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A near-omnipotent force of nature and the ancient guardian of the all-powerful M'kraan crystal, Phoenix absorbs the identity of Jean when the X-Men travel into space to stop the evil emperor, D'Ken, from stealing the coveted precious stone. Unbeknownst to them, however, the mysterious empress, Lilandra, has secretly hidden the crystal to thwart D'Ken's evil plan. But the crystal, which Phoenix has been sworn to protect, ultimately falls into the evil hands of D'Ken, allowing him to create his own universe inside the all-powerful gem. Can the X-men prevent D'Ken from becoming the ultimate power of the living galaxy and what has become of Jean and Phoenix? The Phoenix Saga features the following episodes: Sacrifice, Dark Shroud, Cry of the Banshee, Star Jammers, and Child of Light.
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Five episodes of the animated series on one DVD, The Phoenix Saga follows Jean Grey's transformation into the mysterious and powerful Phoenix. It's a tale full of internal conflict, feuding family members, and the sadness of sacrifice for the greater good. When Professor Xavier receives a psychic plea for help from an alien woman, he sends his X-Men on the next space shuttle to the Eagle One space station. They're greeted by a brute named Erik the Red, who's on a mission from Emperor D'Ken to destroy a rival's ship and take the M'Kraan crystal, which would give him unlimited power. The ship Erik the Red is supposed to destroy contains the emperor's sister, Lilandra, who is the one who established the psychic link to Professor X. Meanwhile, as Jean Grey pilots the shuttle back through the atmosphere to Earth, she is blasted by a burst of radiation that slowly changes her into Phoenix, the guardian of the M'Kraan crystal. The battle for the crystal becomes a battle for the safety of the universe. Family conflicts pop up throughout, from the sibling emperors, to Professor X fighting his half-brother Juggernaut, to Cyclops meeting the space pirate Corsair (who's actually his father). The action scenes at the end are not nearly as engaging as the story that sets them up, but stick it out because the final scene packs a wallop. --Andy Spletzer
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