“Fantastic Four 286 page 21” (January 1986)
by John Byrne (1950-) and Terry Austin (1952-)
11 x 17 in., ink on paper
Twenty years ago, John Byrne retconned the high-water mark of 80s comics, namely, the Dark Phoenix Saga. We find out in 1986 that the Phoenix force had not inhabited Jean Grey, but replaced her, when she was being consumed by radiation on re-entry to earth’s atmosphere in an unshielded space shuttle. In these five panels, Byrne recounts the origins of the original X-Men… the ill-fated shuttle flight… the first appearance, after the crash in Jamaica Bay, of the Phoenix… the evolution and corruption to the Dark Phoenix… and the climatic suicide that took place in the Blue Area of the moon. The Phoenix force had sealed up Jean’s nearly-destroyed body in a cocoon at the bottom of the Bay, where she was discovered and revived in this story.
A 5-panel retelling of the X-Men’s “Origins of the Phoenix” by Byrne and Austin… with Cap, Jarvis and Beast… from the FF issue of Jean’s first resurrection. That’s what we in the business call a Grail Page.