Days of Future Present

Release Date: 
June 1990
Plot / Theme: 

X-Factor, the New Mutants, the Fantastic Four and various members of the X-Men as well as Rachel Summers are forced to work together when the adult Franklin Richards of the Days of Future Past timeline appears on Earth. His mysterious arrival is a considerable surprise as he was killed in his native reality. Complicating matters is the mutant-hating Ahab, who hunts Franklin from his secret base between space and time and sends both Sentinels and Hounds against the heroes. Not only are the lives of the present-day Franklin Richards and Cyclops’ infant son, Christopher put in danger by the adult Franklin’s appearance on Earth, the life of Jean Grey is forever changed when she meets Rachel Summers - her daughter from the future - for the first time!

Characters Involved
  • Banshee, Forge, Gambit, Storm (all X-Men)
  • Archangel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all X-Factor)
  • Nathan Christopher Summers
  • Boom-Boom, Cannonball, Rictor, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)
  • Cable
  • Phoenix III (member of Excalibur)
  • Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic, She-Thing (all Fantastic Four)
  • Ben Grimm
  • Franklin Richards

    From Earth 811 (Days of Future Past timeline)

  • Franklin Richards (adult manifestation)
  • Ahab
  • Various Hounds
  • Sentinels

    As projections of the Adult Franklin’s thoughts:

  • Human Torch II, Invisible Girl, Mister Fantastic, Thing (all original Fantastic Four)
  • Blaze, Blue, Magus, Rachel and one unnamed member of the New Mutants
  • Banshee (mentor to the future New Mutants)
  • Rachel Summers at various stages

    Secondary Characters:

  • Jubilee, Psylocke, Wolverine (all X-Men)
  • Meggan (member of Excalibur)
  • Alex, Jack, Julie, Katie (all Power Pack)
  • Jim Power
  • Doctor Strange, Spider-Man
Issues Involved: 

Fantastic Four Annual #23, New Mutants Annual #6, Uncanny X-Men Annual (1st series) #14, X-Factor Annual #5

Read Order: 

Part 01 - Fantastic Four Annual #23
Part 02 - New Mutants Annual #6
Part 03 - X-Factor Annual #5
Part 04 - Uncanny X-Men Annual (1st series) #14

Although New Mutants Annual #6 is listed as being part 3, and X-Factor Annual #5 as part 2, this is in fact incorrect.

The back-up story of Uncanny X-Men Annual (1st series) #14 contains a story which takes place between pages 10 and 11 of the main story.


  • Franklin Richards of the Earth-811 timeline, known as the Days of Future Past was killed in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #142.

The Fantastic Four, Ben Grimm, and the young Franklin Richards return home after a picnic, only to discover that Four Freedoms Plaza has been replaced by their old home, the Baxter Building. Inside, they find everything resembles the old Baxter Building exactly as it was. They are soon confronted by past versions of the original Fantastic Four, who successfully capture the present-day heroes. The reason behind the mystery becomes clear with the arrival of an adult Franklin Richards. Susan quickly surmises that he is behind everything, turning his dream into reality. The older Franklin becomes quite distraught at this accusation from his "mother" and flees. Though the other Fantastic Four team vanishes and the building reverts to Four Freedoms Plaza, the crisis is not over, as a force field suddenly envelops the upper floors of the building.

Elsewhere, in a space between here and now, the mysterious Ahab learns that Franklin has manifested and sends an attack force after him.

Meanwhile on the streets of the city, Banshee and Forge have a brief encounter with the adult Franklin. At first, Franklin is happy to see them but then flees again in confusion, as both Forge and Banshee are dead in his home reality. Deciding to investigate, the two make their way to Four Freedoms Plaza, only to find it surrounded by a force field and under attack from Ahab’s robotic missiles, whose sensors have targeted the young, contemporary Franklin Richards. The Fantastic Four make short work of the missiles and are soon joined by Forge and Banshee. The two groups trade stories about their encounters with the adult Franklin and soon realize that the mysterious visitor is yearning for the time when he was most happy: his childhood.

At the suggestion of the young Franklin, the FF visit the home of the Power family and find the older Franklin, who has unconsciously used his powers to make them think he is not an adult, but his younger counterpart. The FF convince him to return to Four Freedom’s Plaza but on the way, he becomes distracted when he sees X-Factor’s Ship and thinks that it shouldn’t be there. When he disappears in mid-flight, Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, Banshee and little Franklin head off in one direction to find the adult Franklin, while Human Torch, She-Thing, Ben Grimm, and Forge go in another, with no one any closer to figuring out why the adult Franklin has materialized in this timeline.

Meanwhile, in England, Rachel Summers and Meggan of Excalibur are enjoying a sunny afternoon when Rachel suddenly detects Franklin’s presence in this reality. Citing a sensation of being called, Rachel leaves immediately, telling her friend that this is something she has to do alone.

