Stories occurring between Uncanny X-Men #492 in April 2008 and Uncanny X-Men #525 in August 2010. Can also be referred to as The Fraction Era, since it represents Matt Fraction’s helming of the series. Includes the events Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, and Siege. A part of Crushing Krisis’s Collecting X-Men: A Definitive Guide. Last updated January 2013.
Ongoing X-related titles in this era:
- Uncanny X-Men #495-525
- X-Men Legacy #208-237
- Wolverine #62-74 & Dark Wolverine #75-90 (end)
- Astonishing X-Men #25-35
- X-Factor #28-50 & 200-206
- Black Panther #35-41 (continues to X-Men: Worlds Apart)
- Wolverine Origins #21-50 (end)
- Marvel Comics Presents (featuring Weapon Omega) #6-12
- New Exiles #0-18 & Exiles, Vol. 2 #1-6 (end)
- X-Force, Vol. 3 #1-28 (end)
- Young X-Men #1-12 (end)
- Cable #1-25 (end)
- Captain Britain and MI:13 #1-15 (end)
- Deadpool #1-25
- Dark Avengers #1-16 (end)
- Wolverine Weapon X #1-15
- New Mutants #1-14
- Black Panther (featuring Storm) #1-12 (continues to Doomwar)
- Wolverine: The Best There Is #1-12 (end)
- Some books ended this period in September 2010. Astonishing X-Men #35 shipped late, but it is clearly meant to take place much earlier than Second Coming.
- Wolverine: The Best There Is was released after this era, but due to the cast (including Beast living on Utopia), it occurs here.
- A visual representation of this era:
Cable: V1 > V2 > -------| |----V3 > ----- V4---------------| | | | | | (OHC v1) | | (OHC v2) | X-Force: V1 > V2 > V3.1 > Messiah War > V3.2 > (Sex&Viol?)---Necrosha | | | | | (Ellis Astonishing) | | | | | Messiah Complex > Manifest Destiny > Sisterhood > Lovelorn > Utopia > Nation X > Second Coming | ?|? | | | | New Mutants: V1 > --+--------+-------- V2 (partially collected in Necrosha) | | | | Legacy Begins > -------------------> Salvage Emplate > Necrosha
X-Men: Messiah Complex
When: As much as this story acts as an end to the Decimation era, it’s also the start of Nation X – marked by Cyclops making bold moves to secure the future of the mutant race. If you have not already read the crossover, do so now.
Wolverine #62-65: Get Mystique
When: This occurs just hours after the close of Messiah Complex, and works as a sort of epilogue, which is why I place it before the launch of Legacy in #208, which moves plots forward.
Wolverine: The Amazing Immortal Man & Other Bloody Tales
X-Men Legacy #208-212: Divided He Stands
When: This resolves Xavier’s injury at the end of Messiah Complex, so it follows the crossover most directly. It also marks one of Cyclops’s next chronological appearances, in #210.
Young X-Men #1-5: Final Genesis
When: Cyclops interrupts the vacationing of a number of younger X-Men to bring them back to the ruined mansion, which means this is prior to the relocation to San Francisco. He continues to appear throughout. Is this prior to his Savage Land vacation with Emma in UXM #495? I’m not sure, but if you read it after #499 it no longer makes sense for him to convene the team in New York rather than SF, so it must be placed here.
Last Defenders #1-3
When: Colossus appears here prior to his return to UXM.
X-Factor #28-32: The Only Game In Town
When: This begins with Rahne taking a leave from the team to work with X-Force, so this is prior to the bulk of X-Force #1-6.
When: All occur prior to Wolverine and Archangel’s next appearance in Uncanny.
Check placement and X-Men appearances
Uncanny X-Men #495-499: Divided We Stand
When: Begins two weeks after the end of Messiah Complex, telling parallel stories of Cyclops, Emma, and Angel and Wolverine, Colossus, and Nightcrawler.
