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Poster Lab: X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Poster Lab: <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em>

If you wait until halfway through the credits of new Marvel actioner The Wolverine, you’ll get—surprise!—an Easter-egg-y teaser of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the latest leg of this comic-book-maker turned film studio’s incestuous universe. In the clip [spoiler alert], Logan (Hugh Jackman) catches up with Magneto (Ian McKellen) and a resurrected Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who, now evidently on the same team, warn their furry friend of an incoming menace that’s a threat to all mutants. Thanks to this early teaser poster, and, to a lesser degree, this one, fanboys know said threat is the infamous army of towering robotic “Sentinels,” which, in the end-credits scene, are further foreshadowed by a flash of the Trask Industries logo (for the non-geeks to whom this means nothing, just roll with me).

Now we get two character posters of Magneto and Xavier, the mack daddies of X-Men mythology, who, in the newest film, will be seen in both their older and younger forms. That means McKellen and Stewart will be on the same bill as Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, who played the on-again/off-again nemeses’ respective, sprier selves in X-Men: First Class. Sleekness pervades both of these posters, which come in blue for good and red for (usually) bad, but on the whole, they still register as failures. The key problem is that they unwittingly underscore the sense that these younger gents look nothing like their older, iconic incarnations, which I suppose could be said of a lot of men, but is especially glaring when shown in such close juxtaposition.

For all you geriatric mutants looking around for your glasses, McAvoy and Fassbender are shown within their colored Xs, while Stewart and McKellen are pictured in black and white outside of them, the youthful and aged features matched up as best as possible. The overall alignment is fairly convincing, but only in a way that feels like a largely goofy novelty, which is made considerably worse by that whole resemblance problem (there’s virtually no case in which I wouldn’t condone Fassbender’s casting, but the choice of McAvoy still has me scratching my head). In any case, fans have at least one thing to celebrate: These posters are a major step up from their lazy 2011 doppelgangers, which surfaced just as X-Men: First Class was being released. You know the ones—wherein Fassbender’s brooding face just kinda hovers in Magneto’s silhouette, and McAvoy’s mug sits awkwardly amid Xavier’s crotch. Yeah, the new one-sheets are Mona Lisas next to those notorious doozies.