On my reading journey to catch up on all of the major X-Men stories (with a goal of eventually getting current), my next story was Days of Future Past, by Chirs Claremont, John Byrne, and others. The collection I read is a nice, full color trade paperback which collects Uncanny X-Men #138-143 and X-Men annual #4. (ISBN 978-0-7851-6453-1)
One nice thing about this collection is that it picks up with the very next issue from the previous collection I’d just finished reading, The Dark Phoenix Saga. This issue (#138) not only deals with the fallout from the Dark Phoenix Saga and it’s effect on the team, but also includes a really nice summary of the entire X-Men saga up to that point as told by Cyclops. I was surprised how much detail Cyke’s summary covered in such a short time, and really enjoyed the issue.
One thing that’s been surprising to me is how short these epic stories actually are. When I had left off reading comics, the events were normally spanned over multiple titles and sometimes dozens of issues. Days of Future Past, like Dark Phoenix, takes place over just 2 issues. However, both of those stories did have a lot building up to it, so it’s nice to have those issues collected before and after, not only for some context, but to get to know the characters better as well.
That brings me to the next thing I enjoyed about this collection – getting to know Kitty Pryde for the first time, and from the beginning of her story. When I was reading in the 90’s, Kitty had moved on to other teams and places, and was rarely featured in the main X-Men books I was reading at the time. I can see why she’s such a fan favorite, as she’s quickly becoming one of mine.
One other character I appreciate so much more having gone back and reading these stories is Cyclops. At times I used to find him a bit annoying, but now I really sympathize with and appreciate him much more.
As usual, I won’t get much into the story for fear of spoilers (and at this point there’s really been enough said about this classic). I will say that it’s a nice follow up to the Dark Phoenix Saga, and like that story, is well deserved of its great reputation. It’s another classic that any X-Men fan owes it to themselves to read!
Up next I’ll be jumping back just a bit to Essential X-Men volume 2 to cover some important issues that I was unable to find in trade paperback form (namely the Proteus Saga). I’ll also be making a chart that maps out this journey, hopefully helping to make the complicated timeline of the X-Men a little easier to collect and read affordably, without having to do all the research I’ve been putting into it.