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The Amazon Book Review
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"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is the epilogue to the Dark Phoenix saga, the swan song for the team of writer Chris Claremont and penciler Johny Byrne as the co-plotters for "The Uncanny X-Men," and the arrival of Kitty Pryde as the newest and youngest pupil in Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters on Graymalkin Lane outside the Westchester County Township of Salem Center. What you will find in this trade paperback collection are issues #138-143 of "The Uncanny X-Men" and Annual #4, where the artwork is handled by John Romita, Jr. & Bob McLeod.
"Elegy" (#138) begins with Jean Grey's funeral and ends with Scott Summers leaving the X-Men for a while. It really is the true epilogue to the Dark Phoenix saga and most of the issue is a walk down memory lane, recapping the history of the X-Men from when Jean first showed up at the school. Fans of the series will enjoy recognizing issues from the past (remember Grotesk and the Living Pharaoh).
The Annual story, "Nightcrawler's Inferno," has a demon who is fighting Doctor Strange yanking the X-Men off into another dimension, leaving Professor X and Kitty behind. This one involves a more classical interpretation of Hell, what with Minos and Cerberus from Dante coming into play, but like most Annual stories seems a bloated attempt to do something big as opposed to the much bigger impact of a solid multi-part story (see below).
"...Something Wicked This Way Comes!" (#139) has Kitty being introduced to training in the Danger Room, and Wolverine and Nightcrawler head to Canada to meet up with Alpha Flight and an old problem. That would be the Wen-Di-Go, who they fight in "Rage!" (#140), while Ororo takes Kitty to dance lessons with Stevie Hunter.Read more ›
Much of the dark doings in the X-Men books these past thirty years go back to that infamous two-issue arc way back in 1980. "Days of Future Past" was only a few issues removed from the tragic "Dark Phoenix" saga, so you can make a pretty solid case for this stretch of stories as writer Chris Claremont cresting to his absolute peak. His exceptional artist and co-plotter John Byrne, well, his heyday would span plenty of years beyond Claremont's. For those trying to unearth back issues of this classic adventure, you can find it in the trade paperback X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which collects issues #138-143 as well as X-MEN ANNUAL #4. For X-Men fans, this is a must get.
The trade opens with Jean Grey's friends and family attending her burial and a grief-stricken Cyclops reminiscing about Jean. Along the way, he manages to summarize the entire X-Men run up to that point. Cyclops' abrupt leave of absence would herald Ororo's assuming the leadership role.
The annual (illustrated by John Romita, Jr. and Bob McLeod) tells of how the X-Men and Dr. Strange storm Hell as they attempt to rescue Nightcrawler. This issue also brings to light a very dark secret from Nightcrawler's past (and this on his birthday, too).
Next is a two-issue story featuring Wolverine and Nightcrawler's eventful visit to Canada and their team-up with Alpha Flight as they take on the Wendigo.
This takes us to issues #141-142 which comprise the pivotal, very influential "Days of Future Past," an arc that is as significant as Jim Shooter's "The Adult Legion" story in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (issues #354-355, 1967). In the horrifying dystopian future of 2013, where Sentinels run rampant and super-heroes are a thing of the past, anti-mutant hysteria has brought mutants to the brink of extinction.Read more ›
This book reprints Uncanny X-Men 141 and 142 (from 1981), which featured the first appearance of the X-Men from the future -- an alternate future, in which certain key events happened differently. One of those future X-Men has gone into the past to try to prevent her future from becoming a reality. Features the first appearance of Rachel Summers, and sets the groundwork for the sequel "Days of Future Present" several years later. It is remarkable that such a short story (only 44 pages of text) could become so significant. The Chris Claremont and John Byrne combination is, as always, a winner. Highly recommended.
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This are the two comic books that thrust just about every encarnation of the X-Men into a whole new ball game. Did you ever watch the old X-Men cartoon in the 90's where politicians were about to mess with mutants? Remember the Sentinels? How about X-Men Evolution? Sound familiar? What about the first X-Men movie? That's right folks. All these shows have this in common: whole story arcs based on Days of Future Past.
These two comics started it all. It launched ideas for numerous future/alternate timeline stories in the X-Men comics as well. The trade paperback reprints issues 141 and 142, but I hear they added more issues with new printings. Doesn't matter which one you get because to me is the focal point is those two issues. Still getting more comic for your money isn't bad. Especially when they are all written by Chris Claremont (whom I consider THE scribe for the X-Men).
Why do these comics hold so much clout? This was something totally new to comicdom. Stan Lee never fled from serious content, and racial profiling is what you have here. The story shows a future where mutants are stripped of their human rights and are regarded as inferior. The parallels between this story and what happened in Nazi Germany are obvious, but it puts a different angle on the issue that makes it something younger audiences can click with.
The artwork is solid and striking without being gaudy and flashy. The background (future) story you get is going to blow you away. And the "modern" activity will give you the classic team you know and love. There is no reason for any X-Fan not to have this TPB... other than if you have the original issues.
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