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Beginner’sGuideto

ReadingX­Men

Youcanjumpaheadtothebeginningofeachsectionand

startreadingwithlittletozeropreviousknowledge.Read

eachsectionandanyprerequisiteknowledgeyou’llneed

willbeprovided.

Thisguideisintendedfornewreaderstotheseries.It

goesovermanyofthemainstoryarcs,butnotevery

singleone.Itsticksveryclosetothemaintitles,andis

nowhereneartoallthereistoreadintheX­Universe.It

shouldbementionedthatonceyoufeelcomfortable

enoughwithyourknowledgeoftheseries,youshouldbe

abletoreadanyofthesideseries'thatyoulike.Each

sectionalsoincludesanoptionalsectiontohelpgetyou

startedintheextendedX­Universe.Iknowafranchiselike

X­Mencanbedauntingtojumpinto,andIhopethis

enticesyougetreading.

Thisistheverybeginning,andyou’llneednopreviousknowledgetostartatthispoint.

Thiseraisdifferentthanmostbecauseyouhavemultipleoptionswhenstartingwith

storiesoftheoriginalteamofX­Men.

● YourfirstoptionwouldbetoreadsomeoftheoriginalissueofX­Men.StanLee

andJackKirbycreatedtheX­Menin1963.Stanwasonthebookforthefirst19

issuesandJackforthefirst17.Iwouldsayagoodintrototheserieswouldbe

thefirst20­25issues.Thesefirsttwodozenissuesaren’tveryimportantlateron

downtheline,buttheydointroducecharactersthatwillbewithusforallof X­Men’shistory.Readthisifyou’vereadotherSIlverAgecomicsorifyou’rejust adamantonreadingeveryissue.

● Secondly,wehaveamoremoderntakeonSilverAgestories.Itisathree volumeseriescalledX­MenFirstClass.Itisastandaloneseriesfromthemid

2000’sthatfollowstheoriginalfiveX­Meninsomeall­agesadventure.This

seriesisperfectforkidsandadultslookingtogetintotheseries.Betweenall

threevolumesitisaround30issues,buttheyreadalotfasterthantheoldSIlver

Agecomics.You’dprobablygetthroughthesefasterthantheoriginalLee/Kirby run.

● Lastly,yourfinaloptionwouldbeagraphicnovelfrom2012calledX­Men:

SeasonOne.Ifyou’reinahurry,thenthisisthequickestwaytoreadaboutthe

originalX­Men.SimilartoFirstClass,it’samoderntakeonearlystoriesofthe

X­Men.ItretellsthefirstfewissuesfromtheLee/Kirbyrunthroughtheeyesof

JeanGrey.

Fromhereyoucanmoveontothenextsectionortakealookatoneormoreoptionalarcsthateachsection

willhave.They’renotessential,buttheywillintroduceyoutomorefacetsoftheX­Menuniverse.

OPTIONAL:Ifyouwanttocontinueonreadingtheoriginalseriesafterthefirst20to25issues,youcan

eithercontinuereadingthewholerunorskipaheadabitandreadsomeofthelate60'sstuffifyou'dlike.I'd

recommend#47­66ifyoudont’wanttoreadthewholething.X­Menisessentiallycanceledafter#66andis

putintoreprintuntil1975whenthetitlerelauncheswithanewcreativeteam(akatheClaremontera).

TheChrisClaremontEra(1975­1991)

ThisisthestartofChrisClaremont'stimeonthebook.WhileStanLeeandJackKirby inventedtheX­Men,Chrisbroughtthembackfromobscurityandperfectedthem.Heis

onthebookfor17straightyears,andhiswholerunisbasicallyoneverylongstory.

Someofhischaractersandplotpointsstillhavelastingeffectsincomicsthatarebeing

releasedtoday.It'sbesttoreaditallinorder,butIbrokeitupabitforthosewhowant

tojumparound.

IfyouwatchedX­MenTheAnimatedSeriesfromthe90's,thenthismightbeagood

placeforyoutojumpin.Manyofthestorylinesfromthatshowwereadapteddirectly

fromChris’timeonUncannyX­Men.

