey, like most people,
suppress deeply in their subconscious. Finally, upon confronting Phoenix in the
Hellfire Club mansion itself, Mastermind forced those desires fully to the surface,
submerging Grey's true personality within Phoenix's mind, and Phoenix took on
the costume and personality of the decadent Black Queen.
is linked to passion, she could not fully free herself of the sinister side of
her personality which Mastermind had exposed. She helped free the X-Men, whom
the Inner Circle had taken captive, and psionically induced temporary insanity
in Mastermind. But as she and the X-Men escaped, she realized that the dark side
of her personality, the phoenix-force's innate urge to destroy, was taking hold
of her, and her human consciousness did not have the proper training to repress
it. Suddenly the phoenix-force's primal urges overwhelmed Phoenix, submerging
Grey's true personality even more fully than before, and Phoenix became the malevolent
Hungering for more energy (due to the limitations of still
being in physical form) shortly after her initial activity as Dark Phoenix, she
transported herself to the star D'bari in the Shi'ar Galaxy and absorbed energy
from it. As a result, the star became a super-nova, annihilating the sentient
nonhumanoid populate of one of its planets. Dark Phoenix next destroyed a Shi'ar
starship which had attacked her in retaliation for the non-humanoids' deaths.
She returned to Earth and battled the X-Men. Cyclops tried to reason with her,
appealing to the love Grey had for him, and thereby induced Grey's true personality
to begin to rise again from beneath Dark Phoenix's insanity. Unfortunately, the
X-Men's mentor, Professor Charles Xavier, caused her to revert fully to Dark Phoenix
again by attacking her. But Cyclops had laid the groundwork for Phoenix's cure,
and so, when Xavier used his full psionic power on Dark Phoenix to exorcise her
insanity, the nearly buried duplicate of Grey's true personality was able to assert
itself just enough to allow him to succeed. With Xavier's help, the uncorrupted
side of Grey regained control of Phoenix.
Phoenix and the X-Men were
immediately teleported aboard a Shi'ar starship commanded by the Shi'ar empress
Lilandra, who judged it necessary to obliterate Phoenix's powers entirely lest
she become Dark Phoenix again. Lilandra, like the X-Men, still believed that Phoenix
was the real Jean Grey. Believing that they could find a way to prevent Phoenix's
reversion to Dark Phoenix, and that she should not be punished for her actions
as the insane Dark Phoenix, the X-Men decided to fight against Lilandra's judgement
in a trial by combat against members of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. During the
fury of the battle, in which she participated, Phoenix again reverted to Dark
Phoenix. Grey's true personality reasserted itself in Phoenix's mind, but realized
that if it lost control even for a few seconds, Phoenix would turn insane again.
Without the proper training, she realized, she had no hope of maintaining that
control. Moreover, once she turned insane, she might ultimately destroy the cosmos,
probably by breaking open the M'krann Crystal. Therefore, before the eyes of the
horrified Cyclops, Phoenix acted as the real Grey would do in such a situation:
she telekinetically triggered an energy cannon she had found in the Blue Area
of Earth's moon, where the trial by combat had taken place, causing it to fire
and totally disintegrate her. Thus, although the real Jean Grey still lay in her
coma-like state hidden from the real world, she won her greatest victory. Acting
as she would have done, Phoenix commited suicide, thereby saving the universe.
But this suicide did not mean that the Phoenix Force itself ceased to
exist. It simply meant that the phoenix-entity's existence in human form was over.
The Phoenix Force is indestructible.
In an alternate reality the battle
with Dark Phoenix had a very different ending. In that reality Phoenix did not
revert to Dark Phoenix during the trial by combat, which the X-Men lost. Lilandra
then subjected Phoenix to a kind of psychic lobotomy, which completely removed
Phoenix's superhuman powers, thereby ending the menace Phoenix potentially posed
to the universe. Hence, Phoenix did not commit suicide in this reality. Scott
Summers and Phoenix were married, and had a daughter, Rachel, who inherited her
mother's potential for the telepathic and telekinetic powers that Jean Grey possessed
as Marvel Girl.
In the "mainstream" universe's reality the X-Men prevented
Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly,
an investigator of the alleged menace that superhuman mutants posed to society.
However, in this alternate reality, the Brotherhood succeeded in killing Kelly.
The assassination caused intense widespread public paranoia against mutants. In
the next presidential election, a rabid anti-mutant candidate won. His administration
unleashed Sentinel robots, giving them an open-ended program with overly broad
parameters to eliminate the mutant menace permanently. The Sentinels decided that
the best way to do so was to take over the United States. Over the following years
the Sentinels killed or imprisoned within concentration camps virtually all known
mutants and other superhuman beings within the United States and Canada. Finally
the Sentinels controlled the entire North American continent.
morning, when Rachel was still a child, the X-Men's base of operations, Professor
Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Salem Center, Westchester County,
New York State, was attacked and demolished by federal troops. The only survivor
at the school was Rachel, whom the soldiers found by the side of Xavier's corpse.
They used drugs to neutralize Rachel's developing psionic powers. Later, she was
tortured and brainwashed in prison. Following extensive behavior modification,
she became a mutant "hound," using her psionic powers to hunt down other mutants
for the authorities, who would kill or imprison them. In the process, Rachel occasionally
killed mutants herself, and it is known that some of those, who are as yet unidentified,
were people she loved. Rachel's superiors branded her face with a grotesque pattern
of tattoos to mark her as a "hound," and forced her to wear a leash. Rachel's
grief and shame at what she was forced to do as a "hound," and her anguish over
the deaths of her parents and other friends during the anti-mutant reign of terror
has deeply scarred her soul, leaving her bitter and intolerant toward human beings
who persecute mutants.
