The definitive, chronological, and up-to-date guide on collecting X-Men flagship title comic books via omnibuses, hardcovers, and trade paperback graphic novels. A part of Crushing Krisis’s Collecting X-Men: A Definitive Guide. Last updated November 2018 with titles scheduled for release through April 2019.
X-Men Flagship Titles
In 2011, Marvel ended their longest-running and highest-numbered title when they cancelled Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 1 with #544 to make way for a split in the X-Men between Cyclops and Wolverine.
In retrospect, the move didn’t make much sense. The subsequent Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 2 was still written by Kieron Gillen with a similar tone and cast – just less Wolverine and Kitty Pryde. It was by many accounts (including mine) one of the best runs of X-Men ever written. Sadly, that tile would also see cancellation 20 issues later, along with the end of Avengers vs. X-Men.
In the wake of Avengers vs. X-Men, Marvel relaunched their entire line with nearly every creator shuffled onto a new book. In the shake-up, Brian Bendis hopped from the Avengers franchise to the X-Men franchise, taking over Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 3 and adding All-New X-Men to the mix as a second flagship.
That book of time-shifted young X-Men (and new cast members in Uncanny) pulled focus off of a vibrant new generation of X-students cultivated in the past decade and sent the flagships into a spiral of recursion where most of the plot was about the new characters being mad about the plot. Like a three-year-long episode of Seinfeld, almost nothing of significance happens during this run.
Bendis promised a lengthy run on X-Men, but another creator shuffle after Secret Wars in 2015 saw him depart the franchise for Iron Man in the All-New, All-Different Marvel.
In his place, Cullen Bunn took over Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4. After a long streak of wrapping up soon-to-be-cancelled series for other writers, Bunn improbably struck gold on a menacing take on Magneto in his first ongoing series. He brought that villainous tone to Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4.
Meanwhile, All-New X-Men, Vol. 2 was back under the direction of Dennis Hopeless (who had written the young X-Men before on X-Men: Seasone One). A third, brand-new title – Extraordinary X-Men – launched under the pen of Jeff Lemire and tied in closely to the current plot of the Inhumans and their Terrigen Bomb being poisonous to mutants.
After the resolution of the Inhumans thread in Inhumans vs. X-Men, Marvel relaunched the X-Men flagships with “ResurrXion” and a bevy of new X-Men titles, including a new twin pair of non-Uncanny flagships.
X-Men Gold was effectively “Uncanny,” with a Claremont-esque classic team of Kitty, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Rachel Grey, among others. Meanwhile, Cullen Bunn continued his Magneto thread into the All-New X-Men cast with X-Men Blue. Nearly a year later, Phoenix Resurrection returned Jean Grey to the cast of X-Men, and she launched a third flagship with X-Men Red. And, finally, the period wrapped up with five X-Men Black one-shots focusing on major X-Men villains.
Finally, in November 2018, Uncanny X-Men returned with a bang – as a 10-part weekly story arc called “X-Men Disassembled.”
- Post-Schism: Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 2 by Kieron Gillen (2011 – 2012)
- Marvel Now: Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 3 & All-New X-Men by Brian M. Bendis (2013 – 2015)
- All-New, All-Different Marvel Now: Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4, Extraordinary X-Men, & All-New X-Men, Vol. 2 (2015 – 2017)
- RessurXion & Marvel Legacy: X-Men Blue, Gold, Red, & Black (2017 – 2018)
- Marvel Fresh Start: Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 5 (2018 – present)
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Begins after the resolution of Schism, parallel to other “Regenesis” issues of X-Men – including new co-flagship Wolverine and the X-Men #1, X-Men Legacy #259, X-Factor #230, Astonishing X-Men #44, New Mutants #33, X-Men #20, Uncanny X-Force #19, Wolverine #17, & Generation Hope #13.
In the Marvel Universe, Schism & Regenesis occur after the conclusions of Children’s Crusade and Fear Itself.
After a well-conceived but badly-executed schism in the X-Men, half of the team remains on Utopia while Wolverine returns to New York with the others.
Uncanny retains a powerful and – frankly – villainous main cast of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Storm, Magneto, Namor, Colossus (with his new Juggernaut powers) and his sister Magik, Hope, and Danger – with support from Pyslocke when Emma is indisposed.
as recollected in Complete Collections…
#1-3: Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen: The Complete Collection, Vol. 1
Collects S.W.O.R.D. #1-5; Uncanny X-Men #534.1 & 535-544; X-Men: Regenesis, and Uncanny X-Men (2011) #1-3
#4-20: Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2
Pending announcement. Will likely also collect AvX: Consequences (2013) #1-5.
as originally collected…
X-Men: Schism (ISBN 0785156887)
Collects the Schism mini-series, X-Men: Choosing Sides, and X-Men: Regenesis. Technically, this falls before Uncanny X-Men #544, but it can be read without it. Also available as an oversized hardcover.
