S/D X-Men Runs

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So, I've read Grant Morrison's New X-Men run. I'm reading Joss Whedon's current Astonishing X-Men run. And I've read Peter David's first X-Factor and now new X-Factor run (I like the new one more). Also, I've read Uncanny X-Men, #111-130, which was recommended to me.

So, what have been the best X-Men arcs/runs? What must I absolutely read?

Mordechai Shinefield, Thursday, 26 July 2007 06:58 (sixteen years ago) link

The Claremont/Byrne/Austin <i>Uncanny</i> run (up through #143, especially the final year) is really what defined the characters and the franchise...

Douglas, Thursday, 26 July 2007 07:38 (sixteen years ago) link

When did the Byrne run start? Like I said, I've got it from #111 through 130 (I'll have to get the last 13).

Mordechai Shinefield, Thursday, 26 July 2007 09:19 (sixteen years ago) link

I think the Claremont/John Romita Jr. run was quite good too, Claremont's writing only got shitty after that "Fall of the Mutants" storyline (where they fight Chaos).

Tuomas, Thursday, 26 July 2007 10:00 (sixteen years ago) link

I'd also suggest trying to find the X-Men/New Mutants crossover where they go to Asgård, and the X-Men/Alpha Flight annual(?), where someone finds a fountain in Canada that gives everyone who enters it superpowers. Those are about as classic Claremont as it gets, and they're pretty easy to read out of continuity.

Tuomas, Thursday, 26 July 2007 10:15 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm not mad on that Asgardian Wars one. But hey.

There is some of the later Claremont stuff where Genosha is introduced, the island paradise built on enslavement of mutants. I liked that.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 26 July 2007 12:07 (sixteen years ago) link

My favorite period of Claremont's run was from just before the Mutant Massacre up through halfway through the Australian era. About 190something on through 230something, just before Inferno comes around. But that was my entry point to the series, so I'm a bit biased. You can get most of that stuff in the two most recent volumes of Essential X-Men.

Mr. Perpetua, Thursday, 26 July 2007 12:47 (sixteen years ago) link

The Genosha storyline comes early in the Australia era -- the early 230s, I believe. That's a really fabulous storyline, and pretty much the last truly great idea Chris Claremont ever had.

If you don't know what we're talking about re: Australia -- in Uncanny #227, a group of X-Men featuring some mainstays and some new recruits "die" to save the world, but they are given another shot at life by this mystical chick called Roma. They decide that it would be for the best to let the world believe that they are dead so they can shake off their enemies (specifically the Marauders) and presumably work with greater efficiency in secret. They establish a new headquarters in the Australian outback, and that is the status quo for a few years until the group falls apart and is eventually replaced by a new line-up in the first Jim Lee run.

Mr. Perpetua, Thursday, 26 July 2007 12:52 (sixteen years ago) link

Avoid Inferno and everything to do with it like the plague, this was the nadir of X-Men.

Stone Monkey, Thursday, 26 July 2007 13:03 (sixteen years ago) link

I remember thinking it had its moments. Or maybe the tie-in bits of other titles were fun (like in Daredevil where buidlings were coming alive and eating people for no obvious reason).

The Real Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 26 July 2007 13:47 (sixteen years ago) link

I think Inferno jump-started my critical faculties when I was a kid. It was perhaps the first moment when I realized a comic I'd been eagerly reading for years wasn't really that good anymore.

Garrett Martin, Thursday, 26 July 2007 13:52 (sixteen years ago) link

Mordechai: the Byrne / Claremont run began w/ #108, but that's actually the final issue of a 4 or 5-part storyline (featuring SPACE PIRATE SHENANIGANS). #109 & #110 are one-offs, I think - the former deals w/ Wolverine's Canadian shenanigans. #111, IIRC, is the start of a Savage Land / Magneto / X-Babies story (which was pretty swell).

Of course, you cut yourself off (@ #130) just before THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA and DAYS OF FUTURES PAST, so you'll definitely want to catch up w/ those.

I would link to the old ILC X-Men: Classic / Dud thread, but I can't find the damn thing.

David R., Thursday, 26 July 2007 14:09 (sixteen years ago) link

I think Inferno had some good parts too, but they were written Louise Simonson, who I think was better than Claremont at that point. If I remember correctly, the New Mutants part of the story was better than the X-Men issues.

Tuomas, Thursday, 26 July 2007 14:18 (sixteen years ago) link

If you don't know what we're talking about re: Australia -- in Uncanny #227, a group of X-Men featuring some mainstays and some new recruits "die" to save the world, but they are given another shot at life by this mystical chick called Roma.

This was the finale of the "Fall of the Mutants" story I mentioned earlier. Though actually Claremont had been building the story up to this for two or three years, starting from when Forge and Naze were first introduced, which is why it felt pretty special. Even though Inferno was probably even a bigger event storywise (what with all that Jean Grey and Madelyne stuff finally resolved), I thought this was the high point of Claremont's X-Men, and it was downhill after that.

