Uncanny X-Men # 141 - 142. The Days of Future Past.
The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Future X-Men Lineup
I had NO IDEA that Days of Future Past, arguably the second most popular X-Men story of all time, directly followed the Dark Phoenix saga. Wow, Claremont and Byrne were on a roll. I mean...this is nuts. Jean dies, Dark Phoenix over, BAM Days of Future Past. Giddy up!
I was also a little surprised at the story taken here because it has been adapted in both the Animated Series and on the big screen, which both took a different turn.
Also, and don't ask me to explain this, but the title is officially called Uncanny X-Men starting with #142. Right in the middle of the story arc. And the Uncanny line starts at #142...so has it been Uncanny all along or is this where I should start calling it that? I'm really not sure, but I'll be referring to these as UXM (Uncanny X-Men) from now on.
Here we get the thrilling story of Days of Future Past. Kitty Pryde's consciousness is sent back into time to save Senator Kelly's life. We get our first introduction to Mystique and the new incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. In the documentary "Claremont's X-Men," CC has the following to say about the plot:
“You come in during the last act of a tragedy. The first cover says it all. Look at the wanted posters behind Logan and Kitty. And there are all the X-Men and half of them say dead. And you know, just by looking at it, that every mutant is living on borrowed time.
The paradigm for DoFP comes right out of the second World War. And that is the primal resonance for Magneto. This is his worst nightmare come to pass, this is everything he has warned against and fought against his entire life. How can he find a way to neutralize it, to make it right? And then the other side of the coin is that Xavier has to look at it and think everything Magneto has told me, has come to pass. Which side should I be on?”
As much as these comics were booming and the stories were amazing, it wasn't enough to keep Claremont and Byrne together. This is the last full arc with Byrne on board as the other half of this dynamic duo. While comics will reach a point in the 90's where artists ruled the day, at this point in time it was the writer's who got most of the editorial control and credit for success of comics.
Claremont claims to this day that he doesn't have any idea why John left, but Byrne claims that Claremont barely listened to him. There is a Comic Book Legends Revealed article talking about one such instance, where Byrne had drawn Colossus easily heaving a tree from it's roots, but Claremont added some scripting making it seem as though he was struggling. This seems minor, but apparently it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
I've also read that apparently Byrne came up with the concept for this story and was very proud of how unique it was. However, one day he was watching a re-run of a Doctor Who episode that was very similar and he realized that he must have watched it before and completely forgot that's actually where we got the idea. Oops!
This is the first time we see the suggestion of Kitty being with Colossus. The readers are exposed to them being married in the future and even though Kitty doesn't remember the future, we see her flirting with him afterward from this point on. Kitty is famously 13.5 and Piotr is 19. Technically they are both teenagers, but I think it's pretty clear this relationship is a little sketchy.
As mentioned by Claremont, we see that Magneto is leading the surviving mutants in the future. It didn't get past me that he's in a wheelchair, making an obvious allegory to Charles.
Rachel Summers makes her first appearance, however in this she's only known as Rachel and we don't get any hints as to who she is.
Following Jean's death, Cyclops has left the series and Storm is firmly in the Driver's Seat leading the team. Claremont has made it clear that he has always intended for Scott to get married and leave the series altogether, but fate will stop that from ever fully taking place.
This series also gives us the first introduction to Mystique and her iteration of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Mystique will play a gigantic role in the X-Men over the years so that in itself is incredibly significant.
Senator Robert Kelly and Peter Henry Guyrich are also both introduced and will continue to play large roles in the series for decades.
Nightcrawler runs into Mystique and she drops an incredibly vague hint that they might be related. I think she's his mom, but I actually don't know for sure and can't wait to find out.
My Rating and Review - 10/10
Once again, one of the most iconic X-Men stories of all time holds up.
I'm so excited to be covering DAYS OF FUTURE PAST!
We start with Kate (not Kitty) Pryde walking through your typical post apocalyptic world where everything is terrible. She's all the way into the future, in the year 2013!
As she's walking towards her destination, she's jumped by a bunch of thugs. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but she's wearing a collar that stops her mutant power (phasing) from working. It ends up being ok because Old Man Logan (He's not actually Old Man Logan here as that term will be used for the first time decades later) steps in to save her.
