Raven is one of the most important characters in the X-Men franchise. She is a powerful shapeshifter who changes alliances through the franchise depending on her viewpoints but always stands for what she believes is right. She was always protective of her fellow mutants, and in ‘Dark Phoenix,’ she became a mentor for younger mutants like Quicksilver, Cyclops, and Jean Grey. However, Raven’s part in ‘Dark Phoenix’ ended tragically, and in this article, we’ll clear up whether Raven died in ‘Dark Phoenix’ and how she is alive later.
Raven died in ‘Dark Phoenix.’ When Jean absorbed the cosmic force, all the mental barriers in her mind were torn down, and she became overwhelmed by everything. X-Men followed Jean to her father’s house, where Raven tried to calm her and assure her she was not alone. Jean lost control over her powers and accidentally blasted Raven onto wooden spikes, causing Raven to die. In the original X-Men trilogy, we see an older Raven, a.k.a Mistique, alive and well, and that is because of timeline alterations and continuity changes that the X-Men franchise has been through.
Charles Xavier relied on Raven to lead the team in ‘Dark Phoenix,’ so her death greatly impacted everyone close to her. Her death was a turning point in the movie as it resulted in the formation of that two opposing sides among the X-Men. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll look more into how Raven died and how she is alive in other X-Men movies.
How did Raven die in ‘Dark Phoenix’?
Raven’s character development through the X-Men franchise was an interesting one. For anyone who’s been watching all the X-Men movies by their release date, I am sure it was fun to see Raven’s personality when she was younger, especially after the original X-Men trilogy, where she was depicted as ruthless Magneto’s sidekick.
Raven has struggled since she was a child. Until she met Charles, she was a poor little girl who had to steal food to survive. Then Charles took her in and provided her with a home and a family. However, Raven always had to hide her true looks and shapeshift into her ‘human’ look. Even Charles always urged her to do that, and she ended up resenting him.
Nevertheless, Raven grew up into a responsible mutant whose main priority was to keep her kind safe, and in ‘Dark Phoenix,’ she and Hank are the main X-Men that lead other younger mutants on the mission. Of course, Charles is in command, but Raven is the team leader on the field. As such, she was very protective of younger team members and would rather abort missions that put them in unnecessary danger.
When stranded astronauts needed their help in space, X-Men answered that call and saved all the astronauts, but Jean absorbed a cosmic force in the process, which would create many problems later on, not just for her but for others around her as well. When Jean absorbed that force, she became consumed with power that she could not control, and all the mental walls Charles created in her mind when she was a kid were torn down by it. That resulted in Jean’s psychic breakdown and no longer knowing whom to trust.
When Jean’s mental barriers crashed, she discovered her father was alive, and Charles hid that from her for years. He made her believe her father died in the same car accident as her mother. So, Jean came looking for her father, but once he found him, he told her that he blamed her for her mother’s death, and he decided to give her to Charles when she was a kid because of it. Jean’s father feared her powers and could not deal with them.
When Charles realized that Jean remembered her past, he knew where to find her. He gathered the X-Men, and they found Jean at her father’s home. Jean was unhappy seeing her fellow mutants at her father’s doorstep. She was furious at Charles for lying to her about her father’s death, and she was done listening to anything he had to say.
X-Men tried to prevent Jean from hurting innocent people in her erratic state, but that only angered her more. Raven wanted to play on Jean’s emotional side, and Charles decided it was a good idea. Raven refused to stay away from Jean until she was sure that Jean would be okay. Mystique tried to understand what was happening to Jean and wanted Jean to come home so they could figure out how to help her.
Raven tried to calm Jean down and soothe her into a relaxed state. But it was all in vain. Jean became overwhelmed by everything inside her head and lost control of her powers. She pushed Raven by accident into wooden spikes in front of the house. The spikes penetrated through Raven’s body, and she died moments later.
If Raven died, how come we see her older version in other X-Men movies?
The X-Men franchise tends to be a bit confusing regarding its timeline. To understand it better, we will divide all the movies and the events into two groups: the first group will consist of movies whose storylines happened before the events in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and the other group will consist of movies whose storylines take place after the events in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Not all the movies will be mentioned, only those important for Raven’s character development.
The first group has ‘X-Men: First Class, ‘X-Men,’ ‘X2: X-Men United, and ‘X-Men: The Last Stand.’ ‘First Class’ is mainly set in 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it portrays all the First Class X-Men members like Charles Xavier, Magneto, Hank, Raven, and others. We see how they met and the school’s foundation for mutants.
In this group of movies, we also put ‘X-Men,’ ‘X2: X-Men United, and ‘X-Men: The Last Stand.’ In this original trilogy, all the members of the First Class are now much older and are separated into two teams, one led by Professor X and the other led by Magneto. In this trilogy, Raven is alive and older than in ‘Dark Phoenix’ when she died (also played by a different actor). And that concludes the first group of movies. Then the events in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ happened and erased everything that happened in the original trilogy, and a new timeline was created.
In ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past,’ Wolverine is sent from the year 2023 to the year 1973 to stop to prevent Mystique from assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask, an event that triggers the creation of the Sentinels. This was important because, in the future, Sentinels wipe almost all the mutants from existence. Wolverine’s mission was a success, and he altered the future, meaning everything that happened after 1973 no longer existed and could be rewritten.
This means the other movies, ‘ X-Men: Apocalypse’ and ‘Dark Phoenix,’ happened in the altered future where Raven does not survive. ‘Dark Phoenix’ is set in 1992, and Raven is one of the X-Men’s leaders, and she dies in that movie.
Wolverine’s time travel in the past erased the events we’ve seen in the original trilogy, and that’s why Raven could die in the alternate past. I hope this clears things up a bit.