Must-read comics are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-read is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale.
Title: X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Date: 2004 (reprinting material from 1980)
Vitals: Not content with rewriting superhero comics' DNA with their groundbreaking three-year collaboration on Marvel Comics' mutant franchise, Chris Claremont and John Byrne wrapped things up with a time-travel story that had the future version of new hero Kitty Pryde travel to the present in order to prevent a dystopian future where everyone dies, and in the process, create one of the most, uh, "homaged" comic stories ever.
Famous names: Chris Claremont took the X-Men from a bi-monthly, low-selling comic book of questionable quality and made it into a multi-million-dollar multimedia franchise. Artist John Byrne went on to recreate Superman in the mid-80s, in time for the character's 50th birthday.
Crunchy goodness: 4
Spinoffs/Sequels/Copycats: Twenty-six years after this story first saw print, almost every major superhero comic has done a version of this storyline at some point or another (Some of them are even worth reading) - the meme has even crossed media, with NBC's Heroes creating an entire episode around the concept (Season one's "Five Years Gone").
Elevator pitch: It's The Terminator for people who really really hate the X-Men and want to see them all die horrific deaths in surprising detail.
Sights you'll never unsee: Is it future Wolverine getting torched and having all the skin, muscle and everything else burned off his indestructible skeleton? Or maybe future Storm getting harpooned through the chest? No, it's what passed for contemporary fashion in Byrne's sideburn- and large-shirt-collar-friendly art during the early 80s.