In AvX #1 we find out that Tony Stark had set up an alarm that goes off whenever the Phoenix Force is used by someone on Earth. This gets triggered by Hope's retaliation on Cyclops, which used the Phoenix's abilities.

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However, in Uncanny X-Force Jean Grey from the Age of Apocalypse came to Earth and used the Phoenix Force, yet she did not set off the alarm. How come the alarm did not pick her up?

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  • Not enough to answer but: If the alarm was set up after that incident, there would be no problem.
    – AncientSwordRage
    May 6 '12 at 8:33
  • 1
    Which comic did the lower page come from? I have an answer brewing but I need an issue name and number.
    – AncientSwordRage
    May 6 '12 at 22:34
  • Uncanny X-Force, issue 17.
    – dlanod
    May 6 '12 at 22:54

There are only a few logical conclusions.

  1. It did go off. No intervention happened for whatever reason.

    Perhaps there was no heightened state of alarm, and thus no one was notified until the situation was understood better.

  2. The alarm wasn't primed when Jean Grey went 'phoenix' on everyone.

    This, at first, seems unlikely as the Phoenix Force is quite an important part of Marvel Cosmology. The Messiah Complex was published circa 2009, and unless they had never heard of the Phoenix Force they should have put two and two together at some point prior to 2010. However it's possible that the event that caused Tony to prime his alarm was in fact Sam Alexander crashing into earth, not anything to do with Jean Grey, or the birth of Hope Summers. In which case it's reasonable that the alarm was only just primed prior to being set off.

  3. The energy signature of the Phoenix Force from this universe is distinct and different from that of the Age of Apocalypse universe.

    This isn't too much of a stretch, until you notice that the Phoenix Force is

    ...the nexus of all psionic energy which does, has, and ever will exist in all realities of the omniverse, the Guardian of Creation, and of the dangerously powerful M'Kraan Crystal.

    At this point I'd have to conclude that the energies would be the same, and thus should have triggered Iron Man's alarm.

As it stands option 2 is the most likely for me, But 1 and 3 aren't so far of as not to be believable.

  • Option 2 was my most likely guess too, but I was curious for other examples. Option 3 is very interesting if you hadn't provided a counterexample for it yourself. :)
    – dlanod
    Aug 11 '12 at 11:42
  • Thanks, I put a lot into researching this. I think you really caught something here with your question.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Aug 11 '12 at 11:44

I really think it's one of those incidents where other in-universe stuff is ignored to not screw up the story (i.e. to avoid permanent crossovers; series following their own canon; feel free to correct me on this).

Look at any other of the newer Marvel stories or movies (except "The Avengers"): They all contain some maniac antagonist causing lots of havok, potential casualities and maybe even some kind of apocalypse. And yet none of the other superheroes shows up. Are they just busy or too lazy? Once you introduce two "rescues the day" heroes to the same universe showing up in different comics, movies or animation series, you'll most likely cause situations not making any sense when seeing the universe as a whole. You'll have to keep the other heroes away without explaining it.

Or if you'd like another example from a different universe: Hercules and Xena. There've been several crossovers, especially with very strong enemies and stuff. However, there've been more than just one or two occassions where Hercules or Xena had to rescue the world without any help from each other (nothing mentioned, they probably didn't even try).

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