Uncanny X-Men #141-142
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #141, Uncanny X-Men #142
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 lead 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 Cyclops was. There's also a noted similarity between Nightcrawler and Mystique that causes hesitation (Claremont has stated that his 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). These issues re-establish the theme that was subtext in the early Silver Age stories. The Brotherhood of "Evil" Mutants are well used here as a group that wants to fight humans, not necessarily to take over the world, but to prevent humans from oppressing mutantkind. Destiny rightly believes that Senator Kelly is a key figure that will cause problems for mutants. But the Brotherhood's solution, to kill him, would result in even more draconian measures against mutants. So their actions would have made things worse. By contrast, the X-Men have to fight to save a man that would oppress them, and when it's all over it's not even clear if they've actually made things better. So the fact that these issues have a scary future sequence and a cool fight with a new "supervillain" team are only part of the reason why these issues are great. That future shows the stakes that the X-Men are fighting to prevent, and the present day sequences make a clear distinction between the mutants following Professor Xavier's dream vs. the "evil" mutants who don't believe that integration with humans is possible. This is the core theme of the X-Men, and it's rarely depicted so well.
Here's how this arc was advertised:
Quality Rating: A
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Days of Future Past TPB
Inbound References (19): show
The title to #141 is taken from the 1967 album by the Moody Blues.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 11, 2011 1:31 PM
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)
Posted by: Gary Himes | August 24, 2013 11:38 PM
"Mystique tells Nightcrawler to ask Margarli Szardos, his demon step-mother, about their relationship.)"
Margali Szardos isn't a demon, she's a sorceress.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 26, 2013 4:54 PM
She's green and has ram's horns!
Posted by: fnord12 | August 26, 2013 6:09 PM
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).
Posted by: Chris | August 26, 2013 10:00 PM
Cyclops became the de-facto leader after issue #150. I noticed a similar moment to the one you mentioned during the whole Brood saga, except he actually apologized to Cyclops. In any case he had his miniseries after that, and I recall he became more pleasant and a team-player. However Cyclops retired shortly after only to come back briefly, but he and Wolvie had little interaction even during Inferno.
Posted by: AbeLincoln1865 | August 26, 2013 10:21 PM
"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.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 27, 2013 3:05 AM
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! ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | August 27, 2013 7:33 AM
Hm. I remember seeing her with normal skin. Probably was Excalibur then. It seems she turns green when she's using her magic.
Posted by: Jay | August 27, 2013 3:30 PM
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)
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 25, 2013 12:53 PM
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...
Posted by: Ryan | January 24, 2014 9:58 PM
I tracked an earlier mention in Uncanny X-Men #116.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 24, 2014 10:05 PM
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.
Posted by: david banes | June 15, 2014 1:25 AM
Claremont stated in Amazing Heroes #134 that he wanted to do Nightcrawler's origin around this time, but decided it was a "dud" and skipped it.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 8, 2014 4:28 PM
"Storm is now team leader, and she worries in general that she's not the leader that Cyclops was."
Posted by: clyde | February 21, 2015 11:13 PM
Posted by: Luis Dantas | February 22, 2015 12:11 AM
As SPECTACULAR as this site is, this particular review doesn't do Days of Future Past justice. Throughout the plot lives the conflict that the x-men face. They need to save the life of the politician who wants to take away their freedom in order to prevent an even worse future. It's stunningly deep and complex for comics at the time.
THIS is a story to tell your friends to read to get interested in comics. I own every issue of x-men (until I gave up comics in the late 90s). This two-issue story is the best.
Posted by: Tabe8 | February 22, 2015 10:03 AM
I was always intrigued by why Havok was noted on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #141 as "Apprehended," but never appeared in the story.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 10, 2015 7:30 PM
Maybe him being merely apprehended inspired future writers to come up with the Summers Rebellion?
What I always found interesting is that the dystopian future really needs Franklin to age and since he never does, what is everyone so worried about? Keep Franklin a kid and bob's your uncle, right?
Posted by: BeastCharming | April 11, 2015 6:54 AM
I deliberately skipped this while going through because it's one of the few comics I still have and I wanted to read it again carefully and now that I have, several things stand out to me.
1 - I have this as the 1989 reprint which Marvel did rather than reprint it in Classic X-Men (ironically, Classic X-Men changed names right at the point, just as X-Men became Uncanny X-Men at this same point). The Gyrich panels are not present in the reprint. Also, on the cover of #141, the "Apprehended" that Nathan Adler mentions is no longer there - Havok is there but the banner across his face has no writing on it.
2 - I had though that perhaps Franklin isn't given his full name, but it is there, just once, listed him as the last surviving member of the Fantastic Four. The panel clearly states that Franklin, Rachel and Magneto were never X-Men.
3 - There is a lot of talk about the gradual redemption of Magneto beginning in #150, but in a sense, it really starts here with his partnership with the X-Men (and his willingness to sacrifice himself).
4 - Havok is not on a gravestone, though Lorna is. Nor is here among the pictures of heroes shown as killed, though neither is Lorna. The biggest absence there I would say is Thor - what would have happened to him? Returned to Asgard, perhaps?
5 - While it's clear in the Dark Phoenix Saga that Kitty thinks Peter is cute, their romance is clearly given a long-term approval here with their marriage, before we see anything real between them in the present.
6 - While Rachel has been living in a concentration camp and is understandably mal-nourished and beaten down, there is nothing in the original version of her as drawn by Byrne to suggest she will one day be one of the premier Marvel hotties. She, like Rogue, has continually been drawn to be better and better looking as the years go by, as if you can't have ordinary looking female heroes.
7 - Rachel, of course, isn't mentioned as a Summers here. But, more importantly, the future is changed at the end of this book. Anything post #141 isn't her timeline because the Kelly assassination is stopped, so in theory she never should have ended up in the X-Men's timeline, nor should have Nimrod. I'm not certain that Marvel ever adequately explained that. If they had gone back prior to #141, that would have made sense, but we see them both arrive after that.
8 - Fnord, you should put in the panel of the X-Men's reactions to Kitty walking through - Wolverine's laughter is especially nice to see since it happens so rarely.
9 - Comics.org correctly points out a Lois and Jimmy cameo in #141 (fourth panel, second to last page). It's interesting to look at how Byrne drew Lois here, as opposed to in 1986 when he took on Superman. But what isn't pointed out is the Doonesbury cameo - in the middle of #142, the couple running away, based on their dialogue, are clearly Rick Redfern and Joanie Caucus.
10 - I have never been a huge fan of Storm and always have been a huge fan of Cyclops. But that said, Storm clearly develops as a leader quite well. Contrast this to what happened to poor Captain Marvel when she took over the Avengers. Storm learns well on the job and her stand-off against Wolverine here is quite impressive - it's a sign of her leadership and his understanding of being on the team that has grown in both of them that allows for this scene to work.
11 - The art truly is fantastic, especially the death scenes in the future.
12 - The future itself is what makes these two issues so important. I know that various futures have come into play in the past, but this is one that Marvel keeps coming back to and the big one to try and avoid. Truly important, important issues.
13 - So important that they provided the plot for an entire X-Men film and some basics for the first X-Men film.
