The definitive, chronological, and up-to-date guide on collecting X-Men flagship title comic books from 2010 to 2019, including Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, Extraordinary X-Men, X-Men Gold, and X-Men Red via omnibuses, hardcovers, and trade paperback graphic novels. A part of Crushing Comics – Guide to Marvel Comics. Last updated March 2023 with titles scheduled for release through August 2023.
This guide follows the main, “flagship” titles in the X-Men line from after “Second Coming” in the Heroic Age in 2010 through Marvel Fresh Start in 2019, just prior to Jonathan Hickman’s takeover of the entire line.
X-Men titles had been distinctly separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe for years even before they headed into two years of tightly coordinated stories and crossovers from 2008 to 2010.
It had been since Onslaught in 1996 that the X-Men interacted significantly with other Marvel heroes – or even wider Marvel Universe storylines! – in their own books. They also didn’t get out much. Aside from House of M’s ramifications in Decimation, you’d be hard-pressed to find a non-mutant Marvel hero in any X-Title other than Wolverine!
While that made for thrilling in-continuity stories for big X-Fans, it didn’t help bring new readers into the fold – or to share the wealth of X-Readers with other Marvel titles.
Marvel’s solution began with X-Men (2010). As with Astonishing X-Men before it, this title occurred relatively free of the convoluted continuity of other X-Titles, even though it made reference to outside events. And, unlike the self-contained Astonishing, X-Men, this title frequently featured guests-stars from throughout the Marvel Universe.
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 explored in Schism. The subsequent Uncanny X-Men (2011) was still written by author 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.
This, too, was in the service of steering the X-Men toward more interaction with the wider Marvel Universe – this time in the form of the major event, 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 (2013) (as well as a team of time-displaced teen X-Men in All-New X-Men).
Meanwhile, the adjectiveless X-Men volume relaunched a few months later with a primary cast entirely composed of X-Woman! It didn’t feel like a gimmick at all thanks to the X-Men’s legendary roster of women – including Storm, Psylocke, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, and Omega Sentinel, and more. Unfortunately, the title was quickly sent askew by the “Battle of the Atom” crossover and launch writer Brian Wood never quite recovered. Two later arcs by Marc Guggenheim (of TV’s Arrow) and G. Willow Wilson (creator of Ms. Marvel) were well-steeped in X-history, but not terribly exciting.
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 (2016). 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 (2014) in his first ongoing series. He brought that villainous tone to his ongoing.
Alongside that, a more-heroic new title – Extraordinary X-Men – launched under the pen of Jeff Lemire and tied in closely to the wider Marvel Universe 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 entire X-Men line in “ResurrXion.” This marked the first time since 2013 that there was no ongoing “Uncanny” title serving as one of the flagship books of the line. However, 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.
Then, in November 2018, Uncanny X-Men returned with a bang – as a 10-part weekly story arc called “X-Men Disassembled.” That story branched out into “Age of X-Man” – an alternate reality event – while writer Matthew Rosenberg continued the storylines of his past year of X-Men mini-series into a disturbing final run on the title that killed off many beloved characters… only for them to return in Jonathan Hickman’s relaunched Age of Krakoa!