Everyone loves X-Men: Days of Future Past. It's a box office hit, already raking in more than $500m worldwide. It's a critical hit, earning a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And it's a popular hit, at least judging anecdotally from reactions on Twitter and Tumblr and that cool new social media platform you don't know about yet because you're old.
I'm the guy who didn't like Days of Future Past. Sorry, everyone. I know it's tempting to dismiss such responses as hipster contrarianism, but I honestly didn't want to be that guy. Life is more fun when you enjoy stuff. So here's why I have to be that guy.
Directed by Bryan Singer, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the thirty-seventh in 20th Century Fox’s series of X-Men films based on the Marvel Comics franchise originated by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. It is owing to the series’ bitterly old age that the new film is almost totally devoted to reconciling the conflicting plots and divergent timelines of its predecessors. In this very hilarious way, Days of Future Past is the most faithful adaptation to date, having actually translated to film that most core concept of X-Men comics: hopelessly confusing and eternally jacked up continuity.
You may have heard that this week sees the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which, as far as I can tell from the television advertisements, is largely about a school of mutants trained to use their innate super-abilities to eat bacon cheeseburgers. If this premise has tickled your fancy, but you have never yet dared to dip your toe into the X-Men comics due to the justified fear that it is a cesspool of continuity that comes from fifty years of time travel, clones, evil alternates, mind control, primordial cosmic space entities, and hacky/borderline racist international accents, don't worry: I am here to help. Here I have assembled for you, in roughly chronological order, a round number of X-Men eras and stories that should make things a little less intimidating should you choose to further introduce yourself to Marvel's merry mutants.
The Marvel superhero Quicksilver is not a big deal. I say that as someone who counts the guy among his favorite characters. What can I say? His snotty superiority has always spoken to me on a profound level. Yet I concede that the mutant speedster is not a marquee name. He's not even as popular as his nearest DC equivalent, the Flash. Calling him "B-list" may be a little generous.
Despite this he's going to appear in two separate movie blockbuster franchises played by two different actors in a single year -- a feat that Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and the Hulk can't match. None of this is because of public demand. So what is it about the character that landed him in this unique position?
One of the things about being America's most beloved comic book critic is that strange things tend to show up on my doorstep. Sometimes, it's a Power Rangers Fan Club kit from 1994, and sometimes, it's a copy of the comic book adaptation of Space Jam, and it happens often enough that I didn't think I could be surprised when it came time to pop open a box anymore. And then I opened one up to find two boxes of X-Men themed Twinkies resting on a bed of glimmering golden Easter basket grass.
Yes, those diabolical bakers at Hostess are marking the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past with two new flavors for everyone's favorite golden sponge cake, complete with the somewhat unfortunate name of EXtreme Creme, in Strawberry and Blue Raspberry. And I have eaten them.
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