Tuomas, Thursday, 26 July 2007 14:24 (sixteen years ago) link

Anyway, since this is my 2nd-to-last day @ my current job, I can squat on this thread & bore the shit out of y'all w/ recommendations. Unfortunately, if you actually want to read hard-copies of my recommendations, the cheapest route would involve springing for the Marvel Essentials B&W reprints, so consider these things you follow up on if you're really jonesin' for a fix:

- #162-183: about 2 years' worth of post-Byrne 80s-era Claremont; the first few issues are the start of THE BROOD WAR (The Brood being space aliens a la Alien, but instead of chest-bursting, they just transmogrify their hosts).

The last 2 issues of that storyline (165 & 166, A DOUBLE SIZED EVENT) are the start of Paul Smith's much-too-short & under-appreciated (outside of the Perpetua household) art tenure, which featured the Morlocks, the first app of Jean Grey look-alike Madeleine Pryor, Rogue hooking up w/ the team, Wolverine in Japan (back when it wasn't happening every other month), & Storm going punk rock. He leaves w/ issue 175 (A DOUBLE SIZED EVENT), featuring the "return" of Dark Phoenix (OR IS IT) and the new X-artist, John Romita Jr.

177 and 178 have a New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants thing going on, which I was always a sucker for, & after that, IIRC, Claremont started writing self-enclosed one-issue stories focusing on one or two X-folks. I end w/ 183 because it's a great little Juggernaut / Colossus throwdown, and the very next issue starts off the Rachel Grey NEVER-ENDING RETURN TO DAYS OF FUTURE PAST stuff, which lingers around the X-books for the next, oh, 20 years or so.

- I 2nd Tuomas' Asgard / X-story recommendation, mostly because of the art (Paul Smith one more time, & Art Adams!!!) Of course, this story happens in: NEW MUTANTS SPECIAL #1, X-MEN ANNUAL #9, and X-MEN / ALPHA FLIGHT #1-2, so, um, happy hunting!

- Uncanny #190-191 is an awesome biff whang pazow 2-part storyline guest-starring just about everyone in the Marvel Universe fighting Kulan Gath (a sorceror from Conan stories, I think!) sending NYC back in time to the days of, um, Conan. No Conan, tho there's plenty of Dr. Strange.

- Uncanny #202-203 is John Romita Jr. drawing Sentinels - nuff said!

&, um, I'm kinda stumped after that (tho I can probably think of more if given time, so watch out! (Sorry if the "well DUH" refs to artists are alienating, BTW - a quick Google image search for them can probably tell you if you'd like their work or not, tho.)

David R., Thursday, 26 July 2007 14:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Though actually Claremont had been building the story up to this for two or three years...

Ha - that's the boon and the bane of Claremont's run after Byrne left. He would start introducing all these plotlines, & tease them out interminably. I'm pretty sure an assload of plotlines he began were either left unresolved or simply tied up in a slipshod fashion.

Inferno is the perfect example - it involved Madeleine Pryor (who was or was not a clone of Jean Grey) becoming the Goblin Queen (thanks to Sym & Nastir'h, two demons tied into the X-verse), as well as Mr. Sinister (a newly introduced supervillain w/ deep-seeded ties to Cyclops' family) (& notice the phonetic resemblance between "Sinister" / "Sym/Nastir'h" - ooooooh!). Just involving those 4 characters involved about 6 or 7 dangling plot threads (from Uncanny & a few other X-books as well). And though this was supposed to resolve a lot of crap, it was more like a dead stop to the crap that was supposed to be resolved, & was about as satisfying as a getting a root canal.

&, sadly (because of editorial dictates, the need for more event-driven storylines, or CC simply resting on his laurels), Claremont didn't get any better at starting & stopping his stories successfully.

David R., Thursday, 26 July 2007 14:46 (sixteen years ago) link

A link to the old thread will probably reveal that I've probably repeated myself word-for-word but WHATEVER.

David R., Thursday, 26 July 2007 14:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Possibly of interest:

Chris Claremont: C/D
here is where we list CCCs (Chris Claremont Cliches)

David R., Thursday, 26 July 2007 14:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Ha - that's the boon and the bane of Claremont's run after Byrne left. He would start introducing all these plotlines, & tease them out interminably. I'm pretty sure an assload of plotlines he began were either left unresolved or simply tied up in a slipshod fashion.

That's true. I remember the story which came during the Australian era, when for some reason all the other X-Men except Wolverine decided to enter the magic portal Roma gave them, which was supposed to end their lives and reincarnate them. Now, it wasn't even explained why they just suddenly decided to do this, and the magic portal didn't even reincarnate them, they just dropped off in different parts of the world staying basically the same. Except that Psylocke became an Asian women with massive boobs, a totally wtf plot turn which seemed to serve no other purpose than provide Jim Lee (who'd just begun to draw the series) an hot Asian babe to draw. I still read the series for a year or two after that, but it was never explained why the magic portal didn't reincarnate them like Roma said it would.

Tuomas, Thursday, 26 July 2007 15:01 (sixteen years ago) link

So should we blame Claremont for not resolving Wolverine's origin & the whole Days of Future Past / The Twelve stuff, or should we blame the folks that actually TRIED to resolve that nonsense? Personally, I kinda liked that both these threads were left unresolved (tho they were milked more than I would've liked, from what I remember), & while it's a bit much to ask for in committee-written serial fiction, leaving these suckers unresolved would've been better in the long run (until someone actually brought A GOOD STORY to the table to deal w/ this stuff).


