Uncanny X-Men 141 &142
Chris Claremont (w)
John Byrne - Terry Austin - Glynis Wein (a)
This is it. 2 issues that impacted the world of the X-Men like no other, and have helped guide its overall course for the last 30 years.
The X-Men are going to lose.
It is the year 2013. The Sentinels have taken over. Mutants are hunted down and killed, or subjugated. Mutants live in concentration camps all over North America. Except for a handful of survivors, the X-Men are dead. The Sentinels are now ready to take their program on a world tour, but before they can do that, other world powers plan to attack the US with nuclear weapons.
The few remaining X-Men hatch a plan to psychically send Kate Pryde back to her body in the past, to stop Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. This is the watershed moment that will set in motion the Mutant Control Act, and the coming Sentinel Domination. No one knows what will happen, but there are no options left.
Future versions of Magneto, Franklin Richards, Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus will all die before this story is over. Heartbreaking sacrifices are made in the effort to keep Kate’s unconscious body alive long enough to affect the changes in the past. The only X-Men who survive will be Kate Pryde, and Rachel Summers.
But the present day X-Men will succeed. Senator Kelly will survive this attack on his life. The future of the Marvel Universe has been altered, and Kate returns to her body in the future. Unfortunately, the tragic world she lives in still survives.
They could not change their past. All of it still happened. They did cause their world to become an alternate reality from the main Marvel timeline though, and changed from being Earth 616, to Earth 811. More on that later.
Back in the present day, the modern X-Men now know of the likely future ahead of them. They are going to lose, and all of them will die. Everything they do now is with the conscious knowledge of what lies ahead of them. Having this kind off foreknowledge is a heavy burden. They have been given the chance to get it right this time. How hard is it to feel that you are making the right decisions knowing all of this? How do you make sure the world does not fall apart on your watch, knowing that is exactly what occurred your first time around?