I’ve been on a comics kick of late, as well as a nostalgia high from Comics Alliance’s X-Men animated series recaps, so checking out some classic X-Men storylines seemed like a no-brainer. Especially when I saw Comixology having a sale on several collections. I bought the X-Men: Days of Future Past book as prepwork for the movie coming out this summer.
The first thing you notice is that most of what you get in that collection is NOT ‘Days of Future Past’, though the other issues ARE useful. Nowadays, comics are collected into trade paperbacks like clockwork, and each one usually contains a storyline of 5 or 6 issues. DoFP was only 2 issues. The first issue is actually an epilogue for the Jean’s ‘death’ and Scott leaving after the Phoenix saga, and serves as a recap of X-Men history. The next few issues introduce Kitty Pryde (a pivotal X-book character from here on out) and explore Wolverine’s history with Alpha Flight. Also, he tangles with the Wendigo.
Finally, you get to the actual Days of Future Past story. It begins in the deep dark future of mankind…2013. Most super-powered people in North America are dead, the few that remain are in hiding or in chains, serving the Sentinels. A desperate plan is in play by the remaining mutants – break free of the power dampening collars long enough to send Kate Pryde’s mind back into her younger self (who you just met in those previous issues). She enlists the X-Men to stop Mystique from killing Robert Kelly (senator and Prez candidate) along with Professor X and Moira MacTaggart.
You know the outcome, of course, and it does involve a fun battle against Mystique’s version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. My favorite aspect of the art is how expressive the faces can be – Kitty especially. Her squinting in concentration, arms behind her back in shyness. Say what you want about comics of this era, they weren’t afraid to go nuts with costumes and character designs. I have a soft spot for these looks. The writing is good for the time, though Claremont and Byrne overuse the constant barrage of thoughts from the characters for exposition in the middle of fights. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on the big screen.
The last issue in this collection is a Kitty Pryde ‘Home Alone’ story, with a scary monster loose in the mansion, and Kitty wrecking the place while taking it out on her own. All in all, it was a fun look back into what comic books were like before they went full-on dark and gritty. Wolverine joking around like an actual team member. No one glancing twice at Storm’s dominatrix outfit. Colossus’s, uh, side-abs. Purple robot overlords. WEN-DI-GO!!!