Saturday, September 3, 2011

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future PastThe Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past by Chris Claremont
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In a dystopian future, Kate Pryde is sent back in time, switching consciousness with the Kitty Pryde of 1980, to prevent the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly. Will she be able to prevent her timeline from happening or will the Senator be killed, setting off a shock wave of anti-mutant hysteria?

First off, there are a ton of X-Men trades called Days of Future Past. This one is the 48 pager.

I stumbled upon it in a used bookstore that I hate and figured I was winning one back for the good guys considering it's low price. I've been wanting to read this story for a couple decades and never got around to it. Was it worth the wait? I'll let you know in a bit.

The story itself is pretty cool. The future version of Kate Pride goes back in time to rally the X-Men against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and save a Senator's life. Cyclops is gone after the events of the Dark Phoenix Saga and Storm is leading the X-Men for the first time. Angel is back and the rest of the lineup is pretty much the standard Byrne-Claremont lineup.

The dystopian future was my favorite part of the story. I liked seeing Franklin Richards, Rachel Summers, and a wheelchair-bound Magneto, as well as both Wolverine and Colossus with white at the temples. Do comic characters never go gray in a pattern other than the Reed Richards look? Speaking of Reed Richards, the graveyard with all the superhero headstones in it really sold how bad the future had become after Robert Kelly's death. As for the present day part of the story, it's pretty much standard superhero fare for the time. I did like that they hinted about a connection between Mystique and Nightcrawler way back then.

One observation I had was that Wolverine's healing factor wasn't so ridiculous in either branch of the story. In the present, he's brought to his knees by Pyro's attack and, in the future, he's roasted and killed by a Sentinel. Wolverine goes through more crap than that in two or three issues of his current comic without missing a beat.

Claremont and Byrne raised the bar for other comics with their X-Men run. Byrne's art was at the head of the pack in its day and people still use what Claremont did as a model.

So, Was it worth the wait? Let's just say my 14 year old self would have enjoyed it a lot more than my 34 year old self. It's still definitely worth a read and was revolutionary for its time but it's a little on the dated side.

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