“The Phoenix Saga” is considered one of The X-Males’s most well-known storylines, though one of many story’s main villains is usually neglected.
Many years after its unique publication, Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum’s “The Phoenix Saga” is a seminal X-Men story. On this story, the mad Shi’ar Emperor D’Ken and his forces consistently oppose the X-Males and threaten the very universe itself. The one forgotten villain of this space-epic, nonetheless, is the mysterious Eric the Crimson.
Lengthy earlier than “The Phoenix Saga,” Erik the Crimson was an identification created by The X-Males’s chief, Cyclops. In X-Males #51, by Arnold Drake and Jim Steranko, Scott Summers posed as Eric the Crimson to infiltrate the headquarters of Mesmero, the mutant hypnotist. As soon as there, Cyclops used his disguise as a strategy to destroy Magneto‘s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from inside. It wasn’t till X-Males #97, by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, that Eric the Crimson made his official first look.
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Certainly, Eric the Crimson was a completely totally different character from Cyclops, regardless of showing with the identical identify and costume. Earlier than turning into Eric the Crimson, Davan Shakari was a spy despatched to Earth by Emperor D’Ken. Shakari’s main goal was to kill Professor X and forestall Lilandra from enlisting the X-Males’s assist towards her evil brother, the emperor. Shakari grew to become Eric the Crimson, presumably to baffle the X-Males, and spent the next months making an attempt to remove the mutants.
In his first try on Xavier’s life, Eric the Crimson mind-controlled Polaris and Havok, two former X-Males. These mutants have been despatched to assassinate Xavier, pitting Havok towards his brother, Cyclops. Though Havok and Polaris escaped with Eric, their assassination try was unsuccessful.
Eric the Crimson later freed Black Tom Cassidy and Juggernaut from jail so as to defeat the X-Males. The Shi’ar agent supplied Black Tom and Juggernaut with the assets to show Banshee’s ancestral dwelling right into a deathtrap for the Kids of the Atom. As soon as once more, nonetheless, Eric’s plan was foiled when the X-Males defeated their foes.
Afterwards, Eric went to Muir Island, the place a de-aged Magneto was held in captivity. Utilizing Shi’ar expertise, Eric the Crimson turned Magneto right into a grown man as soon as extra. Placing an alliance with the Grasp of Magnetism, Eric the Crimson acquired Magneto to assault the X-Males, who barely escaped this encounter alive.
In a last play to cease the X-Males, Eric tricked Firelord, a former herald of Galactus, into believing that the mutants have been villains making an attempt to rule the world. Firelord’s confrontation with the X-Males erupted into an enormous battle, throughout which the Phoenix defeated the cosmic being. In the meantime, Eric kidnapped Lilandra and took her via a star-gate to the Shi’ar homeworld. The X-Males adopted Eric via this star-gate, finally proving all of his earlier schemes futile.
Certainly, the X-Males pursued Eric onto the Shi’ar homeworld and efficiently aided Lilandra in her battle towards Emperor D’Ken. Alongside the Starjammers, the X-Males defeated D’Ken’s forces and rescued Lilandra from her brother’s clutches. Moreover, the M’Kraan Crystal was restored, stopping D’Ken’s plot and saving the universe. By the tip of “The Phoenix Saga,” all the pieces Eric the Crimson had tried to forestall from taking place had come to cross.
Following his defeat, Eric the Crimson didn’t seem for years. Finally, the villain died when his spaceship exploded throughout a battle with Genis-Vell and Adam X, the son of D’Ken. In a while, Magneto adopted the identification of Eric the Crimson. When Magneto put Gambit on trial for his role within the “Mutant Massacre,” The Grasp of Magnetism disguised himself as Eric the Crimson. After the trial, this identification was discarded.
Though he performed a significant function all through “The Phoenix Saga, Eric the Crimson finally stays one of many extra elusive villains within the X-Males’s rogues’ gallery.
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