The adult Franklin arrives at the Xavier Institute, only to find it destroyed. Disappointed, he uses his power to transform it back to how he remembers it and also transforms his clothes into the New Mutants uniform he wore during his time as a student there. The New Mutants are involved in a training session in the Danger Room beneath the ruins and completely oblivious to the restoration of the mansion above them. To their surprise, they are suddenly confronted by Franklin and his team of New Mutants from the future, which includes a young Rachel Summers and a techno-organic version of their dead teammate Cypher, who calls himself Magus.

The two teams battle, both confused by the others’ presence but reason begins to prevail with the appearance of an older version of Banshee, mentor to Franklin’s New Mutants. The two sides begin to debate who is real and who is not. When the older Banshee begins to side with the contemporary New Mutants, Franklin loses control of the illusion and everything reverts to normal. Enraged, Franklin disappears in an explosion, just as the contemporary Banshee, Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, and young Franklin arrive at the Xavier Institute ruins.

As the two groups try to make sense of what has happened, they are attacked by a squadron of Ahab’s robot missiles, accompanied by a Hound. In the ensuing fight, all of the robotic missiles are smashed and the Hound is injured. Angry at the heroes' defiance, the Hound reveals that they have traveled back in time to hunt Franklin who has become a being of destructive power. Before they can learn more, Ahab himself arrives and slays his injured Hound, disappearing as quickly as he appeared. Returning to his future, Ahab laments that the younger Franklin is too well-guarded and decides to turn his attention to the older one.

The adult Franklin visits the American Museum of Natural History, where he manifests a version of Rachel Summers, as he remembers her. The two are discussing their lives and families when they are suddenly attacked by a Sentinel and more of Ahab’s Hounds. Astonishingly, not only are Franklin and the constructed Rachel uninjured but they don’t seem to notice their attackers at all. Before Ahab’s forces can decide how to proceed, they are confronted by Cable, the New Mutants, Banshee, Mr. Fantastic, and the Invisible Woman. The assembled heroes attack the Hounds and Sentinels. When the battle finally gains the future Franklin’s attention, he lashes out in rage and destroys the Sentinels and Hounds, much to the horror of his younger self. Seeing the destruction through the eyes of his past self, the older Franklin grants young Franklin's wish and removes his powers. Horrified, Reed tries to convince the adult Franklin to reverse his actions, but he vanishes.

The adult Franklin Richards arrives at Ship, the home of X-Factor, which stands like a tower in New York harbor. Convinced that the ship does not belong, Franklin causes Ship to disappear and the members of X-Factor, who are currently engaged in a training exercise within, suddenly find themselves plummeting to the ground below. It is only via Marvel Girl's telekinesis and Archangel’s wings that they survive. Oblivious to their plight, the future Franklin departs.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, Forge is working with several members of the Fantastic Four – the Human Torch, She-Thing and Ben Grimm -to try to locate the adult Franklin. Upon noticing that X-Factor's Ship has vanished, the group investigates and meets up with Cyclops and the rest of his team. After some introductions and comparing of notes, the enlarged group sets out to find the alternate reality Franklin. However, someone else finds him first - Rachel Summers aka Phoenix. Rachel's memories from her native reality have been shattered and she doesn't fully recognize Franklin. But she does realize that he shouldn't be there and is somehow out of his proper place and time. She questions who or what he is and how he has been siphoning her Phoenix energy. Conversely, the adult Franklin is deeply upset at seeing Rachel, as this is not how he remembers her.

In tears, he teleports away and the exhausted Rachel sets down on Liberty Island. She is found by Marvel Girl, who confronts Rachel after seeing her use the Phoenix Force. Rachel then informs Marvel Girl that she is from the future and that she is her daughter. Shocked and bewildered by this news, Marvel Girl is in utter denial and finds comfort with Cyclops, who is equally shocked that the young woman he has known for so long has kept this secret from him. Rachel sees them with Cyclops' son Christopher Nathan. She laments that they are a family and should be her family. However, she was an only child and this is not how things were in her timeline. She sees how much Scott and Jean love Christopher and that they do not love her in the same way.

Suddenly, Ahab manifests in the present time and transforms Rachel back into his Hound. However, Rachel’s will is too strong and she uses the power of the Phoenix to reject his programming and destroys as many other hounds as she can. Ashamed of her actions, Rachel flies off, leaving X-Factor and the others to battle Ahab and a new wave of hounds summoned from the future. In short order, the battle is joined by Banshee, Cable, the New Mutants, and the rest of the Fantastic Four. During the battle, Cyclops notices evidence of a tear in reality and notifies Reed. Along with the powers of Iceman and the Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic manages to phase what turns out to be Ahab’s base into the present. Once in sync with the present, Ahab's base becomes vulnerable to attack. With it destroyed, Ahab and his forces are returned to the future.

Though this crisis had passed, the adult Franklin returns and is still upset that this reality does not match what he remembers. Citing his love for Rachel, who is supposed to be Cyclops’ only child, Franklin seemingly erases Christopher from existence and then teleports away. Distraught beyond comprehension, Cyclops collapses in anguish.

