Years of Future Past #1 Review

Posted June 5, 2015 by Henry Varona in Comic Books

Written by: Marguerite Bennett

Art by: Mike Norton

Publisher: Marvel Comics

When I was a child, I used to read through all of the collections of old What-If? comics and get giddy with the fun possibilities introduced. When the Justice League met the Crime Syndicate, I was excited to see where the similarities and differences would meet. And then there was Days of Future Past, where I was introduced to the X-Men and their weird dystopian future. With Secret Wars, Marvel is wisely revisiting this treasure trove of storytelling that served as inspiration for so much. Unlike some of the other tie-ins, Years of Future Past takes place entirely on this isolated Earth, allowing the story to operate very much as it’s own mini-series, which plays to it’s strengths. The talented writing of Marguerite Bennett and the refreshing art of Mike Norton make this one of the strongest tie-ins so far, and one well worth your money.

The story focuses on young Christina Pryde, who everybody calls Chrissie to her displeasure. She explores through the rubble of New York in her efforts to obtain medicine. In the process, she stumbles across Wolverine, an older mutant who guides her to safety. When she arrives at home, we find out that all mutants are in concentration camps, that the government is trying to get public opinion on their side, and that ultimately, the world is in a terrible state. But thanks to the hard work of the mutants, they are able to fight free and rebel against their oppressors, recreating the classic clash we all desire. With Chrissie developing her powers for the first time alongside her mother and father, all seems well, but it seems that doom is just beyond the horizon.

a We the Nerdy Years of Future Past Mike NortonI am a big fan of Marguerite Bennett, who has grown leaps and bounds in her two years in the comic book industry. Known primarily for collaborating with other writers (See A-Force, another Secret Wars tie-in), Bennett is given a chance to shine on her own here. Her pacing is great, and the story has a lot of meat to it, providing history and characterization that even new readers will be able to appreciate. If there is one thing that this story suffers from, it’s a lack of scale. Especially when we have so many other Secret Wars books with such high-octane action and consequence, I would have liked to see more characters involved in the central conflict. Still, Bennett is able to make us truly invest in young Chrissie Pryde, and for a first time character, that’s always impressive.

Mike Norton has been around the block, but this is really the first time that I’ve been able to sit back and appreciate his art. Norton immediately pulls you in, developing not just the look o the characters, but the world. His attention to detail is superb, as he adds painstaking details to the landscapes of the demolished New York City. Anti-Mutant Propaganda, broken laboratories, and a great understanding of texture make every page something to behold. His subtle handling of emotion enhances Bennett’s dialogue, allowing the reader to become immersed in the story. Based on the strength of his art here alone, I am undoubtedly checking out his other work because I want more.

Years of Future Past is a lot of fun, despite (and because of) it’s dark themes and dystopian tropes. Bennett and Norton deliver a comic that is hard to put down, and well worth the price of admission. Though it is $4.99, you are getting a lot of story and a lot of depth, which is easily worth it. I am very excited to see where this story goes, as it appears that the future will enhance it’s connection to the larger Secret Wars event. I have the utmost confidence that this will be one of the best tie-ins of the entire event.

About the Author

Henry Varona

Lover of comics, Legos, and movies, Henry Varona is supremely awesome in every way. He spends his days designing his own comics, and his nights dreaming about Chris Hemsworth and Captain Cold.