DOFP ComicCredit: Marvel

I have been a fan of the X Men franchise since I was a kid. Being a nerd in a sense whilst growing up, I could totally relate to the way the protagonist in the comics were ostracized for being different. It was also one of the ways I could escape from reality. I collected the toys and read the comic books, as well as watched the animated series on TV. One of the more outstanding stories in the X Men universe is Days of Future Past (The others being Dark Phoenix and Age of Apocalypse). This story tells of a dystopian future where men creates robotic entities called Sentinels to kill and enslave all mutant-kind, mostly out of fear of the mutants and their abilities. As we all know, there are two faction of mutants, those who believe in co-existence with the humans, and those that believe that mutant-kind (homo superior) are the next stage of evolution, and therefore all human-kind should be enslaved or eradicated. Days of Future Past in an extreme look at that future. The 2014 movie draws most of its inspiration from the very pages of the comic of the same title, written by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin, whilst borrowing characters from the animated version of the same title.

Ragtag band of surviving mutants

The story revolves around a small band of surviving mutants who try to change the future by sending a mutant back in time to rectify the faults of the past to secure a future for all mutant-kind. While the Bryan Singer directed movie follows the general storyline, there are several important differences.

The first obvious one hits you in the face the minute the movie comes on the big screen. The players in the movie are different from those of the comic. In the movie, the first mutants to be introduced are Kitty Pryde, Blink, Warpath, Bishop, Sunspot, Iceman and Colossus. In the opening sequence they fight off an onslaught of terrifying shape morphing advanced Sentinels, that are capable of mimicking the powers of the mutants they face. After they survive the onslaught (thanks to Warpath's ability to see the Sentinels coming, and Kitty Pryde's ability to send the mind of Bishop back {New mutant ability? In the comic she is only capable of phasing through objects}  in time to warn the others), we meet the other mutants who survived and are hiding in a monastery in the highlands of China. These are Professor Charles Xavier, Eric Lehnsherr (Magneto), Wolverine and Storm.

In the comic book, the story opens with an adult Kate Pryde (Kitty Pryde) stumbling on some rogues in a rough part of New York while meeting up with Wolverine to retrieve a jammer for the inhibitor collars placed on them to suppress their mutant abilities. She heads back to a Sentinel run camp (briefly shown at the beginning of the movie) for mutants. Here we learn the fates of a lot of our favorite heroes. Professor Xavier is dead, and so is Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Nightcrawler and most of the Fantastic Four. The survivors are Magneto, now wheelchair bound, Kate's husband Colossus, Rachael Summers, Franklin Richards, Wolverine and Storm.

The main story

The premise of the stories are the same, the future is bleak for the mutants and belongs to the humans and the advanced Sentinels.  In the movie, the Sentinels are invincible and cannot be defeated. They target all who posses the X gene, and also those that show potential to develop mutant abilities. In the comic, the scenario is the same, although the Sentinels are still defeatable. The only thing that works in their favor is that they are so numerous that they can attack in droves. A decision is made to change the future by sending someone back in time to stop that pivotal event from happening, that causes the passing of the act to create the Sentinel program.

Differences abound here. In the comic Professor Xavier is dead in the future and the Sentinels are not as terrifying as those found in the movie. The chosen X Men sent back in time is not Kate Pryde, but Wolverine. And it is Kate who sends Wolverine's consciousness back. Also The survivors are also different...there is no Blink, Warpath, Sunspot, or Bishop (although Bishop appears as one of the main characters in the animated cartoon version) .

In the comic version, a telepath known as Rachel Summers is the one who sends Kate's consciousness back in time to her younger self. She lands smack bang right after a session in the danger room and sets out to warn Rogue, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Angel and Wolverine about the future and how an event, the killing of Senator Kelly, Dr Moira MacTaggard and Professor Charles Xavier by Mystique and her Brotherhood of Evil triggers the formation of the Sentinel act. In the comic book version we see the X Men take on the Brotherhood of Evil, leaving Destiny to deal with Senator Kelly with a crossbow. It is Kitty Pryde who stops Destiny from pulling the trigger.

The movie follows the same line of events but changes the target. It is the assassination of Bolivar Trask, inventor of the Sentinels that is the catalyst for the implementation of the Sentinel program. The person that does this dastardly deed is Mystique, but she works alone without the aid of the brotherhood (Pyro, The Blob, Destiny in the comic). The movie injects a clever twist to the story, while assassinating Bolivar (not Senator Kelly as in the comic), she is captured and experimented upon. The humans discover her abilities and are able to take future Sentinels to the next level that have these abilities. This does not happen in the comic book.

The movie also creatively ties in Wolverine's back story by showing us a young William Stryker. We all know that it is Stryker who is responsible for Wolverine's state of mind, and his role in the weapon X saga (both in the comic book and in the Wolverine movies). Stryker's character does not make an appearance in the comic book.

Yet another player that is introduced in the movie, that is not present in the comic book is Quicksilver. After convincing Professor Xavier and Dr Hank McCoy/Beast (who is now taking a serum he concocted that suppresses his mutant abilities and allows him to walk unassisted), they seek the help of Quicksilver to break Magneto out of a secure cell at the heart of the Pentagon. His scene in the Pentagon kitchen where he moves at breakneck speed while everything else slows down around him has to be seen to be believed. Best scene hands down since the bullet time scene where Neo avoids the bullets in the first Matrix movie!

Flash back to the past

DOFP movie posterCredit: 20th Century Fox

We do get to see the original Sentinels, a throwback to the comic book. Magneto intercepts a batch of early prototype Sentinels in the past and infuses them with metal parts so he is able to manipulate them. He then goes on to attack the president, who is about to unveil his plan by dropping a stadium around the White House. Mystique too is on a mission to stop the Sentinel act by killing either the president or Bolivar. Professor Xavier, together with Wolverine and Beast race against time to stop Mystique, not knowing Magneto's grand plan. Just when Magneto is about to succeed, Mystique relents after some prodding from the Professor and she turns savior and stops Magneto and shows the president and his cabinet that humans and mutant folk can co exist peacefully. Crisis averted and Bolivar is jailed and the Sentinel act scrapped. The final sequence shows Wolverine/Logan waking up in Xavier's School For the Gifted, and on opening the door, is greeted by a young Quicksilver, followed by Rogue and Bobby (Iceman). Confused he walks out only to bump into his old friend Dr Hank McCoy aka Beast who is now dressed like a Professor, but not hiding his Beast form. He then spots Jean Grey, alive and in the flesh and Scott Summers (Cyclops). The Professor greets him and says, we have a lot of catching up to do.


Yes there are some very obvious changes in the movie. I for one totally enjoyed the movie version. While the comic book story was already good, the creative license taken in this movie made it a whole lot better, especially with the intricate meshing of characters and timelines from both the comic and the animated series, as well as the interlacing of characters from the past. The pacing of this movie was excellent and you could see that the writers and producers were thinking!  Highly recommended movie to add to your growing collection. To fully enjoy the effects I suggest getting the BluRay edition!