X-Men Legends brings back a classic Phoenix Saga Villain

The first installment of X-Men Legends features the return of a classic villain from the acclaimed Phoenix saga, who is back with a vengeance.

Warning: The following contains major spoilers for X-Men: Legends # 1 by Fabian Nicieza, Brett Booth, Adelso Corona, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna from VC, which are for sale now.

The new X-Men: Legends franchise offers more space to explore unseen parts of X-Men history. These new fragments of the story put some classic storylines in a new light. “The Phoenix Saga” is revisited in the first issue and brings back one of the villains involved in this story, Erik The Red.

Davan Shakari made his debut in 1976 in X-Men # 97 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum. Erik The Red has been an intelligence officer from the Shiite empire since his first appearance. First, Erik was sent to Earth as an agent for Emperor D’Ken, who wanted to prevent Lilandra from interfering in his tyrannical rule. To this end, Erik tried to prevent the X-Men from helping the noble princess.

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Erik sent enemies like Juggernaut, Black Tom Cassidy, Magneto and Firelord against Marvel’s mutants while brainwashing old allies like Havok and Polaris. However, none of these formidable obstacles could stop the X-Men as they followed Erik back to the Shiite throne world and defeated D’Ken.

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Erik’s religious cult, the Crystal Claws, first appeared in Fabian Nicieza and Ed Benes’ Captain Marvel # 2 in 1996. This group wreaked havoc throughout the Shiite empire with the intent of putting Adam X on the throne. Erik and the Crystal Claws tried to brainwash Adam and make him Majestor of the Shiite Empire as a descendant of D’Ken.

Erik and the Crystal Claws return in X-Men Legends # 1. This story takes place after the villains’ earlier attempts to capture Adam X for their own ends. Despite their previous failures, Erik and the Crystal Claws continue to pursue Adam as their Majesty. In this issue, Erik sends the Crystal Claws to a hospital in Alaska, where they capture Adam’s grandparents and hold them hostage. In addition, the Crystal Claws attack the X-Villa and pursue Cyclops and Havok.

This fight shows how the Crystal Claws learn of Adam’s connection with the Summers family and attempt to capture his long-lost brothers as well as his grandparents. It is also clear that these attacks come after Erik The Red’s previous attempt to capture Adam, as the mutant expresses his frustration that Erik and the Crystal Claws are still alive.

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Erik The Red has not been seen since appearing to perish in Captain Marvel # 3. X-Men Legends is set after this story, but it is still set in the distant past and marks the last known appearance of Davan Shakari. With a lot of history left, it’s unclear whether Erik The Red will survive this encounter and if so, what will become of him. Erik The Red has been gone for decades and only makes an occasional appearance. When Erik shows up, he always tries to put D’Ken or his descendants on the Shiite throne.

If Erik survives this flashback, it is possible that he will return in the near future. With Princess Xandra on the Shiite throne, Erik might feel compelled to create more chaos. Given the X-Men’s strong ties to the Shiites, an attack by Erik and the Crystal Claws would be quite a spectacle.

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About the author

Nabeel Gaber
(307 articles published)

Nabeel Gaber is a longtime reader of a variety of comics. He lives in Houston, Texas and follows the latest comic media from movies to television. Nabeel is a graduate of Trinity University and now works as a freelance comic book writer. In his spare time, Nabeel enjoys running, improvising comedy and all the comics he can get his hands on!

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