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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

X-aminations in October 2018

After a look at Marvel's latest high-end trading card series, released as they attempt to wring every last dollar from the fading trading card market, and wrapping up the June '94 releases, it's time (at last) for the "Phalanx Covenant", the crossover which, in terms of structure, bridges the gap between the formally-structured crossovers like "X-Tinction Agenda" and "X-Cutioner's Song" and the more loosely-organized early crossovers like "Fall of the Mutants" and "Inferno" (which is the model to which most of the immediate post-"Phalanx" crossovers will return).

On Sale June 1994
October 3: Unstacking the Deck: Marvel Flair Annual '94
October 4: Cable #14

October 10: X-Men (vol. 2) #35
October 11: X-Force #37
October 12: Excalibur #80

On Sale July 1994
October 17: Uncanny X-Men (vol. 2) #316
October 18: X-Factor #106
October 19: Excalibur #81

October 24: X-Men (vol. 2) #36
October 25: X-Force #38
October 26: Wolverine #85

October 31: Excalibur Annual #2
November 1: X-Men Unlimited #6
November 2: Cable #15

And now it's time for the Power Rankings, ranking the previous month's issues against each other!

May 1994 Power Rankings
1. Uncanny X-Men #314
1. X-Men (vol. 2) #34

Once again, the flagship books lead the rankings, though in this case they are essentially tied for the number one spot - X-Men has arguably better art, while Uncanny features a stronger story and more important narrative developments - and both are weaker than other recent entries in their respective series, setting the ceiling of this month's offerings lower than previous months.

3. X-Force #36
4. Cable #13

Cable launches up several spots thanks to finally getting a regular artist in Steve Skroce and telling a fun story built on the history between Cable, Lee Forester, D'Spayre, and Limbo, while X-Force holds strong with an action-packed conclusion to a classic "evil robot" story.

5. X-Factor #104

Once again, X-Factor holds the median line at "entertaining but unspectacular".

6. Excalibur #79
7. Wolverine #83

Had Adam Kubert drawn it, Wolverine #83 would have moved up a spot (or maybe two), but the combination of lackluster art with a repetitious story has it bottoming out against an issue of Excalibur that isn't a terribly good Excalibur story, but feature some mildly significant stuff germane to the larger X-universe.


  1. Thank you for jumping to number 3 after doing two number 1s. I feel like I see people go "1/1, 2, 3..." more often than not, and it always drives me nuts!

    Also -- yay, "Phalanx Covenant"! I'm very fond of this one, both for having vivid memories of where I was when I read some of the issues, and for the long overdue return to prominence of Banshee (and in his original/best costume, no less)!

    1. +1 — no pun intended — although, while acknowledging that it’s proper, I always feel particularly bad for the bronze medalist when there’s a tie for gold and thus no silver.


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