14 - And a sign of how truly great this was, perhaps the greatest run on any comic ever - Claremont and Byrne on X-Men, with the battle against Magneto, the stuff in Japan, Alpha Flight, Proteus, the Dark Phoenix Saga, more (even better) Alpha Flight, and then to send them off in style, Days of Future Past. Truly amazing work.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 29, 2015 7:55 PM
I have a perfectly good scan of Wolverine laughing right here.
No, i added the scan. Thanks for the other thoughts and observations, Erik.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 29, 2015 9:18 PM
I looked at that Ross Andru scan you linked to. Then I threw up in my mouth. :)
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 29, 2015 9:46 PM
Regarding 3: I think it was deliberate. Just look at the way he's introduced, with the wheelchair coming in. There's no way that wasn't a conscious parallel with Xavier on Byrne and Claremont's part. Certainly Claremont ran with it. [Then again, why was Magneto even alive at that point? You'd think the Sentinels would have made sure to kill him first.]
Posted by: ChrisW | April 30, 2015 6:21 AM
@ChrisW: What was even more obvious was that Claremont's intended battle with Xavier and Magneto against the Shadow King around #300 would not only have Charles killed, but would leave Magneto in a wheelchair as a hint history was running toward this timeline again.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 30, 2015 8:53 AM
A late response to Erik's point 7: it was generally a Marvel rule, particularly in the Gruenwald years, that going back in time would cause a separate timeline to split off, but no change would have occurred on your return to your own future. Marvel Two In One 50 is a famous example of this rule. Which would obviously be quite depressing for the future X-Men, but they don't know this, and they've nothing to lose. In other time travel fiction, their awful future might have disappeared once the timeline changed. Sadly, the MU version of Marty McFly would have returned to 1985 and found his Dad still a wimp. All that happened is Kate made things better for an alternate universe, but she would have returned to a world with even more dead friends, at which point I think she quickly shouts the "Dark Phoenix" phrase that sends Rachel (+ followed by Nimrod) back to the past, even if they don't show up till 40 issues later. Brian Cronin at CBR said Byrne + Claremont had a disagreement on the text with Kate kissing Kitty and whether the DOFP timeline vanished or not, but under usual Marvel rules it would have been unchanged by the time travel. It's good for these issues that they leave it open though.
Posted by: Jonathan | September 5, 2015 5:45 PM
There's one thing I still really want to know about this story. And excuse me if it's been explored at some point over the years, my Marvel knowledge is better than a layman, but nought compared to regular commenters on here, I mostly know the major story arcs, smatterings here and there, and very little of non-616 Marvel; hence reading through this chronology project as I attempt to actually build a collection worth the title.
Anyhow the one thing I really want to know, is how on earth did the sentinels manage to kill, destroy, neutralize The Hulk, per the 'destroyed' heroes in the second slide?
One assumes they did as everyone seems to do and simply expelled him into space or something, because the things he has survived I don't think any sentinel is even making a dent, surely? I feel sorry for Kitty if Jonathan is right and she is returning to the same future, because Hulk is coming back there sometime as well, and well Hulk Smash!
Posted by: WinterPhoenix101 | July 31, 2016 2:24 AM
I always wondered that too. Not the Hulk specifically, but these robots that are maybe capable of outfighting the X-Men have beaten the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and every other hero? Doctor Doom never got involved? Dr. Strange couldn't reset time?
You could maybe make an argument that the 'kill mutants' imperative was *SO STRONG* that the Sentinels took a quiet approach to killing everybody else. Shoot Bruce Banner in the face when he's least expecting it. Shoot Reed Richards in the face. Shoot Captain America and Tony Stark in the face. Shoot Donald Blake. And then after you've done that, openly reveal the Sentinels as the mutant-killing monsters they were programmed to be.
Um, ok, I think Ben Grimm, Johnny Storm and Sue Richards are gonna have a few things to say about that. As will the Vision, the Wasp, Hank Pym, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver [and the Inhumans] Spider-Man and everybody else you can think of. The Absorbing Man might not go along with the robotic overlords. Or Dr. Octopus. Or the Wizard. Or the Morlocks, the Mole Man, HYDRA, or anybody else.
If nothing else, you're right, there's never a sense that any of these characters were defeated. I'm just free-associating about the Hulk, but what if shooting him just makes him angry? I don't like the Hulk when he's angry.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 2:47 AM
To be fair, I don't like the Hulk when he's happy. He and I just don't get along. I think it's because he's a Scorpio...
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 3:00 AM
Yeah, when the question first occurred to me it was specifically linked to Hulk, but frankly, everything you say is correct, I simply cannot see Dr. Doom being destroyed by Sentinels. Even in their most overpowered presentation (like the extremely powerful Sentinels in the DoFP film) how are they surviving a concerted effort from what would surely be ubiquitous resistance superpowered folk? I mean even if they didn't actively mention all the other heroes who had been 'destroyed', it would be a question that pops up in your head, 'what the hell happened to Dr. Strange' etc.
Would shooting Bruce Banner kill him? Or would he simply turn into the Hulk? Hulk healing factor is insane so you gotta think no matter how close to death Banner is becoming Hulk is a sort of like a panacea. I'm not an encyclopaedia on Hulk's powers though, I wonder whether his healing works on a cellular level, like if Banner found a way to be permanently Hulk, would he even age?
Anyhow I've gone way off-topic there lol None of these questions mar the brilliance of this story, easily top 10 in my favourite comics, frankly.
Posted by: WinterPhoenix101 | July 31, 2016 3:02 AM
Yes, Ben's grave is seen. Yes, the montage of kill-shots includes a lot of non-mutant superheroes. Don't nitpick the point, that there's a lot more superhumans on Earth who won't take kindly to robots killing everybody. If the Sentinels can take out the Hulk and Dr. Doom, why are they still vulnerable to the few remaining aged X-Men? At least we see them beating the X-Men.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 3:11 AM
Wouldn't "Secret Wars" have been so much better if the heroes and villains had been transported to that alternate future? Doom and Galactus could still have their ultimate plans, but all the characters would have been forced to fight for whatever they could get in a world beset by the Sentinels. It's an alternate universe so if someone dies it's not permanent, but it would have given the villains something to fight.
WinterPhoenix, being off-topic isn't really a bad thing around here. Just do your best to stay on-topic and enjoy the conversation.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 3:21 AM
I don't know how it fits into continuity, but as far as I'm concerned, if you put a bullet through Bruce Banner's brain, the Hulk dies too. I think it makes both characters more interesting. And I'm fine with a story that has Banner being shot but turning into the Hulk at the last split-second. I don't think that's how the Hulk should be, but I'm fine with it for any particular story.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 3:29 AM
I actually really, really like that alternate vision of 'Secret Wars', I'm a big fan of 'Secret Wars' as is (not the sequel though) but the benefits of setting it in an alternate universe are apparent as you point out, plus it would have added a more gritty atmosphere to the whole thing, as well as giving the villains more to do as you say.
I think it would depend where and with what kind of ammo you shoot him, in my own head anyhow I'm thinking you have to kill him outright and immediately, else the transformation is triggered and the wound is healed. So like Magnum to the back of Banner's head = dead, pistol shot perhaps not necessarily, if you follow. Obviously there's that scene in the Avengers movie, where Ruffalo says that he tried to kill himself but the 'big guy, spit the bullet out' now that I would have an issue with, because you put a gun in your mouth and fire, you're severing the spinal cord and your dead, no time for transformation. I don't have any issue with him turning at the last minute either, in individual circumstances like you suggest, might become a cop out if it was used too much in that manner. I do wonder about whether he would ever age in Hulk form though.
