This one is a fairly easy review. This is one that ties up a two part series that has been the topic of a lot of comic lover's conversations since it's release in the 1980's. It's hard to say too much that is bad about it. It ended an epic run, and helped bump a new character, Kitty Pryde into mainstream.
A few times a year, I often dream about a "what if" universe where I could go back in time and fix my past. I think about if I had just said something a different way, or made a right turn instead of a left my life could have taken a completely different path. I feel like this story is a classic because most of us can relate to the fantasy of it. Here is this hellish future which is just a complete toilet, and this woman is given the opportunity to go back and correct the one event that the shaped the current future.
This is a classic cover, and one of the reasons why this run was so magical. John Byrne penciled "buy me now" covers and Terry Austin inked in pop art colors. Notice the use of primary colors in their work. Look at most classic heros: (Optimus Prime, Super Mario, Superman etc.) Most of their creators pick a primary color scheme to create their characters costumes. Granted this cover is not in suit, most of the older covers show off bright yellow, blue and red with shadowy black and tidy white. Fantastic! I always notice Phoenix was green, which really set her a part of the rest of the team. These covers still make you want to buy them even 40 years later.
My favorite part of this specific story arch is the introduction of Rachel Summers. She shows up later in the series in some of the more forgotten mid-late 80's issues which really deserve a lot more credit. Granted her haircut is not one of my favorites, and her alter-ego, Hound, is not cool, some of the later stories with her in them are creative, fun and thought-provoking. I always feel like those stories were not as collected because John Byrne wasn't drawing for them, but seriously, just because a comic doesn't have a "buy me now" cover, doesn't mean it's not an amazing read. Where these stories fall off in art, they pick up in creativity and character development.
Rachel is X-Men's first stab at Cable, who probably in all fairness, is more popular with a male audience because of his Arnold Schwarzenegger similarities. Granted she does not have a huge part in this story, her entrance is dramatic and memorable. I love later on in the series when she shows up in present time and Kitty Pryde remembers her. Rachel's character was not always one of my favorites, but has recently really grown on me.
The "New" Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is also great. This reminds me a lot of the "New" X-Men's introduction. They kept one of the originals and dumped the rest, plus borrowed Mystique from some random other series to take the lead.
The last reason I love this book is because in the end, you never find out if Senator Kelly's foiled assassination ever changes the future for the better or at all. You're left with 2013 being a skeleton of Wolverine, and the rest of the gang taken out as well by Sentinels. The other part that is great is that Senator Kelly is so enamored with hating mutants that he's already trying to get rid of them on the last page. This is another comment to the human condition that rings true. He reasons that sure a mutant saved him. But if there were never mutants to begin with, this would have never happened to begin with. What a sleazebag.