X-Men: Divided We Stand (anthology)
When: This focuses on the activities of various X-Men after their temporary disbandment at the end of Messiah Complex. The stories cover a range of time from prior to UXM #495 to after #499.
Uncanny X-Men Free Comic Book Day (Pixies and Demons) can be read as a standalone issue here, as for most characters it directly follows #499.
X-Men Manifest Destiny (anthology)
When: This anthology collection heavily favors Wolverine and Nightcrawler, features Wolverine moving into San Francisco, and does not include any New X-Men or Pixie – that means it can be read prior to the UXM volume of the same name. Wolverine’s mini of the same name is his next major appearance after the Free Comic Book Day issue.
X-Force: Ain’t No Dog & Wolverine Annual 2
When: These can be read along with the one-shots in Dangerous Games.
Wolverine: Dangerous Games
When: These stories span 2008, which means they can either occur between Wolverine #65 and UXM #495 or between UXM #499-500. The title story occurs after the first arc of X-Force, which is why I place the collection here.
Wolverine takes an Avengers break here, including Avengers/Invaders.
Astonishing X-Men #25-30: Ghost Box
When: Though this arc took about a year to release, it is clearly set just before UXM #500 to show Storm joining the team in San Francisco.
Uncanny X-Men #500 can be read as a standalone issue here.
X-Men Legacy #213-216: Sins of the Father
When: Xavier finds an empty, destroyed mansion in Westchester (i.e., after Young X-Men #5), Beast installs Cerebro in San Francisco, and Cyclops and Emma confront Xavier in SF. Essentially, this occurs after the very start of the Manifest Destiny arc in #500, and there is no harm in reading it first.
Wolverine Origins #21-27: Deadpool
When: It makes sense that Deadpool would spring such an elaborate trap for Wolverine in San Francisco after he moves in during Manifest Destiny. Like several issues in this sequence, this occurs after UXM #500, but before #501.
X-Men: Original Sin (ISBN 0785129561)
Collects X-Men: Legacy #217-218, Wolverine: Origins #28-30, and X-Men Original Sin One-Shot
When: Includes a brief interlude with Scott and Emma that seems to be relatively early in the X-Men’s time in San Francisco, but after their encounter with Professor X. Wolverine is presumed to be on the outs with the pair of them until they save the day in #34-35, which would seem to preclude him from other X-Men activities.
Hulk Team-Up (2009) is the next appearance of many core X-Men characters
Uncanny X-Men #500-503: Manifest Destiny
When As detailed above, there is a gap between #500 and #501 that fits several Wolverine stories.
NYX: No Way Home
When: This does not tie in to other X-Men books, but was happening at roughly the same time as Manifest Destiny.
Cable #1-5: Messiah War
When: Occurs directly after Messiah Complex with no ties to current day continuity. Can be shelved anywhere prior to the next Cable volume.
Cable #6-10: Waiting for the End of the World
When: This is super-tricky to place, because it contains a number of present day scenes of Scott, Emma, and X-Force. Since X-Force doesn’t catch a break from issue #12-20 (including the results of their appearance here), this must occur prior to that. It seems to fit best directly after UXM #503 when it comes to the Cyclops and Wolverine appearances in present day.
New Avengers: Illuminati
When: This time-spanning book featuring Professor X and Namor ends just prior to Secret Invasion.
Including Secret Invasion, and issues of Secret Invasion: X-Men, Captain Britain & MI:13, X-Factor, and Inhumans. See Marvel Events: Secret Invasion for collection information.
During the X-Men’s participation we see Pixie, placing this after UXM #503.
This is Wolverine’s next appearance after the main Secret Invasion series.
X-Men: Worlds Apart
When: This Storm-centric story was released in late 2008 and early 2009 and features most of the Astonishing cast. It makes sense to occur prior to the two Exo books of Astonishing, as Storm travels back from Africa with the team at the end of this volume. It fits prior to UXM #504.