David R., Thursday, 26 July 2007 15:10 (sixteen years ago) link

<i>Avoid Inferno and everything to do with it like the plague, this was the nadir of X-Men.</i>

Oh God, Inferno isn't that good, but yeeee, there's much lower lows once you get into the 90s! I mean, actually, I'd say the all-time low for X-Men is the Chuck Austen run from this decade.

Mr. Perpetua, Thursday, 26 July 2007 15:16 (sixteen years ago) link

- I 2nd Tuomas' Asgard / X-story recommendation, mostly because of the art (Paul Smith one more time, & Art Adams!!!) Of course, this story happens in: NEW MUTANTS SPECIAL #1, X-MEN ANNUAL #9, and X-MEN / ALPHA FLIGHT #1-2, so, um, happy hunting!

I love that storyline too, but it's not exactly hard to find -- it's all in the Asgardian Wars trade, which goes in and out of print, but should be easy enough to acquire via the internet.

The Twelve thing, that's post-Claremont, right? There's all kinds of inane bullshit in the early to mid-90s, it's like they were trying to outdo the master when it came to dangling plots.

Now, I haven't read the end of the Australian era in a looooooooooooooooooong time, but if I recall correctly, Wolverine was out of the picture when the remainder of the team went through the Siege Perilous. He was crucified by the Reavers, remember? Storm and Rogue were presumed dead, Longshot disappeared, and Wolverine and Jubilee went off in their own direction. I can't remember the plot circumstances exactly, but I think the last four X-Men felt cornered and hopeless, and so they went through the SP that Roma provided as a last resort. I mean, it's all plot mechanics -- those characters were written out of the story, but it also set up Claremont with the opportunity to come back to them later on in somewhat surprising ways.

Mr. Perpetua, Thursday, 26 July 2007 15:25 (sixteen years ago) link

Going back to Inferno -- I think the thing I take away from that storyline is that it was the point where Claremont et al just threw down and said "you know what? we're going to be as pervy as we've always wanted to be. Madelyne Pryor and Alex Summers are going to have an affair and wear the sluttiest outfits EVER, and the X-Men will be turned into EVIL FREAKS, and there will be DEMONS and FIRE and SEVERE ANGST and RITUALS INVOLVING BABIES." It's a pretty batshit storyline!

Mr. Perpetua, Thursday, 26 July 2007 15:29 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, but it's BORING batshit (thought it's definitely more competent than the truly batshit Chuck Austen nonsense, which we shd avoid discussing at all costs).

David R., Thursday, 26 July 2007 17:03 (sixteen years ago) link

X-Men #56 - #65 by Roy Thomas and Neal Adams

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 26 July 2007 18:19 (sixteen years ago) link

Wasn't the explanation for the X-Men going into the Siege Perilous that Psylocke was mildly controlling their minds? She knew that like some bad guy was coming, and thought that they'd all be killed, so she convinced everybody to escape into the Seige Perilous instead of staying and fighting?

The Yellow Kid, Thursday, 26 July 2007 19:41 (sixteen years ago) link

not to be too repetitious, but round about 1985, every element of Claremont became unreadable to me. I'd chalk this up to being indulged as the golden goose of Marvel, with no one to rein him in (ie Byrne). Shooter apparently was the disciplinarian with everyone else…but Claremont was perceived to have been doing something right, as the X-franchise rilly started to heat up then.

I'm open to the idea that something afterward could be worthwhile, but I came across the first issue he did with Jim lee in the early '90s, and I couldn't take it. I don't think its at all a stretch to say that the Claremont Byrne run set the agenda for '80s super hero comics, and is thus one of the most influential and, yes, best runs ever.

Veronica Moser, Thursday, 26 July 2007 22:35 (sixteen years ago) link

It's not that fun to read now, though. I don't know. I guess I'm too young.

Mr. Perpetua, Friday, 27 July 2007 00:53 (sixteen years ago) link

Do any of you have issues numbers for the Australian storyline recommended above? (I can only work off numbers.) Also, David, thanks for the recommendations. I picked em all up.

Mordechai Shinefield, Friday, 27 July 2007 03:44 (sixteen years ago) link

Wasn't the explanation for the X-Men going into the Siege Perilous that Psylocke was mildly controlling their minds? She knew that like some bad guy was coming, and thought that they'd all be killed, so she convinced everybody to escape into the Seige Perilous instead of staying and fighting?

Maybe, but this doesn't explain why they weren't reincarnated, as Roma said they would, and instead returned more or less the same. And why did that siege thing change Psylocke's ethnicity and cup size?

Tuomas, Friday, 27 July 2007 05:53 (sixteen years ago) link

I always hated Silvestri's art on the Australia run, though the crucified-Wolverine story was good.