After meeting with Logan, Kate is stopped by a routine sentinel patrolling the streets.
As she continues walking, she passes the gravestone of most X-Men (and other superheroes) that we have come to know.
Eventually she reaches her destination and runs into her friends Rachel (no last name given) and Franklin Richards. Franklin is the mutant son of Reed and Sue Richards of the Fantastic Four, so it's pretty cool to see him grown up here playing an important role. Also, there leader is...Magneto! Is this it? Are we finally going to start seeing the more nuanced version of Magneto moving forward? I love them showing him in the wheelchair as a direct correlation to Charles.
In this future, Kate is married to Peter Rasputin, AKA Colossus. As I've mentioned before, at the moment I'm about 40 issues ahead of this blog. I love that this future story was actually the first time they introduced this romance, and then immediately within this storyline their relationship starts developing in the past as well. I won't even get into the fact that the Kitty we know is only 13...
It looks like the plan is for Rachel (still no last name, but interesting red hair) to send Kitty back in time into her own body. She is going to have to stop a calamity from taking place, which set the events of this timeline into action.
We now shift back to the present (1980), where Kitty walks into a danger room session and the rest of the X-Men are concerned for her safety. Afterwards, they set up her very first danger room session and she gets through it by phasing and walking with her eyes closed. This chain of events with the X-Men looking out for Kitty, then laughing about her making it through with her eyes closed is great. This is the X-Men that people have come to love over the years, seeing them get along as a team and support each other.
This is when Kate from the future takes over her 13 year old body.
She immediately tries to convince the other X-Men of what is happening. We learn that the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (led by Mystique) is planning on killing Senator Robert Kelly to send a message to humans not to mess with mutants. This ends up backfiring by the government enlisting Sentinels to track down mutants and eliminate them. Kate explains that they have less than 24 hours to stop this from happening.
Back to the future for a minute where we see that the future X-Men are discovered by the Sentinels during this operation. Franklin is incinerated and Rachel (who is dating him) is distraught.
I included the following screenshot because the "Fastball Special" becomes such a common maneuver with Colossus throwing Wolverine in the air. I believe we first saw it in the Savage Land when Wolverine saved Banshee from a flying dinosaur.
Ok, in the past again (or present), we see that Mystique has infiltrated the government by day, but leads the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. In the original run, Magneto led Toad, Blob, Mastermind (who we saw in the Dark Phoenix saga), Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch.
In this new incarnation, Mystique leads Destiny (a blind precog), Avalanche (dude controls the earth or something), Pyro (Master of fire) , and returning member Blob.
The Brotherhood was expecting an easy attack on the capitol but was surprised to find the X-Men there ready to thwart their plans.
Cool Nightcrawler fight scene, reminiscent of the second X-Men movie.
Kate sees that the X-Men are moving, but knows that she must save Senator Kelly.
Pay attention in Physics class!
Huge moment here for my man Nightcrawler. He is floored by the fact that Mystique has blue skin and yellow eyes like him. Mystique knows his name and the name of his adopted mother, so this is a huge plot point. I genuinely don't know the truth here. Is she his mom!?
Angel wants them to move on but Kurt can't do anything but imagine talking more to Mystique.
In the future, the X-Men try to break into a Sentinel stronghold in the Baxter Building (Home of the Fantastic Four).
Wolverine orders up another fastball special but the Sentinel turns around and incinerates him. This is the death of future Wolverine.
Future Storm also meets her end.
Back in the present, Destiny snuck away from the fight at large and planned to kill Senator Kelly until Kate phases through her and forces her to miss. After saving him, she immediately gets sent back to the future and we don't know what happened to that timeline.
Senator Kelly lives and immediately meets with Sebastian Shaw (leader of the Hellfire Club) and appoints Henry Peter Gyrich in charge of the Sentinel protocol.
Just for Fun, let's look at how the Brotherhood Roster has changed over the years:
Previous Post - 10: Dark Phoenix Time!
Next Post - 12: UXM 143 - 148 (It’s All About the Girls!)