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Your favorite X-Men Era!

Let’s see what your favorite X-Men Era is.  It was a bit of a landslide, as two eras dominated.  Yeah, they won’t shock you, either.

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for chiming in.  I do apologize for not breaking up the original 66 issues into better eras, but like I said, I’ve only read the Neal Adams ones, and it did seem like they were much more coherent in style than later issues.  The enigmatic Mark S. (comment #87) did a fine job breaking up the “Original Recipe Era,” which was very cool of him.  Thank you, sir.  Plenty of people made suggestions about how to divide the eras, and I admit – this isn’t an exact science.  I tried to split them based on themes I saw develop over the years, which is why Paul Smith’s work on the title is segmented – he drew some (possibly only one; it’s been a while) of the Brood issues, which are clearly thematically different from the later issues.  He did leave the book at what might a clearly defined break – the exposure of the “fake” Phoenix – but I think those issues fit in nicely with Romita’s run.  You may disagree.  But that’s what makes this kind of thing fun!

For the vote totals, I assigned points to each selection.  20 points for #1, 15 for #2, 10 for #3, 7 for #4, and 3 for #5.  If you only voted for one, it got 20 points.  Then I added them up.  So let’s break it down!

My choices, by the way: The Exile Era, The “Things Fall Apart” Mark 2 Era, The God of All Comics Era, The “Things Fall Apart” Mark 1 Era, and the Superhero Era.  Someone wondered if the Exile Era was my introduction to the X-Men, and it certainly was.  I can point to much better writing and art on the title (including what’s happening today), but those are my favorites simply because, unlike the Phoenix Era when the book wasn’t selling through the roof, by that time it was selling well but Claremont still had the stones to destroy the team.  The stories were entertaining, too.  Okay, on to the winners!

1. The Phoenix Era (Giant-Size X-Men #1-X-Men #138; July 1975-October 1980): 730 points.  Yeah, that’s not too surprising.  It’s a good storyline that resonates well with long-time fans.  25 people had it as their favorite, while 12 people had it #2.

2. The God of All Comics Era (X-Men #114-154; July 2001-June 2004): 606 points.  Again, not too surprising, although the difference between #1 and #2 might be.  14 people had this as their favorite, and 12 had it as #2.  I’m sure it suffered because although many people loved this, many people hated it as well.  The Phoenix storyline doesn’t inspire as much loathing.

3. The Superhero Era (Uncanny X-Men #168-205; April 1983-May 1986): 421 points.  Another one that’s not too surprising.  Joss Whedon certainly loves this era, and I suspect most people started reading the X-Men during this era, which exerts a strong pull.  10 people voted this #1, and 7 had it as #2.

4. The New Blood/Brood Era (Uncanny X-Men #139-167; November 1980-March 1983): 340 points.  This surprised me a bit, although it does include issues #139-143, which are very good, plus that fairy tale by Kitty, which occupies a sweet space in many fanboy’s heart.  I liked this era, but thought it was a bit of a mess.  5 people had this #1, and 9 people had it #2.

5. The Exile Era (Uncanny X-Men #229-245; May 1988-June 1989): 236 points.  Decent comics, but again, I suspect that first-exposure nostalgia plays a part in this.  It does with me!  6 people voted this #1 and #2.

6. The “Things Fall Apart” Era Mark 1 (Uncanny X-Men #206-228; June 1986-April 1988): 235 points.  The Mutant Massacre is a great storyline, which had to help this era.  6 people voted this #1, while 4 had it #2.

7. The Rebirth Era (Uncanny X-Men #270-296; November 1990-January 1993; X-Men #1-16; October 1991-January 1993): 142 points.  Another big drop (after each two grouping, there’s a big drop), and I’m sure Jim Lee was a big reason this placed where it did.  2 people had it #1, 3 people had it #2, and a lot of people mentioned it down the line a bit.

8. The Original Recipe Era (X-Men #1-66; September 1963-March 1970): 130 points.  I apologize for my dismissiveness of this era.  I shan’t diss the Silver Age!  2 people voted this #1, and 1 had it #2.