Good X-Runs not yet mentioned:

Uncanny when Jim Lee started - around 267-8-280: the set-up for the X-franchise status quo in the 90s, a good space-story, some great team-coming-back-together stuff and very nice art throughout. CAUTION: I have not read these issues since they came out, they may well not stand up AT ALL.

THE AGE OF APOCALYPSE - I think I am alone on ILC in thinking this was good! It's definitely the highlight of 90s X-Men and the heart of that era in the way "Future Past" is the heart of 80s X-Men. "Issue Numbers" are a nightmare - it was a set of 8 or 9 interlocking mini-series - but the whole thing is being reissued as a series of bumper GNs. AVOID the dreadful "oh I suppose we'd better look at the rest of the marvel universe then" mini (X-Chronicles?) but almost everything else is good and fits together very well. You also need to read "Legion Quest", the lead-in, whose issue numbers I completely forget.

NEW MUTANTS 18-34 - you probably also need to read an early NM issue to see who the characters are. This is Bill Sienkiewicz' run on the comic which allowed - or forced! - Claremont to get a bit more grown-up and experimental in his storytelling. Really gorgeous stuff here, the issues with Professor X's multiple-personality kid (26-28) are particularly memorable but even when the stories are lame the art is gorgeous.

Groke, Friday, 27 July 2007 10:25 (sixteen years ago) link

The Siege Perilous didn't transform Psylocke, the Hand did. They basically switched Betsy's mind into the new body of a woman called Kwannon.

All four of them -- Psylocke, Colossus, Havok, and Dazzler -- emerged from the Siege amnesiacs, reborn at least in the sense of being blank slates.

Mr. Perpetua, Friday, 27 July 2007 11:52 (sixteen years ago) link

Ah, okay. Did Psylocke ever get her old body back, or did she prefer the new babe look?

Tuomas, Friday, 27 July 2007 12:28 (sixteen years ago) link

I thought that The Twelve thing was mostly Rob L1efe1d's fault- if I'm thinking of the right story, it was something to do with Cable and Cannonball and a set of immortal mutant Illuminati-types (back before they fucked up when no-one knew Cable's origin)

Wasn't that around when New Mutants became X-Force? Which iirc was about the time my X-Disenchantment set in and I went off to read DC stuff.

The Claremont/Sienkewicz New Mutants is absolutely extraordinary; I have no idea how any of it got past the mediocrity police. The Demon Bear, Warlock and Magus etc. - there's a load of utterly mental stuff in that run.

Stone Monkey, Friday, 27 July 2007 14:33 (sixteen years ago) link

Bill S actually only draws up to 31, but 32-34 are a very good story drawn by Leialoha which finishes up a few of the plot threads from the "Gladiators" story in 29-31.

Groke, Friday, 27 July 2007 15:36 (sixteen years ago) link

my recollection is that Excalibur was still being written by Claremont around the time of Inferno, and was a bag of fun. It was basically an X-Men spin-off, with Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler going to the UK to team up with Captain Britain and Mrs Captain Britain for no obvious reason.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Friday, 27 July 2007 16:32 (sixteen years ago) link

The Siege Perilous didn't transform Psylocke, the Hand did. They basically switched Betsy's mind into the new body of a woman called Kwannon.

I thought she was captured by some Asian criminal, brainwashed into being a martial arts fighter, and had her features changed to look Chinese because he was rascist.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Friday, 27 July 2007 16:33 (sixteen years ago) link

But she was captured because of the Seige Perilous (I think)!

David R., Friday, 27 July 2007 16:48 (sixteen years ago) link

That whole post-Fall of the Mutants phase (despite some semicool Brood & Savage Land shenanigans) makes me sad.

David R., Friday, 27 July 2007 16:52 (sixteen years ago) link

So should we blame Claremont for not resolving Wolverine's origin & the whole Days of Future Past / The Twelve stuff,

I vote no, because neither of these were really his stories. IIRC, the Twelve were alluded to in Louise Simonson's X-Factor and sat untouched until a bad 90s storyline decided to pick them up. Not to be confused with the even worse earlier 90s Liefeld storyline that Stone Monkey is thinking of.

Wolverine's origin was basically a non-issue in the mainline X-books, it was really emphasized elsewhere, like the "Weapon X" storyline etc. I never got the impression Claremont really cared, and he was subject to surprisingly few Claremontian danglers as far as I remember.

I like pretty much the entire Claremont run from whenever it stops being horrendously 70s and cheesy (let's say 110, 120?) up through the Australian period. Certainly there are highs and lows within that...Fall of the Mutants is not exactly great, but the Brood story, the Paul Smith period as a whole, Dark Phoenix, Kulan Gath etc etc, all deserve the hype. One very underrated period IMO is the JRJr era, when the theme seemed to be "let's try just heaping continuous abuse on the X-Men." This would later become so much the default position of the entire line that it's hard to realize how striking the year or so covering Nimrod and the Mutant Massacre are. Rachel Grey may epitomize a failure of long-term planning - she shows up, angsts around for a while, then leaves without accomplishing anything - but she does kickstart an era where bleakness is for once convincing rather than gratuitous. Nightcrawler's speech in issue ??? sets the tone well - "Thunderbird - killed! Jean Grey - killed! Where will it all end?" It all ends with the IMO absolutely harrowing final scene in 211, which still sends shivers up my spine... ahem, anyway....