Uncanny X-Men #504-507 & Annual 2
Collected in Lovelorn
When: This features Wolverine only glancingly, giving him some time for other adventures. It also features Angel (including an Archangel transformation), which places this firmly on the other side of at least the first arc of X-Force.
Wolverine: Flies to a Spider
When: This collects five Wolverine one-shots with little or no connection to the general X-Men universe. The first two definitely fit here, whereas Wolverine: Anniversary comes after X-Infernus, the title one-shot follows X-Force #12, and Revolver follows Wolverine’s brief appearance in The Eternals.
Wolverine Origins #31-36: Dark Reign (ISBN 0785135388) Also available in hardcover.
When: Wolverine appears in #31-32 prior to Hulk Team-Up, but #33 does not begin until after UXM #507 and Wolverine: Chop Shop & Switchback, both in Flies to a Spider. This fleshes out Daken’s character and steers him into Dark Avengers, with the final events occurring within a day of Dark Avengers #1. However, #34 features a pre-New Mutants team of Cyclops, Emma, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Cannonball, and Armor – which places this earlier in Dark Reign
Wolverine takes an Avengers break here.
Wolverine Origins #37-40: Romulus
When: This begins with Wolverine in Russia and ends with him KO’d, which implies that some time must pass on either side before he appears elsewhere.
Young X-Men #6-12: Book of Revelations
When: Cyclops moves these former New X-Men to San Francisco at the end of #6.
When: This features a very angry Colossus, which seems to place it before he deals with his issues in Lovelorn, but it fits better afterward. It also includes Pixie, who returned to the team in Manifest Destiny. Other characters include a host of New X-Men, as well as brief appearances by Cyclops and Wolverine. Storm would surely want to be involved with rescuing Illyana, which makes her absence hard to explain.
Astonishing Tales: Wolverine / Punisher
Uncanny X-Men #508-512: Sisterhood
When: The return of Psylocke. Features Wolverine.
When: Includes the post #503 core team of X-Men, including Wolverine. If you’d like, you can also read/shelve Eternals #1-6: To Slay a God here as well, though it includes no X-Men connection.
Wolverine takes an Avengers break here.
Wolverine Weapon X #1-6 Adamantium Men
When: This begins with a cantankerous Wolverine riding the SF subway (having returned from a series of X-Force missions) and going on a mission in his X-Force costume. The implication is that it is prior to the move to full-time exile on Utopia. The partial-issue stories from Wolverine, Vol. 3 are collected alongside here, although some of them happened prior to the preceding UXM arc.
New Mutants #1-5: Return of Legion
When: Occurs sometime after all of the New Mutants and younger X-Men have relocated to San Francisco. Includes Cyclops.
Astonishing X-Men #31-35: Exogenetic
When: Features a pre-Utopia X-Men team including Storm and Wolverine.
Astonishing X-Men: Exogenesis
When: This began to be released in July 2010, but it was actually written as a possible Astonishing arc, which places it pre-Utopia – as can be easily viewed in the first scene. By virtue of being released after Exogenetic, we will place it here to avoid complications with Wolverine’s schedule.
X-Force/Cable: Messiah War: X-Force #14-16 & Cable #13-15
When: Actually occurs in the midst of the prior volume of X-Force, but the team is returned a few moments earlier than they left, so it makes more sense to read this first – since their return will slightly alter what we see in #13.
X-Force #12-13 & #17-20: Not Forgotten or X-Force, Vol. 2
When: Even though this story took nearly a year to resolve, it begins pre-Utopia. X-Force Sex and Violence can also be read here – it appears in the OHC of Vol. 2
Hulk #14-18: Hulk vs. X-Force
When: This must occur after X-Force #20, though it is hard to discern if it occurs before or after Sex & Violence.
Dark Avengers #1-6: Dark Avengers Assemble
When: This includes Daken and occurs prior to Utopia. If you have the Dark Avengers oversized hardcover, you should shelve it either here or at Siege, as it presumably takes Osborn more than a day or two to assemble the team after Secret Invasion.
