X of Swords – The Blade of the Phoenix, Explained | CBR

Since Charles Xavier formed his new nation Krakoa, the X-Men and Marvel’s other mutants have found themselves tasked with a new purpose. Instead of saving and protecting a world that fears them, the X-Men have taken a much more aggressive approach in protecting Krakoa from any threat that may appear on the horizon, something that has been noticed by the rest of the Marvel universe. With their quest to maintain their superiority, the symbol of the sword has become synonymous with the X-Men’s new policy. Respect their nation, or you will be cut down.

The importance of this weapon seems set to increase with the upcoming event, X of Swords, which promises to effect every corner of Krakoa and hold major implications for Marvel’s mutant future. While the teaser for the event featured everything from the Muramasa Blade to the Cerebro Sword, one of the swords in the image stands above the rest with capabilities on a cosmic scale. This sword is the Blade of the Phoenix, which is wielded by Rachel Summers, the daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey from an alternate timeline. With the possibility of this sword playing a major role, lets look at the blade’s origin and history.

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Created by Ed Brubaker and Phillip Tan in 2007’s Uncanny X-Men #479, the sword’s origins lie in the early days of the Shi’ar Empire. One of the Phoenix Force’s earliest hosts, Rook’shir was also the first known host to fall to its destructive impulses, and he turned a version of the Dark Phoenix. As he unleashed destruction on the Shi’ar Empire, the Imperial Guard was formed to put an end to this threat. While the details of the full battle remain unclear, it ended with Rook’shir beheaded and his blade imbued with a remnant of the Phoenix Force’s awesome cosmic power.

Following this battle, the sword was hidden away by the Shi’ar Empire in the hopes that none of Rook’shir’s descendants would learn of the weapon that belonged to their family line. However, the Blade of the Phoenix was eventually unearthed and gifted to Korvus, Rook’shir’s last living descendant. This weapon of immense power was not given freely as he was forced to use it to kill Rachel Summers, given her own history with the Phoenix Force.

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With this blade, Korvus was given a fraction of the Phoenix’s power, and he was able to use the sword to unleash blasts of energy and deflect incoming attacks. As he made his way towards Rachel, the blade allowed him to easily dispatch of mutants like Nightcrawler, Polaris and Warpath. Rachel was able to connect to both the blade and Korvus, which gave her a portion of the Phoenix’s power and allowed them both to the other’s painful past. After their melding of the minds, the X-Men freed Korvus from those that had forced him to attack them, and Korvus and Rachel began a relationship.

Using the Blade of the Phoenix in multiple missions with the X-Men, Korvus eventually joined the Starjammers when Vulcan, the long-lost brother of Cyclops and Havok, took control of the Shi’ar Empire. As history repeated itself, Korvus used the blade in battle with the Imperial Guard. While he escaped with his life, both the blade and Rachel Summers lost their connection to the Phoenix Force. While Rachel kept her mutant primary abilities, the blade lost the power of the Phoenix that had made it a feared weapon.

With its reemergence in the upcoming event, Blade of Phoenix will likely find power once again. With the Phoenix also making its return to Earth, this would serve as the perfect moment for the sword to re-establish its connection to the cosmic force. Just as the sword originated from an empire, it seems that the Blade of Phoenix will become another sword that will soon be used to protect the nation of Krakoa. As other mutants arm themselves with their own swords, Rachel will be pulling this weapon from her past as she fights for the future of all mutantkind.

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The Blade of the Phoenix used once used some of the Phoenix Force's almighty power, and it could come back into the X-Men's world very soon.

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