An In Depth Look At X-Men: Days of Future Past

X Men - First Class - Days of Future PastAnyone into Comic Book Movies, specifically those involving the X-Men, will, of course, know by now, that the follow up to the fantastic X-Men: First Class (2011) will feature the incredible 1981 comic book storyline Days of Future Past. Not only are James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender back as Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), respectively, but so are Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen!

“Woah, wait, hold on. How can all these actors play the same parts? It’s not like they’re Doctor Who or James Bond”, I hear you gasp, open mouthed, incredulous at the very notion of this, to which I say “Pffffft, n00b“. You obviously need to seek out Marvel’s The Uncanny X-Men issues #141 and #142, or failing that, there exists trades which reprint the story for your reading pleasure (ask at your local comic book store).

Days is one of my favourite X stories and perhaps one of my all-time favourite comic book tales (that and The Phoenix Saga and I do like a bit of Onslaught even if it gave us the rather muddled Heroes Reborn).


The Future Isn’t Bright…

uncanny x men - 141 - days of future past

Days is played against a future backdrop where mutants are forced into internment camps following the backlash nay war against mutantkind stemming from the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly at the hands of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Sentinels (giant mutant hunting robots) police the USA and “subdue” mutants as and when they are located. Obviously, this is a dark, dark future and an adult Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) manages to transfer her mind into her younger self in order to warn the X-Men and hopefully change the course of history. Yes, I know this may sound a little fruity, but trust me, this is one story you want to be reading.

Now, I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t read it, but mutant after mutant have been slain or apprehended, and not just random created for the storyline mutants à la Star Trek red shirts, but the big guns. The iconic cover to Uncanny X-Men #141 gives you an idea of who didn’t make it…

x men - days of future pastIf this story sounds vaguely familiar and you swear that you haven’t read the books (shame on you) it could be that you remember the awesome Danger Room scene from X-Men: The Last Stand or from a similar storyline depicted in The X-Men animated series.


New Meets Old days of future past - wolverine - beast

The new film, due out in Summer 2014 (but already playing in my head), looks and sounds fantastic (director Bryan Singer has been tweeting pictures from the set) and having the original cast with the new cast in the same movie is an inspired move and gets my inner (well, outer) fanboy going nuts.

Not only do we see the welcome return of Stewart and McKellen but we also have reprising their original roles the brilliant Ellen Page (Shadowcat), Halle Berry (Storm), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and, of course, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Snikt!


Blink? days of future past - fan bingbing - Blink

However, one of the biggest surprises, for me, is the inclusion of Blink, a character with the ability to teleport, who isn’t in the original Days of Future Past storyline, but is one of my favourite mutants, and I am very interested in the role Blink may play in the film. Fan Bing Bing, a Chinese actress (huge in the Far East) who can be seen in the Chinese version of Iron Man 3, is set to play her.


Days of Future Past in Popular Culture x-men - animated series - days of future past - bishop

As already mentioned, Days of Future past was alluded to in X-Men: The Last Stand and was a story in the X-Men animated series, but the story is so popular, so iconic, that it receives nods elsewhere.

The animated series Wolverine and the X-Men has a story where Sentinels imprison mutants in a grim future. Professor X uses his telepathic powers to contact X-Men in the past in an attempt to preventing this future from ever happening.

The awesome Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (Xbox 360, PS3 and also on PS Vita) features a stage that is reminiscent of the poster seen on the cover of The Uncanny X-Men #141.

Days of Future Past - Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3In the first episode of nearly awesome TV show Heroes, Hiro “learns” the fundamentals of time travel by using Kitty Pryde’s comic book exploits as explanation. The show also has time travel to the near future where NYC has been destroyed and mutants are being hunted.

I have also often daydreamed about being sent back in time to help save mutant kind from the evil Sentinels and thus getting the girl (Rogue, Storm, Jean Grey, any of them really)… Er, okay, the latter might be a little too much information…


Mutants. Giant Robots. Time Travel. What’s not to like? Seek out those books, re-watch those cartoons and prepare yourself what is sure to be the ultimate in X-Men movies.

What are you most excited about? Seeing the iconic stroy-line, X-Men: Days of Future Past on the big screen or the return of the old cast members? Let us know in the comments section.


Image source: Days of Future Past, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

David Cheng

I am an ex-lab scientist (though not of the evil kind, much) and currently (serious hat on) work as a test engineer on scanning systems for use in histopathology and cytogenetics. In my spare time (propellor hat on) I nerd out on video games, apps, movies, television, comic books, regular books, tech and martial arts. I am also (spouse hat on) happily married to my beautiful wife Jing.

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