Dark Wolverine #75-77: The Prince
When: This begins prior to Utopia, and given Daken’s reception with the FF it makes sense to read it as prior to that highly publicized mission.
X-Men Legacy #219-225: Salvage
When: Ends just a day or two prior to Utopia.
Avengers/X-Men: Utopia: Uncanny X-Men #513-514, X-Men Legacy #226-227, Dark Avengers #7-8
When: An “all-the-pieces-on-the-board” X-Men story that introduces Namor to the X-Men storyline and brings Rogue, Gambit, Danger, and Xavier to San Fransico.
Wolverine Origins #41-45: Seven the Hard Way
When: Wolverine is the only X-Men appearing here. He appears in both Psylocke and Deadpool during this same window of release, which will keep him on Utopia for some time. It makes sense to read this first.
Dark X-Men #1-5
When: This is a post-Utopia story. Daken’s absence from the replacement X-team is contextualized in the following Dark Wolverine volume – he is still a Dark Avenger, but no longer in the good graces of management.
Dark Avengers: #9-12: Molecule Man
When: TENTATIVE occurs during the Dark X-Men/Wolverine sequence, but likely prior to Daken’s misdeeds in My Hero.
Dark Wolverine #78-81: My Hero
When: Although it does not explicitly reference Utopia, this arc was released after that story was resolved.
X-Factor #39-50 & #200-203
When: Since X-Factor does not frequently intersect with other X-books, so there is no reason not to shelve it as a group. The final sequence of these issues include the Fantastic Four in an appearance prior to Heralds.
Wolverine: The Best There Is #1-12
When: This story was published after Second Coming, but features Cyclops, Emma, and Dazzler and involves Beast living on Utopia, so it clearly occurs prior to UXM #519. Also, though this is likely an error of omission, it features no mention of Melita as his girlfriend – placing it prior to Wolverine Weapon X #10.
When: This story begins on Utopia with Dazzler and various young X-Men, and continues with Wolverine taking a trip to Japan with Psylocke, before she returns to Utopia to chat with Mercury in the final panels. This begins after the initiation of Deadpool’s Utopia arc, but Wolverine and Mercury appear significantly in both. It’s hard to say in which order they should fall.
Deadpool #15-18: X Marks the Spot
When: Deadpool pays a brief visit to a Utopia that includes the Cyclops, Emma, Wolverine, Domino, and various New X-Men. This was released parallel to Nation X, so can be read as running parallel to the initial, pre-Predator X portion of that story.
Uncanny X-Men #515-522: Nation X
When: Includes the vast majority of the mutant cast, including Wolverine in nearly every issue. Adds Magneto, Namor, and Kitty Pryde to the cast.
When: This story includes Scott and Emma in Paris as well as Agent Brand. I choose to believe that places it after dealing with The Void in Nation X, but I don’t buy them planning the trip after the devastating events of Necrosha.
X-Men: SWORD – No Time to Breath
When: This mostly just features Beast. We see him leaving a hotel, which means this could plausibly be after he moves out of Utopia in #519.
X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back
When: This 2010 limited series occurs on Utopia and features a number of young X-Men, plus Nightcrawler, Emma, and Psylocke. It can likely be placed just prior to Wolverine’s asylum trip, explaining both his absence and the Nightcrawler/Psylocke teamup that continues there – though ultimately it is hard to say where this should fall in terms of Nation X and Psylocke’s limited series.
Wolverine Weapon X #6-10
When: Wolverine is away from the island long enough to be checked into a mental institution, and Psylocke and Nightcrawler are the ones to retrieve him. The final issue involves a video chat with Storm, plus brief appearances by Rogue and Emma.
X-Men Legacy #228-230: Emplate
When: Rogue is formally given the assignment of looking after the younger X-Men here, but in Nation X they question why she is protecting them, so this should be read afterwards. This is the first major action on the island after Nation X.
