Days of Future Past
is a 1981 X-Men
storyline (Published in Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142), written after the successful The Dark Phoenix Saga
. This time-travel story was the first main story featuring Kitty Pryde.
The story, written in 1980 and first published in early 1981, was set in 2013. The United States had become a dystopia
, and people were divided into three groups: normal humans, normal humans with the mutant gene, and mutants. The first ones are free, the second are forbidden to have children, and the third are either killed or held in concentration camps, with collars that turn off their powers. Everything is run by the Sentinels. And Europe has atomic bombs, ready to blast the US as soon as the Sentinels attempt to go outside America. Nice 2013, isn't it? You'd think we'd remember if that's how things actually went down...
The group held in the concentration camp was composed of aged versions of the X-Men: Katherine Pryde, Ororo Monroe (Storm), Peter Rasputin (Colossus), Franklin Richards (the son of the Fantastic Four's Reed and Susan Richards), Rachel Summers (daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey) and Magneto (now in a wheelchair
). With the help of Wolverine, still on the loose, they managed to send Katherine Pryde back in time, placing her adult mind in the body of her teenaged 1981 version. She told the others that, on that day, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants would kill the US senator Robert Kelly, along with Charles Xavier and Moira MacTaggert, which led to the anti-mutant hysteria.
In the future (that is, the 2013 future), the X-Men escaped from the concentration camp, but had to leave Magneto behind, and Franklin died during the next Sentinel attack. They sneaked into the Sentinel headquarters, the Baxter Building (the former base of the FF), ignoring that the Sentinels allowed them to do so to capture and kill them. Wolverine, Storm and Colossus died. Only Rachel stayed outside, protecting the unconscious Kitty Pryde.
In the present (meaning, the 1980 present), the Brotherhood broke into the Congress, but the X-Men turned up and took them out. Destiny left the fight and attempted to kill Kelly, but Pryde (whose mission all along was to prevent that) followed her and saved him. When she saved him, her adult mind returned to the future, restoring her teenaged identity.
Several years later, Rachel Summers would go back in time as well, and stayed with the X-Men for a while. There were several mentions to the future involving her.
The sequel to X-Men: First Class
titled X-Men: Days of Future Past
will be based on this story; however, it will be released in 2014, just missing the anniversary.
Days of Future Past contains examples of:
- Adaptational Badass: In the 1990s animated series, Kitty Pryde was replaced with Bishop (presumably to capitalize on the then-recently introduced character's popularity), and Nimrod was included right away.
- Animated Adaptation: This story was used as the underlying arc of the first season of the 1990s animated series of "X-Men", and was also the basis of the Bad Future B-plot for season 1 of Wolverine and the X-Men.
- As You Know: Franklin Richards uses these exact words when explaining to Magneto how the jammer works.
- Bad Future
- Beware the Nice Ones: Future Colossus goes absolutely berserk when future Storm is killed and throws a Sentinel out of a building.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Pointed inside the story. Angel asked: Did it work? Did Katherine change the future by saving Kelly? And Xavier replied: Only time will tell...
- Future Badass: All the characters (except those who have died), but most notably Kitty Pryde. At this point, she was still a new character, the token teenager Na´ve Newcomer who has no idea about anything the adult superheroes do; and all of a sudden we see her as one of the last remaining members of the resistance in a future dystopia.
- Grave Marking Scene: There's a lot in the concentration camp with the graves of many people dead years ago: Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm, Charles Xavier, Scott Summers, Kurt Wagner, Susan Richards, Reed Richards, Lorna Dane, Henry McCoy, etc.
- Homage Shot: The cover art, shown above, is rather famous and recognizable, and has been homaged by numerous other comic book lines (including both Star Wars and Star Trek), particularly when a Bad Future story is being told.
- Heel-Face Turn: Magneto in the bad future.
- Kill 'em All: Warned in the cover of the second issue: "This issue everybody dies!"
- Mutually Assured Destruction: On the international level (merely mentioned) the USA and Europe are holding the sword of Damocles over the other.
- No Name Given: "Rachel" pointedly is never given a last name so that Claremont could reveal that she was Rachel Summers later on.
- OOC Is Serious Business: One of the first indicators to the X-Men that something is seriously wrong with Kitty is when she hugs Nightcrawler (having previously been terrified of him).
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The whole point of the story.
- Short-Lived Big Impact: The story was only two issues long but is widely considered a classic and influential arc for the entire franchise.
- Storming the Castle: Averted. The X-Men thought that just 3 of them would simply get into the secured headquarters of the Sentinels and defeat them all... but it was a trap, and they were all slain.
- Terminator Twosome: Some years later, Rachel Summers moved to the past as well, trying to escape from that horrible future... and the hyper-advanced sentinel Nimrod followed her, to make it happen as it was meant to.
- We Have Reserves: Destroy one sentinel, destroy a hundred, a thousand, it does not matter. Their number is overwhelming.