This is the first time John Shea appears with the traditional bald head for Lex Luthor. When he was a series regular, Shea was allowed to keep his hair, as his movie star looks were kept to be more of a suitor for Lois Lane. His baldness is explained as a side effect from his resurrection.
The title refers to a mythical bird with colorful plumage that lives for 500 to 1,000 years. At the end of it's life, the phoenix builds a nest of twigs which ignites consuming both the bird and the nest and a new phoenix arises from the ashes.