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1981-01-01 00:04:10
Previous:
Man-Thing #11
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1981/Box 15/EiC: Jim Shooter
Next:
Spider-Woman #34-35

Uncanny X-Men #141-142

Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #141, Uncanny X-Men #142
Published Date: Jan-Feb 81
Title: "Days of future past" / "Mind out of time!"
Credits:
Chris Claremont - Script
Chris Claremont & John Bynre - Plot
John Byrne - Penciler
Terry Austin - Inker

Review/plot:
This arc, Days of Future Past, introduces the concept of a dystopian future awaiting mutants. It shows mutants as an oppressed, imprisoned minority living in concentration camps and forced to wear an M on their clothing to indicate their mutant-hood when they go into public. In this future, Sentinels have taken over America. All non-mutant super-heroes and many mutants have been killed.

A small group, including Wolverine, Magneto, Colossus, Storm, Kitty (now Kate) Pryde, Franklin Richards, and a new character, a redhead telepath named Rachel, are running a gambit to reverse the history.

That's the plot of this arc, but the overall concept is more powerful, showing that the stakes the modern day X-Men are playing for are higher than we thought. If the X-Men are unable to establish a proper balance between mutant/human relations and fighting for mutant rights, this dystopia awaits them.

Thanks to the efforts of the group in the future, right after Kitty passes her first Danger Room test - which simply requires her to walk across the room phased...

...letting all the death traps pass right through her - Kitty's body is taken over by the older Kate, and she warns the X-Men that an assassination attempt today on Senator and presidential candidate Robert Kelly will set into motion the events that leads to Kate's future.

The X-Men head to Washington DC to find that the assassins are a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. They are led by Mystique, a shapeshifter we have seen (mostly behind the scenes) in Ms. Marvel. With her is Destiny, an old lady with precognitive abilities, and Avalanche and Pyro, who have control over earth and fire, respectively. We've seen these characters in some continuity inserts, but these are their first actual appearances. And rounding out the group is the Blob, presumably to give some cred to the Brotherhood name, although the Blob was only tangentially a member of the original team.

The X-Men stop the assassination after a rough fight with the Brotherhood.

The new Brotherhood is pretty tough, but the X-Men's internal problems also contribute to the fight, especially the conflict between Wolverine and Storm over Wolverine's lethal methods.

There's a scene where Storm orders Wolverine to stop using his claws during the fight, and he nearly turns on her in rage. Storm is now team leader, and she worries in general that she's not the leader that Cyclps was. There's also a noted similarity between Nightcrawler and Mystique that causes hesitation (Claremont has stated that is original intention was that the shape-shifting Mystique was actually Nightcrawler's father and Destiny was his mother, but that isn't the way things actually turned out. Mystique tells Nightcrawler to ask Margarli Szardos, his demon step-mother, about their relationship.).

It's actually Kate who stops Destiny from killing Kelly. Doing so sends her back into the future, although it's not shown what she finds there... scenes from the future so far have shown the remaining members of the team getting killed by Sentinels.

Despite being rescued by the X-Men, Senator Kelly is still convinced by Sebastian Shaw to go forward with a meeting with the US president to enact Project Wideawake, a clandestine government-run Sentinel program. Henry Peter Gyrich, previously the man in charge of the Avengers, will run the project.

As always, great art by Byrne, especially depicting the battle scenes (both the Brotherhood fight and the future scenes with the Sentinels).

And of course the dystopian future introduced here has a lot of significance and adds strength to the mutant rights themes in this book (even if it will be overused in the future).

Here's how this arc was advertised:

Quality Rating: A-

Historical Significance Rating: 7 - Days of Future Past. New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. 1st Rachel Summers.

Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A

References:

  • Future Storm says that she stopped believing in luck when her parents died, with a reference to her origin from Uncanny X-Men #102.
  • Storm worries that she's not doing as good a job leading the team as Cyclops, who left in Uncanny X-Men #138

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: Days of Future Past TPB

Inbound References (8): show

Characters Appearing: Angel, Avalanche, Black King (Sebastian Shaw), Blob, Colossus, Destiny, Henry Peter Gyrich, Moira MacTaggert, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Pyro, Rachel Summers, Senator Kelly, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Storm, Wolverine

Previous:
Man-Thing #11
Up:
Main
1981/Box 15/EiC: Jim Shooter
Next:
Spider-Woman #34-35

Comments

The title to #141 is taken from the 1967 album by the Moody Blues.

Worth noting is that the dystopian future we glimpse in there issues takes place in that far off year of ... 2013.

(Too bad they couldn't have gotten the movie out a year earlier)

"Mystique tells Nightcrawler to ask Margarli Szardos, his demon step-mother, about their relationship.)"

Margali Szardos isn't a demon, she's a sorceress.

She's green and has ram's horns!

Was there any other tension between Wolverine and Storm after this issue? Wolverine says the conversation isn't other by a longshot, but I don't recall it ever being addressed again.

I always found Wolverine's attitude toward leadership odd. He was extraordinarily hostile towards Cyclops, although he often praised him when he wasn't there. Yet he became fairly supine about anyone else being the leader. One could argue it was a sign of Wolverine maturing, but I always took it that Wolverine simply personally disliked Cyclops for whatever reason (perhaps because Scott had the girl Logan had a crush on).

Cyclops became the de-facto leader after issue #150. I noticed a similar moment to the one you mentioned during the whole Brood saga thing, except he actually apologized to Cyclops without a really legitimate reason. In any case he had his miniseries after that, and I recall he became more pleasant and team-player like. However Cyclops retired shortly after only to come back briefly, but he and Wolvie has little interaction even during Inferno.

Actually I read the issue (#166) it was a good reason but he still seemed more pleasant than before.

Actually #164 damnit! I need to proofread before I post.

"She's green and has ram's horns!"

lol! You mean from Uncanny X-Men Annual #4? The ram's horns are a headdress. As for the green, that was probably just part of the spell to scare the hell out of Nightcrawler & company. In later appearances she has normal coloured skin.

Margali is also demonic looking in Man-Thing #11, and then we learn in Doctor Strange #57-58 that she was possessed by a demonic source through her wand. And then i admit to not having read any of her appearances in Excalibur, beginning in #76 (1994). But i'm sticking with demonic as a descriptor at this point in time! ;-)

Hm. I remember seeing her with normal skin. Probably was Excalibur then. It seems she turns green when she's using her magic.

The first title of the arc everyone knows, but just realized that "Mind Out of Time" is probably a Steely Dan reference to their song "Time Out of Mind", off their 1980 album "Gaucho". (good album BTW)

Was this the first time that the X-Men mentioned Wolverine's healing power? I am reading the series chronologically and haven't seen them mention this earlier...

I tracked an earlier mention in Uncanny X-Men #116.

The movie is a bit different from this, but if you're watching X-Men movies to match the comics then you're long beaten. Very much alternate universe.

One thing that matches is that the movie and these Sentinels are quite brutal.


 
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