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50 Greatest X-Men Stories: 30-26

xmen2630

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the X-Men, we’re doing a poll of the greatest X-Men stories of all-time! You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 50 Greatest X-Men Stories!

We’ll do five each day from here on out (until we get towards the end, when it’ll probably get down to 3 a day). Here is a master list of every story featured so far. Here are #30-26.

Enjoy!

30. “X-Tinction Agenda” New Mutants #95-97, Uncanny X-Men #270-272 and X-Factor #60-62

This crossover picked up from where the earlier Genosha storyline left off, with Genosha now becoming more aggressive in their attacks, as they are now associated with the evil Cameron Hodge (one-time ally of X-Factor). A team of Genoshan magistrates, led by a brainwashed Havok, show up and kidnap a group of New Mutants as well as a de-aged Storm. The remaining New Mutants, Banshee and Forge hook up with X-Factor to go rescue their friends. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Jubilee and Psylocke make their way to Genosha on their own. By the end of the storyline, New Mutant Warlock was dead, Wolfsbane was trapped in wolf form, Storm was re-aged and the X-Men were finally reunited for the first time in over a year. Plus, the world learned that the X-Men were actually alive. This storyline also saw the New Mutants’ roster so decimated that they would soon reform as X-Force. Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson wrote it and Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld and Jon Bogdanove (plus a bunch of inkers) drew it.

29. “SuperNovas” X-Men #188-193

Mike Carey took over X-Men with penciler Chris Bachalo (and roughly three thousand inkers) on this storyline that introduced the set-up of Carey’s X-Men run, which was that Rogue was given control of her own X-team. She decided to embrace her name with the team, as it was very much a rogue version of a typical X-Team. Mystique, Lady Mastermind, Cable, Cannonball, Iceman and, to a certain extent, Sabretooth. It was like the island of misfit toys. Their first mission involved the sadistic Children of the Vault, who were hunting Sabretooth because he knew that they existed. They were awoken by the events of Decimation. The Children of the Vault were neither humans nor mutants and they wanted to destroy both races.

28. “Crossroads” Uncanny X-Men #269, 273-277

xmen28

This was another story that I initially split up, but the Rogue/Savage Land part just barely missed the top 50, so I figured it was better to just re-combine them than to have the Rogue storyline not make the top 50. This storyline was interrupted by the X-Tinction Agenda crossover. But it really began in #269, when Rogue is finally split from her Ms. Marvel personality. Rogue teams up with Magneto in the Savage Land on a mission involving Nick Fury as they take on the evil Zaladane. Meanwhile, after a “breather” issue in Uncanny X-Men #273, the newly reunited X-Men are kidnapped into outer space where they get caught up in a Skrull plot against the Shi’ar Empire involving their former teacher, Professor X. Half of the team is captured and replaced by “Power Skrulls.” The remaining team members must stop the Skrull plot, save the Shi’ar Empire AND rescue their captured teammates. In Uncanny X-Men #275, we also see Magneto forced to choose whether he wants to be judged by standard human morality when it comes time to deal with Zaladane. These stories are a great encapsulation of how good writer Chris Claremont was at juggling various storylines, as he expertly mixes between the Shi’ar plot and the Magneto/Rogue plot without giving either story short shrift. Lee (inked by Scott Williams) meanwhile is outstanding with both the action sequences as well as the character-driven moments between Magneto and Rogue.

27. “X-Cutioner’s Song” Uncanny X-Men #294-297, X-Factor #84-86, X-Men #14-16 and X-Force #16-18

This epic crossover began with Cable seemingly shooting Professor Xavier with a bullet containing the techno-organic virus. The X-Men naturally headed off to hunt down Cable and X-Force, as well. Eventually, the X-Men discovered that “Cable” was actually Stryfe. So now their mission involved hunting down Stryfe while also contacting Apocalypse to acquire a cure for the virus (as Apocalypse created the virus). Mister Sinister kidnapped Cyclops and Jean Grey in the middle of the chaos and essentially sold them to Stryfe. The finale involved Cyclops and Jean Grey realizing that either Cable or Stryfe was Cyclops’ long-lost son!! Fabian Nicieza, Scott Lobdell and Peter David wrote the story and a variety of artists drew it.

26. “Torn” Astonishing X-Men #13-18

In their third arc on Astonishing X-Men, Joss Whedon and John Cassaday had Emma Frost seemingly revealed as a villain once again, working with a new Hellfire Club to tear the X-Men apart using each of their greatest fears. However, it turns out that not all is at it seems and perhaps Emma Frost is as much of a victim of the situation as anyone else. This was a powerful examination of the psyches of the various members of the Astonishing X-Men, particularly Cyclops and Emma Frost.

63 Comments

Supanovas was actually the first X-Men comic I ever read. I really enjoyed the Mike Carey run, especially in the first year and a half.

Still none of mine have appeared yet. I assume this means I have either really mainstream or really obscure tastes….
Not a big fan of any of these myself, the big 90s crossovers always left me cold and Whedon’s writing isn’t really my thing.
Never read any of Carey’s run though, may have to try and get hold of it.

4/10 – I voted for the Rogue/Magneto portion of “Crossroads” so I’m glad Brian decided to lump them in with the rest of the story. The depiction of Magneto in that story is such a fantastic culmination of all the great work Claremont put into developing his character throughout his run.