Captain Britain & MI:13 #5-15
When: This run began to be released just before Necrosha, but features no specific ties to the X-Men aside from Spitfire’s subsequent appearances in the Women of Marvel one-shot and Invaders Now.
X-Necrosha: X-Force #21-25, New Mutants #6-8, X-Men Legacy #231-234
When: This was released at the same time as Nation X in Uncanny, but Magneto is a participant in Legacy, so it happens after. If you buy in individual trades, you can read/shelve X-Force on either side of New Mutants and Legacy – it depends on if you want to read the main thrust and climax of the story before or after the side stories.
X-Force #21-25: Necrosha
This is the main story of Necrosha.
New Mutants #6-11: Necrosha
When: This collection is problematic, because it straddles two events. Issues #6-8 are part of Necrosha, though they end before the climax in X-Force, and #11 is a part of Siege. Issue #9 occurs within a week of Necrosha, and #10 some time after that. Both include Emma and Scott. This places Second Coming at least two weeks after Necrosha. The Siege issue does spoil some of the events of Siege, but none of it takes place in Brockton where the siege is occurring, so it can be safely read earlier.
X-Men Legacy #231-234: Necrosha
When: The mission in #231-233 starts in the thick of Necrosha. After the first few panels it only briefly ties to the main event, so can be read before or after. The story takes Nightcrawler, Rogue, Psylocke, Colossus, Magneto, Husk, and Trance off of Utopia. However, #234 clearly occurs after the end of Necrosha – possibly around the same time as New Mutants #9-10.
Mighty Marvel: Women of Marvel
When: Despite an out-of-time X-23 story, the Dazzler issue here includes a brief, immediately post-Necrosha scene, and the Sif story occurs prior to Siege. Also, the Spitfire one-shot is after the end of Captain Britain & MI:13.
Darkstar & The Winter Guard
When: Since some of these characters may have recently been deceased, it eases the discontinuity to read this post-Necrosha.
Siege includes Dark Wolverine #82-84, Dark Avengers #13-16, and New Mutants #11. This continuity is established purely via the other Wolverine and Daken books of the time. See Marvel Events: Siege for collection information
Cable #16-20: Stranded
When: This has no tie to present-day continuity and can be read in any convenient break after Messiah War.
Dark Wolverine #85-87 & Wolverine Origins #46-50: Wolverine: Reckoning
When: Aside from a brief Nightcrawler appearance at this start, this is X-Men free. It does include some significant interaction with Nick Fury. It makes sense for some time to elapse between this confrontation with Daken and the next one in FrankenCastle.
When: Namor is still relatively new to Utopia, and is seen shoring up the pillars supporting it above the Atlantean city below. It’s implied that Anole and Rockslide have had the time to briefly meet Namor by this time. However, in terms of Spitfire, this was released after the end of the Captain Britain series (and, presumably, also after her women of Marvel one-shot).
When: This briefly features a relatively full cast of X-Men, including Nightcrawler. It was released at the same time as Second Coming, so we will place it in the brief implied gap after Necrosha.
Dark Wolverine #88-89: Punisher: FrankenCastle
When: This begins with Daken as a Dark Avenger in a Dark Reign one-shot (so, long pre-Siege) but ends with a huge confrontation between Wolverine and Daken that occurs after Siege. Since these events took Punisher out of the mix for Siege, it can be read in full afterwards.
Wolverine: Weapon X #11-16: Tomorrow Dies Today
When: This begins with Wolverine and a back-from-dead Captain America going out for a drink, which seems to be a post-Siege (and pre-Avengers relaunch) sort of activity It clearly occurs pre-Second Coming through #15. #16 offers a major spoiler for the event, so you should skip it until afterward.
X-Factor #204-206: Second Coming
When: The events of these issues take place roughly concurrent with Second Coming, since they feature Bastion. However, this volume concludes with a “Nation X” one shot that is set pre-Necrosha! The best compromise? Read it just prior to Second Coming, where the one-shot at least makes sense. Also, once Second Coming starts, Bastion is a bit preoccupied!
