Friday, September 9, 2011

Days of Future Past

More back issue browsing. This is Uncanny X-Men 141 from 1981, written by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, art by Byrne with Terry Austin inks.
This is the first of a great two issue X-Men story. Kitty Pryde has just joined the team and no sooner has she survived her first danger room session when she is suddenly possessed by the time travelling psyche of her future self. And what a grim future she has come from. The anti-mutant hysteria that has featured in the X-Men since the 60s has reached a whole new level with a mutant control act passed by the US government. The resulting war has wiped our many of the costumed heroes and the rest are living in controlled camps and forced to wear electronic collars that nullify their special abilities. The huge robotic Sentinels patrol the streets and enforce the law with deadly force.

Kitty Pryde has been sent back in time to her teenage self to try and warn the X-Men and get them to prevent the political assassination that leads to the passing of the mutant control act.  So we get to see the 1981 X-Men fighting another version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. But more importantly we see the remnants of the team who have aged and weakened. Of course Wolverine has survived and is sneaking around in his sneaky, hunter-killer mode.

This issue has a great cover as has the follow up in Uncanny X-Men 142.
There's nothing like a story about a dark, oppressive future that we might have the chance to prevent if we act now. A standard trope for science fiction and comic books but executed very well here by the X-Men team.

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