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Days of Future Past

by yo go re

In the not-too-distant future, nearly all mutants have been captured or eradicated by robotic Sentinels. To avert this reality, Wolverine and the other imprisoned X-Men must project Kitty Pryde's mind backwards through time into her younger self, so she can prevent Mystique and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly in the present.

Okay, first things first: writers, you've got to stop using the phrase "in the not-too-distant future." It's taken, okay? Whenever you write that, your audience's mind automatically fills in "next Sunday A.D." (or "way down in Deep 13" or "somewhere in time and space") and completely derails whatever you were actually trying to accomplish. So find a new phrase, huh? To be fair, though, they couldn't very well state the actual year the story took place in: it was set 32 years ahead of the current continuity when it was published in 1981, which means "Days of Future Past" takes place in the far-flung, distant tomorrow of 2013.

We've had a DoFP Wolverine before, but that was so long ago (2006, specifically) that this figure was almost guaranteed to be superior. I mean, the last one didn't even have a separate coat! This one gets a jacket that would be great for a live-action Bane custom, thanks to its fuzzy lining. A sculpted fuzzy lining!

This is the 51st Wolverine Minimate, and he comes with the same hair as Brown Wolverine (just with the white streaks painted on the temples). There is minimal detailing on his black shirt, and he's wearing the blue pants seen in the story, rather than the brown ones from the cover. There's a holster on his right leg, but it's non-functional - which is okay, since there's nothing to put in it anyway. There's a slot in the tray that is emphatically and conspicuously gun-shaped, but it's empty; presumably they were planning to include such an accessory, but changed their mind late in the game.

While Future Wolverine is based on the interior of the comic, Future Kitty Pryde is quite blatantly based on the cover: she's got brown Farrah hair, an orange jacket, pink pants and yellow shoes, a combo which is never seen anywhere inside the story. Well, technically the yellow shoes were never seen anywhere; despite all the grief he gets for it, Rob Liefeld was far from the first artist to hide characters' feet behind rubble. Judging by what can be seen in the shadows, she should be wearing boots that are every bit as tall as Wolverine's.

Her "jacket" is actually the Extremis Soldier's vest with arms painted to match. Thus, there are really detailed pockets on the front, which probably weren't intended in John Byrne's original art, but between the shadows and Wolverine's "mom arm," who's to say it's wrong? Kitty's got a terrified look on her face, and there's a yellow collar around her neck (presumably meant to represent a shirt peeking out).

We know that Future Kitty Pryde is based on the cover of the comic, because she never wore anything like this outfit inside it. Since she was a prisoner in the camps (which just had to feel great for a character who was and always has been Jewish), she wore the same muted green jumpsuit with the identifying M on the chest as all her fellow detainees. This set allows you to re-create that look, thanks to the inclusion of extra arms and legs, and the fact that the torso under the jacket is already painted with the appropriate details.

In this form, the yellow boots make more sense, since those were part of the uniform. And the ring around the neck becomes the power-suppressing collar that all the mutants had to wear. Disturbing! She even includes a more appropriate piece of hair, pulled back into a bun. The really cool thing is, since all the inmates had to wear the same thing, you could use these parts to make Future Storm, Future Rachel Summers, or even a Future Colossus (after he's torn his shirt off, of course).

It's not clear what separates a "Future Sentinel" from a regular Sentinel - it's not like they were substantially redesigned, you know? This looks more like the traditional Sentinel design than the Capcom Sentinel does, and it's supposed to be just as "modern" as any other. When you say "future Sentinel," we think "Nimrod," and this clearly isn't that.

In finest traditional style, the Sentinel is pink and purple. The colors are lighter than the Series 33 figure, but that's always varied a little over the years, so it just makes them look like slightly different models of the same make. He's got a really thick waist extender and massive boots in order to give him a little height boost. The gloves are mechanical, and the unibeam painted on his chest is a rounded triangle. There's a trans orange one-leg flight swoosh included that can't be for anyone but the Sentinel.

The helmet is the same one seen on the MvC Sentinel, with the ridge over the top and the bump on the chin. If you remove it, there's a tampo on the back showing some of the internal workings (including the Trask logo). The set also includes a second, "battle-damaged" head with a big gash on the face exposing the mechanical makings of the right eye.

The final figure in the set is Raven Darkholme - Mystique. She's a pretty pivotal part of the story, but it's interesting that she's the only figure in the set from the "present" rather than the future. Of course, we already have all the X-Men, so the only other options would be the Brotherhood (though we certainly wouldn't turn down some TRU two-packs of Pyro, Avalanche, Blob and Destiny).

It's been a long, long time since we got a Mystique Minimate, so naturally this one is better. Her detailing is better, and she uses Elektra's loincloth with skulls painted all the way around. This is clearly based on Dave Cockrum's original design, as evidenced by the crossed straps on the side.

Depending on how you choose to look at it, Mystique either has no accessories, or two accessories. The set includes two extra heads: one of Senator Robert Kelly, and one of Mystique turning into Senator Robert Kelly, both with hair to match (mouse over the image to the right to see it in action). She never turned into Kelly in the DoFP storyarc, but it's still a fun piece - and if you have an extra suit body handy, you can plop this head on as a permanent, non-disguised Sen. Kelly!

"Days of Future Past" was kind of an amazing story. With no fanfare, no special cover dress (other than coinciding with the addition of the word "Uncanny" to the title of the series), no big build-up, Chris Claremont and John Byrne jumped decades into the future to show the final fate of the characters they'd been working with - and they did it in only two issues. These days it would have to be at least six months long, there would be special "Days of Future Past Alpha" and "Days of Future Past Omega" bookends as well as a concurrent "Days of Future Past: Frontline" series, and the whole thing would spin off an "X-Men: Timehunters" series that was supposedly an ongoing but would be cancelled in less than a year. And yet those two issues are some of the most influential in the history of the X-Men, and maybe of comics as a whole. All the better, then, that this Marvel Minimates exclusive honors the comics so well.

-- 09/08/14

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