The definitive issue-by-issue comic book collecting guide and trade reading order for the original run of Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont comic books in omnibus, hardcover, and trade paperback collections. Part of Crushing Krisis’s Crushing Comics. Last updated February 2023 with titles scheduled for release through August 2023.
Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont (1975 – 1991)
X-Men did not officially become Uncanny X-Men until issue #142. However, the cover featured the “Uncanny” adjective starting with #114. Ultimately, many fans and comics resources refer to the entire relaunch from issue #94 forward as Uncanny X-Men – a convention Marvel upholds with the titling of their Marvel Masterworks reprints.
This 16-year period of X-Men by Chris Claremont is indisputable as the most classic era of X-Men, as well as generally considered to be one of the best runs of superhero comics of all time. The vast majority of thematic material later expressed in other forms of X-Men media including films, games, and toys originated in this run.
It all begins in 1975 with Len Wein and Dave Cockrum on Giant Size X-Men, which brought back Wolverine from a single appearance in Incredible Hulk and introduced a trio of characters that have become anchors of the franchise: Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler. It also brought Banshee and Sunspot back into the X-Men cast from their earlier Silver Age appearances, plus introduced Krakoa – the mutant island!
Chris Claremont took over writing duties from Len Wein just a few issues later. Under his pen, the trio of Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus would persist throughout a historic 16-year run that saw X-Men go from a marginal book returning from cancellation to the most-popular comic book franchise in America.
Along the way Claremont and a who’s who of artist collaborators steered the title through many signature foes and historic plots that have influenced movies, books, games, and toys for decades.
The first half of Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont – alongside Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, and John Romita Jr. – features a core of the classic Giant Size team, plus Kitty Pryde, under the leadership of Cyclops and Professor Xavier.
It included classic storylines like Proteus, The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, The Brood Saga, and God Loves Man Kills. Claremont and his collaborators introduced characters including Moira MacTaggert, Lilandra and the Shi’ar Empire, Arcade, Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club, Dazzler, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Summers, Callisto, Caliban, Forge, Selene, and many more – including importing Mystique and Deathbird from his run on Ms. Marvel! Plus, it saw him launch New Mutants and begin Magneto’s heroic turn.
The latter half of Chris Claremont’s landmark run on Uncanny X-Men – with Romita Jr., Marc Silvestri, & Jim Lee – begins with Storm usurping leadership of the team from Cyclops, who leaves the team for X-Factor. That means none of the original five X-Men star in this period of the book. Storm, Wolverine, and Colossus have seniority, and the team features some lesser-known characters such as Longshot, Dazzler, and original-body Psylocke, while introducing Mister Sinister, Jubilee, assassin-body Psylocke, and Gambit – plus, bringing back Sabretooth from his Bronze Age run on Iron Fist. And, it featured Magneto’s slide back to villainy.
That period bears a distinctly more dark and rebellious tone, with 21 issues passing with no X-Men team in existence! It also introduces the idea of both X-book and Marvel-wide crossovers with Mutant Massacre, Fall of the Mutants, Inferno, and X-Tinction Agenda.
This guide is not a complete reading order that follows the team through all of their various guest appearances! Instead, this guide focuses only on the issues of the Chris Claremont run and issues routinely collected alongside them. For a complete X-Men reading order for this period, start with The Definitive X-Men Reading Order: Second Genesis.
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