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Comic Book / X-Men: Phoenix – Legacy of Fire

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X-Men: Phoenix – Legacy of Fire is a 2003 limited series written and drawn by Ryan Kinnaird and published under the Marvel MAX print. Its part of the Marvel Mangaverse continuity, officially designated Earth-2301.

The story follows the adventures of Jena and Madelyne Pyre (the Mangaverse counterparts for Jean Grey and Madelyne Pryor, respectively). The two sisters are the last surviving members of the Clan Pyre, a group of demi-humans that safeguard the plane of Limbo and possess the ancient power of the Phoenix, an omnipotent entity responsible for creating their world. As Jena is prepared by her sister to inherit their family heirloom, the Phoenix Sword, a mysterious outsider appears to steal the weapon and forcing the two heroines to embark on a quest to retrieve it.

The series was originally scheduled to be released on as a regular Marvel title (as evidenced by the PG rating in the first issue), but it was bumped to a Marvel MAX publication because the copious amounts of fanservice pushed the comic into a more mature territory, even though there is no explicit content like other MAX titles. Only three issues were ever released. While the ending implied more adventures were to follow, due to the overall failure of the Mangaverse brand, a sequel never manifested, and the book is assumed to be cancelled along with the other Mangaverse projects.

X-Men: Phoenix – Legacy of Fire provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: You'd have a better understanding of the setting if you read the narration text featured in the credits than in the story itself.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Madelyne is very stern in training her baby sister Jena, but she does it in order to prepare her for her role as Guardian and its clear that she really cares for her.
  • Animesque: The art style is decisively evocative of this. Justified, since this miniseries is part of the Marvel Mangaverse.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Phoenix Sword serves as the Pyre heirloom and holds the Phoenix Force's power. Since Pyre clansmen were descended from the Phoenix, only they can wield it and use its power. At the end, Jena has merged with the sword's power.
  • Another Dimension: The whole story takes place in Limbo, an extra-dimensional plane created by the Phoenix. It is inhabited by several monsters, eldritch entities and humanoid tribes.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: The sisters' bikinis when they take a bath in the magma spring.
  • Bathing Beauty: After a long, hard day of training, Jena and Madelyne take a nice hot bath together.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Blatantly. Jena gets knocked out by the Shadow King with such force that she has to be placed on a Healing Vat to recover. With that said, you wouldn't know this from the artwork which shows Jena with not even a scratch in her luscious body. Later on she gets impaled on the Phoenix Sword, but there is no blood in it.
  • Big Bad: The Shadow King.
  • Casting a Shadow: The Big Bad has the power to control shadows (as his name implies) and creates tentacles to wrap around the heroines at certain points.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The Pyre sisters wear only really tiny golden bikinis with just red jackets covering them.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Madelyne magically changes from her bathing suit into her normal clothes... Which are just marginally less Stripperiffic.
  • Colon Cancer: Self-explanatory.
  • Covered In Slime: Madelyne when she is dropped in the Irican bog waters in the third issue.
  • The Chosen One: Jena, by virtue of being the youngest Pyre alive, and heir to the Phoenix Sword.
  • Demihuman: Instead of being mutants, Jena and Madelyne are referred as this In-Universe: their powers are magical instead of the result of mutation, they descend from a primordial force of nature and its implied they might be immortal, or at least very long-lived when Madelyne comments that 7000 years pass by so fast.
  • Dirty Old Man: Nublisk. He is an old-looking monk who lives in a library fitted with several portraits of sexy girls... However, he never acts inappropriate around the young ladies despite them being nearly nude and is otherwise, a Cool Old Guy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Jena has a dream with the Shadow King, he wraps his tendrils all around her nubile body in a very suggestive manner.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Jena attracts a succubus who seduces and nearly eats her.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot is not very deep and its mostly a set up to cram as much Fanservice as possible.
  • Fanservice: The whole comic is bombarded with cheesecake.
  • In Name Only: Outside of characters sharing the same names and a few references here and there, this comic doesn't have anything to with mutants or the X-Men in general. Hell, it doesn't have any relation with their own continuity's X-Men.
  • Healing Vat: The Oscalari Pool is used to heal Jena after she is injured by the Shadow King.
  • Heroic Lineage: The Pyre Clan are direct descendants of the Phoenix and are able to wield its power through the Sword. Even their remains can be used by other people to channel its power.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Oh so very much, compared to any X-Men media. To give you an idea, after just one issue, Marvel placed it on the MAX publication (i.e. for mature audiences) because they realized they were publishing soft-core porn for PG audiences.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Shadow King manifests himself as a vaguely humanoid mass of shadows. He appears to have a Skull for a Head, but that is actually someone else's actual skull he carries as helmet, not his true face.
  • Last of Its Kind: Jena and Madelyne are the last surviving members of Clan Pyre, the Guardians of Limbo. Its also mentioned that there not many demi-humans like them in Limbo.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: The heroines take a bath on something they call a "magma spring".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Every single female character qualifies, as they are all scantily-clad nubile young women. The biggest ones are obviously Jena and Madelyne, who wear nothing more than golden bikinis with only tiny jackets covering them. The former gets in a couple of lewd situations like getting seduced by a succubus and groped by tentacles.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: The few male characters depicted in the story neither comment nor act flustered about the fact that the girls are nearly nude around them all the damn time. Not even the Big Bad, if you don't count one vaguely lewd moment where he wraps his tentacles around Jena in a dream.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: The Phoenix Sword's power can only be wielded by Pyre clansmen. The Shadow King was able to bypass this by using a Pyre skull, specifically the main protagonists' mother.
  • Only Six Faces: The only way to distinguish female characters from each other is from their hairstyle and (for lack of a better term) outfits.
  • Opening Narration: Each issues features a text narration detailing the backstory and recaping previous issues' happenings.
  • Training Montage: The series opens with Madelyne training Jena in combat in order to make her worthy of wielding the Phoenix Sword.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: Madelyne is Jean/Jena's elder sister here rather than her clone like in the comics.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Between Jena and Madelyne.
  • She-Fu: The Pyre sisters' physical fighting combines a lot of kicking and acrobatics designed to show off their bodies.
  • Skull for a Head: The Shadow King wears a human skull as a helmet. Its revealed to be from Jena and Madelyn's mother.
  • Stripperiffic: Ahem. See the cover art above? They don't get more covered than that in the story.
  • Succubi and Incubi: One obstacle found in their journey was a succubus named Illyana who tries seduce and devour Jena.
  • Thong of Shielding: The comic gets away with showing the heroines near-naked from behind with just a pair of strings covering them.
  • You Killed My Mother: Jena finds out that the Shadow King murdered her mother and is using her skull to channel the Pyre power.