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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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

The second half of 2016, covering roughly the first eight months of 1992, brings us almost right up to the start of "X-Cutioner's Song", the next linewide crossover event (and the first since the big linewide relaunch). Before then, the titles are mostly settling in after the shakeup of lates 1991, staying relatively self-contained (like X-Force and Spider-Man before, both X-Factor and X-Men get brief crossovers with non-X-books during this time), while Wolverine remains the only title to go bi-weekly in Marvel's last summer of double shipping certain titles.

But beneath the surface, big rumblings are happening, rumblings which will affect not only the X-books, but all of Marvel (and really, the industry as whole), as the first half of 1992 also marks the Image Exodus, as several of Marvel's top artists, including the regular plotters/pencilers of four of the six regular X-books, the very same creators to whom the keys to the kingdom were handed less than a year before, leave to form their own publishing company, Image Comics. In the wake of their departure, a new batch of creators scramble to maintain the energy and consistency of the line, a line whose sales are climbing ever higher, and which is on the verge of getting even bigger as the 30th anniversary of the X-Men approaches.

As always, sound off in the comments regarding any questions of placement or issues I may be missing. Things remain subject to change, but I'm hoping to keep the break before "X-Cutioner's Song" close to the end of the year, and I've worked in a couple of short weeks already to accommodate some travel and vacations and the like (next week I'm traveling for work, giving me an opportunity to do a long-overdue post on X-Men action figures; there's another short week at the beginning and end of August due to some vacation time, as well as the usual short breaks around Thanksgiving and Christmas).

July 7th: X-Men Action Figures

On Sale December 1991
July 13th: Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Heart of Darkness
July 14th: Excalibur: Air Apparent
July 15th: Incredible Hulk #390-391

On Sale January 1992
July 20th: Uncanny X-Men #286
July 21st: X-Force #8
July 22nd: X-Factor #76

July 27th: X-Men (vol. 2) #6
July 28th: Excalibur #48
July 29th: Wolverine #52

August 3rd: Incredible Hulk #392
August 4th: Marvel Comics Presents #90-97 (Cable & Ghost Rider)

On Sale February 1992
August 10th: Uncanny X-Men #287
August 11th: X-Force #9
August 12th: X-Factor #77

August 17th: X-Men (vol. 2) #7
August 18th: Excalibur #49
August 19th: Wolverine #53

On Sale March 1992
August 24th: Uncanny X-Men #288
August 25th: X-Force #10
August 26th: X-Factor #78

August 31st: X-Men Annual (vol. 2) #1

September 7th: Uncanny X-Men Annual #16
September 8th:  X-Factor Annual #7
September 9th: X-Force Annual #1

September 14th: X-Men (vol. 2) #8 
September 15th: Excalibur #50
September 16th: Wolverine #54

On Sale April 1992
September 21st: Ghost Rider #26
September 22nd: Marvel Comics Presents #101-108 (Wolverine & Nightcrawler) 

September 28th: Uncanny X-Men #289
September 29th: X-Force #11
September 30th: X-Factor #79

October 5th: X-Men (vol. 2) #9
October 6th: Excalibur #51
October 7th: Wolverine #55

On Sale May 1992
October 12th: Ghost Rider #27
October 13th: Excalibur: XX Crossing
October 14th:  Wolverine #56

October 19th:  Uncanny X-Men #290
October 20th:  X-Force #12
October 21st:  X-Factor #80

October 26th:  X-Men (vol. 2) #10
October 27th: Excalibur #52
October 28th: Wolverine #57

On Sale June 1992
November 2nd: Uncanny X-Men #291
November 3rd: X-Force #13
November 4th: X-Factor #81

November 9th: X-Men (vol. 2) #11
November 10th: Excalibur #53
November 11th: Wolverine #58

November 16th: Avengers #350-351
November 17th: Spider-Man #25
November 18th: Wolverine #59th

November 23rd: Unstacking the Deck: X-Men Series 1

On Sale July 1992
November 30th: Uncanny X-Men #292
December 1st: X-Force #14
December 2nd:  X-Factor #82

December 7th: X-Men (vol. 2) #12
December 8th: Excalibur #54
December 9th: Wolverine #60

December 14th: Ghost Rider #29
December 15th: Captain America #402-480
December 16th: Wolverine #61

On Sale August 1992
December 21st: Uncanny X-Men #293
December 22nd: X-Force #15
December 23rd: X-Factor #83

December 28th: Cable: Blood & Metal #1-2


  1. My biggest request is to include plenty of behind-the-scenes and meta commentary. For my own experience, I've read the books before but I don't know what *drove* those stories. Reading these has been a blast, keep up the good work!

  2. The behind-the-scenes stuff is maybe the most interesting thing about this period. I remember realizing when McFarland left Spider-Man, and I think Jim Lee soon after (my recollection of the time frame is fuzzy), how briefly they had their own series before jumping ship. I still wonder, in the long run, if it was the best move. I get wanting ownership of your own stuff, but Spawn, and WildCATS in particular, seem like a pretty mediocre legacy to leave behind. But I'm sure they laughed all the way to the bank.

    At any rate, I collected up through #294, with just a couple of gimmick covers prompting me to pick up single issues before dropping them entirely. Sort of the end of an era for me, at that point.

    1. Well, Jim Lee's path eventually led to his becoming co-publisher of DC Comics, so there may be more to his legacy than WILDC.A.T.S. before all is said and done! And Todd McFarlane founded a successful toy company out of his Image success, so I'd say his legacy extends beyond comics.

    2. Good points. I just wonder if their escape to Image was really necessary for either's later successes, as they were both already the biggest artists in the business doing the two most popular titles. Then again, McFarland's toy business couldn't have started while he was at Marvel--they'd have assumed all the rights--so that at least answers my own question for him. I can't help but see Lee's later work in the shadow of his X-Men stuff, though. Sort of like seeing a band get really popular later in their career, and saying, "I knew them when they only drew the biggest selling single issue in history!" Or something like that.

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  3. Huh. CABLE: BLOOD AND METAL was published before "X-Cutioner's Song"? Doesn't it take place after, or am I misremembering?

    I'm excited for January; UNCANNY X-MEN 294 was the first issue I bought new off the rack (though after "X-Cutioner's Song" it was a few more months before I became a regular X-reader).

  4. No, it takes place before. It kind of has to take place before, since it involved Cable and Kane versus Stryfe and the MLF, plus Cable leaves Kane stranded in the future when Cable "dies" at the end of X-cutioner's Song, etc.


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