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Off My Mind: The X-Men Are Fated to a Horrible Future

There have been many futures and alternate realities revealed...and they all suck.

It used to be the idea of being in the X-Men was cool. Superpowers were easily gained upon puberty. There wasn't the need for dangerous experiments involving radioactive spiders or cosmic rays. You just had to wait until you became a teenager, and if all went well, you'd get some cool powers.

The X-Men had it good. They fought many evil mutants but they always had the feeling of being a family. After a while things changed. Life for the mutants got darker. While they were pretty much always feared and hated, it rose to a whole new level. To make it worse, the X-Men started becoming aware of their possible futures and they all were filled apocalyptic elements.

Because the future is always in motion and in the Marvel Universe there are infinitely many alternate realities, you would think there could be one that turns out nicely.

With the recent future seen in this week's WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #4, it looks like there never will be a cheerful future for the X-Men. Be warned, there will be some tiny spoilers to that issue below.

== TEASER ==

It all stared with Days of Future Past. The X-Men had a visit from an adult Kitty Pryde (in the body of her 13-year-old self). They were clued in that the assassination of Presidential candidate Robert Kelly would result in the destruction of the world. But that really meant mutants lived in concentration camps and were often hunted and killed.

The X-Men prevented the assassination of Kelly but it appeared they were not able to prevent the dark future from happening. Since then, the timeline had been revisited in other arcs and it's always the same gloomy thing.

Another example is from the Old Man Logan story. This time the blame fell on Wolverine's shoulders. He was tricked into killing all his teammates. It was Mysterio who managed to do the tricking. Mysterio was able to make them look, feel and even smell different. Wolverine stabbed each of them through the heart.

The entire team was dead. That's a pretty grim future.

In Grant Morrison's Here Comes Tomorrow story, we saw yet another bleak future. 150 years in the future, the human race had been eradicated. Sounds good for mutants but the fighting shifted towards genetic battles between mutants and new emerging species.

All this was the result of Magneto (who wasn't really Magneto) killing Jean Grey. Cyclops lost his heart and quite the X-Men. Beast tried to carry the burden and one night decided to take some "kick," the drug that enhances mutant powers. A bacteria was released and humanity died and a bunch of other bad things happened.

The recent future seen was in WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN.

We see the students at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning grown up but in a world that looks pretty bad. What should be noted is these kids weren't seen in the past future stories. Now that they've become associated with the X-Men, you can almost say that is what is leading to them possibly having this dark future.

There have been other futures revealed. Why is it the X-Men can't have a future where everything is calm and peaceful? Why can't they all be living on a tropical island without any worries. Well, it wouldn't add any drama to the story but does that man the X-Men can't ever have a "happily ever after"?

If there's anything the mutants should learn is to either not associate with the X-Men or begin living life for the moment. No matter what happens, regardless of how many evil mutants they stop, the X-Men will always have a dark, grim and horrid future.

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Edited by Dernman

Usually when any comic does a future story it's depicted as a bleak future.

Posted by Skaddix

Simple it is much easier to tell stories in bleak dystopian futures. Happy futures are hard to do that in the closet u got to happy was House of M and in that u need a massive conspiracy and to strips of the outside to uncover the truth. Still that is harder to do then your standard dystopian future.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@Dernman said:

Usually when any comic does a future story it's depicted as a bleak future.

This.

Posted by iLLituracy

Bleak, distopian futures are a constant theme in X-Men comics. Everything on the horizon or parallel is worst case scenario at all times, and you have to wonder why. Other books do it, Avengers most recently had their own version of this happen, they've had it happen before, but it's always the X-Men that do it best, in my opinion.

Most people will often say "Magneto is the greatest X-Men adversary" or "Apocalypse" or what have you, but in my opinion, the X-Men's greatest enemy has always been the future and the threats that are coming on the horizon. Every couple of years they do this thing where they show this terrible future and somehow it has to be prevented that started way back with Days of Future Past in Uncanny X-Men #141. There's been Days of Future Present, Here Comes Tomorrow, even that one arc in Young X-Men. Even when bleak futures are the focus of the stories, they're still present in elements like Bishop, who comes from a future where Mutants are in concentration camps, a fact that he won't let anyone ever forget or Cable, who grew up as a soldier in a less than desirable future.

I always found it whimsical how mutants, a realization of the possibility of tomorrow were plagued by that same possibility.

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

X-men will never have see a happy future because happy x-men would have no purpose in going back in time to a day where they were hated as opposed to x-men who live in shitsville and want to eradicate their existence to prevent a bad future.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Dystopian, violent futures make for good stories so of course they aren't going to let the X-Men have their happily ever after. It would of course be a new spin to do otherwise, but hardly entertaining. Besides, with the violent lives mutants live, a happily ever after would seem counter-intuitive to their very nature.

Posted by DXmagma

This wouldn't be a problem if they'd just make Deadpool an X-man.

Posted by ColonelRunAway

@Dernman said:

Usually when any comic does a future story it's depicted as a bleak future.

"Alas, the happiness in Riverdale would end when relations with the soviets broke down, and the bombs began to fall. My dear Veronica was mutated into a horrendous aberration, and has since scoured the sewers for meat. Jughead came out more favorably, serving as a scavenger for Moose and Ethel's crusaders, finding food to share with other survivors, and the occasional medication for use in Dilton's makeshift hospital. Poor Betty was overseas with the Peace Core at the time. Every night I pray that she found shelter, and is now among survivors of her own. I Pray that she was not annihilated in the nuclear flames, or devoured by cannibals in the aftermath. I have no way to be sure though, for my name is Archie Andrews, and I am merely a chronicler."

Posted by BlackArmor

In comics everyone is destined for a horrible future, if it was Utopian or even just mildly pleasant it wouldn't really be worth reading

Posted by ApatheticAvenger

Anyone else think future Kid Omega actually looked like a cool character?

Posted by AirDave817

Even the future seen in Star Trek is not a completely happy, utopian picture. There always seems to be something wrong hidden beneath the surface when people seem to be getting along...A future where humans and mutants co-exist peacefully would be the end of the X-Men story. There would be nothing after that.

Posted by MyraMyraMyra

The dystopian future where every day is a waaaaaaar is a tired old trope the comic book industry just can't let go of. While there definitely are lots and lots of great stories set in dystopic futures or alternate universes (Days of Future Past, for instance, is a story arc I've always liked), it's just gotten so, so boring because it's been done so many times without enough variation. It's always the same, really - humanity (or just mutants) nearly extinct, life is an everyday struggle for the few survivors, the entire world is at ruins, chaos rules the world etc. As exciting as this scenario is, it's hardly interesting anymore because it's been done to death. Personally, I'm so very tired of these kinds of stories, and I'd wish they'd come up with fresh and original ways of depicting the future.

I think it hilarious how almost all the possible futures of the X-Men are horribly bleak visions of death and endless war, and most of the alternate universes depict the world as a horrible post-apocalyptic wasteland. Whatever the X-Men do, it seems like they're looking at a catastrophic future anyways. Where are all the utopias, or even the cautiously positive and the only moderately depressing visions of the future? After all these dystopias, it would be so refreshing to see any possible future where humanity hasn't been nearly wiped out by a nuclear war.

Posted by Eeptog

"Cyclops lost his heart and quite the X-Men."

Sure, he is quite the X-man, but i think you mean Quit.

Posted by Amanthine

He's so X-Man, he's X-Men.

Idie disturbs me, that is all.

Posted by jubilee042

@Dernman said:

Usually when any comic does a future story it's depicted as a bleak future.
Posted by jubilee042

@ColonelRunAway said:

@Dernman said:

Usually when any comic does a future story it's depicted as a bleak future.

"Alas, the happiness in Riverdale would end when relations with the soviets broke down, and the bombs began to fall. My dear Veronica was mutated into a horrendous aberration, and has since scoured the sewers for meat. Jughead came out more favorably, serving as a scavenger for Moose and Ethel's crusaders, finding food to share with other survivors, and the occasional medication for use in Dilton's makeshift hospital. Poor Betty was overseas with the Peace Core at the time. Every night I pray that she found shelter, and is now among survivors of her own. I Pray that she was not annihilated in the nuclear flames, or devoured by cannibals in the aftermath. I have no way to be sure though, for my name is Archie Andrews, and I am merely a chronicler."

ohh my goodness that touched my heart

Posted by Kairan1979

What about the ending of X-Men : The End

Posted by Joe Venom

I loved that scene! Looks like Kid Omega may get the Phoenix Force when he becomes Man Omega

Posted by arw1985

Yeah, their futures do tend to suck. On a side note, remember how the tv show Heroes had basically this same plot for 3 seasons? Talk about beating something into the ground!

Posted by pspin

If they ever made a happy future for the X-Men it would be so unexpected it would be an instant classic and blow everyone's mind

Posted by LordRequiem

According to the law of averages they are but a few of an infinite number of futures.

Posted by BewilderingBeing

I can certainly see a horrible future if they keep it up with the Regenisis series. I could have swore the whole reason Cyclops moved everyone to Utopia was that Westchester wasn't safe. The incident with Stryker alone should prove there is a level of naivete when it comes to the ideals of the X-men. Shielding the "Children" from any responsibility or stress that will inevitably encounter would seem to do more damage than good. Even as the series started who saved both Cyclops and Wolverine? The very children he (Wolverine) claims can't handle the responsibility.. as I continue to read the series the more it paints Wolverine as being the good guy who has his head on straight and Cyclops as a bad guy who always goes too far. Most of the mutants seem to be going to Wolverine and on the first day he opened the school they were nearly taken out. Low numbers, split in half, can't agree on anything? Yea it doesn't look very good

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I would say the Avengers would get a peaceful ending but it'll never end happily for mutants 

Posted by AskaniSon295

House of M was a pretty good place for Mutants maybe they should just all go back there once they start getting killed.

Posted by jerfro23

the future where cable or doom took over were nice

Posted by Sobe Cin

That is a great picture, A brood X-men. Too cool.

Posted by ulrich200

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Dystopian, violent futures make for good stories so of course they aren't going to let the X-Men have their happily ever after. It would of course be a new spin to do otherwise, but hardly entertaining. Besides, with the violent lives mutants live, a happily ever after would seem counter-intuitive to their very nature.

Posted by DATNIGGA

Of course its gonna be a chaotic future with all the earth shattering events and pointless deaths marvel keeps doing there lives are gonna be terrible Lol

Posted by Emperormeister734

I would actually like to see the X-men with a great future, where no one is hurting/kill/ or use them as weapons.So far all of that has happened there needs to be a better future for them. A lot of better futures for the X-men would be good for them no more being captured by normal people.

Edited by cosmo111687

I think seeing a hopeful and utopian future would be interesting. Let's suppose that some present threat goes to the future to kill Hope in her infancy, Wolverine (or some other X-Man/X-Team) is sent to future to chase after the threat but they end up in a completely different time-stream where humans and mutants live in peaceful co-existance. They then learn the history of that Utopian future but achieving it requires the X-Men of the present to put aside their differences and to make some difficult choices (such as letting Magneto, Professor X, and X-23 die). They then go to the real future to defeat the threat to Hope and then go back to the present time and tell all the other mutants what they discovered about the Utopian future and how it came to be. Many of the X-Men are unwilling to put aside their differences and make those difficult choices, that creates conflict, ruins their chances at that particular future, but they fight ever-on under the belief that they can still make things work in the end in so long as they continue to fight for what is right and don't lose hope in the end.

Posted by Daveyo520

Down with mutants!

Posted by MetallicMercury

Is that the Phoenix symbol on Quentin's chest?

Posted by frozenedge

@MetallicMercury: thats what it looks like.

Why can't mutants have decent future for once with a team member going bad or something happening to kill all of them etc? Can they at least have one good future out of the thousands of crappy ones for a change?

Posted by thecomicscove

I'm in agreement with those who say that bleak, horrific futures make for better storytelling than happy ones. Without conflict, there's usually no real story to tell.

If you think about it, the very fact of being an X-Man makes you prone to a bleak future, present and eventually, your past is fraught with struggle and tragedy too. Let's look at a few storylines:

Past: Well, anything now, technically. in Deadly Genesis, we discover Xavier sent another team of would-be X-Men to their deaths. Operation: Zero Tolerance, X-Tinction Agenda, and the Legacy Virus fallout are all examples of fights just to survive. The X-Men have managed to stay alive and even enjoy life despite all this.

Present: Age of Apocalypse is one story where the "present" is flat-out altered because of what happened in the past. Horrific and dark? Yes. But ultimately life-affirming.

Future: Days of Future Past. Bishop's future. Cable's future. The future's future. I think we've got enough examples.

I just can't think of any X-Men stories that are memorable where there isn't *some* kind of conflict, however minor. And horrific predictions of the future make for excellent motivators of conflict.

Posted by davelecave

@ApatheticAvenger: I think he looks like a dork.

Posted by nonfiction91

lol its true, even in recent future incarnations, he's got no hands in wolverine weapon-x, and then gets melted by deathloks.

then you've got apocalypse wolverine in A.O.P.

Posted by GothamRed

Well on the bright side everyone from those futures look awesome

Posted by mettlekm

I used to really like the Claremont stories where the X-Men would just end up playing a game of softball together. Showed that being an X-Man was being part of a family and no matter how bad it got out there or how bleak the future looked, they still had hope and happiness as long as they stood together.

The bleak futures show how hopeless their struggles are, but shows their inner strengths when they choose not to give up. And we read them because we believe their strength collectively can overcome that which is fated.

Posted by Jayso4201

The statement I would make is; If the X-men's future is bad isn't everyones?

Posted by clemj

poor Wolvie

Posted by Maki_P

Mimic's world in Exiles seems okay

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

Its because horrible possible futures are more exciting that happy go lucky futures. There is more drama and action. If the future was happy there wouldn't be much of a story there.

I liked in Earth X where Angel talked about being told about their possible Horrible Future and having that guide all their actions and having them so worried that eventually they decided to just live in the moment and not worry about their future.

I also liked in one of those X-Men Millennium comics where they talked about Cable's future. He was leading the New York X-Force, or the NYXF, which had become an official government agency that helped police the city (including the mutant population). Almost as if the mutants were becoming more accepted. Its a nice idea, not too happy go lucky. Mutants still not completely accepted, but now having rights and being represented in the government.

I was thinking the other day, sort of on topic, that the X-Men is about how mankind is evolving into mutants. In evolution species with favorable traits live to have children with favorable traits while those with unfavorable traits die. For example a gray moth that is able to camouflage itself to hide among gray trees will survive while a moth that is blue cannot hide among gray trees and will get eaten. But because the X-Men don't get older, die, and have children, and keep going generation after generation, we don't get to see that. Wouldn't that be a good future story? Where we see that the Mutants/X-men with favorable traits pass on their genetics to the next generation and that generation with favorable traits passes down their DNA, and so on. So, in the story, we would get to see how Mankind continues to evolve and what would be considered favorable and what isn't. We could see that, over time, those mutants with favorable traits survived while mutants with not so favorable traits were killed off somehow. And as time went on those survivors had children with other survivors and so on. It might be an interesting thing to show in some X-men future story since evolution was a big part of their origin.

Edited by The Impersonator

Alternate reality stories are fascinating to read even though it's horrible to watch that our beloved X-Men dead or killed by their enemies. You could tell so many good stories from it. New characters. New situations. And such. And including the old characters who survived through their battles in a dark future.

If we have a good future where X-Men live peacefully. Then where's the fun in storytelling? It's possible that there is a future where mutants can live peacefully with humans. Or even in an alternate universe.

There are possible futures that only happens due to a certain event. If they can prevent that event, then their future is possibly saved. However, when you try to change things, there is always bound to be bad things happening in the X-Men's lives. Something new. No matter how bad it is, they have to deal with it.

Edited by Gentleman_of_the_Bedchamber

In the humble opinion of myself I believe the reason we see so many bleak future's in not just the X-men, but comic's in general is as stated by many of my fellow site member's: It's more dramatic. When thing's are left in ruin aren't we all even slightly curious as to how the pieces will pick themselves up after they have fallen from something bigger then themselves?

Since's the multiverse is all about creating a new universe's for every choice made it mean's that their may be a good future for every bad, more good future's then bad, vice versa or future's like May Parker's were business roll's on as usual, just with a new generation.

The point is this: There are good future's for the X-men. The nature of the multiverse mean's that's improbable for their not to be.

Posted by rouder

IMO, there is a hight chance of the post-AvX status quo being Bishop's future. X-Men will beat the Avengers, win the fight. But the results of Cyclops' victory will be Hope with Phoenix startith the 6 Minute War and after that not only the Avengers, but every hero on Earth and beyond will gang up on them, finally forcing the mutant scum to the camps. Has not been Cable talking about anit-mutant technology probably Stark will invent?

Posted by BatClaw89

Q: why do the humans fear and hate Mutants in the Marvel universe but they love their "Friendly neighborhood  spiderman" and other superheroes with similar powers? 

Posted by Soulstealer

@frozenedge said:

@MetallicMercury: thats what it looks like.

Why can't mutants have decent future for once with a team member going bad or something happening to kill all of them etc? Can they at least have one good future out of the thousands of crappy ones for a change?

Think of it this way... we almost always see horrid futures because of someone coming back from that future. If your future rocks, why come back to the trash past? XD I know that's a little simplistic but that's the way I usually think about it. Good futures have to exist and indeed if they do, they wouldn't be too concerned with the conflicts of the past. Though it would be interesting to see a battle of the futures... I'd read it. Utopia vs. Dystopia.

Posted by mewmdude77

I'm pretty sure the future is bleak for every hero, I don't know any hero that has a nice future. Spider-Man has Reign for example. It's crazy how the future sucks!

Posted by rouder

@BatClaw89: they hate most of the superheros. Keep in mind Spider-Man is considered a menace most of the time by the most read New York newspaper

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

The X-Men thrive off of angst. Showing bleak, horrible futures is another way to explore that. They will always be the punks, rebels and outsiders because that gives them more angst than being productive or positive.

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