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Early this morning, an international group of scientists called The Event Horizon Telescope, using telescopes around the world, released the very first image of a black hole. The fascinating picture immediately inspired countless memes with comparisons to the Eye of Sauron seemingly taking the top spot. Another awe-inspiring celestial power will take center stage in this summer’s Dark Phoenix, and the folks behind the X-Men movie couldn’t help but get in on the black hole meme trend. Take a look:
How ominous. So it’s either the Eye of Sauron looking down upon us with cruelty, malice and the will to dominate, or Jean Grey, corrupted and transformed into the Dark Phoenix, on her way to cleanse the universe extinguishing life as we know it. If this first image of a black hole weren’t such a momentous and historical scientific achievement, it could be downright foreboding!
Jean Grey is indeed getting closer… to our theater screens as a fiery image of a black hole, the very first, dominates computer screens and social media. You have to give it to the X-Men Movies Twitter account too; corporate social media accounts often try a bit too hard to seem relevant with the topics of the day, but pairing the Phoenix Force with a mesmerizing and mysterious celestial object such as a black hole is completely appropriate.
The image of the black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, some 53.49 million light years away, looks like a ring on fire as all the light is sucked in to the center (and into Murph’s bedroom in Interstellar?) and the gases and other material drawn to it around the event horizon give off a blazing glow. That fiery glow definitely fits with the Phoenix Force, and if you didn’t know any better, you might think that this image was that all-powerful cosmic entity.
Beyond the aesthetic similarities, the comparison is apt because both black holes and the Phoenix are incredibly destructive forces; extra-terrestrial, mysterious, inescapable and frightening to behold. Black holes are forces of nature as is the Phoenix, which will make Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix a power unlike any the X-Men have faced before, except of course that one time in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Fortunately this time around, Jean Grey’s Phoenix powers will actually come from space. Although Dark Phoenix definitely doesn’t appear to be hewing particularly close to the beloved and iconic comics arc, it will put all of the attention on the Phoenix story as opposed to The Last Stand where it was only one element of the story. Dark Phoenix will see the mutants going to space and Jean Grey will be changed because of it.