Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Days of Future Past by Chris Claremont

This was a rather misleading collection. First of all, what you need to understand is that this volume only officially contains the two issues concerning the time-traveling storyline that has been known now as a classic Claremont must-have. The rest were supplemental ones. Comprised of issues #138-143 of The Uncanny X-Men line plus the Annual #4 with Dr. Strange, this volume of Days of Future Past is actually less about the famed story arc mentioned. It mostly offers us great character material concerning Kitty Pryde, the newest and youngest member of the X-Men.

This also picks up events after Jean Grey's The Dark Phoenix saga which was why issue #138 features a tribute to the life and times of the said fallen heroine as told in the perspective of her lover Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops, as well as the history of the sixties X-Men.

It's worth mentioning that Cyclops also takes a sabbatical leave to grieve Jean properly so the leadership role goes to Ororo Munroe (Storm) in his abrupt absence. With the loss of Jean Grey comes the advent of one Kitty Pryde, a thirteen-year-old mutant and aspiring superheroine who can go through any solid surfaces as her power. The next issues (#139-140, Annual #4, #143) were devoted to her character development where she slowly finds her way into the schematics of her second family, trying to fit in and learn combat skills to enhance her mutant abilities. I suppose I understand why this volume had to include these issues since they are vital in understanding and sympathizing with this new character. After all, she will eventually play a key role for issues #141-#142 which are the Days of Future Past installments. Yes, only two issues.

If you have seen the movie adaptation first last year, know by now that the content of comics counterpart was very much different than what we have seen on screen. In this Claremont tale, it was Kitty Pryde who takes the center stage and travels back in time through the help of Rachel Summers so she can warn her comrades about the Brotherhood of Evil Mutant (led by Mystique) and their nefarious plans to assassinate Senator Kelly which prompted the deadly re-launch of the Sentinels project. Once that project comes into fruition, the mutant-hunting killer robots become unstoppable which cost so many lives of the X-Men which was why a thirty-something Kitty travels back to 1980. Funny enough, the distant future she comes from was 2013.

When Kitty-from-the-future takes over, she possesses the newbie version of herself who now has to convince her comrades of the threat in the future if they didn't stop the Brotherhood. The two issues that feature this storyline were compact and action-driven, with enough fight scenes to sustain the excitement and drama of the scenes. At this point, I've been invested on Kitty as a character and I'm glad she was so dynamic and relatable, as oppose to an obvious Jean-replacement which she is clearly not. Claremont did a fine job establishing how important her role is in the present by showing us how she's growing as an X-Men recruit (notably in issue #143 where she single-handedly defeats an alien enemy during Christmas; it pretty much served as her rite of passage), and this therefore gave some weight to her role in the future where she is one of mutantkind's last chance for survival. I would assert, however, that this volume would be disappointing if you're hoping to collect all of the DoFP-related material because the story arc honestly run only for two issues!

Still, the truth for the matter is that if you have plans to read everything about Days of Future Past, then you're going to have to check out certain flashbacks and tie-ins from The Uncanny X-Men (#188-189, #192, #199, #202), Excalibur (#35, #52), and Wolverine Days of Future Past which has three issues. You may also want to check out Days of Future Present and Days of Futures Yet to Come for the posterity of it all if you like. As for this volume, I think I can recommend this to Kitty Pryde fans because I think the supplement issues are really more about her, but if you're more inclined to read something plot-heavy then just check out #141-142 issues by themselves.


No comments:

Post a Comment