I would second the recommendations for New Mutants, and extend them up to issue 50 to include a fairly fun (if predictabale) time-travel arc. The stuff with Bill S. on art really can't fail, but you'll want to keep going past that to get the meat of Magneto's term as headmaster. There's a reason people are still nostalgic for that period and continue to regard the evil Magneto as some sort of editorial betrayal, fifteen years down the line. Naturally, this period includes the Asgard crossover that keeps getting justifiably upped, so grab that too - it takes place around #35 or so if I recall correctly. Proceed past issue 50 at your own risk, it gets hairy fast. If you grow attached to the characters (as you might well do), you're better served by (brace yourself) fanfic, especially Connie Hirsch's canonical epic "Kid Dynamo."

A little later in NM continuity but readable on its own is the Jo Duffy-penned miniseries "Fallen Angels," which is probably my favorite bit of X-ephemera ever. Eight goofy but convincing issues of a motley crew of outcast mutants including a Tyrannosaurus Rex and two lobsters. 1987 doesn't get any better than that.

Stepping outside the 80s "golden age" there's not much I can recommend wholeheartedly that you haven't already read. Lobdell and Bachalo's "Generation X" from the 90s is IMO really good although it has its detractors and quickly gets bad after the first twenty-five issues or so. The four-issue Age of Apocalypse tie-in, "Generation Next," is another one of those books where bleakness convinces in a good way, although it's about as subtle as a sledgehammer. This is back when Bachalo could draw a lot better, too.


Doctor Casino, Saturday, 28 July 2007 00:00 (sixteen years ago) link

Am I crazy or was Inferno HEAVILY influenced by DC's proto-vertigo Swamp Thing and Hellblazer runs of "Hell comes to comictown" storyline arcs?
In any case it was pretty horrible.

forksclovetofu, Saturday, 28 July 2007 15:34 (sixteen years ago) link

It all ends with the IMO absolutely harrowing final scene in 211, which still sends shivers up my spine... ahem, anyway....

That issue really did a number on me when I first read it as a little kid. I feel like my taste in genre fiction is basically defined by my very early exposure to the Mutant Massacre and the Empire Strikes Back.

Mr. Perpetua, Saturday, 28 July 2007 15:41 (sixteen years ago) link

Picked up buying Uncanny X-men at 206, although i'd been reading a friend's copies for a year or so. Mutant Massacre is probably the peak for me in retrospect, as i became more interested in the back issues than whatever happened later in Australia. Couldn't afford to buy them past 160 back then, as the local shop marked everything past that to obscene prices.

When the early Claremont stuff was reprinted in Classic X-Men, i loved it, until the comic book shop went under.

Feel uncomfortable with the Dazzler teams. I still remember seeing on the stands in the supermarket the covers with her wearing facepaint and mirrorball around her neck. (I liked Shogun Warriors then though.) She'd be cooler if she stuck with that look instead of playing dress-up with whatever Claremont thinks the kids are digging. Between Dazzler and Lila the spacejumper, i winced a lot at all music references in X-Men.

Inferno did not happen. Abysmal. It's odd that right now "New X-Men" (New Mutants) is bring back Belasco and Magik.

Loathed Louise Simonson & Bret Blevins for screwing up New Mutants, even though Claremont probably would have done that well himself. The Claremont/Sienkiewicz run on New Mutants might even be the favorite of the '80s X-titles. I'm reluctant to go back to read too much of this stuff

Very fond of the Kulan Gath and the Asgard stories too. It felt right that Asgard had a lasting impact on the New Mutants as well.

Wasn't Psylocke brought into the X-Men fold with a New Mutants story?

Part of the reason why i started following comics again in earnest was because of reading the Morrison X-Men run.

I have an irrational hope that Ellis' run on Astonishing will be vaguely like Nextwave.

orb_q, Saturday, 28 July 2007 22:28 (sixteen years ago) link

THE AGE OF APOCALYPSE - I think I am alone on ILC in thinking this was good!


I need to start reading comics industry nonsense again because I had NO IDEA Ellis was taking over Astonishing!!!!!! omg ditto to the Nextwave hopes

HI DERE, Saturday, 28 July 2007 23:39 (sixteen years ago) link

In the Newsarama interview, he claims that the nu-Nextwave (the title he writes totally for himself) is Thunderbolts, so I'm guessing this will be more like his "straight" superhero stuff.

I think Psylocke's first (American?) appearance was in a New Mutants Annual (#2, I think), so I'm pretty sure orb_q gets some sort of prize. Maybe.