But yeah all in all my original thoughts were triggered by the absurdity that the Sentinels could be thwarted by an aged Storm, Wolverine etc, but had no issues in ridding themselves of the myriad other super folk who'd object to robot overlords. Suspension of disbelief is of course a key skill for any prospective comic book reader though.
Posted by: WinterPhoenix101 | July 31, 2016 4:01 AM
Considering the Hulk that existed in Claremont and Byrne's imagination circa 1981 would have been the Bronze Age era Hulk, I have no issue with Sentinels tracking down the Hulk, waiting for him to revert to Banner and flash frying him, ala the death of Wolverine. As for the the aged X-Men, the Sentinels are the number one enemies they train against. I can see how they would have an advantage over every other superhuman in the world on that basis and could last a decent amount of time in a fight. Where I need the suspension of disbelief is that they were left alive in the first place. Neither Magneto nor any X-Man should have been allowed to live in the camps. They should have been killed long ago. Handwaving the reason for that is a hard slog.
Also, has anyone noticed that Colossus has a different patronym in #141? It's supposed to be Nikolievitch not Alexandreivich!
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | July 31, 2016 5:25 AM
Mark Waid's recent run on the Hulk explores what sort of marksmanship it would take to take down Banner with a headshot, somewhat.
Posted by: Max_Spider | July 31, 2016 6:39 AM
Bendis's Civil War II series involved a special arrow Banner created as a failsafe that could kill Banner without causing him to turn into the Hulk. It's possible the Sentinels used a similar weapon. Also, note that the Hulk didn't have a healing factor at the time this story was written.
Posted by: Michael | July 31, 2016 9:03 AM
Agreed that the Hulk and Thor both have human forms that are vulnerable, at least in theory. I'd like to think Odin would have gone wreaked great vengeance on the Sentinels should that have happened, but I guess Odin of the 60s and 70s is frequently a jackass who might just have washed his hands of Midgard for their ungratefulness, and banned the rest of his kingdom from venturing there again and getting revenge.
It does seem a bit of a stretch (though not necessarily impossible) for the Sentinels to have defeated Dr. Doom, Absorbing Man or Juggernaut... though I guess the latter two could have been banished to space or something. Or if the Sentinels are mostly just based in North America at this point, Creel and Juggy, being non-mutant criminals, just decided it wasn't worth the hassle and went to other countries (we have for instance seen Juggernaut in Edinburgh in X-Men 217, and I think circa Avengers 185 Creel thinks about skipping out to a different country to get away from the Avengers).
Howsabout the Doom pictured as being "crossed out" was just a Doombot? :) The real Doom is in Latveria, no particular interest in the USA at all now Doom's greatest foe and his family have been killed. He'll come back and conquer the USA eventually, but for now he's concentrating on Europe...
But yeah, the worst plothole in the whole thing does seem to be the idea of keeping Magneto of all people alive. Even with a "they can counter his magnetism" handwave, he's still one of the most powerful and dangerous mutants on Earth, possibly the most powerful that Claremont & Byrne would have been aware of in 1981.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 31, 2016 10:11 AM
We do see later on that Sentinel tech from this timeline (or one of its branches) can hurt the Juggernaut, since Nimrod comes close to executing Juggy in Central Park.
But then, the Shaw-model Sentinels, not to mention to DoFP Sentinels more generally, never do anywhere nearly as well any other time they turn up, and their menace is greatly diluted by the introduction of the aforementioned Nimrod and by cyborgs like Ahab.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 31, 2016 1:52 PM
Good catch on Nimrod vs Juggernaut (I've never been convinced that those sonics should work on Juggernaut, but never mind).
Personally I think Nimrod keeps up the threat level of the DoFP Sentinels. In his 1st appearance he takes on the team and Juggernaut, and in his 2nd appearance he takes on the whole team and the Hellfire Club. After that he gets melded with Master Mold and then goes through the Siege Perilous. I'm unfamiliar with his appearances since then, but at least in his 2 Claremont battles against the X-Men he doesn't detract from the idea that even if other Sentinels are less powerful than him, an army of them could still be a very credible threat.
On the other hand, when the actual Omega Sentinels are apparently brought back by the Beyonder in Uncanny X-Men 202, the team manage to destroy a few of them without Rachel's help and without anyone being disintegrated with a single Sentinel blast. So yeah, very diminishing returns. And yeah, Ahab would have been better left a mystery, which was probably the original intent for him.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 31, 2016 2:22 PM
Ya I'm willing to accept human vulnerabilities for both Thor and Hulk - though like son of Kevin says, I'd tend to believe some nasty vengeance from Odin was waiting for the sentinels in the case of Thor's demise, but he is frequently a complete jackass that is also true.
I can get with it being a Doombot as well, that makes sense to me, can see him focusing on Europe as opposed to North America with most if not all of his interests in the US nullified.
As for Strange, I'm sure a surprise attack could kill him, I find it hard to believe he would be surprised by these sentinels though. You gotta figure he would be on full alert the moment mutant non-mutant heroes alike start getting taken down.
RE: Hulk's healing factor - my knowledge is spotty as I admitted above, is it's non-existence at this point merely because no writer has thought to point it out as an extension of Hulk's abilities? Or is it because it's an ability he physically gets endowed with in an event in a later comic? I know the distinction if of little significance as far as this issue goes, because as far as the writers were concerned this was a less powerful Hulk, and thus not as unbelievable to them as it was to me for the Sentinels to take him out. Just wondering why exactly he has no healing factor at this juncture.
Posted by: WinterPhoenix101 | July 31, 2016 5:39 PM
Oh I also agree with people that it does seem to be a greater plothole for the Sentinels to actually keep mutants like Magneto alive, he would at this time have been one of the most powerful mutants - if the most powerful - in the universe, it would really only be logical to make him a priority target - especially if these sentinels were capable of taking down all the aforementioned heroes anyhow.
Posted by: WinterPhoenix101 | July 31, 2016 5:44 PM
The Hulk's healing factor wasn't introduced at this point- it was PAD that first introduced it during the Fall of the Mutants Hulk tie-in issue.
Posted by: Michael | July 31, 2016 5:51 PM
And to clarify,PAD treated it like a power the Hulk always had and nobody noticed.
Posted by: Michael | July 31, 2016 5:52 PM
With Magneto, there's also the "criminal" part. Nimrod was certainly programmed to fight criminals, the other Sentinels would have been programmed in similar ways, recognizing escapees from the internment center, recognizing the classifications of 'mutant,' 'human' and 'likely to breed a mutant,' etc.
Never mind the questionable decision to let a guy who can remold the very material Sentinels are made of live, he's been an active criminal for a long time. The other X-Men would simply be mutants and could be treated as such, but Magneto?
"The other guy spit it out" scene is one of those examples where I don't see much of a problem with shooting Banner and it fails [just because Ruffalo sold the dialogue so well, and I could go on and on about how awesome Banner's role in the movie was.] If you really want to think about it, simply working up the guts to pull the trigger is what caused him to change in time to stop the bullet. Why he would survive a sniper a half-mile away would be a lot harder to explain.