When: Though the time-spanning portions of Cable’s journey through time can generally be read anywhere, this ends just prior to the start of Second Coming.
X-Men: Second Coming & Second Coming: Revelations
When: These titles mark the end of this era by bringing all of the cast of the X-books (sans X-Factor) together at once.
The X-Men Starjammers Team arc branches from the end of the prior era with the read order of X-Men: Emperor Vulcan, War of Kings: Road to War of Kings, War of Kings, War of Kings: Warriors. I shelf it separately from the rest of my X-Books; read it anytime prior to Age of X.
Era #11: The New Age X-Men Reading Order Guide Era #14: Breaking Points
Cyclops didn’t appear in Young X-men 1-5 it was Donland priece disgraced as him which reveaed in young x-men 4 and 5
Michael Booth says
Deadpool 15-18 and Psylocke 1-4 definitely both run parallel to Nation X, prior to UXM 518. In both Emma Frost only appears in diamond form, and in Psylocke 1 it’s explicitly stated Emma is trapped in that form. UXM 518 is when they begin the procedure to fix Emma’s condition.
Deadpool 15-18 definitely happens after UXM 515 because the mayor of San Francisco tells Cyclops there hasn’t been “even a peep” of legal movement against Utopia. UXM 515-517 all seem to happen during the same day, but there’s room for a gap at the beginning of UXM 518, so that’s probably where the Deadpull issues fall.
Psylocke 1-4 is harder to place to that specificity. Likely, it takes place during that same gap between UXM 517 and 518, but it could technically happen right after the Utopia X crossover. Psylocke appears at the beginning of 515 serving tea to Dr. Takiguchi just before he passes away. In her tag Fraction writes “Recently returned from away.” That could of course refer to the fact that she has just recently returned to the team, but it could be read as a reference to her trip to Japan in her mini series. She’s also incredibly warm in this scene which is far removed from the dour character in Pscylocke 1-4, and makes more sense after she’s begun to deal with some of her personal issues in that story. Then again it could just be Fraction feeling out how he’s going to write her.
Thanks, this is awesome detail! I’ve begun updating the reading guides, but it will be a little while before I get to era #13.
I can’t find Uncanny X-Men #523/525 references, where can I read these numbers?
They’re part of the Second Coming crossover!
I think you are missing the Nation X mini.
The Old Man Logan story (although from a different reality) could be read after Cable 1-12 and before Secret Invasion, as it was published around that time, and since Cable’s arc sort of disrupts XMen continuity, adding Old Man Logan there wouldn’t be too disruptive
Sorry for the multiple consecutive posts.
You are missing King Size Cable between issues 5 and 6 ;)
The Deadpool Utopia arc should occur right after Utopia imo, because in DP #15 Deadpool sees on the TV Cyclops’ speech. The same speech of the last issue on the Utopia crossover. Plus, Deadpool appears in the final page of wolverine origin #45 and the MCP places that appearance before the Deadpool Utopia arc.
SWORD needs to happen after Necrosha as it features warlock and a cured Cypher.
First off, thank you so much for this list. I’ve been slowly reading through all of X-Men and this has been a HUGE help.
The second Young X-Men book should be a lot earlier, it’s clearly set before Secret Invasion as Anole and the rest are part of the San Francisco team at that point. And Roberto leaves the Hellfire Club in #6 which is referenced a lot in various series. Personally, I’d put the whole series right after Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Box.
Hi! Great job, as usual, but I’m not able to find anything titled “TENTATIVE” (see below), can you please explain it?
Dark Avengers: #9-12: Molecule Man
When: TENTATIVE occurs during the Dark X-Men/Wolverine sequence, but likely prior to Daken’s misdeeds in My Hero.
Not a title, means the placement of those Dark Avengers issues is tentative (or possible) is this spot.