X-Men (1st series) #141

Issue Date: 
January 1981
Story Title: 
Days of Future Past

Chris Claremont (writer & coplotter), John Byrne (coplot & penciler), Terry Austin (Inker),Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

Thirty-three years in the future, North America is controlled by Sentinels; mutants are either dead or interned and a world war looms around the corner. The few surviving X-Men plan to change history by having the telepathic Rachel Summers exchange the psyche of grown-up Kate Pryde with that of her younger self. In the present, Kitty Pryde succeeds at her first Danger Room test, only to faint a moment later. When she awakes again, she tells the X-Men she is the adult Kate. She explains that she’s from a dystopic future and that the only way to save the world is to prevent the murder of Senator Robert Kelly at the mutant hearing in Washington today. The X-Men are unsure whether to believe Kate but Xavier is at the hearing as well and only he can check the veracity of Kate’s words. In the meantime, the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, under the leadership of Mystique, prepares to strike at Kelly. The X-Men join Xavier in Washington and, a moment later, the Brotherhood appears, intending to kill Kelly. The X-Men move to oppose them. In the future, the X-Men have escaped the internment camp, suffered two fatalities and plan to a strike at the Baxter Building – the Sentinels’ headquarters.

Full Summary: 

(33 years in the future)

Park Avenue lies in ruins, as does much of the city and the country around it. Carrying Red Cross supplies, Kate Pryde makes her way through the ruins, wishing Logan had picked a safer part of Manhattan for their rendezvous. This is Rogue territory.

A wrong step and Kate falls down a trapdoor, expected by some rogues who mean to kill her. Kate’s powers are inhibited by her collar but she does her best to fight back. Luckily, she’s not alone, as Wolverine makes his entrance, taking out two of the rogues. Too stupid to know the odds, the last rogue attacks him. Wolverine doesn’t dare to use his claws, for fear of alerting the Sentinels, but he can take out a punk without them.

He helps Kate to her feet and walks her outside. How’s life in the Canadian Resistance Army? she jokes. A thrill a minute, he replies. More seriously, he continues that everything’s on automatic now. The moment the Sentinels move out of North America, the other great powers will launch a full-scale nuclear strike. He hands Kate a small device – the last component of the “jammer,” invisible to the Sentinels’ sensors. She should have no problem smuggling it into the camp. Phase two begins at midnight, when he busts them out. Logan wishes Kate good luck and they say their goodbyes.

Kate catches a tram back to the South Bronx mutant internment center. A Sentinel questions her why she’s late and Kate replies that she was attacked by Rogues. The Sentinel’s encephal-scan indicates that she spoke the truth and, after an exhaustive and humiliating security examination, she is allowed to enter the camp that’s been her home since the turn of the century. As always, the first thing she sees is the graveyard. Among the headstones are many of Kate’s friends, such as the Fantastic Four, Nightcrawler, Beast, Angel, Iceman, Polaris or Spider-Man. Silently, Kate asks their forgiveness. They won’t be able to avenge them, but they can try to make sure that this nightmare never happens.

Of all the X-Men who ever were, the sole survivors are Wolverine, Kate, Colossus and Storm. The last two are waiting for Kate, along with Franklin Richards, last survivor of the Fantastic Four, and his girlfriend, Rachel. Kate tells the others she has the module. Logan will strike at midnight. Phase one must be completed by then. He still can’t believe it’s possible, Colossus admits. Strange talk coming from someone who has seen and done as much as Colossus, a wheelchair-bound man who joins them announces. It is Magneto. Addressing his former enemy as “friend,” Colossus admits that he has always been more farmer than superhero. He cannot shake his doubts. If there were an alternative, Magneto insists, they’d take it. But, if they don’t act now, tomorrow there will be a world war. And the day after, the world will be dead. Their actions may not make things better but they certainly cannot make them any worse.

He turns to the young redhead, telling her how much depends on her. Rachel assures him she won’t fail. Once the jammer is operational, they can start. Then what are they waiting for? Kate demands. Her husband, Piotr, stops her. Still, he doubts whether it is right to toy with the fundamental concepts of reality. And what of their love? What if it will cease to exist as a result of their actions? That’s a risk they have to take, the more pragmatic Kate replies. If their love was meant to be, it will be, but in a world where they can be free and their children won’t be murdered by Sentinels.

Later on inside the barracks, Franklin has used the final device given to him by Kate to construct a jammer that will neutralize their inhibitor collars within this room. It should work long enough for them to get rid of the collars. Kate is lying on a mattress and Rachel tells her to calm down. Their thoughts become one and, the next moment, Kate’s soul is flung out across the abyss of eternity.

(The present)

The X-Men’s Danger Room. Kitty Pryde steps inside, wanting to give the others a message from Nightcrawler, who’s still in the kitchen. Unfortunately, she wasn’t aware that a training session is just underway. Angel tells her to phase out again but she’s too frightened to move. He wants to fly towards her but Wolverine warns him away. His Danger Room foes will follow him wherever he goes.

