Review by C.J. Bunce
The latest novel re-issue from the Marvel universe is an adaptation of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s original story arc from the pages of 1981’s series The Uncanny X-Men: X-Men: Days of Future Past. You may have read the original classic comics, you may have seen the ground-breaking 2014 team-up movie, and now author Alex Irvine digs deeper into the original story that remains among comic book readers’ most acclaimed stories. A recurring trope–the banning of individuals with superpowers–is the background for this story of a former member of the X-Men, Kate Pryde, who is sent back to the past from the dark, not-so-distant future on the brink of Armageddon.
Kate is sent back in time to try to change an event in the past, the murder of Senator Kelly by Raven aka Mystique, and the deaths of several others including Charles Xavier and Moira MacTaggert. The deaths are the impetus to the creation and domination of Sentinels, giant robots that can track and destroy mutants–or anyone else–with ease. X-Men stories tend to include so many characters that readers only get to view a few character arcs. Writer Alex Irvine keeps his story crisp and constantly moving forward. Here we see Kate Pryde returned to the past and in doing so she swaps consciences with her 13-year-old self–new X-Men recruit Kitty Pryde, begrudgingly taking the name of Sprite, who will one day embrace the code name Shadowcat. She is sent to the past by the telepathic Rachel Summers, the future daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey aka Phoenix.
Irvine keeps his story to a core band of players. In the future, it’s Logan aka Wolverine, Magneto, Ororo aka Storm, and Kate’s husband Peter Rasputin aka Colossus. In the past, Kate in the form of Kitty must convince Storm, Logan, Colossus, Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, Moira and Charles to prevent Mystique, the Blob, and others from the Brotherhood of the Hellfire Club headed up by Emma Frost from wreaking havoc on Senator Kelly’s congressional hearing.
For those familiar with the original, the novel of X-Men: Days of Future Past serves as a nostalgic journey into the original tale. This veers little from the original. For fans of the movie, most of the story will come as a surprise. Wolverine takes a backseat and this is much more a character study of the two incarnations of Kitty Pryde.
The past is classic Marvel storytelling of superheroes and memorable X-Men conflicts. The future as described by Irvine is the stuff of the bleakest dystopian visionaries.
The author takes the opportunity to pepper the story with other familiar faces along the ride. Mutants like Angel and Beast are here to a lesser extent, but Destiny, the Blob, and Pyro get plenty of attention.
The ninth re-issued book in Titan Books’ recent re-launch of the Novels of the Marvel Universe series, Alex Irvine’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is a faithful adaptation with plenty of action for fans of the original story and the X-Men characters. It’s available now in paperback here at Amazon.