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Monday, September 27, 2021

X-aminations in October 2021 & August 1996 Power Rankings

This monthly, we boldly go into a new era of cross-property crossovers, as Marvel uses the X-Men to get some eyes on their newly-acquired Star Trek license, and the first of several Marvel/Image crossover books arrives, as both companies put the past behind them in the name of wringing every last dollar possible out of a shrinking market. 

On Sale October 1996
October 6: Generation X #22
October 7: X-Force #61

October 13: Star Trek/X-Men

October 20: Black Knight: Exodus #1 
October 21: Excalibur #104

October 27: Generation X '96
October 28: X-Force/Youngblood #1

Power Rankings for issues on sale in August 1996

1. Onslaught: Marvel Universe #1

It's loud and obnoxious and riddled with plot holes, but it both ends a massive, dominating crossover and an era of the Marvel Universe, so that kinda earns it the top spot. 

2. Uncanny X-Men #337
3. X-Men vol. 2) #57
4. Cable #36

In terms of the "Onslaught" aftermath issues, Joe Mad pushes Uncanny ahead of Adjectiveless (which retreads most of the same beats as Uncanny, anyway) while the Cable issue is more about Cable dealing with his own stuff than with "Onslaught". 

5. Excalibur #102
6. Generation X #20

A solid "post-crossover quiet issue" for Excalibur puts it ahead of a multiple plot threads/setup issue of Generation X

7. X-Man #20
8. X-Force #59
9. X-Factor #127
10. X-Force and Cable '96
11. Wolverine #106

I wouldn't say the X-books came out of "Onslaught" strong, but they did all come out of it better, at least for awhile. Nothing here is without merit, with both X-Man and X-Factor improving thanks to a better depiction of the main character (X-Man) and some narrative urgency (X-Factor). The "worst" issue here, Wolverine #106 isn't bad, just average, and while I would be hard pressed to recommend any of these last five issues, they all manage to accomplish what they set out to do with a modicum of  verve and style. 


  1. I can't really argue with your ranking. Of course, were in for a long stretch of "just okay" issues for the X-Men. There's some good stuff coming up but it feels like Marvel is afraid of doing anything substantial with any of the books for fear of rocking the X-Boat. Given their situation at the time, it makes sense. I don't think I would have taken any risky chances, either.

    I purposely avoided the X-Force/Youngblood crossover because, frankly, Youngblood sucked. But I look forward to seeing it covered and hope that maybe I was at least a little wrong.

    1. With both the main X-Men books sliding a bit while X-FACTOR and X-MAN shockingly improve slightly, we are definitely in a stretch where everything is more or less clustered around the same "competent but unexciting" level. I suppose we've got the playing-out-the-string EXCALIBUR to suck things up for us.

      I purposely avoided the X-Force/Youngblood crossover because, frankly, Youngblood sucked.

      I don't think I've ever read it before - I avoided most of those Image crossover books cuz I didn't really read much of that early Image stuff so none of those characters meant anything to me - so it should be an interesting experience now!

    2. To be fair, early Image didn't really have characters, just really cool characters designs with powers. However, I did buy and enjoy the X-Men/Wildcats series. I don't know if they were good but they were fun.

      Uncanny X-Men #337 remains one of my favorite single issues and why I have any fondness left for Scott Lobdell.


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