Marvel Reveals Prehistoric X-Men and Origin of the First Phoenix Host

Marvel Comics is heading toward a rebirth. The "Enter the Phoenix" story taking place in the pages of upcoming Avengers issues will lead to something big from Marvel in 2021. The story doesn't begin in earnest until Avengers #40 releases in January, but Avengers #39 is a prologue story flashing back to One Million BCE. The issue reveals the origin of Earth's first-ever Phoenix Force host and what may be the prehistoric X-Men, setting the stage for the upcoming event. SPOILERS follow for Avengers #39 by Jason Aaron, Dale Keown, Scott Hanna, Jason Keith, and Cory Petit.

Avengers #39 show the woman we know becomes Lady Phoenix as an infant, cast away by her parents to "the burnt place" because of her fiery red hair. We learn that the burnt place is where the various prehistoric tribes of man leave anyone different from the norm -- physically, mentally, in terms of religion or sexual preference -- to die.

A pack of wolves rescues the soon-to-be Phoenix, and she lives among them for a decade. She comes to remember the burnt place and decides she should return to aid any other like her who were left behind. When she arrives, she finds an infant with one eye -- a cyclops -- and meets a man with a paralyzed body and incredible psychic powers. He speaks to her telepathically and uses his telekinetic powers to levitate his body.

She comes to call this man the Highwalker. He welcomes her into his community of outcasts, some of whom are prehistoric mutants. It's the One Million BCE version of Xavier's School of Gifted Youngsters and his X-Men.

It doesn't last. A group of humans who fear and hate the Highwalker and his people attack the community. The Highwalker tries to calm them and get them to see reason, but they refuse. They kill the Highwalker, and a battle takes place, leaving only the fire-haired girl alive.

Lady Phoenix Avengers One Million BC
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

She returns to the burning place and lays down to die. She finally considers what could have burned that place so long ago. She soon gets her answer, as the Phoenix returns to Earth and possess her. She considers scouring the Earth to wipe out humanity but remembers the wolves' kindness and chooses another course of action. She travels to Asgard to recruit Odin into a team of heroes with a mission.

What do you think of the origin of Earth's first Phoenix host? Let us know in the comments. Avengers #39 is on sale now.

  • Avengers #39
  • OCT200613
  • (W) Jason Aaron (A) Dale Keown (CA) In-Hyuk Lee
  • In the harsh, primordial world of One Million BCE, early humans who are different are left in the Burnt Place to die. But one young girl whose only crime was being born with red hair finds something else entirely in the place of bones and ash - something that will change human history forever.
  • Rated T+
  • In Shops: Dec 09, 2020
  • SRP: $3.99