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There is a notable X-Men storyline from 1981 titled "Days of Future Past". It feels to me like it's a reference to some earlier piece of literature, but I cannot find anything in particular. There is a notable Moody Blues album from 1967 titled "Days of Future Passed", which I would have thought was a reference to the same thing, but which is the earliest thing I can find by either spelling.

Most references to the "past" spelling between the two dates seem to be misspellings of the Moody Blues' album, but I have found it as the title of an article from "New Times" magazine from 1978 having to do with Guantanamo. I find it hard to believe that this was a reference to a Moody Blues album, but maybe I'm wrong.

Since the early '80s, there seem to be a lot of references to "Days of Future Past" that aren't obviously related to either comics or prog rock. I find it hard to believe that this phrase was really popularized by a comic book in 1981, even one that was widely well accepted at the time, but I can't come up with any other conclusion.

There's even a poem from the TV show "Twin Peaks":

Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chance out between two worlds:
Fire walk with me

Did this really get popularized by "X-Men"?

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    It most likely refers to the Moody Blues album, but changed in order to avoid intellectual property issues. – Global Charm Oct 13 '17 at 18:55
  • I do not know the answers, but in the early 1980s, one of Marcel Proust's best-known novels, À la recherche du temps perdu, was available in English with the title translated as "Remembrance of Things Past," recalling a line from Shakespeare's Sonnet 30. Could the spelling of "past" in "future past" be a play on that line, riffing off of the Moody Blues album title? – Shosht Oct 14 '17 at 5:49
  • To me it seems all three are at best pretentious. To me X-Men seems like one of the worst-thought-out super-hero scenarios and Days of Future Past only makes even that worse. If anyone feels able to say something good about the Twin Peaks poem please say it. Failing that, I suggest it’s nothing but a fine example of pretentious drivel. The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed might make sense to avid fans and all please note, no WWW lyric sheet includes those words, except in the name. Hmmm. Similarly, the Guantanamo article seems wholly disassociated from its own headline… – Robbie Goodwin Oct 28 '17 at 18:20

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