#1-4: Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen, Vol. 1
The first arc of Cyclops’s so-called “X-Tinction” team finds them facing off against Mr. Sinister, with art by Carlos Pacheco, and a rogue Phalanx, with art by Brandon Peterson. Available in hardcover.
#5-10: Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen, Vol, 2
The second arc finds Psylocke replacing Emma Frost as they visit the Tabula Rasa environment created in The Dark Angel Saga with well-received artwork by controversial penciller Greg Land. #9-10 is a brief arc featuring a prison break by deadly aliens referencing Gillen’s SWORD mini-series. It co-stars the Avengers, with art from Carlos Pacheco. [Ed. Note: Gillen hits his stride here – this is the best Uncanny has been in over a decade!] Available in hardcover.
#9-10: Secret Wars – Siege: Battlefield
Primarily collects Secret Wars: Siege #1-4.
#11-20: Avengers vs. X-Men Companion Oversized Hardcover
Collects all of the event tie-in issues , including Avengers Academy #29-33; Secret Avengers #26-28; Avengers #25-30; New Avengers #24-30; X-Men Legacy #266-270; Wolverine & The X-Men #9-16, 18; AVX: Consequences #1-5; Uncanny X-Men #11-20, A-Babies VS. X-Babies #1.
Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequences
This five-issue mini-series acts as an epilogue to Cyclops’s arc in this volume of Uncanny. It is also available above in the AvX companion edition.
Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 3 becomes the Brotherhood of Uncanny Mutants as Cyclops leads a small force of veterans (Magneto, Emma Frost, Magik) to recruit new mutants as they appear and wage a physical and public relations war against the mutant status quo. Penned by Avenger scribe Brian Michael Bendis with primary artist Chris Bachalo.
This title is tightly coordinated with All-New X-Men, also by Bendis, so both are listed below.
All-New X-Men as oversized hardcovers…
ANXM #1-10: All-New X-Men, Vol. 1
ANXM #11-15 & 18-21: All-New X-Men, Vol. 2
This skips Battle of the Atom, but includes some material from X-Men Gold
ANXM #16-17 & UXM #12-13: X-Men: Battle of the Atom
X-Men: No More Humans OGN oversized hardcover
Exact placement to be determined after release.
ANXM #22-30: All-New X-Men, Vol. 3
Also includes Guardians of the Galaxy #11-13
Uncanny X-Men as oversized hardcovers…
UXM #1-11 & 14-18: Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 1
This skips Battle of the Atom. 15 is technically 15.INH, but there was not another 15.
UXM #12-13 & ANXM #16-17 & : X-Men: Battle of the Atom
UXM #19-35 & 600: Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 2
Also includes the ANXM and UXM Annuals, which form a single story.
As originally released, roughly in reading order…
ANXM Special: The Arms of the Octopus
Collects a surprisingly pleasing three-part crossover between the specials of All-New X-Men, Indestructible Hulk, and Superior Spider-Man. Also collects a Wolverine one-shot, In the Flesh.
UXM #12-13 & ANXM #16-17: X-Men: Battle of the Atom
The 2013 X-Men 50th Anniversary crossover. Collects X-Men Battle of the Atom #1-2, Uncanny X-Men #12-13, All-New X-Men #16-17, Wolverine & The X-Men #36-37, and X-Men # 5-6. Available in oversized hardcover.
Around this time Magneto ends his full-time cast status and stars in his own series.
X-Men: No More Humans OGN oversized hardcover
Fits between UXM #17-18.
All-New X-Men Annual 1 and Uncanny X-Men Annual 1
Note: Need to determine which standard-size collection includes the two Annuals.
Uncanny X-Men / Iron Man / Nova: No End In Sight
This is primarily an Uncanny X-Men story – it collects Specials from each title. No direct bearing on the ongoing tale.
From here teen Cyclops continues to his own series – see Other Ongoing Series.
Axis: See Marvel Universe Events: Axis. The placement of this is unclear, as the only real clues are the absence of Wolverine and the presence of Cyclops and a young Jean Grey.
ANXM #38-39: Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: Black Vortex
Available in hardcover. Collects: Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha 1, Guardians of the Galaxy 24-25, Legendary Star-Lord 9-11, All-New X-Men 38-39, Guardians Team-Up 2, Nova 28, Cyclops 12, Captain Marvel 14, Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Omega 1.
All-New, All-Different Marvel Now:
Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4, Extraordinary X-Men, & All-New X-Men, Vol. 2 (2015 – 2017)
The X-Men line-up in All-New, All-Different Marvel now is relatively slim – the ancillary titles like X-Factor and X-Force have disappeared! The titles are:
- All-New X-Men, Vol. 2 (ANXM) – a team of the time-displaced X-Men minus Jean but plus X-23, Kid Apocalypse, and Idie
- Extraordinary X-Men (ExXM) – a team including Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Teen Jean, Old Wolverine, and Magik
- Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 4 (UXM) – a team lead by Magneto and including Psylocke
Other X-books in All-New, All-Different Marvel Now include X-23 starring in All-New Wolverine and Old Man Logan in an eponymous book, plus Kitty Pryde in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Death of X #1-4 (ISBN 978-1-302-90337-4)
Told a year after the launch of this era of series, this mini-series explores what occurred in the 8-month gap between the end of Secret Wars and the beginning of All-New, All-Different Marvel.