David R., Sunday, 29 July 2007 00:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Ellis is taking over Astonishing?! I don't know whether I'm thrilled or disappointed.. considering the scheduling delays that have plagued the book and its completely mysterious status in continuity, I was sort of hoping Whedon's run would end and that would be it...you would buy a big omnibus edition proclaiming "WHEDON - CASSADAY : ASTONISHING X-MEN," thrill to the spills and chills, and move on. As an continuing part of the X-landscape, I just dunno. I'd hate to see it with any other artist but Cassaday, but at the same time it will never, ever be timely enough to be relevant with him on art.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 29 July 2007 02:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Ellis is getting PHASE II or somesuch put in the title, specifically so you can treat the Whedon/Cassady run as one discrete chunk.

energy flash gordon, Sunday, 29 July 2007 02:58 (sixteen years ago) link

Although i wasn't really serious about Astonishing being the new Nextwave, it would make more sense in an odd way, in that it's a comic driven less by expositional writing and more by big explosions and spit-takes, without a looming sense of rigid adherence to continuity.

orb_q, Sunday, 29 July 2007 12:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, it seems like they are doing the right thing with Astonishing X-Men --- on one hand, it's a boutique title where big names can come in and do something that isn't subject to the whims of the rest of the line, and it's obviously geared towards building up a strong library of trade paperbacks. On the other, Whedon did season 4 and 5 of New X-Men, and Ellis is doing seaon 6 and presumably 7.

Mr. Perpetua, Sunday, 29 July 2007 14:25 (sixteen years ago) link

I came to the X-Men rather late in the game (except for the random Claremont issues I read here and there as a kid and didn't understand in the slightest out of context). A few years back, I read everything (and I mean everything...blechhh) from the beginning of Claremont's run through to right before New X-Men in one huge rush. Not much of Claremont's run really stuck with me (although I liked it a lot and look forward to re-reading it much more slowly soon). The period of time when Uncanny and New Mutants kind of bled into one another was fun. I was quite surprised that the Scott Lobdell era was much better than I remembered it being, particularly around the time when Romita was doing the art. So that was good. And I'm always a huge shill for the brief Alan Davis solo run on Excalibur.

Deric W. Haircare, Sunday, 29 July 2007 16:07 (sixteen years ago) link

made him look like more of an ass, or less of an ass?

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 January 2014 08:26 (nine years ago) link

I think these two stories kind of make Chuck X look quite a bit like a bad guy.


"Dangerous" (Issues #7–12)
This Whedon arc features a Sentinel attack with a mystery mastermind. The culprit is the Danger Room, which is becoming sentient and appears as a robot called "Danger." Whedon establishes that Professor X imprisoned Danger and made it an unwilling host of the Danger Room, leaving the X-Men disgusted. Whedon also revealed that Emma Frost is aligned with the newly formed Hellfire Club.

earlnash, Tuesday, 7 January 2014 23:13 (nine years ago) link

Note that this is the same Professor X that threw that temper tantrum, was jealously in love with his student, faked his death how many times...

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 January 2014 23:59 (nine years ago) link

Prof X and Cyclops were always dicks.

Palsied Phlebotomist (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 8 January 2014 01:16 (nine years ago) link

Yeah, the difference is maybe that the more recent stories recognize this and make it a key plot point (almost ad nauseum - I remember just endless Cyclops/Professor X feudery a few years ago), rather than throwing it on the page and leaving you to go "Wait...so is this guy really supposed to be a good guy, or what?"

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 01:34 (nine years ago) link

There is a whole lot of moral ambiguity in the X-men especially from when they opened their arms to Magneto way back in the 80s. You look at how it all developed out, it looks to me more like a weirdo cult in many ways. In the last split of the X-men you had Cyclops pretty much counseling with Magneto, Namor and Emma Frost...not exactly the clean living crew.

Of course the whole Marvel Universe has kind of come ethically unmoored in a similar way in greater levels since the Marvel U has gone all Watchmen/The Authority starting say around Avengers Dissembled.

earlnash, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 02:15 (nine years ago) link

Diamond was having some crazy sales before Christmas, so I got the Morrison run of New X-Men for $7 as 7 digest-sized TPBs. I'm going to start that when I finish reading Liar's Poker.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 8 January 2014 02:53 (nine years ago) link

I got the Morrison run of New X-Men for $7 as 7 digest-sized TPBs


how's life, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 12:47 (nine years ago) link

it looks to me more like a weirdo cult in many ways

It occurs to me that a lot of Fraction's run on Uncanny could be read that way. Particularly the weirdly optimistic, overly-confident tone it had right out of the gate. But I never felt like he had that great of a grasp on how to write the X-Men.

Palsied Phlebotomist (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 8 January 2014 15:04 (nine years ago) link

Whenever I even CONTEMPLATE trying to get back into Xbooks my eyes glaze over - out of the loop since 93 or so, not really missing it

Silvestri was better than many of you think

Beatrix Kiddo (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 14 January 2014 18:38 (nine years ago) link

X-books live and die on how engaging the student characters are IMO

SHAUN (DJP), Tuesday, 14 January 2014 18:44 (nine years ago) link

'93 is not a bad place to fall out of the loop. Lots of good places to pick up after, though. Kelly/Seagle era, Morrison's New X-Men, Brubaker/Carey. Assuming you were fishing for suggestions.

Silvestri was not bad, true. We've had much, much worse.