With Doom, I don't see it. I do like Johnathan's idea that he just loses interest after the FF have been killed. I like that idea a lot, that ruling the world was always of less importance to him than proving to be Reed's superior. In the far-distant future of 2013, he'd still be telling himself he'll get around to world conquest as soon as his schemes are in place, but the fire would have died. Latveria's relationship with his European neighbors would take precedence, he might try to court allies in Africa or South America, Russia and China are still there to deal with. The guy can build a time machine and Doombots, but he can't add more hours to the day, and he's left adrift without Reed as a focus for his energies.
That said, I would think he would be working on defenses against Sentinels from the first time he hears about Bolivar Trask, and incorporating other giant robots like the Sleepers into his preparations. Unless the Sentinels just nuked Latveria without any warning whatsoever, I have to think Doom would be prepared for them. If he had to go to the Latverian Embassy or the United Nations, he would be prepared for anything, and it would be even harder to get him there.
It was just a top-of-my-head idea, but I'm beginning to like this "What If Secret Wars Took Place in Days of Futures Past" idea. You still have the Beyonder, Galactus, the Molecule Man, etc. but it would add something to heroes and villains alike to see what would happen to them in the future. They've been ordered to fight each other, but they still have to defend against the robots. You can add characters like Spider-Woman and Titania, it builds to a climax as Galactus simply destroys the Sentinels who are interfering with his machine, then Doom beats Galactus, then the Beyonder...
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 8:34 PM
By the way, here's a commission John Byrne did recently, and he explains his thinking that the heroes were fighting the villains and then the giant robots showed up.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 8:39 PM
Or maybe this link. It's there somewhere.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 8:57 PM
My version of "Secret Wars" wouldn't even need to be "Days of Futures Past." Evil dragons from another dimension have conquered Earth in the far-distant future and that's where the Beyonder sends everybody. Communists, orcs, aliens, they would all get the same point across.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 9:30 PM
Brian C. Saunders: Also, has anyone noticed that Colossus has a different patronym in #141? It's supposed to be Nikolievitch not Alexandreivich!
Always noticed but never really registered. It's probably not a coincidence that a guy with Rasputin for last name has his patronyms switching from one Romanov Czar to another, but it's a different question if it is a genuine mistake by Claremont or written one by Magneto or rather a subtle pun.
Them Alexanders always seemed like more decent guys than Nikolays; A the Second especially goes as The Great Liberator, which is something to think about at the South Bronx mutant internment camp. I could see Magneto with his having always been at continuous odds with the Soviets to make the joke that Pjotr might be likely to get. A little pep talk for the job ahead them.
Posted by: Teemu | August 11, 2016 1:51 AM
So this is the infamous Days of Future Past... Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think much of this story, especially since it traps the X-Men in the shadow of this timeline, never to fully break free of the gloom and doom that lies at the end of this divergent timestream.
Posted by: D09 | September 9, 2016 7:37 PM
So this is the infamous Days of Future Past... Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think much of this story, especially since it traps the X-Men in the shadow of this timeline, never to fully break free of the gloom and doom that lies at the end of this divergent timestream.
Its especially odd, since this story ends with them *averting* it, at least in their own universe. Even the revisiting of the timeline with Rachel and Nimrod was about Rachel adjusting to a very different world and Nimrod starting to reevaluate its own programming as it started to recognize that mutants are not, in fact, pure living evil.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 9, 2016 9:28 PM
@Omar Karindu: We all interpret stories in different way, I guess mine is just an outlier from the norm. But please tell me, have the X-Men ever visited a timeline where instead of it being negative like Days of Future Past or Here Comes Tomorrow, it was instead positive?
Posted by: D09 | September 9, 2016 10:02 PM
@D09: Minority, perhaps, but you speak my mind exactly.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 9, 2016 10:29 PM
@D09: I read DoFP in real time. Because it's been copied and sequelized so much, its power now is not as great as it was at publication. It's unarguably true that the ending was a let-down, leaving the X-universe in a Schrodinger box, neither doomed nor free, but nothing like it had ever really been done in comics before. The scenes of the surviving X-Men in their apocalyptic future remain some of the best and most iconic in comics history.
Posted by: Andrew | September 10, 2016 7:52 AM
@D09: In answer to your other comment, I'm sure House of M occurred to you seconds after you hit "Post". That was so positive I'm surprised none of the heroes suggested the option of just leaving things as they were.
Posted by: Andrew | September 10, 2016 7:57 AM
Thank you for reminding me about that wreck of a run! Besides it only reversed the usual human-mutant dynamic seen in alternate timelines, still negative in my opinion.
Posted by: D09 | September 10, 2016 12:31 PM
Hey, fnord, I just left a long-winded post about Rachel Summers on another page, but I just realized: Shouldn't she NOT be tagged as appearing in these issues, since she only appears in the future?
Posted by: Andrew | October 30, 2016 12:28 PM
I do usually count time travelers when they appear in their native timelines as long as their appearances can be assumed to be their next sequential appearance. Just to make up examples, if present day Cable were to time travel back to the Silver Age, i wouldn't list the Silver Age characters that he meets. But if Cable were to spend an issue of his own series in his own timeline, i would list him as appearing. But i guess since Rachel is not yet a time-traveler in this story and you've raised some doubts about whether or not this timeline is exactly the same one that she came from when she shows up from the present, i've removed her tag.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 31, 2016 12:49 PM
I don't know whether it's the "same" Rachel, but in Uncanny #192 Kitty remembers being in the future with Rachel during DoFP, recognising Rachel as protecting her during her time in the future.
I think it's fair to say that Claremont intended for it to be the same timeline, though he may have made some continuity errors.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 31, 2016 3:05 PM
A late update to my September 2015 comment: It turns out Byrne intended the telepathic time travel as being a way to avoid Gruenwald's rules about the creations of alternate timelines. (Obviously Claremont had other ideas.)
Byrne: "There were two things I wanted to do when I plotted what became "Days of Future Past". First and foremost, of course, I wanted to do a kick-ass Sentinels story. But there was something else almost equally important: I wanted the X-Men to have a clean win. A story in which, when the dust settled, there was no doubt that they had accomplished what they set out to do. They had WON.
The story I came up with seemed pretty bulletproof. Marc Gruenwald, Captain Omniverse himself, insisted that what would happen was actually the "creation" of an alternate timeline, but I pointed out to him that Kate having been sent back thru her own "mindstream" meant there was no way that could happen. The link between Kate and Kitty was continuous, contiguous, and uncorruptable. When the past -- Kate's past -- was changed, it would be CHANGED, and the future from which Kate sprang would simply vanish.
That's what I plotted, that's what I drew, that's what I sent in. But when Chris scripted it, he included what immediately became known around the Office as "the lesbian incest scene", where Kate "leaves" Kitty's body, and "impulsively gives herself a kiss." In other words, she survives the alteration of the timeline."
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 31, 2016 3:56 PM
Byrne continues: "I nearly exploded. I did not see this until it was published (and after this I insisted on script approval*), and I had never been so furious in my life. Roger Stern had to talk me out of quitting the book right then and there." (The asterisk is to a note where he states he left before the script approval kicked in anyway.)
