Firstly, I admit I have not seen the movie based on this story-line; moving on. The book contains 7 issues, only 2 of which are part of the title story. Mostly, this is the introduction of Kitty Pryde to the comics. These are her first issues and she’s only 13 years old. This is great. All the other characters are much older than her and serve as mentors as she tries to figure out her place as an X-Man and as a mutant. (It’s a little weird that none of the characters found it inappropriate that she stole a kiss from Colossus under some mistletoe, considering the age difference, but whatevs.) Also, she’s a bit spooked by Nightcrawler, even after several issues, which makes him (and me) sad. (He’s my favorite.)
The first issue is Scott Summers (Cyclops) telling the entire history of the X-Men basically. At Jean Grey’s funeral. Now, if I had read all 137 issues previous to this one, I’d probably be annoyed at entire issue devoted to a recap. However, since I haven’t read all of that, I was saved the trouble by Cyclops’ story-telling. Naturally, he centers the whole story around himself and how everything happens to him, so take his narration with a grain of salt.
The story moves on to X-Men Annual #4 Nightcrawler’s Inferno. Basically, the X-Men and Dr. Strange have to navigate Dante’s Inferno, which has been created by a mysterious foe specifically for Nightcrawler. Devout Catholic that he is, he totally buys into it and feels he deserves this fate, but just wants to get his friends out of harm’s way, for they have done nothing wrong. It’s nice to see a 600-year-old poem continue to inspire art today. Take that, all those who feels comics have no literary merit!
Look, this volume is terrific. There’s a story-line where Wolverine goes to Canada and fights a Wendigo alongside Alpha Flight. Storm shines as the leader of the X-Men after Cyclops takes a leave of absence. The artwork by John Byrne is wonderful and I love the bright colors. The last few pages are artwork from alternate covers and whatnot and there’s one that I really wish I had as a full-sized poster (from Essential X_Men Vol 3 back cover). Pick this one up if you want to know the story behind the movie Days of Future Past, or if you want to see a demon crash it’s way all through the mansion.
Review by Jessica A.