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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

X-aminations in September 2021 & July 1996 Power Rankings

A relatively straightforward month, as most series continue to deal with the fallout from "Onslaught"/lead-up to "Operation: Zero Tolerance" and/or continue the stories they began last month as they moved out of the crossover's shadow. 

September 1: Generation X #21
September 2: X-Force #60

September 8: Pryde & Wisdom #1-3
September 9: Excalibur #103

On Sale October 1996
September 15: Uncanny X-Men #339
September 16: X-Man #22

September 22: X-Men (vol. 2) #59
September 23: Wolverine #108

September 29: X-Factor #129
September 30: Cable #38

Power Rankings On Sale July 1996

1. X-Men (vol. 2) #55
2. Uncanny X-Men #336

Flip a coin: Joe Mad or Andy Kubert, Mark Waid or Scotty Lobs, an issue that kicks off the next phase of a loosely plotted story or the one that leads those (thin) threads towards their conclusion? I have a fondness for "calm before the storm"/penultimate issues, so I give the nod to Adjectiveless, but they're largely the same kind of issue, just at opposite ends of the "Onslaught" crossover, chronologically. 

3. X-Man #19

I'm as stunned as you are! The best issue of the series since "Age of Apocalypse" succeeds by putting Nate on the defensive while a preening Mister Sinister lords over him whilst fearing the shadow of Onslaught. 

4. Generation X #19
5. Excalibur #101
6. Wolverine #105
7. X-Force #58
8. X-Men Unlimited #12

All of these are solid "change of pace" issues that tell quieter or crossover-adjacent stories in the midst of "Onslaught", and succeed by doing something a little different. 

9. Cable #35

This is a tier above the worst offenders because it's still competently written and drawn on a micro level, but on a macro level, it suffers for more-or-less wasting the first big on-page meeting between Cable and Apocalypse, and for having all the dramatic Apocalypse pronouncements earlier in the crossover ultimately fizzle out into nothing.  

10. X-Factor #126
11. Uncanny X-Men Annual '96

A bland, lifeless Uncanny annual (that is almost more an X-Factor story anyway) saves the bland, lifeless X-Factor #126 from being alone in the cellar. 


  1. I largely agree with your listing, though I would have placed X-Force alongside X-Man but I have a feeling that comes down to personal enjoyment rather than a subjective view point. And while I'm sure the last two are essentially tied, I think I liked the Annual over X-Factor but just barely.

  2. I guess I'll find out in due time, because I think it would fall into January's slate if you do it, but will you X-amine the IMPERIAL GUARD limited series? I really liked that one when it first came out.

    1. Yep, it's on the list! Part of the crush of one-shots and minis in '97. I'm not sure exactly which month it'll fall into (just because there's SO MUCH extra stuff to work in), but early next year for sure.


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