The Uncanny X-men – Days of Future Past – Marvel Pocketbook

Written by Chris Claremont

Art by John Bryne and John Romita Jnr

This book collects issues #138-143 and Annual #4 of the Uncanny X-men and is part of The Marvel Pocketbook range which I got off Amazon for the unbelievable price of £2.78 Bargain!!!

Now I haven’t read much X-men but I was a big fan of the cartoon in the early 90’s and enjoyed the films so I had a basic knowledge of who was who before I started reading this book.

The book can be divided into five main story arcs, so there lots going on in this little book.

The first issue kicks off at the graveside of Jean Grey and we get Scott Summers (Cyclops) recounting the history of the X-men and this lasts for the whole issue. This was a great introduction to the X-men comics and does a good job of padding out the history of the X-men and some of the major villains they fought in the past.

The second and third issues are about Wolverine going back home to Canada with the Nightcrawler in tow, to try and clear his name with the Canadian Government. However, while there they caught up in the hunt for a family who have been abducted by a Wen-di-go and they also tussle with Wolverine’s old superhero team Alpha Flight.

Part three is the main body of the book and is the Days of Future Past arc which deals with  Kitty Pride from 2013 travelling back to 1980 and trying to prevent the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly. This is a brilliant story and the action switches between the future and the present seamlessly without ever getting confusing. The future world of 2013  is done very well and the panels when Kitty goes back to the ‘concentration’ camp and you can see all the grave’s of the mutants is particularly good.

Issue 143 Demon is a one shot featuring Kitty Pryde battling a demon in Professor X’s Westchester Mansion which also double’s as The School for Gifted Youngsters. This one is all action and does a good job of rounding out Kitty’s character as she is the newest member of the X-men.

The last issue (Annual #4) is perhaps the most interesting of the lot as it is based on Dante’s Inferno. It might well have benefited from being stretched out over a number of issues rather that being crammed into a one shot as things do move with a pace especially through the middle of the story.  It opens with Nightcrawler’s birthday party, he receives a mysterious present which blows up in his face severing his soul from his body. Professor X calls in Doctor Strange to help and things kind of escalate from there and the X-men end up in a version of Dante’s Inferno and have to battle through the circles of hell in order to get free themselves and save the Nightcrawler and Storm. The ending was a bit of a let down but it was a hell of ride getting there (see what I did there).

As well as the main stories in the book you also get a couple of other stories running through in the back ground, these mainly revolve around Kitty Pryde and Storm. Kitty  has just joined the X-men and the thread of her stories focus her doubts and fears on joining the team,  as a mirror to Kitty’s story you also have Storm dealing with her own doubts and fears when she promoted to lead the X-men.

As a first exposure to the X-men in comic form I think this is a really good place for a newcomer to start, the writing and the art is excellent throughout, however the colouring can be a little bright compared to what you would get in a modern comic, but I personally don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Yes some of the panels can be a little small but hey it is a pocket book and it was only £2.78 what more do you want? I’ll certainly be checking more of these out in the future.

Rating 4/5 – A worthwhile trip back to the 80’s – it’s not all leg warmers and shoulder pads you know!

Dry Slaps – Couldn’t think of any major problems

Reviewed by Nick Roberts

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: