“Days of Futures Yet to Come”
Writing and pencils: Alan Davis
Inks: Mark Farmer
Colours: Dana Moreshead and Mike Thomas
Letters: Janice Chiang
Editor: Terry Kavanagh and Mark Powers
Original publication date: July 1993
The 90s have arrived in 2015 and Excalibur is a gun now… but actually, Excalibur is still Excalibur, which is to say—a beautiful story about love saving the multiverse <3 Returning guest Dr. Stephanie Burt, friend to all mutants but especially Kate Pryde, joins us in to cheer and cry about Excalibur #67, “Days of Futures Yet to Come,” aka Alan Davis’ final issue of the title he co-created with Chris Claremont. Talking queer temporalities, cybersex, and the jacket era of comics, plus hopes, dreams, and regrets for all those futures yet to come.
“It doesn’t have any jokes for the same reason the original Star Wars trilogy doesn’t have any jokes—because the science-fantasy aspect requires so much disbelief, it would pop like a balloon if someone tried to make a joke about it.” -Stephanie
“My impression is editorial wanted Davis off the book because he wasn’t increasing sales, and they wanted to bring it under the X-Men franchise umbrella.” -Stephanie
On hopeful futures:
“Alan Davis draws this dystopia so beautifully, he makes it look like a future you shouldn’t give up on… The message is: don’t give up on anything, don’t give up on anyone… there’s always hope.” -Stephanie
On queer temporality:
“Queer temporality is a big concept, but it’s literally embodied here in the ways that Kate and Rachel queer space and time, merging across the multiverse… they are beings who have the ability to overcome borders, through telepathy, phasing powers, and techno-futurism.” -Anna
More queer temporalities:
“Kitty and her same-sex partners are consistently a locus for queer temporalities. Kitty turns 15 at least twice. Rachel moves through time and sometimes, with the Phoenix Force, outside time. Illyana spends half her life in Limbo.” -Stephanie
On the 90s-ification of Excalibur:
“Excalibur gets rebranded as a gun, and we get a character, Killpower, who has a lot of guns, who is introduced just to show that Kitty knows more about guns than he does, to say to readers and Marvel editorial in 1993—is this really what you want?” -Stephanie
On unsatisfying conclusions:
“Davis oscillates between wanting to push Brian and Meggan together and showing an awareness that it is a toxic relationship that it’s been a toxic relationship that harms the people involved. All the complicated-ness gets thrown out here in an empty monologue saying—none of our problems have been resolved, but hold me anyway.” -Andrew
On hard-fought hope:
Andrew: “Rachel is a character who has bad things happen to her. To see her end the Davis era with a sense of hope, optimism, and renewal showed Davis’ love for the character.”
Anna: “It also circles back to the beginning—Rachel is the one who gives the optimistic speech that forms the team in ‘The Sword is Drawn.’”
Love is all you need:
“It’s not guns that save the world. It’s the bond between Kate and Rachel that saves the world.” -Anna
On happy endings:
“Queerness often gets diminished as a phase, but Kate and Rachel aren’t growing away from queerness, they’re growing into queerness.” -Anna
Want more Stephanie Burt?
We’d also like to recommend Stephanie’s review of the film Days of Future Past, written in Kitty Pryde’s voice, published by Slate.
And if you want lots more hours of Stephanie gushing about Kitty in podcast form, you can check out her episode of the Cerebro podcast.
Plus! You can find her new podcast called “Team-Up Moves,” wherein she and co-host Fiona Hopkins and friends play and discuss superhero-themed RPGs, wherever fine podcasts are found!