ANXM #1-6: Inevitable Vol. 1: Ghost of the Cyclops
ExXM #1-5: Vol. 1: X-Haven
UXM #1-6: Superior Vol. 1: Survival of the Fittest
X-Men: Apocalypse Wars Oversize Hardcover
Collects ANXM #9-11, ExXM #8-12, and UXM #6-10
ANXM #7-12: Inevitable Vol. 2: Apocalypse Wars
ExXM #6-11: Vol. 2: Apocalypse Wars
UXM #6-10: Superior Vol. 2: Apocalypse Wars
ANXM #12-16 & Annual: Inevitable, Vol. 3
UXM #11-15: Superior Vol. 3 (ISBN 978-1-302-90313-8)
ANXM #17-20 & Annual 1: Inevitable Vol. 4: IvX
UXM #16-19 & Annual 1: Superior Vol. 4: IvX
ExXM #17-20 & X-Men Prime (2017) #1: Vol. 4: IvX
After IvX, Uncanny X-Men is retired as the co-flagship for the first time in favor of X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold, referring to the team distinctions from the original 1991 split between Uncanny X-Men and X-Men, Vol. 2.
X-Men Blue features the All-New X-Men cast as lead by Magneto(!) and Polaris. The cast later adds a pair of alternate-dimension X-Men (Bloodstorm and Jimmy Hudson), plus picks up the threads of Havok and Emma Frost from Secret Empire.
X-Men Gold features a late-80s flavored cast lead by Kitty Pryde including Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Rachel Grey. It later adds a b-squad lead by Iceman and Rogue, and features others including Armor, Ink, Magma, Magik, and a new Pyro.
Then, in 2018 early, X-Men Red features a team lead by Jean Grey including Nightcrawler and X-23.
Gold #1-6: Vol. 1: Back to the Basics
Also collects X-Men Prime (2017) #1
Gold #7-12: Vol. 2: Evil Empires
This includes Secret Empire tie-ins.
Blue #1-6: Vol. 1: Strangest
Blue #7-12: Vol. 2: Toil and Trouble
This includes Secret Empire tie-ins.
Gold #13-15 & #13-15: Mojo Worldwide
This is technically the beginning of Marvel Legacy for both books.
Gold #16-20: Vol. 4: The Negative Zone War
Blue #16-20: Vol. 3: Cross-Time Capers
Blue #21-22 & Annual 1: Venom & X-Men: Poison X
Also collects Venom #162-163
Blue #23-28: Vol. 4: Cry Havok
This continues the story that begins in Poison X and plays out in background scenes of #23-28.
Gold #21-25: Vol. 5: Cruel and Unusual
Gold #26-30: Vol. 6: Til Death Do Us Part
Also collects X-Men Wedding Special
Gold Annual 2: Marvel Universe: Time and Again
An apocryphal story of a young Kitty Pryde at summer camp. This collection includes all of the 2018 flashback annual stories from Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1, Captain America Annual 1, Daredevil Annual 1, Silver Surfer Annual 1, Spider-Man Annual 1, X-Men Gold Annual 2, and Journey Into Mystery: The Birth Of Krakoa #1
Blue #29-36: Vol. 5: Surviving the Experience
Gold #31-36: Vol. 7: Godwar
Red #1-5 & Annual 1: Vol. 1: The Hate Machine
The first arc of Red flashes forward over three months from the end of Phoenix Resurrection, placing it farther ahead of the other titles released at the same time. Gambit is a team member, and presumably is here after returning from his honeymoon mission in Mr. & Mrs. X.
Red #6-11: Vol. 2
This continues almost immediately from the prior volume, and aside from Nightcrawler none of the cast members appear significantly in other flagships.
Collects the five X-Men Black one-shots: Magneto, Mojo, Mystique, Juggernaut, and Emma Frost – plus, a five-part Apocalypse story that ran across all of the books. This works as a sort of epilogue on some the themes of Gold and Blue – setting Magneto on his own individual path, showing where Mojo wound up after his crossover, and reframing Emma Frost after her villainy in Blue.
Extermination AKA X-Men Blue Vol. 6
Collects Extermination (2018) #1-5. The is seemingly final chapter of the time-displaced teen X-Men.
This series launched in November as weekly title for 10 weeks co-written by the three major X-scribes of the period – Matthew Rosenberg (Phoenix Resurrection, New Mutants – Dead Souls, Multiple Man, Astonishing X-Men), Ed Brisson (Old Man Logan, Extermination), Kelly Thompson (Rogue & Gambit and Mr. & Mrs. X).
#11-?: Uncanny X-Men: Cyclops and Wolverine (2019 paperback, ISBN 9781302915827)
From here, you can continue to Jonathan Hickman’s era of X-Men.