He then concludes: "So the whole adventure did create an alternate timeline, which Chris and ^^***** have mined ad nauseum ever since. And the X-Men lost their clean win -- again."
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 31, 2016 3:58 PM
On that note, have the X-Men ever had a clear win under Claremont's tenure?
Posted by: D09 | October 31, 2016 6:25 PM
I'd swear they did, but absolutely nothing is coming to mind at the moment. So that basically answers your question, even if someone discovers a rare exception. Against Mojo in Annual #10? Loki in Annual #9? Yeah. Sure. Whatever gets you through the night.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 1, 2016 3:24 AM
Sabretooth in #213? I am trying to think of a genuine example. The Impossible Man in Annual #7?
Posted by: ChrisW | November 1, 2016 3:25 AM
I dunno, I think there are a fair number of clear wins, especially before about Uncanny #206 or so. Though obviously with Claremont, there are rolling plots and subplots where it’s kind of hard to say where an “ending” is. Off the top of my head, Uncanny #150 seems a clear win (Magneto’s plan foiled, & his first steps to reformation), #152 seems a win (Hellfire Club beaten fairly easily), #167 a clear win (Brood beaten & Xavier gets a new improved body), #175 a clear win (Mastermind beaten, Cyclops gets married which Claremont intended as happy ending, the fact that it didn’t stick is not down to Claremont), #203 a clear win (their last encounter with Beyonder). X- Men Annual #11 is a clear win (seems to be a lot more wins in the annuals because they are standalone stories, I guess.)
After #200 there are less clear wins, though #227 still seems a win overall (the X-Men are seen as heroes on TV and sacrifice themselves to beat the Adversary but are then brought back to life with a new base & new invisibility to cameras etc). I think there’s a few other wins round at the start of the Outback era (Dazzler & Wolverine flashback story, the Reavers’ first appearance, the Xmas follow-up issue where they return the Reavers’ stolen goods), the first Genosha story should be a clear enough win (it sets up Inferno but is still a clear win over the Genoshan regime itself). I think Excalibur probably had more clear wins, being a “happier” title, and maybe New Mutants did too.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 1, 2016 6:07 AM
I think there’s plenty of other minor wins, just they are overshadowed by the more famous stories that tend to have some tragic element to them. Obviously sometimes they beat a villain and the villain later comes back, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a clear win at the time. That is true of all superhero comics, it’s just that the X-Men comic’s siege mentality tends to present the villain’s return as evidence the world is against them and nothing goes their way.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 1, 2016 6:09 AM
In addition to what has already been mentioned, Uncanny X-Men 119 seems like a pretty clear win over Moses Magnum (maybe not worth bragging about), 128 the win over Proteus seems pretty clear cut with Proteus staying "dead" for a decade or more, 216 felt like a decisive victory for Storm and Wolverine over the old warriors/soldiers - unfortunately they ended up joining Freedom Force, and 240-241 seemed like a rout of the Marauders (of course inferno comes up and then kind of obscures that win).
Posted by: Mark Black | November 1, 2016 12:25 PM
I think Rachel should be listed as a Character Appearing here. Excalibur 66-67 makes it clear she's the same Rachel in this story and while she's not time traveling yet, she's responsible for the mind switch that drives the plot in the present.
Posted by: Michael | November 1, 2016 7:58 PM
If i re-tag Rachel here someone is going to come along and demand that i tag the Guardians of the Galaxy in MTIO #4-5, etc.. I'll stick to not tagging the locals in time travel stories.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 2, 2016 8:05 AM
Ok, Moses Magnum is a clear win. Proteus is almost a clear win except for the problems it causes for Moira. Defeating the Brood, that was definitely a clear win. Mastermind in #175, I'll give you that. Even Farouk in #117.
I think for a clear win, it has to be completely across the board with no if's, and's or but's. A defeated villain can return to menace the heroes later, but he's clearly been defeated. A villain who's only there to be defeated and set up further villains and extend the subplots [the Kulan Gath two-parter, revenge against the Marauders] isn't a clear win.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 3, 2016 2:08 AM
Would you see the defeat of Crimson Commando, Super Sabre, and Stonewall as a clear win? I didn't get the feeling that was setting up their joining Freedom Force and it felt like a one and done battle at that time. Of course it was just Wolverine and Storm and wasn't a full team battle, but they were almost half the team at the time. Not splitting hairs on this one, just honestly curious.
Posted by: Mark Black | November 3, 2016 10:11 AM
You are splitting hairs, but splitting the exact hairs that this "clear win" thing depends on. It's not a clear win because Storm was so tormented by Claremont-angst during the fight leading to the final page, "You said we were better. How the blazes do we stay that way?"
It's nothing to do with the villains themselves, or beating the villains, or furthering Claremont's endless subplots. It's that the team should have no reason to whine and complain after winning. The new team fighting the Juggernaut in #217-18 would be a better example, because they had their individual problems but got over them, except for that last bit about scrambling memories and cameras. Except for that little detail, it's another "clear win" in the way that defeating the Commando, etc. wasn't.
I don't know if this proves John Byrne's point or is far away from his original point, or if it's just why he needed to leave the series immediately. Moses Magnum, yes. Proteus yes, and built up Moira as a character (which she didn't need.) The Brood yes, and introduced the X-Babies and Xavier's cloned body, with potential for a sequel. The new team beating the Juggernaut, yes, other than standard Marvel whining. Beating the Commando, Super Sabre and Stonewall, no, entirely because of Storm and Wolverine's reaction. The villain's were almost incidental. They could have been fighting Batroc, Speed Demon and the Ox for the same result.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 3, 2016 7:07 PM
Oh that would be a great fight!
Posted by: Mark Black | November 3, 2016 7:35 PM
Thanks for asking a great question. Obviously I love thinking and writing about this stuff.
Oh, and the Juggernaut fight can't be considered a "clear win" because it's revealed at the end that he was just a distraction so Black Tom could pull off some scheme we never hear about again (as far as I know.) Kudos to Claremont for writing such ambiguous long-term stories and kudos to John Byrne for putting up with Claremont as long as he did.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 3, 2016 7:49 PM
Now let me ask this question, is Claremont's success rate better or worse than the previous writers?
Posted by: D09 | November 6, 2016 8:21 PM
Here's one thing that just occurred to me- how old is Rachel supposed to be in this story? Because if she was 19, and this takes place 33 years in the future, then Franklin would be 37- Franklin's a real cradle robber! On the other hand, Magneto calls her "child" but at this point Magneto is about 86 chronologically- he could be calling her child even if she's like 26. I do have to wonder if Rachel was de-aged when Claremont brought her into the X-Men.
Posted by: Michael | November 12, 2016 7:30 PM
I think the Rachel that came back in time was a young woman (in her early 20s), though I guess even at the time Claremont sometimes portrayed her as a late teenager. I haven't kept up on her recent appearances, but when I do see them she still seems to be drawn as a late teenager, so if anything I think she's de-aged since coming back in time.
Follow-up questions: How old is Rachel in her flashback of the siege of the mansion in New Mutants #18? Early teens, if memory serves. How long after that does DoFP take place? Does it state anywhere how long the Sentinels reign is?
