So I finally saw this yesterday evening with some friends, and I was very pleased. The story was satifyingly complex. The character work by Fassbender, MacAvoy and Lawernce was fantastic. The action was great. Quicksilver stole the show! (The Avengers film is going to have a very hard time topping that.) Lots of great fanservice and nods to the comic. Yes, it differed from the story, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The one thing I could not get over was that Kitty Pryde’s power has nothing to do with what she was doing in this film. Kitty “phases” through solid matter by making her atoms (and the atoms of the person she is in physical contact with) pass through the spaces between the atoms of the object she is phasing through. Her power is neither telepathic or temporal. She can’t send someone’s conciousness back in time. There needed to be some technobabble to explain that or set up another ways for this to happen. Also Charles’ serum affecting his telepathy. “Affects my genes” doesn’t make any sense. “Affects my nervous system and therefore my brain” would have worked much better and also made sense in terms of how quickly the effects wore off.
The Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past story was published in 1981. Written by Chris Claremont, who is still considered *the* seminal writer of the X-Men, and drawn by John Byrne and inked by Terry Austin.
(Even some comic book readers do not realize how vital inkers are to what they see on the page. The writer writes the story similar to a screenplay script with some, often vague, stage directions. The penciler/artist choreographs the action, creates the layout and draws in the lines for the figures and usually a vague background. The inker is the artist who gives those lines depth, light, shadow, the appearance of three dimensions. He often creates background detail as well. The writer then goes back in to tweak the dialog or narration to fit what the penciler & inker have put on the page. Then it goes to the colorist and letterer, who do not have quite as much prestige.)
The X-Men were created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but it didn’t catch on for quite some time. After a brief run of a couple years, the title was cancelled. There were attempts to resurrect the series, both in a new run (notably Roy Thomas and Neal Adams, who was breaking ground in comic book art at the time) and reprints. But it wasn’t until Chris Clarmeont came along that the X-Men finally found their voice. Claremont, working with penciler Dave Cockrum, picked up the title and restructured the team with new faces like Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee and some little obnoxious dude named “Wolverine.” (Yes, Logan had a single appearance before in The Hulk, but you get what I am saying.) Claremont/Byrne/Austin is the team that catapulted The Uncanny X-Men into one of Marvel’s top selling titles and created some of the most iconic storylines that the comic utilizes and references back to even today.
Days of Future Past was one of them. In the original story, in the distopian future in which the sentinels have taken over, Rachel Summers (daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers) utilizes her telepathy with Kitty Pryde’s phasing abilities to send Kitty’s mind back into her younger body in order to stop Mystique from assisinating Senator Kelly whom was introducing the first piece of anti-mutant legislation.
So as you can see they kept the essential premise. However, the changes they did make were big ones. Most of them worked well, but losing Kitty as the focus to the we’re-burnt-out-on-this-guy-please-move-on Wolverine was disappointing. I understand the logistical need because of the timeframes, but it was still disappointing. Storm was horribly miscast so I am glad her role has always been small, but she led the X-Men after Scott left. Emma Frost was criminaly misused in First Class. The Wasp was a founding member of the Avengers, but she was dumped in favor of the sexpot Black Widow who has not even gotten her own film despite the male characters around her getting at least two each. Comic Book films need to bring forward and develop more of the strong female characters that grace their pages.