NomatterwhereinChris’runyoudecidetostartreading,Irecommendthatyouallread

Giant­SizeX­Men#1.WhileChrisdidn’twritethisissue,itisthejumpingoffpointfor

thisera.ManypopularX­MenareintroducedincludedWolverine,Nightcrawler,Storm,

andColossus.

Onequicknote:TowardstheendofChris’runwestartseeingmoreX­Mentitlesshow

upandcrossingoverwitheachother.

Afterthatyou’vegotafewoptionsasfarasstartingpoints(theremaybesome

overlapping):

● AsImentionedearlierreadGiant­SizeX­Men#1first!

● ThefirsteraofChris’runincludesthestorylineslikeThePhoenixSaga,The DarkPhoenixSaga,Proteus,andDaysofFuturePast.Thereadingorderis

UncannyX­Men(v1)#94­143.Issue#94picksuprightwhereGiant­SizeX­Men

#1leftoff.

● Chris’seconderaonthebooksbeginswhenKittyPrydejoinstheteamandJean GreyhaddiedafterbecomingDarkPhoenix.You’llseethestorylines:Mutant Massacre,FalloftheMutants,andInferno.ThereadingorderisUncannyX­Men

(v1)#139­243.(NotethatsomearcscrossoverwithotherX­Mentitles).

● TheendofChris’eraasheabruptlyleavesMarvelin1991.Thissectionincludes

theintroductionofGambitandJubilee.ItalsoincludesthestorylinesX­Tinction

AgendaandTheMuirIslandSaga.ThereadingorderisUncannyX­Men(v1)

#244­280andX­Men(v2)#1­3.(NotethatsomearcscrossoverwithotherX­Men

Titles).

OPTIONAL:GodLoves,ManKills:Thisisastandalonegraphicnovelthatwaswrittenduringthisera.It's

widelyregardedasoneofthebestX­Menstoriesofalltime.ItwastheinspirationforthesecondX­Men

movie.

OPTIONAL:FromhereClaremontleftMarvel.HewassupposedtotakeoverthisnewX­Mentitle,butitwas movedovertootherwritersafterheleft.IfyouwanttoreadmoreaboutwhatChriswouldhavedoneafter

#3thenreadseries'X­MenForeverandX­MenForever2.Fairwarning,thosewereendedbeforehecould

finishupallofhisplotthreads.

AfterChrisleavesMarvelintheearly90's,weseeaperiodwherethenowtwomain

X­MentitlesHEAVILYcrossoverwitheachother.Iusuallyrecommendnewreaders

skipthe1990'serauntilyou'vereadmoreX­Men,andcantestthatwatersoutonyour

own.Afteryoumoveintothemoderneramostofthe90'swon'tberelevantanyway,so

it’snotthatbigofadealtoskipoverit Ifyou’reinsistent,thereareplentyofreading guidesavailableonlinethatcanhelpyounavigateyourwaythroughthedecade.

OPTIONAL:Onepartofthe90’sthatyoucanreadimmediatelywouldbetheAgeofApocalypsecrossover.

It’saselfcontainedstorythattakesplaceinanalternateuniverse.It’scollectedintotofourtrade

paperbacks,butit’salmostuniversallyacceptedthatyoucanskipVol.1.ReadVol.2throughVol.4fora

morecohesivestory.Ifyou’restillcravingmoreAoA,gobackandreadVol.1 afteryou’vereadtheother ones.

StartoftheModernEra(2001­2004)

GrantMorrisontookoverX­Men(v2)in2001anditwasrenamedNewX­Menforhis

entiretimeonthetitle.ItiswhatbroughtX­Menintothemoderneraofcomicsandis highlyregardedonofthebestcompleterunsonanX­MentitlesinceClaremontleft

MarvelafterX­Men(v2)#3

ThisisgoingtobeNewX­Men#114­154

OPTIONAL:ChrisClaremontstartedanewX­MencomicaroundthistimecalledX­TremeX­Men(v1).It's

notasgreatashisearlierwork,butifyou'reafanafterreadinghisfirstrun,thenitmaybeworthchecking

thisout.

STARTHERE:JossWhedon'sAstonishingX­Men

(2004­2008)

ThisisadirectresponsetoGrantMorrison'srunonNewX­Men,anditisjustashighly

regarded.WhedonisahugefanofX­Men,anditreallyshowswiththisbook.