The arrows that were meant for Angel now fly towards Kitty and Storm quickly transports her away with a localized whirlwind, realizing that, as long as Kitty is here, they are all in danger. She orders Colossus to catch Kitty and everyone else to reach the panic button a and end the session.

Not wanting Kitty to be harmed, Colossus turns into his human form to catch her. The next moment, a piledriver comes at both of them but, before Colossus can begin to move, Nightcrawler teleports inside the room and presses the panic button canceling the session.
Storm asks Kurt what took him so long. Clearing the breakfast dishes shouldn’t have taken that long. Nightcrawer explains that the morning news had an interview with Professor Xavier about today’s mutant hearing. He lost all track of time.

Storm admonishes Kitty and Kurt tells her not to be too harsh on her. Today’s her first training session and she was probably over-eager. Kitty reacts standoffish to Kurt’s friendliness. Clearly she is still uncomfortable around him. As all the X-Men, save for Kitty, gather in the observation booth, Kurt complains to Wolverine that he has been trying to break the ice between them to no avail. Ororo tells him to be patient and tells Sprite that the test begins. She just has to walk across the room. It won’t hurt – much, Wolverine adds.

Kitty knows that the room is on a low setting but she’s still frightened. So she starts walking, using her phasing power to walk through and above any threats the room throws at her. Projectiles, tentacles, a trapdoor. A piledriver – Kitty just walks on.
Upstairs, the X-Men are in hysterics: Xavier spent weeks preparing Kitty’s test and she just walks through it – with closed eyes.

As she’s reached the other side, Storm tells Kitty she’s done great. The next moment, reality turns inside out for Kitty and she faints. Worried, the others hurry to her side and rush the unconscious girl to the infirmary.

According to the bio-sensors, she’s fine, Nightcrawler states. Wolverine points out, though, that there are some very weird readings from the electro-encephalogram. The basic brain pattern is the same as in Kitty’s medifile, but more complex. Maybe Xavier or Moira could figure it out. As the other wonders whether this was some kind of attack Kitty comes to – and happily hugs Nightcrawler, exclaiming that he’s alive.

She takes in her surroundings, announcing that she’s in the Medilab in the mansion in Westchester. She’s made it. She looks at her teammates, announcing that Rachel said this would work, but she never really believed it. The others don’t understand one single word. Who is Rachel?

Kitty explains that she’s not “Kitty” but Kate, the woman Kitty will be in thirty years. She’s from the future. The X-Men believe the poor girl has snapped. Calmly, Kate tells Storm that the funny thing is future Storm told her that convincing the X-Men of the truth would be the hardest part. She continues that on this day, the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants will murder presidential candidate Robert Kelly, alongside Charles Xavier and Moira MacTaggert. Kelly’s assassination will set a sequence of event in motion that will culminate in the destruction of the world in a nuclear holocaust. She is here to prevent that.

Wolverine takes in her body language. She acts and speaks like an adult, not a child, he decides and announces that he believes her. Can Ororo take the risk of not checking things out, Kate demands. Ororo decides they’ll take her to Washington. Then Professor X can mindscan her. And so, as soon as Angel whistles up his private jet, the X-Men are on their way.

On the way, Kate fills them in about what happened in her past and their future. Kate explains that Kelly is a decent man with what he feels legitimate concerns about mutants.


The Brotherhood kills him to teach humanity to fear and respect Homo Superior. Instead, mutants will become objects of hatred. In 1984, a rabid anti-mutant candidate is elected president. The first Mutant Control Act is passed, though the Supreme Court strikes it down as unconstitutional. The administration responds by reactivating the Sentinels. The robots are given a program with fatally open parameters, to ‘eliminate’ the mutant menace once and for all. The Sentinels conclude that, the best way to do that, is by taking over the country. In the process, they also killed non-mutant superbeings. By the turn of the century, the North American continent is completely under their control.


Seeing them all alive again hurts so much, Kate sobs. More composed she finishes the story. The rest of the world became more frightened of the Sentinels than of mutants and threatened nuclear retaliation should the Sentinels move out of the country. Driven by their program, the Sentinels are about to make that move.

One of the surviving X-Men is a telepath. She devised the plan to psychically exchange the minds of one of them with their past selves. Kate was chosen because Kitty at the time wasn’t trained to defend herself against a telepathic attack. Kate wonders how her friends are faring in the future.

(the future:)

Led by Wolverine, X-Men make their way through the old subway tunnels towards Manhattan. Colossus carries the unconscious Kate and expresses regret that they had to leave Magneto behind. He volunteered to cover their escape, Wolverine points out and his wheelchair would have slowed them down too much. A noble death is still a death and he’s so sick of it, Colossus replies. Suddenly, there’s a noise and a Sentinel patrol tears of the roof from the tunnel. An energy blast kills Franklin Richards before the eyes of his horrified lover Rachel.