Still hiding from the others, Rachel is enjoying a burger at a diner when she sees the adult Franklin looking at her from outside. Finally recognizing him, she flies after him and finds him waiting for her in the night sky. The two talk and slowly, she begins to believe he is who he seems to be despite her uncertainty. Ultimately, they embrace in a kiss.

Soon thereafter, they return to Four Freedoms Plaza where the Fantastic Four and members of X-Factor are gathered. The couple announces that they are going attempt to find happiness together and Franklin apologizes for the trouble he has caused everyone. Tentatively, Reed attempts to remind Franklin about the remaining problems, including Cyclops’ missing son, X-Factor’s ship and Ahab, but a mental nudge from Franklin squashes the subject.

Meanwhile, at the remains of the Xavier Institute, Storm has returned after a long absence accompanied by her new friend, Gambit. Much has changed for the X-Men's leader, as she was reduced to early adolescence by the villain Nanny. Rather than announcing themselves, the pair of mutants attempt to break in, only to be caught by Forge, Banshee, Cable, and the New Mutants. After a brief skirmish, introductions are made and Cable relates their recent encounter with an adult Franklin Richards who comes from the same timeline as Rachel. Hearing this, Storm explains that Franklin was killed in Rachel’s future, meaning that he must be an imposter.

Back at Four Freedoms Plaza, Cyclops and the Invisible Woman are suddenly attacked and captured by Ahab, who takes them back to his base. There, they are transformed into hounds, so that they can track and find the adult Franklin and Rachel Summers. Ahab notes that their genetic link to their quarry will aid in the hunt. However, Scott does not seem able to track Rachel. The two new Hounds are successful nonetheless as Sue tracks Franklin. They discover Rachel enjoying time with Franklin and her little brother, who Franklin has restored to please her. The pair soon capture Franklin, Rachel and young Christopher, all of whom are brought back to Ahab’s base between space and time.

To Ahab’s surprise, his base is attacked by the combined remaining forces of the FF, New Mutants, X-Factor, and X-Men, who have used Reed’s tech to track Ahab’s teleportation energy signature. With the transformed Cyclops and Invisible Woman quickly neutralized and finding himself outnumbered, Ahab teleports away. The assembled quickly learn they have won a pyrrhic victory, as Ahab’s energy trail is no longer registering and there are no other listed bases in the computer databanks. To make matters worse, the machinery used to transform Cyclops and the Invisible Woman cannot reverse the process and Franklin has slipped into a coma, followed by an ever-more-exhausted Rachel.

Back at Four Freedom’s Plaza, Reed’s scans reveal what he has suspected all along. The adult Franklin is a dream manifestation of his future self, created at the moment of his death. As long as he exists, he will continue to drain the life from his younger self and Rachel until it eventually kills them.

The adult Franklin realizes that he cannot do this and decides that he must allow himself to fade from existence. He agrees to discorporate but a side effect of this is that it could possibly void Rachel’s presence in this reality as well. At the moment he relinquishes the Phoenix energy he had used to maintain his presence, Rachel uses her power to restore everyone to how they should be: Cyclops and Invisible Woman are free of the hound programming, the present day Franklin is revived, and Ship is returned to its proper place. To her astonishment, Rachel not only still exists but remains in her Hound outfit. She questions whether the future is unchanged and whether she will have to relive her nightmare over and over again. She reaches out for comfort from Marvel Girl, who is still unsure about her relationship to Rachel and turns away. Distraught at the rejection, Rachel flies away.

Once the crisis has passed and everything has been restored, the assembled teams discuss what the future might hold before saying their goodbyes. Later, Jean visits her parents' home to look upon the Shi'ar holoempathic crystal that is imbued with the essences of both the original Phoenix and Rachel. She gazes at it tentatively. All she has to do to know them and to accept her destiny, is to pick it up.

Repercussions / lasting effects: 
  • The Franklin Richards of the Days of Future Past, in dream-projection or otherwise, has not appeared in any substantial form since this storyline.
  • It took Jean Grey quite some time before she finally came to accept Rachel Summers as her daughter. Before they had a chance developing a friendship, Rachel was thrust back into the future. After Rachel returned to this timeline, Jean had once again been killed, so the two still have yet to spend much time together. [Excalibur (1st series) #71, X-Men (2nd series) #30, Excalibur (1st series) #75, X-Treme X-Men #46, New X-Men (1st series) #150]
  • Ahab would later be revealed to be the future incarnation of Excalibur’s ally, Dr. Rory Campbell. When Rory learned of his future, he vowed to do everything to prevent it from happening. Despite his efforts, the events that would lead to his transformation into Ahab began to unfold. During The Twelve storyline, one of the new Horsemen of Apocalypse, Famine, was revealed to be Ahab. It remains unknown whether Rory had finally become Ahab, if this was the future version of Ahab, or some other version entirely. Neither Rory nor Famine have appeared since. [Excalibur (1st series) #75, 90, The Twelve]
  • Shortly after this crossover, the X-Men were once more reunited. Storm was returned to her proper age and they merged with the members of X-Factor to form a larger, reorganized X-Men team. [X-Men (2nd series) #1]
Last Updated: 
5th February 2005