Eventually Rachel was placed in the South Bronx
Mutant Containment Facility, a concentration camp. Rachel used her psionic powers
to create the illusion in other people's minds that she does not bear the tattoos
marking her as a "hound," thereby concealing her shame. In the camp she rejoined
the surviving members of the X-Men. She was instrumental in their plan to end
the Sentinels' reign by changing history. Summers used her psionic powers to exchange
the consciousness and spirit of the adult Kate Pryde, a member of the X-Men, with
that of Pryde's teenage self as she existed at a time just before the attempt
on Kelly's life. (in "mainstream" reality, Pryde is the X-Man known as Shadowcat).
It was hoped that the adult Kate, in her younger self's body at that earlier time,
could warn the X-Men about the assassination attempt, and that the X-Men would
foil it, thereby preventing the chain of events from occurring that led to the
Sentinels' rule. However, history cannot be changed in this manner. Rachel, as
it turned out, actually caused Kate to exchange psyches not with her younger self
("Kitty") in the past of her own reality, but with the Kitty of our own "mainstream"
reality. Kate, in "mainstream" Kitty's body, succeeded in preventing Kelly's assassination
in our own reality. She then returned to her own body in her own time and reality,
causing Kitty's psyche to return to its proper time and reality as well. On her
return, Kate found that other X-Men, except for Rachel, had all died in an attack
on the Sentinels' Manhattan headquarters.
Kate Pryde still did not give
up her vain hope of altering her reality's history. She hypnotized Summers into
using her psionic powers to tap into the Phoenix Force and send herself back in
time when Pryde said the words "Dark Phoenix." Thus Pryde hoped that Summers herself
could change history. Together Pryde and Summers illegally entered the laboratory
of Project Nimrod, which was the attempt to construct the most highly advanced
Sentinel possible with the technology of that time. Pryde and Summers hoped to
sabotage the project. Pursued by guards, Pryde and Summers locked themselves within
the laboratory, whose walls were proofed against Pryde's power to phase through
solid matter. Summers believed herself and Pryde to be trapped, but Pryde said
the words that caused Summers to project herself back through time. Project Nimrod's
creation, the Sentinel called Nimrod, then killed Pryde. Nimrod later went back
in time to find Summers.
Summers found herself physically transported,
body and mind, to a time shortly before the present. But like Kate's spirit, she
had traveled not to the past of this "mainstream" reality. She went to Xavier's
mansion, but could not bring herself to stay on realizing that she had come back
to the wrong reality, and fled without identifying herself. She went to Manhattan,
where she was pursued by the psychic vampire Selene. Summers was rescued by the
X-Men, and joined their team. She eventually told the X-Men her story.
Rachel was shocked to learn of the supposed "death" of Jean Grey in this reality.
(At this point the original Jean Grey had not yet been found and revived.) Visiting
the home of Grey's parents while they were absent, Rachel found a Shi'ar holempathic
matrix crystal that Lilandra had given them. The crystal was imbued with an imprint
of the essence of Grey's personality. Refusing to believe that Jean Grey could
be evil, as people claimed Phoenix was, Rachel decided to claim the name and power
of Phoenix as her own birthright, and through her own actions to redeem the name
Phoenix in this reality. (Rachel believed that the previous Phoenix in this reality
was Jean Grey.) Rachel also believed that as the new Phoenix she could use her
power to help her fellow mutants, and thereby atone for what she had done as a
"hound" in her own reality. It was at this moment that she took the name of Phoenix
while holding the crystal that Rachel first manifested about her the bird-shaped
aura of energy associated with the previous Phoenix. It may be speculated that
from that time on Rachel Summers was able to draw to a limited extent upon the
power of the phoenix-force.
The alien Beyonder has hinted that Rachel
could potentially become the equal in power of the previous Phoenix. Indeed, the
Beyonder once granted Rachel the full power that the previous Phoenix had possessed,
but he reclaimed it shortly thereafter.
Rachel has not yet told the
Cyclops of this reality that his counterpart in her native reality was her father,
but it has been speculated that Cyclops has deduced this himself.
fellow X-Man, Wolverine, severely injured her to prevent her from vengefully murdering
Selene in the heat of passion. Rachel was subsequently captured and rendered amnesiac
by the extradimensional being.
Height: 5 ft. 7 in. Weight:
125 lbs. Eyes: Green Hair: Red Other distinguishing
features: Branded by her masters in her native reality with a pattern of tattoos
to mark her as a "hound," ordinarily she uses her superhuman powers to conceal
her tattoos, even when she is asleep or unconscious. Phoenix II manifested her
energies at times in the form of an enormous fiery, hawk-like bird shape that
appears about her body.
Known superhuman powers: Phoenix II has the ability to
exist in any environment without harm, project force bolts of incalculable power
and create force fields. She also possesses the power of telepathy, illusion-casting;
her link with the Phoenix force gives her vast psionic ability to manipulate time,
space, matter, and energy for virtually any purpose.
Source of superhuman
powers: (innate telepathic abilities) genetic mutation, (other psionic powers).
Rachel Summers is a host for the Phoenix Force, a manifestation of a primal force
of the universe which embodies the concepts of life and passion, especially the
passion to create and destroy, and derives its power from the psyches of all living
beings in the universe.