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Monday, January 4, 2016

X-aminations in January 2016...and Beyond!

The next six months feature some of the biggest moments in the history of the X-books: the return of New Mutants in the form of X-Force, the launch of a second X-Men title, the first issue of which still stands as the single highest-selling comic book of all time (and which permanently pushes the Uncanny X-Men reviews into a, at best, two week rotation), a brand new X-Factor lineup as the original X-Men rejoin their original team, the return of Alan Davis (and relevancy) to Excalibur, more deep dives into Wolverine's past in Wolverine, and most significant of all, the departure of Chris Claremont from first Uncanny X-Men and, shortly thereafter, the franchise as a whole, a departure which will loom large over the franchise for years to come.

Plus, Cyclops' son gets positioned to become Cable, the Shadow King subplot finally becomes plot, Omega Red debuts, and Rob Liefeld & Todd McFarlane team up for a Spider-Man/X-Force crossover that reads much differently in the wake of 9/11.

The '91 relaunch of the franchise has always loomed, like Giant-Sized X-Men #1 and the debut of New Mutants before it, as a watershed moment for this review series, a significant touchstone in the history of the franchise that has always seemed far off. Yet here we are, on the verge of it, and it feels both strange and exciting.

As always, sound off in the comments with any questions, omissions or suggestions!

On Sale March 1991
January 6th: Uncanny X-Men #276
January 7th: New Mutants Retrospective
January 8th: X-Factor #66

January 13th: New Warriors #9-10
January 14th: Excalibur #37
January 15th: Wolverine #39

On Sale April 1991
January 20th: Uncanny X-Men #277
January 21st: New Mutants Annual #7
January 22nd: X-Factor #67

January 27th: New Warriors Annual #1
January 28th: X-Men Annual #15
January 29th: X-Factor Annual #6

February 3rd: She-Hulk #26
February 4th: Excalibur #38
February 5th: Wolverine #40

On Sale May 1991
February 10th: Uncanny X-Men #278
February 11th: Excalibur: Possession
February 12th: X-Factor #68

February 17th: Wolverine #41
February 18th: Excalibur #39
February 19th: Wolverine #42

On Sale June 1991
February 24th: Uncanny X-Men #279
February 25th: X-Force #1
February 26th: X-Factor #69

March 2nd: Wolverine #43
March 3rd: Excalibur #40
March 4th: Wolverine #44

On Sale July 1991
March 9th: Uncanny X-Men #280
March 10th: X-Force #2
March 11th: X-Factor #70

March 16th: Wolverine: Bloody Choices
March 17th: Marvel Comics Presents #85-91 (Beast story)
March 18th: X-Factor Retrospective

March 23rd: Wolverine #45
March 24th: Excalibur #41
March 25th: Wolverine #46

On Sale August 1991
March 30th: Uncanny X-Men #281
March 31st: X-Force #3
April 1st: X-Factor #71

April 6th: X-Men (vol. 2) #1
April 7th: Excalibur #42
April 8th: Wolverine #47

April 13th: Spider-Man #15
April 14th: Spider-Man #16
April 15th: Wolverine: Rahne of Terra

On Sale September 1991
April 20th: Uncanny X-Men #282
April 21st: X-Force #4
April 22nd: X-Factor #72

April 27th: X-Men (vol. 2) #2
April 28th: Excalibur #43
April 29th: Wolverine #48

On Sale October 1991
May 4th: Marvel Comics Presents #85-92 (Wolverine story)
May 5th: Excalibur #44
May 6th: TBD

May 11th: Uncanny X-Men #283
May 12th: X-Force #5
May 13th: X-Factor #73

May 20th: X-Men (vol. 2) #3
May 21st: Excalibur #45
May 22nd: Wolverine #49

On Sale November 1991
May 25th: Uncanny X-Men #284
May 26th: X-Force #6
May 27th: X-Factor #74