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 12, 2016 8:08 PM
I guess the issue is how long it takes between the siege of the mansion and the Sentinels taking control. Kitty says by the turn of the century, the Sentinels have killed almost everybody. Don't know exactly how long it took them to kill everyone and take control of the US?
If Rachel is about 13 at the time of the siege, then even if the Sentinels take control almost immediately after, she would have to be at least 26 in 2013.
Again there's some continuity issues, partly confused by the crossover of Marvel time & real time - Illyana dies at age 14 in Rachel's timeline, though even if Illyana doesn't go to Limbo in Rachel's timeline she should still be 14 in about 7 years time (1987). If Rachel is about 26 in 2013, Illyana would have died about the same time Rachel is born.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 12, 2016 8:25 PM
In X-Men 194, Kitty is surprised as how willing Rachel is to kill and thinks that it's bad that a girl the same age as her can kill. In Excalibur 1, Dai describes Rachel as a teenager. So Claremont clearly intended her to be a late teenager.
Posted by: Michael | November 13, 2016 12:25 AM
She was probably conceived on a butte in New Mexico. That would mean "Days of Futures Past" was a world where Jean/Phoenix didn't die until the Sentinels got her, and the Rachel Summers we know is not the Rachel who appears in this story.
For the purposes of this line of thinking, let's just agree that the Shi'ar restored Jean to her Marvel Girl status. Otherwise that means the Sentinels have to fight Phoenix as well as the Hulk, the FF, Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, Thor, etc.
I forget what, if anything, Rachel said about her age or relationship with Illyana when the mansion was attacked. It's possible they were both members of the latest class of New Mutants while Sam, Dani and the others had graduated to the X-Men or otherwise gone on with their adult lives. ["It was a spring morning and I was on my way to Professor Ramsey's class. He was a nice guy, but distracted by trying to arrange the upcoming baseball game against the Massachusetts Academy and his wife Rhane suddenly dressing like a punk rocker. Then the attack started..."]
Anyway, the Rachel Summers who landed on 616 isn't the one we see here, who probably is at least pushing 30. We can assume that the Franklin Richards who appeared in that horrible series of annuals was likewise younger than the Franklin we see here as well. Marvel time probably also had an effect.
And Mojo would probably have de-aged Rachel and amplified her "assets" so she didn't look like a skinny concentration camp survivor.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 14, 2016 8:37 PM
Michael, I'm not ignoring your point about what Kitty said in #194, I just couldn't work it into the joke about Mojo. Come on, major drag on the ratings. ;)
Posted by: ChrisW | November 14, 2016 8:43 PM
That moment when you realize Rachel Summers was probably the first comic book character to be conceived on-panel, and then you think of the problems she's caused for her friend and family and timeline, and then you realize her brother is Nathan Christopher Charles Summers.
I would not want to be Claremont and Byrne confronting their ultimate fate on Judgement Day. Good story though.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 15, 2016 12:03 AM
Note that Kate, in Kitty's body, tells the X-Men in 141 that on Halloween 1980 the Brotherhoid kills Senator Kelly *and also* Xavier and Moira MacTaggart. This is irreconcilable with later Rachel Summers/DoFP "future flashbacks," where Xavier is killed in a military and/or Hellfire Club attack on the mansion. I guess a No-Prize explanation might be that Kate is embellishing her tale with peril to Xavier and Moira to make absolutely certain the X-Men get involved. Or you could say the original DoFP timeline here is different from the later variations on DoFP, which are nearly identical but distinct parallel universes. But either way, I find it interesting that Claremont himself didn't stick consistently to the future history he established.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 20, 2016 6:40 PM
You're saying Chris Claremont wasn't consistent with his continuity? No! That's not true! That's impossible!!!
Posted by: ChrisW | November 23, 2016 4:37 PM
Search your feelings; you know it to be true!
Posted by: Ubersicht | November 23, 2016 6:14 PM
Well shit, why didn't you just say that in the first place?
Posted by: ChrisW | November 24, 2016 3:04 AM
I've just finished reading the 1998 Wolverine: DoFP 3-parter which takes place before this arc and I found it a big failure. It could've been a good opportunity to expand the background of the characters introduced in #141 and illustrate a few major events...sadly none of that happens. We just get to see how Magneto got in a wheelchair...
I feel like maybe there were plans to create more stories between that 3-parter and this arc because there are a lot of loose ends at the end...
My recommendation: stay away from it, doesn't really add anything important
Posted by: Bibs | June 21, 2017 7:20 AM
A late '90s X-Men mini that didn't work? Say it ain't so...
Posted by: J-Rod | June 22, 2017 1:49 PM
Claremont and Byrne really blundered when they showed Wolverine losing the initiative to a sentinel in issue 142. They should have known that Future Wolverine's popularity powers prevented him from ever being killed, even in alternate timelines.
Posted by: Jonathon | November 9, 2017 5:20 PM
On a more serious note, the Essential Marvel reprint of these issues (in volume 2) omits the final page in which Shaw, Gyrich, Kelly, and the President discuss Project: Wideawake. Evidently some of those volumes were reprinted from reprints (and not the original issues) I'm happy to say that the Marvel Omnibus line has restored the last page. I used to have the trade paperback of this pair of issues, but can't recall if that last page was included or excised. The reason I mention this is because it makes all the difference to the story and, for my money, removing the scene damages the overall tale.
Posted by: Jonathon | November 16, 2017 6:25 PM
I would disagree that it damages the overall tale, but including the final page does make it more powerful. The mutants who pretend to be anti-mutant have created their own deathtrap with no encouragement from the heroes. It still works without the final page because Shaw was pushing Sentinels on Senator Kelly after the attack on the Hellfire Club. It's just more explicit with this final page, a rarity in Claremont's run.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 17, 2017 12:54 AM
Jonathon, if you're referring to the 1989 prestige format reprint Erik mentioned above then yes the final page of UXM #142 was cut from it. These two issues weren't the only ones cut from Classic X-Men - UXM #106 is also missing as are all of the annuals (not to mention that the reprint of Giant-Size X-Men #1 is severely truncated).
Posted by: Garuda | November 17, 2017 6:07 AM
This was terrific to read when I was 10 and still holds up. Glad they made the movie also. This was like post Escape from New York with the futuristic state of actions.
Posted by: Cinque | February 28, 2018 11:20 AM
As the minorest of minor notes, after reading fnord12's remarks about the Blob's inclusion, it occurs to me that the Blob pretty much *has* to be the link to the original Brotherhood here. Magneto's being developed as a solo villain and would overshadow Mystique, Mastermind was recently used in a very different capacity and is not only out of action but would also make Mystique redundant, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver and broadly reformed, and the Toad would make these guys look goofy. The Blob or Unus are really the only choices around, and the Blob is a lot more visually distinctive. (Well, there's also Lorelei, I guess, but she's even less of a standard-issue Brotherhood member than the Blob.)
Posted by: Omar Karindu | May 26, 2018 3:21 PM
The depiction of the president at the end of 142 is unusually coy. The story takes places on Halloween 1980, less than a week before the 1980 election. The epilogue is said to take place about a month later, in early December. The Feb. 81 publication date means the issue would have been on stands before the election, but maybe Byrne didn’t want to presume by explicitly drawing Carter (even though he’d be president until January 20 anyway).