Pocket Pudding (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 14 January 2014 18:46 (nine years ago) link

I'd love it if there was always at least one X-book that's pretty much 75% soapy all the time, preferably the X-student book du jour. I'm a few years behind, but the post-Morrison/Whedon WALL-TO-WALL ACTION! style with very little interpersonal drama (particularly glaring in the student-cenric New X-Men, which read like an adolescent mutant holocaust narrative) kinda put me off.

Pocket Pudding (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 14 January 2014 18:55 (nine years ago) link

i wasn't fond of the Brubaker space stuff/Warren Ellis Astonishing run that followed Whedon's run and tuned out. all the crazy AvX junk and after makes me want to catch up though

Nhex, Tuesday, 14 January 2014 19:01 (nine years ago) link

Agreed about the student New X-Men book. A good one in this vein was Zeb Wells's New Mutants which was actually about the old New Mutants getting back together. Involved something of a nostalgia trip, but there was some smart use of old stories, and IIRC the characters were really written as adults, with histories, getting back together, and that was cool. I don't think there's been an actually really good "student" book since the early issues of Generation X.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 14 January 2014 19:47 (nine years ago) link

I think Aarons Wolverine and the X-Men is a pretty good student book.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 14 January 2014 19:53 (nine years ago) link

xpost! I drifted away just prior to the inception of Wolverine & the X-Men, but what I've heard makes it sound like a decent student-centric book.

Re: getting caught up, I was recently idly thinking about picking up the collections of all the X-stuff I'd missed after 3-ish years out of the loop. IIRC, that amounted to approximately a ridiculous 50 trades. Hence my continued out-of-the-loopness.

Pocket Pudding (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 14 January 2014 19:56 (nine years ago) link

yeah, i hear ya, the main reason i have slacked off on it

Nhex, Tuesday, 14 January 2014 19:59 (nine years ago) link

eh there's no real need to catch up, here's all you need to know:

- Cyclops leads a group of outlaw X-Men who are basically wanted by the Avengers for taking over the world and accidentally killing Xavier
- Wolverine leads a mainstream group of X-Men who have gone back to the original remit of running a mutant school
- In an attempt to keep Cyclops from going crazy, Beast brings the original X-Men forward in time to show them what their future holds in an attempt to change it; this ends up breaking time travel and the originals are now stuck in present time

proceed from here

SHAUN (DJP), Tuesday, 14 January 2014 20:22 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Doc Casino, that re-New Mutants book sounds cool - I may investigate

Beatrix Kiddo (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 6 February 2014 04:00 (nine years ago) link

anybody feel like putting together a list of everything x-universe worth reading that's up on Marvel Unlimited or does that fall to me?

PSY talks The Nut Job (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 6 February 2014 18:00 (nine years ago) link

I have no idea what's on Marvel Unlimited

If Age of X is up there, it's worth a look; probably my favorite of the recent crossover stories due to its disorienting beginning and how it spools back into a background thread running through the X-Books at the time

Fight the Powers that Be with this Powerful Les Paul! (DJP), Thursday, 6 February 2014 18:24 (nine years ago) link

dan, you have a tablet right? You should get marvel unlimited. would save you a lotta money.

PSY talks The Nut Job (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 6 February 2014 18:34 (nine years ago) link

three years pass...

question for Dr Casino - a few years ago I think I remember you linking to a blog you and a friend had written where you reviewed the Claremont/Byrne era X Men issue by issue - is this still online and can you direct me to it? (obv if you'd prefer not to link to it for whatever reason then no worries!)

soref, Friday, 17 March 2017 16:24 (six years ago) link

Aww, I'm touched! Yeah, it's still up there, perpetually shaming both of us since it was sorta just hitting its stride when we both got too busy and lost the whole momentum. Here's just the entries for the X-Men project.

tales of a scorched-earth nothing (Doctor Casino), Friday, 17 March 2017 16:49 (six years ago) link

Sweet! I'm reading it for the first time right now, that's great timing.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 17 March 2017 16:55 (six years ago) link


soref, Friday, 17 March 2017 16:58 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

Jonathan Hickman's House of X/Powers of X is outstanding, and we're not even halfway through yet.
These Xavier Files annotations are pretty fun to read, I'll definitely be keeping up every issue.

Nhex, Saturday, 24 August 2019 07:08 (four years ago) link

Would someone not very versed in X-lore enjoy them, do you think? They sound intriguing, but I don't want to be constantly checking footnotes to understand it all.

And according to some websites, there were “sexcapades.” (James Morrison), Saturday, 24 August 2019 07:38 (four years ago) link

Most likely, yes, I think. Though it's insanely detailed, the story on its own is pretty follow-able so far. You don't need to read footnotes to understand it, it just adds to the enjoyment and excitement to understand more of the references.

Also it's (sort of? hard to say right now) a reboot/retcon story. It doesn't undo everything that's happened since the beginning of X-Men times, but tries to re-contextualize it, and you see some of those events through new eyes.

