'Dark Phoenix': The Comic Book References in New Poster

The upcoming 'X-Men' movie gets a new poster likely to make comic book readers from the early 2000s very happy.
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Fox’s X-Men movies have had a strange, and occasionally strained, relationship with comic book canon throughout their nearly 20-year existence, but new teases for Dark Phoenix display a couple of cuts aimed squarely at the longtime X-Fan.

In teasing the debut of a new trailer for the latest — and final — Fox X-Men installment, the new poster for Dark Phoenix has been revealed, showing not only Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey in both “regular” and “powered by a cosmic entity” flavors, but also targeting readers of the early 2000s New X-Men comic book run by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely et al, where Jean’s new X-Men costume originated.

Longterm fans of the movies will appreciate that Turner’s Phoenix outfit echoes the Phoenix costume worn by Famke Janssen in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. It should be noted that it’s also not a million miles away from the costume worn by Magneto in the climax of the Morrison New X-Men comics, as illustrated by Phil Jimenez — file under “unlikely coincidences,” perhaps.

There was more to discover in the poster than just comic book references, however: Hidden at the bottom of the image is a small figure in a raincoat, which turns out to be the first official look at Jessica Chastain's mystery character in the movie. Admittedly, she seems somewhat underwhelming in this debut appearance, but given the unanswered questions surrounding her, it shouldn't be a surprise that so much is still being kept under wraps.

In the caption to his post promoting the poster on Instagram, director Simon Kinberg wrote some words that were familiar to those who know their X-Men comics. “Fire and life incarnate. Now and forever… Phoenix!” he wrote, a paraphrasing of the speech Jean Grey delivered when she first became Phoenix in 1976’s Uncanny X-Men No. 101: “Hear me, X-Men! No longer am I the woman you knew! I am fire! And life incarnate! Now and forever… I am Phoenix!”

Of course, comic fans recognize that it’s actually a double reference; Grey says the speech a second time, when she transforms from Phoenix to the malevolent Dark Phoenix and abandons her attachment to her loved ones — indeed, her humanity itself — in the process. Which of these is Kinberg referencing, given the movie’s title…? Audiences have a chance to find out when Dark Phoenix opens June 7.