The Sentinels give them one warning to give up. Rachel telekinetically lashes out and destroys one of the three Sentinel units. The other unit requests aid, while Storm rises up in the air and hits it with lightning. The Sentinel is too well insulated, though. Colossus throws Wolverine in a fastball special at the robot. He claws at the robot’s brain, giving Storm an opening to finish it off. Rachel takes out the third one but another trio of Sentinels is nearing. Colossus hits the base of a derelict building and the debris buries the robots.

Storm tells the others that they must reach the Baxter Building. It’s the Sentinels continental nervecenter. Destroy it and they can cripple them. Silently, Colossus wishes Kate luck, not knowing who’ll need it more. She or them.

(the present)

Deep within the pentagon, Raven Darkholme, who works out of the office of the assistant secretary of defense for research and development, enters a secret room, where she turns into her true self – the shapeshifting mutant called Mystique. She is expected by the group she has assembled: the blind precog, Destiny, Avalanche, who can create an avalanche / tidal effect on solid matter, Pyro, master of the living flame, and their latest addition, the Bob, who cannot be harmed by any physical force.

Mystique turns to Destiny, asking what the future holds. It’s hard to be certain, the precog replies. There’s a new variable. Plus, the Blob is uncomfortable with her leadership. Mystique turns to the Blob. The villain tells her he’s grateful for breaking him out, but he doesn’t take orders from a broad. Does he think he could do better? Pyro mocks. Blob tells him to keep out. In response, Pyro creates a firemonster out of the lighted match Blob was holding. With a smirk, Pyro tells him to behave himself or his next firedemon will par-broil him instead of scare him.

Blob has had it. He reaches for a sculpture, intending to use it as a weapon against Pyro. He has been part of the original Brotherhood, he boasts. If that was such an honor, how come he spent the last few years in prison, Avalanche asks, as he uses his powers to pulverize the sculpture. Mystique breaks it off and tells Blob, if he should cross her, he’ll find her as deadly a foe as Magneto. Now they are to prepare themselves. The time to strike has come.

The Senate, where a special gathering takes place to discuss mutants. The building is packed.
Senator Robert Kelly talks about the appearance of mutants before introducing their experts, Charles Xavier, world-renowned expert on genetics, and Dr MacTaggert of Edinburgh University, whose work in the field has won her the Nobel Prize. Moira whispers to Charles that Kelly’s mind is already made up. Registration today, gas chambers tomorrow. Charles tells her to be charitable. Kelly is scared. They must teach him that his fear is unfounded. He looks at the doorway and sees Peter, Ororo and Kitty coming in, dressed in their civilian clothes. Xavier reaches out to them telepathically. What he sees in Kitty’s brain makes him pale.

Two TV reporters notice Angel and remember that he’s an openly known mutant, who used to bankroll a superhero team called the Champions. Moira addresses Kelly, telling him that she doesn’t see any need for this hearing or for his concern. Kelly replies that he wonders if, in a world full of Dr Dooms, Avengers and more fantastic beings, there is still any room for ordinary men and women. He wonders if that very question wasn’t asked by the last Neanderthal about the first Cro-Magnon?

Suddenly, a wall shatters, thanks to Avalanche. When the dust settles, Mystique’s new Brotherhood stands revealed and Mystique takes up Kelly’s question, replying that they all know what the first Cro-magnon did to the last Neanderthal. They are the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. They are humanity’s future. As Blob walks forward, a lightning bolt keeps him back and the X-Men appear opposite the Brotherhood. They are the X-Men, Colossus announces. Except for the winged bozo, they are no X-Men he’s met, Blob states. That’s right, Wolverine shoots back. They are better.

If they mean to harm Kelly or anyone here, they’ll have to go through them, Storm announces. A pleasure, Mystique replies and orders her team to kill them.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sprite, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Moira MacTaggert

Senator Robert Kelly

Avalanche, Blob, Destiny, Pyro, Mystique (All Brotherhood of Evil Mutants II)

In the future:

Colossus, Magneto, Franklin Richards, Sprite / Kate Pryde-Rasputin, Rachel Summers, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Story Notes: 

Obviously, there later were some changes in the DoFP timeline, as New Mutants #18 revealed that Xavier hadn’t been killed with Kelly, but was slain years later, before the eyes of a young Rachel Summers.

With the exception of old time villain, Blob, and Mystique, who first appeared in the pages of Ms. Marvel, all the Brotherhood members appear for the first time.

While Rachel’s last name isn’t given in this storyline, she is later revealed as Rachel Summers, daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey. That revelation also proved that the DoFP future is an alternate timeline.

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