If you follow my blog, you’ll know just how excited I am for X-Men: Days of Future Past which comes out tomorrow night and opens officially on Friday. You’ve all probably seen the trailers and by now know that it’s a time-travel story that features the cast from the original X-Men trilogy as well as X-Men: First Class. If you’re wondering about the source material, then look no further as I cover the “Days of Future Past” storyline as seen in the comics and in the animated series. I’m pretty sure the movie won’t be an exact copy of either the comics or the cartoons so this’ll be relatively spoiler-free but if you want to be safe, then come back after you watch the movie.
In the comics, the issues featuring the “Days of Future Past” story were published in 1981 by Marvel in The Uncanny X-Men #141-142. The future presented is the year 2013 and Sentinels, mutant-hunting robots, are in control. Most of the mutants we know are now dead and only four remain, Kitty Pryde, Wolverine, Storm and Colossus. Kitty and Colossus are a couple. They’re now working with Franklin Richards, son of Sue Storm and Reed Richards from The Fantastic Four, and Rachel Summers, daughter of Scott and Jean Grey. Together they escape the internment camp and send Kitty’s consciousness back to her younger self in 1980 to alter the timeline and stop Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. The comics alternate between the past, showing Kitty working with Angel, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine and Colossus as they all go to Washington and meet up with Professor X and Moira, and the future, where the remaining members of the team try to keep Kitty’s body safe and survive the Sentinels attacking them. After battling Mystique, Destiny, Pyro, Avalanche and the Blob, the assassination attempt is prevented. While in the future, Franklin, Ororo and Wolverine are all killed by Sentinels. Kitty returns back to her own body and the issue ends with the present-day X-Men contemplating whether or not the future has been changed. It also shows Senator Kelly initiating Project Wideawake, a covert government operation commissioned to deal with mutants, alongside Sebastian Shaw and Henry Peter Gyrich.
In the 90’s animated series, Episodes 11 and 12 in the first season deal with the “Days of Future Past” storyline. The future year is 2055 and at first Wolverine appears to be the one going into the past to stop the assassination but Bishop volunteers to do so. He goes back to the 90s to stop the assassin and it is revealed that the killer is one of the X-Men. He goes to the X-Mansion and fights the team minus Rogue and Gambit. At first, they don’t believe Bishop but after using Cerebro and then battling Nimrod, who follows him in the past, the X-Men finally accept that he’s telling the truth. At the end of Part 1, Rogue and Gambit walk in and Bishop’s memory is jogged, revealing that Gambit is the assassin. Professor X goes to Washington instructing Bishop and Wolverine to stay behind with Gambit, who then escapes to hunt down the assassin himself.
The rest of Part 2 unfolds pretty close to the comics, with Mystique impersonating a female official present during the proceedings with Senator Kelly and the team battling the Brotherhood. The difference is that she turns into Gambit to frame him for the murder. Gambit arrives in time to seemingly stop himself. Bishop almost kills both the real Gambit and Mystique-Gambit before Rogue sends him back to the future. Rogue lets Mystique go after it’s revealed that she was Rogue’s adoptive mother. Professor X finds Senator Kelly missing and an encounter with Magneto is suggested to take place in the next episode. The episode ends with the future remaining the same as it was, with Wolverine now dead and with Bishop left to try again.
I really enjoyed reading and watching both versions. I loved the comics. I thought it was such a creative story and evidently everyone else did as the dystopian future has since been revisited in other issues. I also liked how the cartoon played with your expectations and introduced the Gambit twist. It was very dramatic and effective. I can’t wait to see how the movie is going to adapt it. I’ll definitely be posting a review next Wednesday.
Happy New Comic Book Day everyone! Hopefully this inspires you to read the X-Men comics, the latest series features an all-female group. And the 90s animated series is on Netflix. Give it a watch as it is still pretty amazing.