When the Phoenix Force returns to Earth this December in the pages of Marvel Comics' ongoing Avengers title, it will find a new host. In fact, it'll find a whole host of hosts when Earth's Mightiest Heroes themselves become the latest conduits for the vaunted cosmic entity of death and resurrection, bonding with the Phoenix Force as a team. But they won't be the only ones...
If that premise sounds sort of familiar, it's not unlike the so-called Phoenix Five – the five mutants the Phoenix bonded with when it came to Earth in 2012's Avengers vs. X-Men limited series, including Namor, Emma Frost, Colossus, Cyclops, and Magik. That story led to the downfall of the X-Men and the death of Charles Xavier (for a time, anyway).
Now, it seems the Avengers will get their turn with the Phoenix Force, with Captain America, She-Hulk, Wolverine, Shang-Chi (we think), Black Panther (again, we're pretty sure), and Namor (getting his second turn at the Phoenix Force) all imbued with the fiery power of the Phoenix in new Javier Garron-designed uniforms on the Leinil Yu-drawn cover of December's Avengers #40, seen here.
But all of that seems up in the air – as series writer Jason Aaron reveals that the Phoenix will actually choose one new host decided by a tournament of Marvel's greatest heroes.
"The most iconic, primordial powers of the Marvel Universe have been central to my Avengers run. And few forces in the cosmos are more world-shaking and potentially world-destroying than the Phoenix Force," states Jason Aaron in the story announcement.
"Its legacy on Earth goes back to the Stone Age, as we've seen, but we haven't seen much of the firebird in the present day. That's about to change in a very big way,” he continues. "The Phoenix is back and in its spirit of fiery rebirth, it's seeking a brand new avatar. So begins the greatest tournament the world has ever seen, as some of Marvel's most powerful heroes and villains are called to battle for the right to become the all-new Phoenix. All will be transformed. But who will burn?"
Interestingly enough, Jason Aaron has previously involved a future version of Wolverine who is the Phoenix Host in other stories. However, that version is known as the 'Last Host,' so don't necessarily count on Wolverine to ascend to the status of the Phoenix here.
'Enter the Phoenix' kicks off in November's Avengers #39, with December's #40 starting the tournament to pick a new host. Look for Marvel's full December 2020 solicitations right here on Newsarama later this month.
Want to learn more about the other Marvel heroes who have become the host of the Phoenix Force? Check out our list of the best Phoenix Force hosts of all time..