Ever since it was introduced by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in Uncanny X-Men #101, the Phoenix Force has grown from an X-Men concept to something that has become a big part of the Marvel Universe. It was the cause of a war between the X-Men and Avengers, Thanos fought his Phoenix possessed son, and it’s made appearances in movies and video games.
The Phoenix Force imparts on its bearer phenomenal power, but often at a terrible price- most of its hosts go crazy, endangering all of creation. It doesn’t happen every time- in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, Jean Grey was able to harness the power of the Phoenix and control it- but it happens more often than not. This list is going to look at some DC heroes who would make great Phoenix hosts… and other who would go dark.
10 Dark Phoenix: Orion
Orion is the son of Darkseid, the God Of Evil. As part of a peace pact between Apokolips and New Genesis, Orion was traded and raised among the good New Gods. That doesn’t mean Orion is some kind of pansy- far from it actually. He’s still his father’s son, he just uses his great power and strength for good.
As good as his intentions would start out, Orion would eventually go down the path of the Dark Phoenix. He’s just too volatile and emotional and the great power of the Phoenix would corrupt him rather quickly.
9 Great Host: Mister Miracle
Mister Miracle was the other part of the peace deal between New Genesis and Apokolips. The son of Izaya, the Highfather, Scott Free was sent to Apokolips and raised in the crucible of Granny Goodness’s Orphanage. However, he fought to remain good and was able to escape with the woman he loved, Big Barda, and would go on to become Mister Miracle, the greatest escape artist of three worlds.
The fact that Mister Miracle was able to not be destroyed and remade by Granny Goodness in the tortures of Apokolips is proof enough that Scott Free is able to resist great temptation. Mister Miracle is pure of heart and if given the titanic power of the Phoenix, he would be able to resist its darker urges.
8 Dark Phoenix: Hawkman
Hawkman is at once one of the most complicated and straight up awesome characters in the DC Universe. A reincarnating immortal trying to make up for the sins of his destructive first life, Hawkman uses Nth metal to fly and enhance his strength and give him a healing factor. Unfortunately, he’s been known to fly off the handle sometimes, which would make him a bad Phoenix host.
Another problem is that Hawkman wasn’t always the best person in his past lives. He would start out doing good, but eventually, he’d fall to the darker urges of his psyche and go Dark.
7 Great Host: Jay Garrick
Jay Garrick is the original Flash. First appearing in the 1940s, he would go on to become a member of the Justice Society of America and be the inspiration for one of the longest running superheroic legacies in all of comics. Recently reintroduced into continuity by Justice League and Doomsday Clock, Jay Garrick is one of the most pure superheroes around.
Jay would make an amazing Phoenix host. There are few heroes in any universe that can match him when it comes to just how much of a good person he is.
6 Dark Phoenix: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is one of the greatest heroes around. Raised on the island of Themyscira, she learned the lessons of peace and war from her Amazonian sisters. A demi-god, Wonder Woman is powerful and skilled warrior. While it doesn’t seem like she would be a candidate for becoming the Dark Phoenix, there is little doubt it would happen.
While part of her mission to Man’s World is to spread a doctrine of peace, Diana is constantly ready for war. Over the years, fans have seen her darker inclinations play out and while she regrets her actions, she still deems them necessary. This attitude would lead her down the road to becoming Dark Phoenix.
5 Great Host: Martian Manhunter
The last of the green Martians, J’onn J’onnz has become one of the universe’s greatest heroes. a telepathic shapeshifter with Superman’s powers and then some, Martian Manhunter is a staple of the Justice League and always on the front lines in the battle against evil.
Martian Manhunter is one of the most controlled superheroes in the DC Universe. He rarely loses control of his emotions, even in the worst circumstances. The tragic loss of his people has tempered him, making him an ideal host for the Phoenix.
4 Dark Phoenix: Batman
Yeah, this one should come as no surprise. Batman is one of the biggest heroes of all time and one of the most recognizable fictional characters on the face of the Earth. With his keen mind and great skill, he fights crime in the most vice ridden city of them all and helps defend the Earth from the worst threats as part of the Justice League.
Batman just has too much pain for him to be a good Phoenix host. Once he realized that he had the power to end all crime, he would use it. He wouldn’t stop there, though. He would be able to rationalize everything he did, but that wouldn’t change the fact that it would lead him to becoming the Dark Phoenix.
3 Great Host: Nightwing
Nightwing, much like Batman, lost his parents to crime at a young age. Bruce Wayne took Dick Grayson under his wing and they became the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin. Dick grew and matured over the years and took on his own superheroic identity- that of Nightwing. He would go on to lead teams of heroes and even replace Batman for a while.
Unlike Batman, Nightwing hasn’t allowed the tragedy in his life to completely consume him. Quite the opposite. Where Batman is dark and brooding, Nightwing is cracking jokes and enjoying his life. It’s this attitude that would allow Nightwing to not give in to the terrible temptation of the Phoenix, making him an ideal host.
2 Dark Phoenix: Hal Jordan
The greatest Green Lantern of them all, Hal Jordan protects Sector 2814 from all manner of terrible threats. Armed with the most powerful weapon in the universe, Hal Jordan can make nearly anything he can imagine with his Green Lantern ring and his prodigious willpower. While that tremendous willpower would allow him to hold back the corrupting influences of the Phoenix for a time, he wouldn’t be able to hold out forever.
The last time Hal got possessed by a powerful force he went crazy and tried to rewrite all of his creation. It took many years for him to come back from this and while there were mitigating circumstances, the power of the Phoenix would prove to be too much for him in the long run, causing him to become the Dark Phoenix.
1 Great Host: Superman
Yeah, this one shouldn’t be much of a surprise either. Superman is pretty much the greatest superhero in any comic universe. No matter what happens, Superman is always fighting the good fight, in the forefront of the war between right and wrong.
Superman is already one of the most powerful beings around. However, he’s also one of the most selfless. The morals and values instilled in him by Ma and Pa Kent would allow him to hold back the corrupting influences of the Phoenix and use its power only for good. The universe would be a better place with Superman having the Phoenix Force.
The Phoenix Force imparts on its bearer phenomenal power, but often at a terrible price- most of its hosts go crazy, endangering all of creation.