June 1st: X-Men (vol. 2) #4
June 2nd: Excalibur #46
June 3rd: Wolverine #50

On Sale December 1991
June 8th: Uncanny X-Men #285
June 9th: X-Force #7
June 10th: X-Factor #75

June 15th: X-Men (vol. 2) #5
June 16th: Excalibur #47
June 17th: Wolverine #51

June 22nd: Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness
June 23rd: Excalibur: Air Apparent
June 24th: Incredible Hulk #390-391

On Sale January 1992
June 29th: Uncanny X-Men #286
June 30th: X-Force #8
July 1st: X-Factor #76


  1. GM Chrysler this has gotten unmanageable!

    1. Tell me about it! I really don't like having to permanently push UNCANNY into a two week rotation (or more, when there's extra stuff to cover), but I just couldn't come up with a better way to cover it and X-MEN.

  2. "The '91 relaunch of the franchise...a watershed moment for this review series"

    One could argue this was the biggest watershed moment for the franchise as a whole, as well. The closest we get to this is in the early 2000s when Morrison and co come along.

    1. On the one hand, I don't want to discount Giant-Size X-Men, without which we'd have no modern X-Men, nor the release of NEW MUTANTS #1, which made a book into a franchise.

      On the other hand, the '91 relaunch includes the best selling comic of all time, expands the franchise to include not just spin-off titles but also multiple X-MEN titles (something that has remained in place since) AND features a major creative reshuffling across all the books (save WOLVERINE).

      So you're probably right in calling it the biggest moment in the history of the franchise.

  3. Can't believe Claremont's run ends in May...I feel the withdrawls already!


  4. I have no idea how good or how essential to continuity the various guest appearances / crossovers, MCP stories, and one-shots you’ve slotted in are, but even if you tighten things up by removing those it looks like you’d gain maybe three or four weeks over these six months — one each in March, April, possibly May, and June — and I don’t blame you for wanting to be liberal with the inclusivity as long as you’re already undertaking a project this big, although when it comes to certain ancillary material I may find myself content to read your synopsis of what happened when and why it matters to the main series at hand.

    1. I would hesitate to call all the ancillary material I've included (aside from the annuals, I suppose) "essential" - in the case of two MCP stories in this batch, I'm including them more or less just on the basis of the artists involved (Liefeld & Sam Kieth, respectively). That said, if you can believe it, I did cull the list of ancillary stuff to what's included here. A handful of X-Men appear in multiple issues of a DEATHLOK story after the Muir Island Saga, for example, and Wolverine makes a multi-issue appearance in the NICK FURY AGENT OF SHIELD series around that time as well, but flipping through those issues/reading about them online, I decided they didn't involve the X-characters in the story enough or do anything significant with them to warrant inclusion.

      Which is my long-winded way of saying, it could be worse. :)

    2. Speaking of Wolverine and Nick Fury, and given all the ancillary stuff you have covered, I'm a little surprised you didn't do the WOLVERINE/NICK FURY: THE SCORPIO CONNECTION graphic novel.

      (Of course, I forgot it existed until you mentioned Wolverine and Fury in the same sentence just now, so maybe you did too.)


    3. I've been waiting for that to come up, Matt, and it's only now that I checked to see it came out in '89; I'd thought it came out a few years later based on when I paged through it at the comics shop where I worked in the early '90s, but apparently I was just restocking the backlist shelves rather than perusing the new books.

      As for you culling items, Teebore, oh, I believe it. 8^)

    4. Oh, I probably *should* have done SCORPIO CONNECTION.

      I didn't, because I've never read it nor seen it referenced by other stories or by fans enough (or at all) to make me feel like it was required reading for the Wolverine/overall X-Men narrative.

      Then again, the most recent Marvel Index does include it, right alongside similarly "forgotten"/unremarked upon stuff like BLOODY CHOICES or RAHNE OF TERRA that I am covering.

      Consider it a prime candidate, right alongside MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #1 and BIZARRE ADVENTURES #27, for inclusion in the sure-it'll-happen-someday expanded print version of X-aminations. :)


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