PopMatters: ‘Continuity in X-Men Days of Future Past’

‘Everything is true: Continuity in X-Men: Days of Future Past‘ was published in PopMatters on 11 February 2015.

There is a moment about halfway through X-Men: Days of Future Past when the shit really hits the fan, narratively speaking.

In 1973, the film’s unlikely trio of protagonists, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) have rescued Magneto (Michael Fassbender) from the Pentagon to help them convince Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) not to assassinate anti-mutant weapons developer Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). Trask’s death at Mystique’s hand will trigger a chain of events that eventually lead to a post-apocalyptic future wherein mutants are hunted. In this future, an older Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) will decide to stop the assassination by sending the consciousness of Wolverine (still Hugh Jackman) back in time fifty years to 1973.

Still following? Good.

Our heroes arrive in time to foil the assassination, but things take a turn when Magneto decides the only way to prevent Wolverine’s future is to kill Mystique, upon whom the whole sequence of events will turn. The only person in a position to stop either of them is Wolverine, but he’s confronted by a soldier trying to protect Trask. This man, a young William Stryker (Josh Helman), is a man at whose hands Wolverine will eventually suffer unimaginable torture. Seeing Stryker triggers a kind of post-traumatic stress incident in Wolverine—recalling something that technically hasn’t happened yet—that threatens to snap his consciousness back to the future and ruin everything. For me, nothing has come as close to capturing the thrill that continuity brings to reading comics as much as watching this scene, the moment where I realized why Wolverine reacts to seeing Stryker.

Read the full article in PopMatters.

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