10 Crucial Things We Learned About X-Men From The Empire Covers

Most of our day Monday was spent cataloging 25 new images of Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past cast. We shared the major ones as they dropped, from a Trask shot to the first official look at Evan Peters’ Quicksilver. As we compiled the various X-photos, we learned a few interesting things about Singer’s planned time-travel sequel.

Click on over to Empire for the full gallery, but until then, here are the 10 most interesting things we picked up from the Days of Future Past imagery. Expect plenty more to be revealed as we get closer to the film’s May 23 release date.

Wolverine’s rocking the bone claws

Wolverine is one of the few X-characters to receive multiple covers -- one "old" and one "young" – because of the space-time conflict at the heart of Days. The bullet holes in Logan’s chest are prevalent in this new photo. Shouldn’t they heal up almost immediately? We’ve seen those chest holes in a number of early Wolvie images.

And then there are the bone claws. As we’ve deduced, this version of Logan exists during the First Class time period, so he probably hasn’t undergone the adamantium transfer to his bones. We saw the bone claws in the forgettable X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which showed how Stryker lured Wolverine into the Weapon X program. But at the end of James Mangold’s The Wolverine, our hero was back to his bone claws. Seriously, there are timeline issues galore with this X-Men universe, and I hope Days somehow clears a few of them up.

Wolvie also ages backwards as he travels through time?

Not exactly. This shot shows the older Logan from the classic Future Past story. In this revised approach to the story, Wolverine’s "spirit" (and not the character of Kitty Pryde) travels back to his former, younger body. Even though they are bringing Ellen Page back. But whatever.

Here’s another continuity thing. We saw Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Xavier (Patrick Stewart) recruit Logan at the end of James Mangold’s The Wolverine. Wolvie didn’t look THIS old. White hair on his temples? Aged? Does the news shared with Logan shock him white? Are we going to jump way into the future for the beginning of Days? And what does that mean for the Wolverine sequel Mangold wants to do? So many questions …

Young Charles Xavier can stand

Which is strange, because the dedicated teacher took a bullet to the spine at the end of First Class. It was the incident that drove a wedge between Charles and Magneto in Matthew Vaughn’s movie. And it helped explain how – in this universe – Charles would be confined to his chair.

Except Charles is standing. And it’s not the first time. We have a photo in our Future Past gallery that shows McAvoy standing up next to Fassbender and Jackman. This has to be explained somehow, no? Because when we switch back to future Charles, he most certainly is in his wheelchair.

Well, sort of…

Wheels? Where we’re going, we don’t need wheels.

What do we call a wheelchair that doesn’t have wheels? A chair? A rocket chair? That sounds much cooler. Let’s go with that for the time being.

This is Stewart playing future Charles Xavier, and his iconic wheelchair has taken on some modifications. He glides on what appears to be rocket power. Jets? The image gives us an idea of how far into the future the frame story of Days will extend. The X-Men sadly have not figured out how to add color to their uniforms – an issue that never plagued them in the comic books. But Singer LOVES black leather suits with precious few bells and whistles. Which helps explain our next photo.

Quicksilver doesn’t look like Quicksilver

Singer is introducing a number of new characters to the X-universe this time out. Bishop, Blink and Sunspot get to make their X-Men debut (though from what we hear, they get very little screen time). And then there is Quicksilver, who’ll be integral to Days and The Avengers: Age of Ultron… only he looks NOTHING like he did in the comics.

Goggles? A utility belt? That damn black leather jacket that Singer wants to wrap around every single X-Men character? They’re all part of the new Quicksilver design. Too many people ripping Quicksilver on the Internet pointed out how he looks like an indifferent Paul Dano to ignore. Quicksilver runs very fast, and it will be important to this character for us to see how Singer conveys that speed. Because right now, it’s a big, fat, "No. Do better."

Young Magneto has his maroon duds

Finally, continuity!

This is Michael Fassbender in his Magneto duds. And we get the next natural step from his First Class actions, when Erik stepped into the helmet that blocked out Xavier’s mind manipulations. On all 25 of these images, this is the closest any costume comes to mirroring the Marvel Comics looks. Why has the X-Men universe had such a hard time adjusting to the color schemes of Stan Lee’s beloved mutants? Halle Berry never looks like Storm. Jackman shuns the traditional Wolverine costumes. Magneto almost gets it right. We’re going to have to be happy with "close enough," it seems.

Sentinels look like this!

This is what we have been waiting for even since the X-Men made it to the big screen back in 2001. The Sentinels – skyscraper-sized mutant-hunting robots – creating chaos on screen. Sure, Brett Ratner flirted with the idea of a Sentinal in a Danger Room sequence in The Last Stand. But casting Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask in Days means we are getting full-blown Sentinel action, and the Empire covers gave us the first great look at the villainous creations.

Above, we see what the Sentinels will look like in the 1970s, when the First Class ‘kids" deal with their emergence. But Empire surprised us with a future glimpse at what the Sentinels evolve to become, and it’s THIS version (pictured below) that I believe Wolverine will venture back to the ‘70s to prevent. In this form, I’m guessing the mutants are no match for the Sentinels, and Wolvie will be ordered to stop the program before things get as bad as they have become.

General William Stryker is handsome… and angry

My biggest problem with X2 is that, with so many great mutant villains to choose from, Singer jumped to a human antagonist far too quickly. Why couldn’t we see a proper Juggernaut or Apocalypse before we had to have a human villain like Stryker (Brian Cox)?

Well, Stryker has remained a major component of the X-universe over the years. Danny Huston played him in Origins. Don Creech played him (briefly) in First Class. And this is Josh Helman playing him in Days. If you had told me back in 2001 that we’d get numerous versions of an tertiary character like William Stryker in the assorted X-Men movies, I would have laughed. I’m still kind of laughing.

Rogue is back. Wait, what?

Color me surprised when Anna Paquin got an Empire cover. We recently reported that the characer had to be cut from Singer’s grand plan. Did Empire just have a cover it needed to run? Or is Singer back-pedaling on his edit?

HitFix, in their analysis, said that Rogue "had a huge pivotal role in the script we read," and advocates that Singer should find some way to bring Paquin back into the fold. I’ve always enjoyed the way that the actress has played the difficult role, tapping into Rogue’s isolation as a result of her unique physical power. The love triangle between Pyro and Iceman was unnecessary, but Rogue has so much more to bring to this franchise, if she ever gets the opportunity.

Colossus is going full-metal jacket!

This last one just makes me happy. There are a few X-Men characters who I thought deserved better treatment in the films. Angel, Nightcrawler and Colossus rank high on that list. And while Daniel Cudmore had the chance to shine as the metallic Russian in a few quick scenes in previous X-adventures, the sight of him decked out in full armor gives me hope that we’re finally going to get to see Colossus going toe-to-metallic-toe with a Sentinel. Show me that, Singer, and you’ll have a fan for life.

Of course, these 25 images confirm what we already fear… that there just isn’t going to be enough screen time for every hero to get a moment in Days of Future Past. We’ll see how successful Singer is in juggling the mutant mayhem when the movie opens on May 23.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.