Review – Years of Future Past #5

Writer – Marguerite Bennet

Artist – Mike Norton

Marguerite Bennet is quickly becoming a name I view as a sign of quality, with this and 1602: Witch Hunter Angela being g some of my favorite among the Secret Wars books. This b oon strikes the balance between paying homage to Days of Future Past and offering new twists and developments. The art is particularly effective at conveying a washed out wasteland and conveying a world with little, if any, hope left. We have the age old Marvel question of whether human’s and mutant’s can coexist, or if one is destined t o destroy the others. The great strength of the x men is this is a  Universal Question that you can use as a metaphor for any conflict or social strife yiu want to tell a story about.

There were several moments that I particularly like in this book.  There is a super bad ass Dragon, a fully grown Lockheed in full glory. That image of Lockheed fighting belongs on the cover of a Dungeons and Dragons book from the 80’s, or the side of a van of a heavy metal band on tour. In addition to looking totally awesome we get a nice moment of teamwork where Lockheed lights the T 1000 style metal blade arms on fire to stop an enemy from regenerating – cauterized wounds stop the healing factor, you see.

All of which leads up to a great himage to one of the greatest images in Marvel history, the death of Jean grey at the claws of wolverine. The imagery was spot on, and the emotional impact was hard hitting. We were shown an impossible choice and felt the agony of the decision that had to be made.

There has been a running metaphor with the escaped tigers from the zoo. Broughr to the edge of extinction by humans, they now roam the ruined streets feasting on human prey as Apex Predators, a clear stand in for the mutant resistance and the very nature of Mutant kind. There is a moment at the end when a character comes face to face with a blood soaked, startled tiger and we are left on a note of dramatic tension and uncertainty. Will the tiger, and by extension Mutantkind,  be a monster that kills for pleasure or simply an animal doing as its nature demands – killing only for survival?

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