Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Days of Future Past Part 1 Review

Days of Future Past.

Wolverine: Days of Future Past #1 Ill Winds
Wolverine: Days of Future Past #2 Uneasy Alliances
Wolverine: Days of Future Past #3 Chain Reactions

This three part story takes place directly before the events of Uncanny X-Men #141-142 – this issue serves as sort of a prequel as well as a retcon to throw in all the new characters that have appeared long after the original story was first told. The retcon part I’ll deal with first.. the Sentinels are no longer the regular version but they are mass produced versions of Bastion’s Prime Sentinels. Wolverine is off on his quest to find Amiko (although she wasn’t introduced until roughly forty issues after the original Days of Future Past), the story now includes Emma Frost, Synch, Jubilee, Leech, and Psylocke – who has joined Shinobi Shaw and taken up the position of The Red Queen within the new Inner Circle. We see that Pietro, Sam (Cannonball) died along with Kurt and Archangel (which prompts Betsy to go bad and turn traitor.) Something happened on Genosha which is never revealed happened, something so bad that Magneto becomes unhinged if anyone even mentions ‘Genosha’ to him. We see Wanda being tortured by Shinobi and Betsy in order to use her Hex powers to destroy what little is left of civilization so they can take over. Eventually Wanda dies, but not before Magneto is crippled trying to save her. Emma restructures Betsy’s mind and sends her off for ‘rehabilitation’ that will involve her spending time with her brother Brian. The main thing about this story is it shows how and why Magneto joined the few X-Men that are left and how he was crippled – so in that respect it’s a prequel, plus the fact that it happens directly before the events of the main storyline. I haven’t read the Days of Future Past storyline yet so I don’t know how difficult it will be to deal with the retcon aspect when all of these characters that were in this particular miniseries aren’t around and since they don’t exist yet aren’t mentioned at all.

The Uncanny X-Men #141 Days Of Future Past
The Uncanny X-Men #142 Mind Out Of Time!

Alright, we’re in to the main story here… We see a lot of new things, but we get some resolutions as well. Blob meets the new Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants – consisting of Mystique (she had already appeared in Ms. Marvel’s book but this story right here begins her long standing reign of terror in the X-books) the rest of the Brotherhood is made up of Avalanche, Destiny and Pyro – this is the first time they appear anywhere. Mystique plans on killing off Senator Kelly, Moira MacTaggert and Charles Xavier to teach the world to be afraid of mutants. Initially she succeeds which sends the world spiraling into a dark and twisted world where Sentinels rule, mutants are either killed off or kept in concentration camps and the entire world is on the verge of nuclear war. In the future the only ‘X-Men’ that are left are Ororo, Piotr, Kitty – who now goes by Kate and is married to Piotr, the two had children that were at some point murdered by the Sentinels- Magneto – for the first time he is called Magnus, and is crippled, Franklin Richards – the mutant child of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, and his wife a redheaded telepathic/telekinetic mutant named Rachel. (We know from Wolverine: Days of Future Past that Jubilee, Psylocke, White Queen, Synch and Leech are all still alive too) Logan is alive, and ‘free;’ he’s been feeding Kate pieces of equipment that will disable the collars that cripple their mutant powers which then allows Rachel to send Kate back in time switching her mind with her younger self Kitty. Back in the past the X-Men battle the Brotherhood, only to find themselves evenly matched, Kurt squares off against Mystique and is taken aback by how much they look alike. Mystique doesn’t reveal too much, only that Kurt should seek out his ‘mother’ Margali for the truth. Kate in the past is able to stop Destiny from killing Senator Kelly which drastically changes this future timeline (which is a good thing because by this point in the future Ororo, Logan, Magneto, Franklin and Piotr have all died leaving just Kate/Kitty and Rachel. Kate returns to the future bringing Kitty back to the past with no memory of anything that has happened. Kelly and the newly elected president (we don’t see his face, just a shadowed outline) have teamed up with Sebastian Shaw to contract Henry Peter Gyrich to create a new breed of Sentinels to control mutant kind.

Dazzler #1 So Bright This Star
Dazzler #2 Where Demons Fear To Dwell!