Nhex, Saturday, 24 August 2019 13:48 (four years ago) link

I agree the run is excellent so far first time I’ve been excited for new x issues in many many years

Mordy, Saturday, 24 August 2019 14:08 (four years ago) link

Cheers, might have to take the plunge.

i've only seen the first couple issues. seemed wild and awesome and full of potential. it may seem bonkers overwhelming with new concepts and new takes on familiar characters, but my friend who's been keeping up with stuff more regularly assures me that this is NOT a case of it assuming i know a ton of weird continuity from the last fifteen years - - - it's just throwing a whole ton of new things at you, sorta like the start of Grant Morrison's run in the early 2000s. for what it's worth!

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 25 August 2019 13:07 (four years ago) link

Would someone not very versed in X-lore enjoy them, do you think? They sound intriguing, but I don't want to be constantly checking footnotes to understand it all

My partner's been reading them - she knows the characters from the movies mostly, but she digs it and found it really easy to follow.

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 25 August 2019 13:27 (four years ago) link

Hickman likes to make the reader sweat and work out the connections between things, CONSTANTLY, but it's a much more forgiving sort of complexity than "you need to know every character from the past 43 years of continuity, even the bad bits". I got a similar feeling when I read Gene Wolfe for the first time earlier in the year.

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 25 August 2019 13:34 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

Re reading the HOX/POX hardback over the last day or two.

Really, really good stuff all around. I wish there were a way to read the story going forward in some summarized form though instead of collecting like 12 books per month for years

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 22:54 (two years ago) link

I’ve picked up some singles here and there but ultimately realized I’d rather wait for *significant* collected arcs.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 23:11 (two years ago) link

I started collecting them all the X-titles for the first year of that run, but you're right, like 80% of it is spaced out incredibly. there are interesting setups for almost every series but most of them feel totally unnecessary. Winnowed it down to just core X-Men and Marauders. If anyone else thinks the other titles are worthwhile, let me know.

They introduced so many new titles even AFTER Dawn of X that I gave up trying to catch them all. Like is Ewing's SWORD worth it?

You can read the collected X of Swords next which is a decent story, pushing some of the elements introduced in Hox/PoX regarding Arakko/Krakoa and Apocalypse. The following events (Hellfire Gala/Trial of Magneto and Inferno) are just getting started now.

Nhex, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 02:10 (two years ago) link

Another note that is that Marvel IS surprisingly - with six months backlog time - collecting the entirely of the X-Men titles in chronological order in various trades, previously Dawn of X (16 volumes) currently Reign of X (up to 3, expected to go to 11). Kinda hoping someday they'll all just be super cheap on Comixology or something.

Nhex, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 02:13 (two years ago) link

While I have enjoyed some of these extended storyline type runs, criminy that is like $300+ bucks to read one huge story.

Everything melting down into this stuff is why I pretty much gave up on the weekly habit. Too much...

earlnash, Thursday, 9 September 2021 06:38 (two years ago) link

Nhex, thanks!

I’ll probably wait until the inevitable reboot of the line before really diving into those volumes. Volume form is how I’ve followed say, Saga - it requires some patience but then again there’s no shortage of things to be distracted by.

earlnash, by and large I’m with you. I can’t imagine buying, whatever, 10-15 titles a month like I did when I was 13. For reasons discussed exhaustively everywhere, it isn’t worth it: decompression, the flashiness of art/pages post-1991 or so, etc etc

Much of my comics money goes to comics or collections pre-1992 or so

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 9 September 2021 10:59 (two years ago) link

I could not keep up on Batman at all. It used to be like 2-3 issues a month and DC said f'k it - they want Batman we will give them Batman a few years ago and it was like 10-12 issues a month.

X-men is some serious major nerd commitment. Read a bit of the big late model runs but it's just too dense at this point for me. Definitely need a scorecard to keep track of the multiple versions of characters and all the wacky changes and I cannot imagine what a Hickman deconstruction would be like.

earlnash, Thursday, 9 September 2021 12:07 (two years ago) link

Last i saw, MOST of the X-runs are available in Marvel Unlimited if you have a tablet and/or are comfortable reading at your computer

that's true, a good option for the price
I wish Marvel Unlimited was better at multi-title collections and crossover reading order. though maybe they've improved, I haven't used it in a few years

Nhex, Thursday, 9 September 2021 15:17 (two years ago) link

Just checked - they're only 3 months behind now? Maybe I should just give up on print, most of my floppies are Marvel

Nhex, Thursday, 9 September 2021 15:18 (two years ago) link

there's any numbers of reading order guides online of course

Hickman’s runs are so long I need to pause and get a breather, and then I forget everything and start again.

I read the first issues hickman’s monthly (agree marauders was the only other dece title, although xforce (!) was fun). But then the pandemic and having a toddler happened and I have a year and a half of deliveries from my comic book store to catch up on. Is any of it as good as hoxpox was?

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 10 September 2021 20:21 (two years ago) link

Nope, unfortunately, but I feel like it might pick up on the way out. Also, he's leaving Marvel soon to do that Substack thing, so this era won't be as long as his other projects.

Nhex, Friday, 10 September 2021 20:51 (two years ago) link

I followed but unsubscribed from his substack– it’s like all the boring texty bits Hickman puts in his book run rampant

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 10 September 2021 21:51 (two years ago) link

Also substack is evil of course

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 10 September 2021 21:52 (two years ago) link

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