Phoenix Song: Echo #1 Review

Writer: Rebecca Roanhorse
Art: Luca Maresca

Letters: VC’s Ariana Maher

Publisher: Marvel
Price: $4.99
Release Date: 10/19/2021
Reviewer: Soycornholio

Phoenix Song:

The Phoenix Force is a very sensitive topic for me. Along with Batman, Jean Grey is one of my favorite superheroes. Thus by association, the Phoenix Force is naturally my favorite cosmic entity in all comics. With the Phoenix being so deeply rooted in the X-Men mythos, I was beyond taken aback when I found out that it merged with a new host from the Avengers. As I die-hard Jean Grey fan, this annoyed me beyond belief. No; the Phoenix belongs with the X-men. End of story. Well, Marvel has other thoughts. Let’s take a look at Rebecca Roanhorse’s Phoenix Song: Echo #1.

*Mild Spoilers*

A Child of the Stars:

The Phoenix is a child of the stars. It has been stated numerous times over the years (most notably during Claremont’s initial run-on Uncanny X-Men) that the Phoenix is of the stars. I find it odd that Echo felt out of place while sitting on the moon. The moon is where the classic Dark Phoenix Saga ended. Maybe this is Roanhorse’s way of showing the duality of the Phoenix. On one hand, the Force feels comfortable amongst the stars while on the other hand, the host feels out of place.

Guidance:

The Phoenix is an unruly entity. In Phoenix Song: Echo #1, Echo finds herself (like most Phoenix Avatars) unable to truly control the Phoenix’s powers. This is understandable. The host is possessed by a cosmic entity. I found it…out of place that Echo decided to seek guidance on how to handle the Phoenix from a chief that she had encountered in her previous travels. When it comes to all things Phoenix-related, the X-Men are the undisputable pros. The first person she should have had gone to is Jean or even Rachel. Now considering the Krakoa situation in Marvel Comics, I can understand why Echo would not want to go to them. Again, this is something that stuck out to me.

Storyline:

Ironically enough, the storyline grabbed my interest. According to a new (hopefully) mutant named River, Echo comes from a line of strong women. The Phoenix chose her because of this instead of somebody like Namor. River also warns Echo that a “dark shadow” is closing onto her family line to wipe her out. Ominous right? River is a breakout character. His powers are something different. He can travel through a person’s ancestral line and allow the individual to live through their memories. In my opinion, this sounds like telepathy with extra steps but something fresh. Something new.

Final Thoughts:

I could not stop critiquing Phoenix Song: Echo #1 by Roanhorse. The Phoenix is one storyline and creature that I take seriously. The almost…forced inclusion of the Phoenix into the Avenger’s realm seems like an editorial mandate more than anything. The Phoenix should have had remained amongst the starts for several years before its inevitable return. The only saving grace of this issue is River and the storyline. Yes, I am curious to see who (or what) is sneaking through Echo’s ancestral line, but in the same breath, this is not something for the Phoenix to be a part of. As for River, can he join the X-Men? I can see him working in Forge’s shop or even as a new edition to Krakoa. There is potential there. Overall, I would recommend this comic for fans of Echo and Avengers characters. If you are a fan of the X-Universe and the Phoenix, I would avoid this. Like me, you may find yourself critiquing this new version of the Phoenix on every page.

 

6.8/10

Leave a Reply