Well… this as published around the same time and mentions of it lead us to believe that it takes place directly after Uncanny X-Men #142. We learn Dazzler’s real name is Alison Blaire, of course considering this is the first issue we get a bunch of new characters: Stevie Wildfire (the owner of the club Alison and Enchantress are auditioning for,) Joseph R. Ercoli (who essentially introduces Alison to her new agent,) Harry S. Osgood – her new agent, Cassandra Ferlenghetti – Harry’s secretary, Alison’s father Judge Carter Blaire, and her Nana. Since Alison appeared in Uncanny X-Men, and is a mutant this is essentially the first X-book spinoff so it’s the first time we see The Enchantress in and X-title. There are a TON of characters in this first story which almost makes this book more of a ‘Team-Up’ title rather than a ‘real’ book. So for guest stars we get: (aside from Enchantress) Human Torch, The Thing, Spider-Man, Angel, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Sprite, Storm, Wolverine, Beast, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron-Man, Wasp, Jarvis and Spider-Man. I’ve got to be honest this is going to be a hard book for me to get through, while I’ve always liked the idea of Dazzler, I’ve never been a fan of what they had done with her character over the years and I think that’s going to drag the book down for me. Part of me hopes I’m just remembering how she was portrayed in the 80s wrong because I was only a child then, but I’m not hopeful that the book will contain anything that will want to make me come back to the book and read the stories over again. I don't mean to bash the book - there are elements that are good but I don't really need to see parts of the book devoted to Alison putting on her make up, or running around on roller skates, or even really talk about how hard it is to sing because she can't get paying gigs, but she doesn't want to quit because it's her passion. Okay sure the struggle with her life choices should be touched on, but they don't need to be brought up every single issue- and unfortunately I think they'll keep it up for a while.

Dazzler #3 The Jewels of Doom!
Dazzler #4 Here Nightmares Abide!

So here we have the second story... Carter Blaire, Allison’s Nana Bella, The Human Torch, The Thing, Cassandra and Harry are all back. We met Lancelot Steele who is acting as Harry’s field representative so I guess that makes him Alison’s manager. We continue the floating in and out of characters from other books which brings us Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, Dr. Arturo Frazen and Dr. Doom. Alison is scheduled to perform at the United Nations benefit concert and she’s so excited about it that she tries one more time to reach out to her father – it doesn’t go well. Of course just before it’s time for Alison to perform as Dazzler comes the Latverian jewels are in the process of being stolen, Alison tries to stop them only to end up being captured by Dr. Doom. Seeking a second Merlin Stone Doom transports Dazzler to the dimension he has tracked it down to in order to use her as a pawn to draw out whoever is guarding the second stone. Allison enters a stand off with her anti-self who feeds off of darkness. Alison outwits her dark self and then has to battle the real guardian of the stone. Thankfully he is also afraid of light and she quickly bests him and takes the stone and is transported back to Doom’s lair. She manages to escape the prison Dom is holding her in and uses her powers to destroy both Merlin Stones, a furious Doom destroys the building, crushing Alison underneath it and when Johnny Storm finds her he can’t revive her. Okay this story was actually more my speed than the first one but the series still has a long way to go before it becomes a good book (in my eyes at least.) One thing I think that the second issue had going for it was I remember having it as a kid. I have distinct memories of the cover, yet I don't remember reading it at all so it did bring back memories of when I was younger (I still hadn't been born when this issue was published but I remember going to the 'Giant Comic Book Warehouse' and spending like 3 hours digging through the back issue boxes with my older brother and finding this one on clearance for 30 cents so I grabbed it up.

Wolverine: Days of Future Past #1 Ill Winds: A
Wolverine: Days of Future Past #2 Uneasy Alliances: B
Wolverine: Days of Future Past #3 Chain Reactions: A
The Uncanny X-Men #141 Days Of Future Past: A
The Uncanny X-Men #142Mind Out Of Time!: A
Dazzler #1 So Bright This Star: C
Dazzler #2 Where Demons Fear To Dwell!: B
Dazzler #3 The Jewels of Doom!: B
Dazzler #4 Here Nightmares Abide!: A

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