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9. The “Things Fall Apart” Era Mark 2 (Uncanny X-Men #246-269; July 1989-October 1990): 115 points.  Man, that Dazzler issue (#260) is frickin’ awesome.  2 people voted this #1, and 2 had it as #2.

10. The “We Screwed Up; Let’s Pander to the Old-Timers” Era (Astonishing X-Men #1-23; July 2004-current): 65 points.  I’m going to assume most of the votes for this era were for the Whedon/Cassaday book.  Again, I’m not dismissing the strategy – as long as the books are good, I don’t care what they’re trying to do!  This got all its votes from #3 (3 people) and #4 (5 people).

11. The Loss of Focus Era (Uncanny X-Men #338-393; November 1996-May 2001; X-Men #58-113; November 1996-June 2001): 64 points.  There are some good issues in here, but they’re hard to find.  2 people voted this #1.

12. The Meat and Potatoes Writers’ Era (Uncanny X-Men #475-current; September 2006-current; X-Men #188-current; September 2006-current): 57 points.  It’s probably too early to tell on this one, but it’s doing fine so far.  2 people voted this #2.

13. The Legacy Era (Uncanny X-Men #297-321; February 1993-February 1995; X-Men #17-41; February 1993-February 1995): 51 points.  Again, not an awful era, but nothing special.  1 person did vote it #1, though!

14. The Joe Casey Era (Uncanny X-Men #394-409; June 2001-September 2002): 30 points.  These issues are notable more for their potential than their execution, I think.  Its points came from 2 people voting it #2.

15. The Onslaught Era (Uncanny X-Men #322-337; July 1995-October1996; X-Men #42-57; July 1995-October 1996): 26 points.  One person voted this #1, and the people who mentioned it talked about the Age of Apocalypse, so I put those issues in this era.

In case you’re keeping track, that’s no votes whatsoever for Chuck Austen’s run or Peter Milligan’s run.  One person liked Austen more than Morrison, but I didn’t count it because they didn’t really vote for Austen.  When Milligan was mentioned, it was for a few people to vent their hatred at him.  Oh well.

Some people mentioned Ultimate X-Men, but I just didn’t feel like going into that, even though some of the stories are very good.  Many people suggested having a poll about the best run on any mutant title, bringing up Bill Sienkiewicz on New Mutants, Milligan and Allred on X-Force/X-Statix, and others.  That’s a great idea, but I’ll have to table that for now.  Maybe somewhere down the line we’ll get to that, because it’s a bit of a monster task, isn’t it?

Anyway, thanks for voting, everyone.  It’s always fun to release our inner geeks!   


Which one got the most first place votes?

I really enjoyed the titles the various eras have been given.

One extremely pedantic nitpick: “2. The God of All Comics Era (X-Men #114-154; July 2001-June 2004)” should be New X-Men #114-154.

Greg, can you do something similar for Spider-Man? It’d be especially great if you could do it for the post-Stan Lee Spider-Man, since if you including his runs with Ditko and Romita, they’d blow everything else out of the water in terms of popularity. I’d love to see how people feel about post-Stan Lee Spider-Man, especially in the 70s and 80s

Yeah, the “dead in Australia” period pretty much killed X-Men for me. It was just occasional perusal in the store from then on.


November 26, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Age Of Apocalypse should go at the end of era before Onslaught, as Onslaught first got mentioned after they were back from that time line.

(I hate myself for typing that).

Mutant Massacre was a great storyline?


I just happened to stop following the X-books BECAUSE of it. When I realized that things were so angsty, so decompressed and at the end of the day so unengaging that the bestg stories of the crossover (by far) were those in Thor, it looked like time to give my money a better destination.

The Phoenix Era got the most first-place votes, with 25. Morrison’s run was second with 14.

I refuse to call it “NEW X-Men,” Bully. They didn’t renumber the damned thing and they went back to X-Men later, so that’s what I call it, consarnit!

I would love to do something like this for Spider-Man, T. Unfortunately, I’m not as well-read in that area as I am in X-Men lore, so I’d have to re-read my collection. Plus, I bailed on Amazing around #350, so there’s a bigger hole in my collection than for X-Men, for which I’m only missing about 30 issues, and all of them recent.

Yeah, I know, Funky, but it was such an odd thing I didn’t know where to put it.

