The fifth installment of the X-Men films (seventh if you count the two Wolverine movies) is based upon one of the most acclaimed X-Men storylines by the creative team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne. When X-Men fans found out that this film was being made and that it would be a way to connect the storylines of the first three X-Men films and X-Men: First Class, we were all a twitter (and some of us all a Twitter as well). What a wonderful way to bring these two casts together and tell one of the most important storylines of the comic series. Then news came out that Wolverine, instead of Kitty Pryde, would be the one to travel back in time to warn the X-Men of the past of the dystopian future ruled by the Sentinels. The nerds were upset.
Now, if you read my reviews about X-Men: First Class or The Wolverine then you know I had major issues with continuity blunders and straying too far from brilliant source material. So it might sound hypocritical of me to tell you that changing the time traveler from Kitty to Wolvie is no big deal. In fact I think it’s an improvement to the story. What we need to realize is that Chris Claremont and John Byrne only chose to send Kitty Pryde back in time because she was the newest central character brought to the X-Men. While her first appearance is in The Uncanny X-Men #129, she doesn’t join the team until issue 138. “Days of Future, Past” is issues 141-142. If you go back and read issues 138-143, you will realize that Kitty is the central figure of all those stories. Claremont and Byrne simply chose her to traverse time because she was the new “it girl.” There really is no other reason why she would be the one to go back and warn the X-Men. That and this way they could kill Wolverine off in the future without any ramifications.
While I admit that I’ll be slightly disappointed if the film [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) doesn’t contain this famous image of Wolverine being incinerated by a Sentinel, I can get over it. But they better, BETTER have the famous scene of old man Wolverine and Kate Pryde in front of the poster of slain and apprehended mutants that is probably the most iconic of all X-Men covers. That will cause a berserker rage and I cannot be held responsible for its ramifications.
It really makes more sense to send Wolverine back in time for the film. For one, it makes publicity sense. Wolverine is your bread and butter. The best part of X-men: First Class was the Wolverine cameo. Admit it. Second, if the fate of the world revolves around stopping a catastrophic event, why wouldn’t you send your nearly immortal living weapon of a mutant over someone who can phase through objects and people. Kitty saves Senator Kelly from assassination by deflecting an arrow from the most ridiculous member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. It was very anti-climactic. If you haven’t read the story “Days of Future, Past” by Claremont and Byrne, you should. Every X-Men fan should read the story that predates the Terminator films in its portrayal of a machine dominated dystopian future. In doing so, you realize that Kitty Pryde is known as Sprite before Shadowcat. You get to see Rachel Summers n her first appearance. She’s married to Franklin Richards. The Blob is constantly called “fatso” and it is pointed out on several occasions that Pyro is an Englishman. That’s just funny. Storm is struggling to lead the team of X-Men after Cyclops has quit (because he’s a big baby). At one point Srtorm has to tornado Wolverine away from Pyro so that he doesn’t kill the Englishman. But my favorite part is when Storm is uneasy about Professor Xavier scanning her mind. I like that Xavier’s mind scans are thought of as intrusive because it absolutely would be. If you’re interested in reading this storyline before the movie comes out, you can pick up the trade paperback that includes issues 138-143 and Annual #4. I suggest skipping issue 138 though. It’s just Cyclops giving the reader a complete history of the X-Men and is probably the most boring X-Men comic I have ever read. Regardless, don’t get too caught up in comparing the film that opens May 23rd with the classic tale from 1980 because it’s likely to be extremely different and that’s probably a good thing.
Besides nothing can be worse than the crotch-face teaser posters of First Class.
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