Kelly is said to be a presidential candidate, which makes it seem a bit odd that he’s holding this controversial Senate hearing days before the election. Being anti-mutant must have been very popular.
Since Carter was president in the MU as well as in real life, as was Reagan, what party’s nomination did Kelly have? My guess is he was running as a sort of John Anderson independent. Maybe there was no Anderson in the MU.
The sliding timeline obliterates all this. It is notable, though, that the MU mutant control act does get introduced in 1984, and does subsequently get overturned by the Supreme Court (at least the registration part does). MU’s events do play out much like Rachel’s timeline, at least up to 1989 or so, even though Kelly lives.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 15, 2018 3:09 AM
I think the coyness is simply acknowledgment that this is a MU specific position, and the creators did not wish to establish the position of a real life politician on an obvious fictitious and controversial subject.
For some reason, I've always seen Robert Kelly as an analogue of Ted Kennedy (a charismatic politician with an Irish sounding last name that begins with K) and assumed he was a Democrat. There was a heavy push in 1980 for Kennedy to challenge Carter (which he did, but lost), and I assumed this was what Kelly did. Obviously Kelly is not an exact analogue of Ted, simply someone that assumed several characteristics. We shouldn't read too much into it.
Posted by: Chris | July 15, 2018 4:18 AM
In terms of Claremont's arcs, I wonder if Mystique's choice to target Kelly was intended to play into the intended Brotherhood/Hellfire conflict. Claremont was still writing as if the unpublished Ms. Marvel stories had happened in some form; he still thought they'd be completed and see the light of day in some format, perhaps Marvel Fanfare. If we assume that Mystique knows that Kelly is tied up with Shaw -- and between her Raven Darkholme identity's access and her general ability to spy on opponents, this wouldn't be much of a stretch -- this would give Mystique an additional motive to target Kelly.
Heck, it might be her only real motive. Before and after this story, Claremont generally plays Mystique as a self-serving sociopath more interested in grudges and self-preservation than in political ideals, hence her lunatic grudge against Carol Danvers and the Brotherhood later "selling out" to become Freedom Force.
Even if that isn't the intention here, and Claremotn was moving Mystique wholly into the role of an idealistic militant, the whole "Sentinels exterminate mutantkind" thing is due in large part to the schemes of two mutant villains: the epilogue to this story makes it fairly clear that the Sentinels in the DoFP future likely came from Shaw's factories, and their production and use is explicitly the result of Mystique's assassination scheme in both timelines.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 15, 2018 6:16 AM
Omar, I agree with your premise but come to different conclusions. The grudge against Carol Danvers made sense in light of the unpublished Ms Marvel tales, which involved Destiny predicting that Carol would kill Rogue. What happened in the unpublished Ms Marvel story as Claremont planned it (not as Simon Furman later executed it) might have added to the vendetta—although it need not, since Mystique seems to abandon the vendetta after Rogue joins the X-Men, at which time Mystique wants to get Rogue back but is willing to kill her herself if necessary.
I generally think Destiny’s predictions are the best explanation for the assassination attempt against Kelly, too, although on re-reading the issues I see she that’s never explicitly given as the reason for this mission (but Destiny does tell Kelly at one point he’s a greater threat alive). So you raise a good point about how the Hellfire/Brotherhood connection might fit in.
Is it only later that we learn Destiny was predicting a dark future for mutants if Kelly lived, or am I misremembering? There’s a nice tragic element to the idea that we get DOFP if Kelly dies but we get a dystopia predicted by Destiny if he doesn’t.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 15, 2018 7:28 PM
That's an interesting thought, It's Destiny's predictions that Ms Marvel will cause something bad for Rogue that lead to something bad happening to Rogue when she confronts Ms Marvel. If not for Destiny's prediction, Rogue & Mystique wouldn't have got so obsessed with Ms Marvel & it doesn't seem likely anything would have happened. (I haven't got the comics to hand so I can't remember exactly what Destiny says about what Ms Marvel's threat is to Rogue, I'd remembered it as being quite unspecific. And if the idea is that if Rogue hadn't attacked Ms Marvel when she did, that the Hellfire Club would have gained control of Ms Marvel & had her kill Rogue, then I'm unclear on why the Hellfire Club would have her kill Rogue, since they don't attempt to attack Mystique or Rogue at any other point. What do they have to gain from that, unless Rogue involves herself in the Hellfire Club's plans? I know that Mastermind attacks Mystique during From The Ashes after he leaves the Club, but I don't think it's ever been explained why. Nathan Adler has a theory about it involving the Shadow King, but I doubt Claremont was actually thinking of that at the time.)
And here in DoFP we have the idea that if they kill Kelly, there will be Sentinels, and if they don't, then the attack prompts Kelly/Shaw to go ahead with the Sentinels (which Shaw had previously tried to push in #135, but we don't know if he'd have agreed it without the assassination attempt).
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 15, 2018 8:15 PM
So both times Destiny's powers of precognition basically help cause a bad future. Perhaps in both cases, her predictions help prevent a different bad future, but the very fact of the precognition makes a particular bad future more likely.
Typical Claremont "no clear wins", I guess, that the precognitive seems to sometimes help cause the bad futures by her predictions.
I recall Destiny on some instances being able to give probabilities like "in 6 of 7 possible futures this will happen", but if Destiny was indeed prompted by the possible future where Kelly authorised building of Sentinels, then it seems she didn't do enough checking of the possible futures. You'd think that the moment they go to assassinate Kelly, she'd get another prediction saying that now all the possible futures were something bad rather than just some of them, and realise they were making the wrong decision. (Though the story does have Kitty's time travel fogging up her predictions so perhaps you could explain it that way.)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 15, 2018 8:24 PM
Wasn't Claremont's original plan for an arms deal between Mystique and Hellfire to go wrong because of the Ms. Marvel conflict Mystique dragged into it, precipitating the conflict? Claremont made some noise about a big fight between Rogue and Sebastian Shaw as part of all this at the time. This would have been the source of Mastermind's grudge against Mystique.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 15, 2018 8:47 PM
It's not clear what Claremont's original idea for the Mystique plot in Ms.Marvel was. The scene where Shaw kills the arms dealer in Marvel Super Heroes 11 because he was selling arms to the Brotherhood was tacked on by Furman and obviously not part of Claremont's original plot.
Posted by: Michael | July 16, 2018 12:34 AM
It's always been amusing that Destiny is trying to assassinate Kelly with a crossbow. If Hellfire are selling arms to the Brotherhood, that makes it extra funny. That can't have been the most expensive arms deal.
What are the arms being sold? The Brotherhood have powers and aren't using anything else. I guess Pyro has his flamethrowers, & Mystique uses a telepathic dampening field against Xavier here, maybe both of those are Hellfire tech? Though Mystique in general seems to have advanced tech: she works for the Department of Defense and in Avengers Annual #10, Iron Man notes that she has access to the latest top secret weaponry, including a SHIELD-designed gadget that freezes up Iron Man's armour. The skulls on her dress also turn into things like radios & guns, though that does seem a fairly bespoke thing that's unlikely to have been designed for someone other than her, not sure if it's ever been explained where they came from?
This story also has Shaw having provided advanced weaponry to the army such as the concussion cannon used here. So you'd think Mystique would already have access to Hellfire tech through her job at the Department of Defense & her access to top secret designs, surely Mystique doesn't need to do any separate arms deal with Hellfire when it can all be done "above board" through Shaw's contract with the Department of Defense?
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 16, 2018 4:47 AM
Byrne has said he plotted this storyline completely by himself, and I do believe he originated the idea, though there are signs that Claremont did at least have some discussions between the conception of the plot & Byrne actually drawing it, such as Claremont's reference in X-Men Companion to the placing of the Storm/Wolverine discussion: "The way it was structured in the plot is that the X-Men are in the hearing room, the fight begins, Wolverine lunges for Pyro with his claws extended, Storm whirls him away, grabs him in mid-air and says, "No killing. Not here. You're on national television. Put those claws away." She reads him the riot act right off the bat, and then they go into the fight. John felt, I suppose, that that would not work, so he waited until they were two-thirds of the way through the fight on the Mall, and then had everything stop dead, and staged the confrontation between Storm and Wolverine, which a number of readers found to be very awkward. Why stop in the middle of a fight, they wondered, when the bad guys are standing right over there, to have an argument? Obviously, it made sense to John; otherwise, he wouldn't have drawn it that way. I honestly don't remember the rationale behind it."
I'm not sure there's any "good" placing for the discussion after the battle has already started, it probably needed to happen on the way before they got there, it's not as if Storm couldn't have guessed there would be cameras.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 18, 2018 8:22 AM
Also, Rachel was planned to be Jean's child but I believe after Jean's death this was made less obvious in the original story, or it would clearly be an alternate future, though Claremont would eventually decide to establish her as Rachel Summers anyway. But again, it sounds like Claremont & Byrne would have had some discussions over the plot if the idea originated before #137 but didn’t get used till 141-142 a few months later.
As previously discussed, Byrne has also talked about how he intended the dystopian future to vanish at the end of the story and that Claremont’s script prevents a clear win: “Even when I plotted DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and made sure it was an absolute, unequivocal, We Save The Day story for the X- Men, he managed to slip in a tiny scene that took the win away from them.” However, Byrne did also draw the epilogue featuring Gyrich & Kelly authorising the creation of Sentinels, which in itself denies the unequivocal win, I’m not sure what else he could have thought he was drawing there.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 18, 2018 8:27 AM
The ending scene certainly portrays a threat, but it does not mean that dystopian future remains. It is easy to reconcile the notion that the dystopian future's inevitability has been removed, but that there is still a threat that the X-Men will need to overcome (and perhaps losses along the way). In other words, the X-Men's mission remains vital and ongoing.
Posted by: Chris | July 18, 2018 9:10 PM
They've already had Shaw & Kelly discussing Sentinels, so when Byrne is drawing Shaw & Kelly meeting up with an ominous Gyrich at the end of an issue where Kelly has survived an assassination attempt, I think it's clear that they would be discussing Sentinels again and it stops being an "absolute, unequivocal" win.
Also, regarding the coyness of the portrayal of the US President in that scene, while Byrne wouldn't have known exactly what Claremont would script there, I think it was wise that Byrne didn’t draw Carter/Reagan. Other than that they didn’t know who would win (if they drew Carter, the reference might be out of date in a month or two), Gyrich is literally talking about coming up with a permanent resolution to problems with a minority. You don't have to think too hard to come up with a real-life equivalent to that, & I think it would be fairly controversial for Marvel to depict a real-life President authorising that.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 19, 2018 2:58 AM
Not only does this arc feature what is surely the most-easily-killed Wolverine you'll ever see (presumably if Claremont & Byrne had stayed just 2 or 3 panels longer in 2013, we'd have seen Wolverine now completely healed after being reduced to an adamantium skeleton, telling the readers it was just a flesh wound), but I think it's also the only version of adult Franklin who isn't so incredibly powerful that he could sort out this whole thing by himself. Other adult Franklins get to destroy Celestials, or are immortals who will be there to accompany Galactus when this universe comes to an end, even younger Franklins can destroy Mephisto or create pocket universes... but this guy, nada.
Alternative universes always seem weaker than the mian universe. in UXM #202, Beyonder has the team fight a group of Omega Sentinels from Rachel's timeline, and they bust up the Sentinels fairly easily, without anyone managing to get disintegrated by a single Sentinel blast. Not even Nightcrawler or someone.
Worst. Franklin. Ever.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 19, 2018 3:01 AM
I thought it was fairly clear that they only won in issue 202 because the Beyonder enhanced Rachel's powers.
Posted by: Michael | July 19, 2018 7:58 AM
Jonathan, regarding Franklin Richards in Days of Future Past: Isn’t this the first time he’s shown as an adult? I read it in real time, and was not very conversant in Marvel lore back then, but I recall my sense of wonder at the revelation that a grown Franklin was the sole survivor of the FF.
Byrne (and Claremont) seemed to be blazing a trail with the character, and it excited subsequent creators who delivered the godlike Franklin you describe. But to me, for sheer uncanniness, none of them beats that first future Franklin.
Posted by: Chris Z | July 19, 2018 8:49 AM
@Michael - I confess it is a while since I've read that one. Now you mention it I do recall Beyonder giving Rachel the choice between saving her friends & killing him. Still, I know they do smash up some of the Sentinels themselves without anyone getting disintegrated :-)
@Chris Z - Yeah I'm no expert on Franklin but I think really both Wolverine & Franklin's power levels are probably correctly portrayed for 1980, just they've both had a lot of power creep since then. As you mention, the portrayal of a grown-up Franklin (& Kitty), Wolverine actually dying & seeing the skeleton, etc all seemed incredible the first time you read it.
Not sure exactly when Franklin first was portrayed as godlike, I have dim memories of his power being a plot point in the Conway FF (& that Annihilus tried to use his powers somehow) but I feel like Byrne's FF, with the old Franklin in #245 able to transform both his own body & the Thing's, & then later the young Franklin destroying Mephisto, were when we started seeing real displays of what he could do. So maybe at the time of DoFP all that hadn't been established yet.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 19, 2018 2:09 PM
I'm certain, this is the first adult appearance of a Franklin Richards. Yep, the god-like power level threat first resolves in FF #141. J, son of K is right about FF #245 and I agree, by DoFP, the potential of his personally-available power wasn't established.
Posted by: Cecil Louis Disharoon | July 19, 2018 3:17 PM
Franklin's seemingly magical powers first began showing themselves at least as early as Fantastic Four #129-132 (1972-3), when Roy Thomas was writing FF, although his powers weren't being shown at a god-like threat level yet. Still, it'd been a long developing plot angle, since Franklin's birth in FF Annual #6 (1968), that Sue's and Reed's son was almost sure to develop powerful and strange cosmic-ray stimulated powers, which would probably be even more powerful than those of his parents, because Annihilus' cosmic control rod had been used to control the cosmic radiation in Susan's blood at the time of his birth. And that was from the Lee & Kirby days.
I noticed that Franklin isn't listed under the characters appearing for this entry, but maybe that's because this was an alternate universe version of Franklin who never appeared again (except maybe in a godzillion or so flashbacks)?
Posted by: Holt | July 19, 2018 8:39 PM
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