And yes, Luis, the Mutant Massacre was a great storyline. Sure, it was angsty, but I don’t think it was really decompressed. And this was before “angst” became annoying, and it was such a bold move on Claremont’s part that it holds up well. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I missed the voting but here’s my ranking anyway:

In order of preference…

13) God of All Comics. My X-Men moratorium could well be still going on if this hadn’t happened (well, maybe Whedon…).
1) Original Recipe. I’m a big fan of the original X-Men, who I discovered during the reprint interregnum. In fact, I bought Giant Size #1 expecting the conclusion of the reprint story that had been running in the regular book. I was a little annoyed, but was quickly won over by the All-New All-Different team.
2) Phoenix. Though I agree with the person in the original thread who said calling it “All-New All-Different” and including all of Byrne’s run would have made more sense.
15) “We Screwed Up”. Just because Astonishing is listed under this.
12) Casey. Really unfairly treated at the time, I reread this after the run was over and thought it held up quite well. It’s tempting to make the crack that fans reaped what they sowed when he was replaced by Austin, but I don’t think I should say that. Heh.
3)New Blood/Brood Very mixed on this era. On the one hand, Paul Smith is awesome. On the other, I can still remember how excited I was at the prospect of Cockrum returning, and how disappointed I was with the artwork compared to his first run. I know that there are those who prefer his second run (shrugs, rolls eyes), but to my eyes the first is vastly superior in every way.
17) Meat and Potatoes. Also mixed. On the one hand, you have Carey mining eras I have no use for. On the other hand, you have Brubaker, who was wasting time in space for a while, but has now thankfully stopped.

Any other eras I haven’t mentioned, well, I haven’t mentioned them because I basically consider them completely worthless.

I’d say: super-hero era, God of All Comics, Phoenix, Things Fall Apart I, New Blood/ Brood, Original Recipe, We Screwed Up, Rebirth, Exile. Morrison and Whedon are the only post-93 writers I rate at all…

Yeah ! What FunkyGreenJerusalem said is right. It made me vote for that ‘sweet’ Onslaught Era :-). At least it would be in Legacy Era (and it was a tiny bit better).

Of course I’m joking. But not about the dreadful Onslaught and what came after.

Legacy Era wasn’t last, yeah!

That was the only time I was actively reading X-Men, next to Age of Apocalypse, and then I stopped reading comics altogether for a while. I still have fond memories of the Lobdell/Romita Jr. combo, though for what reason I don’t know. Probably because of that “death of Illyana” issue. It was pretty touching to me at the time, even more astounding because I had no idea who the character was, other than being Colossus’s sister.

Wow, I’ve always wanted to be hailed as enigmatic! Thanks, Greg!

As I remember at the time, AoA was a nice break from the regular X-books at the time. Even if the set-up wasn’t terrific, I was glad to have stories that were at least interesting. The characters did things. They moved/changed/grew. So what if it wasn’t the “real” X-men. While you are probably correct, FunkyGreenJerusalem, it probably matters little were you place AoA considering the quality of the X-books on either side.

Incidently, I tried reading the Onslaught Saga again last week and just couldn’t. It just rekindled my anger about the time I lost that first time I read it. But I’ve read the original AoA at least three times.

My favorite X-Men era was the 1950s.

Y’know, before they started printing that awful shit.

Number 1, 2 and 3 are the same as I had them. Power to the people.
I also throught AoA was really cool.
I think Milligan gets more hate on this then he deserves. I kind of liked his stuff, although it wouldn’t make my top five by a damn sight. I don’t even remember what Golgotha was about, but I had high hopes for it at the start. I thought the Blood of Apocalypse was bearable. Anyway, I think he’s done enough good stuff that we can forgive him for this. It’s not like Marvel was going to let him do what Morrison did. They ended up retconning half of his stuff because they were unhappy with it ex post (despite its brilliance), so I’m sure Milligan was on a much tighter leash.

I missed this, but I would have picked the Exile era (Australian team) as my favorite. Gritty, but not convoluted, and only one book to follow. Good times.

[…] Greg Burgas breaks down the various X-Men eras, then asks readers to rate their top five. The results are up: my favorite era got second-place, but the winning era’s great, too. […]

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