Review: X-Men #141

X-Men #141 cover
Cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin

X-Men #141
Published and © by Marvel, January 1981

Title: “Days of Future Past”
Synopsis: A future version of Kitty Pryde swaps minds with her younger self in an effort to prevent a dystopian future.

Writers (plot): Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Writer (script): Claremont
Penciler/co-plotter: Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: When this issue hit spinner racks, Little Me had not yet read much science fiction. In hindsight, this issue isn’t as mind blowing as it was in 1981, but it’s still a ton of fun seeing such dystopian and time-travel concepts applied to the Marvel Universe. This two-parter (see review of Uncanny X-Men #142) also proved to be an essential part of the X-Men’s fast-expanding mythology. Chris Claremont delivers excellent character moments in both timelines, while John Byrne does some subtle character work with older-mind-in-younger-body Kitty. Terry Austin’s inks are a touch overpowering, but, overall, this is another exceptional issue.

Grade: A

Second opinion: “YAWNN! This is not even remotely interesting. There’s not an original idea in the entire book.” – K. Williams, BEM #31 and Masters of Infinity #6, December 1980 … “A second definitive X-Men masterpiece.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “It’s a disturbing story, but it’s also quite possibly the greatest single issue of the series ever published.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … “Honorable mention.” – Hero Illustrated Special Edition Vol. 4, No. 1: The 100 Most Important Comics of All Time!, May, 1994 … “Byrne’s slick, hyper-modern style was accentuated by Austin’s almost maniacal attention to detail. That symbiosis is on prominent display in X-Men #141.” – Pierre Comtois, “Marvel Comics in the 1980s: An Issue By Issue Field Guide to a Pop Culture Phenomenon,” 2014 … “This began the convoluted time travel that still dogs the X-Men’s continuity today, but the story is excellent. … Recommended.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: That cover is iconic.
Not-so-cool factor: The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants’ name. (If a group thinks it’s cause is righteous, why would it call themselves evil?)

Notable: First appearance of Avalanche, Destiny, Pyro and Rachel Summers. 

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 15p British variant of this issue, as well as a Marvel Legends reprint. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “I merely wonder if – in a world of beings like Dr. Doom, Magneto, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Lord knows how many others – there’s a place of ordinary men and women.” – Senator Robert Kelly, man of the people

Editor’s note: This review was written Nov. 30, 2022.

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