It was a pretty big week for the X-Men here on Comic Vine. Not only was Cyclops declared the community's favorite X-Men character in the Question of the Week, but a new, action-packed trailer dropped for X-Men: Days of Future Past, too. On top of all that, our Favorite Comic Runs segment -- you know, the place you're currently in -- gave the community all week to chat about two epic Chris Claremont stories.
On one side we have Wolverine, a four-issue mini-series with Frank Miller that essentially defined who James Howlett truly is. On the other side we have Days of Future Past. While it was only two issues (with John Byrne's artwork), the time-traveling story has absolutely earned its place in X-Men history. So, which tale does the Comic Vine crowd like more? It was a very tight race, but in the end, Days of Future Past took a narrow lead in the poll.
After five days of voting, Claremont and Miller's Wolverine earned 42% of the votes. However, Claremont's apocalyptic tale in THE UNCANNY X-MEN received 44%. Meanwhile, 16% shamefully admitted they haven't read either story. Come on, Comic Viners! We're talking a grand total of six issues that are a big deal when it comes to the X-Men's history! Well, hopefully this has inspired you to check out at least one of them.
It's great to see the race was so close between these two stories. While Wolverine was purely a character study and gave Logan more depth, Days of Future Past was sheer spectacle and full of imagination.Yes, time travel stories are quite common nowadays -- especially ones with a bleak future -- but this one was well-executed and painted a legitimately frightful picture of a potential future. Revolving around Kitty Pryde was a very welcome element, as was the stark contrast of the battle to prevent that future versus the violent events that take place in that twisted future. One may have a remotely happy ending, but the other? Not so much. Claremont managed to pack an impressive amount of material into these two issues. Now, let's see what the community had to say about these two stories.
Viner Post of the Week for Days of Future Past is by MannEffest
"I liked Wolverine… But I LOVED Days of Future Past!!! (If you can't tell by the exclamation points). In the 80's, before the saturation of time-traveling events, I'm sure fanboys were craving an alternate future story. And boy, did Claremont deliver!
Gracing us with a story that, while short, brought a new depth to the human-mutant conflict in the form of a future where humanity's hatred of mutants crescendoed to a point where they brought not only the downfall of the mutant race, but their own as well, in the form of the fan-favorite Sentinels. We, the readers, witnessed in horror at the desolation of what a single repercussion (in this case the assassination of Senator Kelly) could do to an entire future. This was a great social commentary at the time. Claremont also cleverly gave fans a glimpse into what older versions of their favorite characters would look like and give (ahem, the lesser-loved) Kitty Pryde the role of the heroine, cementing her as a character that would be loved for years to come. Finally, it also showed that not every story has a happy ending. While the present day X-Men win this fight, the future X-Men, save for Rachel Summers (and we will not count Wolverine), all died. Were killed on panel. Never to be seen again. That's heart breaking, even if they were not the characters we knew, only their future selves. Just imagine Marvel wiping out all of the X-Men within two issues. Yeah, I know, you can't. Chris Claremont took a chance that not many would, he gave us the godfather of X-Men alternate futures and succeeded wholeheartedly. It has inspired so many young comic book minds to take a stab at the apocalyptic alternate reality, be it a real comic or a fan-fic. It even inspired an amazing one season TV series called Wolverine and the X-Men (go check it out! It was soooo good). And while the new movie, also inspired by this small yet grande event, is not my most anticipated comic book movie, it will most certainly be something that all of use should have their eyes on!"
Viner Post of the Week for Wolverine is by Wolverine08
"I am going to have to give my vote to Wolverine by Chris Claremont for the win in this fight. Sure, there's a little bias with my Wolverine love, but I think it's well deserved with in this particular instance. Wolverine is just so important to the character of Wolverine today. Up until this came, Wolverine was more of a background character along with the X-Men, and Chris Claremont not only upped interest of Wolverine and the role he played with the X-Men, but the man laid out the basic principles that make up Wolverine's character. The makings of the enigmatic, gruff loner whom despite his unappealing appearance at first sight, had a heart of gold and an extremely strong sense of honor were laid down here. In a day in age where Wolverine writers like Paul Cornell take Wolverine to the point that if he doesn't have his healing factor, he's running around like a chicken with his head cut off and completely forgets what made him the guy he is, it feels good to open up this story and see that even at a time where he didn't have a healing factor that made him more or less immortal, Wolverine still kept that honor and courage even when his life was at risk fighting Shingen while poisoned. By today's standards, some might consider the dialogue in this story to be a bit wordy, but I personally think it's a part of Chris Claremont's style back in his golden days of using his exposition perfectly to connect readers emotionally to the characters he's writing. Frank Miller's art is also on point even till today, and as already mentioned, the character aspects that make up Wolverine that are rooted in Japanese lore like honor, etc. are poignantly portrayed without getting stereotypical.
Mind you, Days of Future Past is another excellent X-Men story by Chris Claremont, and a great read for anyone interested in Kitty Pryde, but Wolverine is just an entirely different beast when viewed in comparison IMO. If you ask most people when Wolverine was created, they'll give you answer like Incredible Hulk #180 or Incredible Hulk #181, but for me, this is the story when Wolverine was truly created. Wolverine writers of the future, take note, this story is an exemplary character work for Wolverine, and something that should be always looked back at to get a sense of the character. Even if you don't really care for Wolverine, I'd still recommend this for you just for the excellent character work on display."
Which Claremont story arc won over your support and why? Tell us below and, if you're going to share your favorite moments from either story, just try to apply a proper spoiler warning. 16% of voters haven't read these storylines, after all. Lastly, you're totally welcome to make suggestions for future 'Favorite Comic Runs' match-ups! The only rule is the two options have to be by the same writer. Feel free to share your ideas below or via Twitter, and we'll definitely take them into consideration. Have a good weekend, Viners!