ThisrunisgoingtobeAstonishingX­Men#1­24andGiant­SizedAstonishingX­Men

#1.

OPTIONAL:WarrenEllistakesovercreativecontrolofthiscomicafterWhedonleavesandisalsoadecent

read.Hewritesthetitlefrom#25­35andalsoforthemini­seriesAstonishingX­Men:Xenogenesis#1–5.

OPTIONAL:TheVulcanSaga

Therearealotofpeoplewhodon'tlikeVulcan,butIamnotoneofthem.VulcanisthethirdSummers

brother(yes,brotherofCyclopsandHavok)andthisishisstory.IfyoulikeX­Menstoriesinspace,thenthis

maybeforyou.

Hereisthereadingorder:X­MenDeadlyGenesis#1­6,UncannyX­Men#475­486,X­MenEmperorVulcan

#1­5,X­MenKingbreaker#1­4,andWarofKings#1­6.

STARTHERE:TheHouseofM,M­Day,andtheMutant

Messiah(2005­2011)

Thissectionisbasicallygoingtobeawholebunchofmini­seriesandcrossovers.They

allfitinreallywelltogether,andthey'resuperimportantintheX­MenandMarvel

universeasawhole.TheeventsheresetthestageforahugeshiftintheX­Universe.

Whiletheindividualissuesoftheregular

Readinthisorder:HouseofMminiseries,MessiahComplexCrossover,Cable(v2)

#1­12,MessiahWarCrossover,Cable(v2)#16­24,SecondComingCrossover,and

Schismminiseries.

NOTE:Cable(v2)issuesandMessiahWarcrossoverandoptionalinthissection,butIhighlyrecommend

them.

OPTIONAL:MikeCareyhasagreat7yearrunonX­MenLegacy(akaX­Menv2)duringthistimeperiod.

HisissuescrossoverwithmostoftheX­Meneventsofthetime,butforthemostpartit'seasytofollow.

Readinthisorder:X­Men(v2)#188­204,X­MenLegacy#208­216,X­MenOriginalSincrossover(not

relatedtoOriginalSin2014),X­MenLegacy#219­225,#238­248,AgeofXcrossover,andX­MenLegacy

#249­260

OPTIONAL:AfterSchism,youcanreadallofGillian'srunonUncannyX­Men(v3)andArron'srunon

Wolverine&theX­Men(v1).ThoughyoushouldkeepinmindthatbothtitlesintersectwithAvengersvs.

X­Men.YoushouldreadAvXbeforeyoureadthecrossoverissuesforeitherofthosebooks.

STARTHERE:AvengersVs.X­MenandMarvelNOW

Relaunch(2012­present)

Whatyouneedtoknowbeforehand:ScarletWitchalteredrealitybydeletingthe

X­Genefromallbut198mutants.Afterawhilethefirstmutant,Hope,wasfinallyborn.

Afterrunningthroughtimefor16yearswithCabletoprotecther,Hopecomesbackto

thepresentasayoungwoman.SheisnowbelievedtobethenewhostforthePhoenix.

Oh,alsoCyclopsandWolverinearefightingandtheysplittheX­Menintotwoseparate

teams.

Here'swhattoread:AvengersVsX­Menmini­series,All­NewX­Men#1­15,Uncanny

X­Men(v3)#1­11,BattleoftheAtomCrossover,AllNewX­Men#18­21,andTheTrial

ofJeanGreyCrossover

FromhereyoucannowcatchuptothecurrentissueofbothAll­NewX­Menand

UncannyX­Men(v3)

OPTIONAL:Afteryouread"TheTrialofJeanGrey",youcanthenstartonCyclops(v3)#1.Thisisthe

spaceadventuresofyoungCyclopsfromthepast,hisspace­piratefatherCorsair,andhisteam.

OPTIONAL:Ifyou'relookingforevenmorecurrentX­Menaction,youcantryoutX­Men(v4).Readissues

#1­4,thenitcrossoverwithBattleoftheAtom,thenyoucanread#7upuntilthecurrentissue.

Congratulations,ifyou'vereadeverythingonthelist,

youarenowaX­MenX­pert!