“X-Cutioner’s Song” also nabbed a vote from me, mainly for the nostalgia of it being the first linewide crossover to occur after I started reading comics, and because it reminds me fondly of a time when I was younger and obsessed with all the hints and feints and red herrings regarding Cable true’s identity.

During my early days of collecting, read all of “X-Tinction Agenda” was almost like my white whale – getting the individual Uncanny and New Mutants issues was out of the question, because it was the 90s so the prices for the back issues were outrageous, and even the trade was spendy (for a thirteen year old). As a result, I really had only read the X-Factor issues (because no one was paying top dollar for Bogdanove art back then) for a looong time. I almost gave it a nostalgia vote, but gave that to “X-Cutioner’s Song” instead.

I really need to go back and read “Supernovas” again; I see it raved about quite a bit, but I don’t remember much of it standing out/impressing me.

Ditto “Torn”, one of the few Whedon/Cassady Astonishing arcs that left me cold.

Now I’m lost.

X-Tinction Agenda was a coin flip #10 solely because it was the catalyst for bringing X-Factor back together with the X-Men, I left it off because it wasn’t handled that smoothly in my mind and felt forced (and Hodge was such a weak villain in my mind). Crossroads was meh. X-Men in space, aside from the first Brood saga, have never been interesting to me (and that includes the DPS…please don’t let the most obvious thing in the history of ever happen here) and the only use I’ve ever had for the Shi’ar are when they dragged Professor X out of the book back in issue 200 and he was gone.

X-Cutioner’s Song rates as the thing that finally made me quit buying monthly X-Men comics altogether. I think it could be considered one of the single worst crossovers of the 90′s (right up there with the ridiculous Round Robin Spider-man crossover). The whole thing just came off as an excuse to have X-Men team A fight X-Men team B with no real sense of direction.

I did like Torn when I read it in trade a few months ago. No issue there.Don’t know about Supernovas to comment.

X-Tinction Agenda was just off the bottom of my list. It and X-Cutioner’s Song were among the first X-books I owned, although I think Crossroads was among the first I read. I don’t have much hope for the more than half of rest of my list showing up.

I did enjoy Whedon’s run, though I didn’t vote for this particular arc. And hooboy, do the rest of these not look like comics I want to read (though I quite like some of Carey’s Vertigo stuff).

Torn is the only Whedon arc on my list. All of Astonishing is very pretty and quippy, but Torn was the only one that was actually a good story.

X-Men in space, aside from the first Brood saga, have never been interesting to me (and that includes the DPS…

No worries, you are not alone. I have never been a fan of that either. X-Men have always felt more appropriate to me grounded on Earth. Leave the cosmic stuff to Fantastic Four, I say.

That said, I did have one X-Men-in-space story on my list (X-Men Animation Special Graphic Novel). Even that is exempt from my own distaste of the space faring stories because it is limited to Asteroid M and because ‘Pryde of the X-Men’ is friggin’ awesome.

Torn is the only one of these I’ve read – and TBH I can’t remember it.

And my there’s some horrendous art on display here. IMO, SuperNovas is the only cover with any redeeming qualities.

interesting to see the x-tinction agenda on the list already for thought it would wind up not appearing till way in the top ten or five. for it showed how nasty genosha is in the xuniverse plus the x-cutioners song interesting to see it so high on the list given how crazy it when it comes to stryfe and cable not to mention the x-men having to make a deal with the devil to save xavier. plus also where sinister starts the old third summers brother plot

Brian, I might be wrong, but if memory serves X-Tinction Agenda got the team back together after being dissolved almost three years before. If you look in the back of the bi-weekly X-Men issues post Inferno, they refer to the storyline as “Dissolution and Rebirth”, but it was really “Dissolution” and then several years of stories about what happened to each of them from Jubilee saving Wolverine from the Reavers and finding Psylocke to Gambit and Storm getting together. I think it ran from something like issue 247 to the start of Extinction Agenda unless I’m forgetting something.

How you have a team book for that long without an actual team in it is something that always puzzled me as to how they got away with that.

Finally stuff I’ve read, except for Supernovas.
Crossroads and Torn are great but I didn’t vote for either (picked another Whedon story).
The only good part of X-Cutioner’s Song is the early Jae Lee art, it was such a wild departure from the other chapters. Altho Capullo had a good run on X-Force after that.
X-Tinction Agenda was more enjoyable but overall not a particularly good story, I agree that Hodge is a terrible villain.

Supernovas is one a vote of mine. Carey’s first X-men story is his best, alongside Bachalo’s amazing pencils, they were really a hell of a combo. Carey’s obviously has a love of Rogue and she gets some great lines and moments, but his dialog and characterization for everybody in this arc is superb. The Children of the Vault are a great new rogue group; their build-up and slow unrevealing is tense and exciting. It’s delivers the trademark action you’d expect(the last issue lets everybody get their own unique cool moment), but never skimps on the soap opera so trademark to the series, with the standout issue being the Sam Guthrie illusion issue with Malfina. One of the best X-stories of it’s respective decade.

Crossroads is another one of mine! It’s two stories really, one being a big sci-fi pop adventure as the X-men take on a group of Super Skrulls masquadring as the Shi’ar empire! Jim Lee is perfect here, his big action panels and sci-fi art design a great asset to the fun tone Claremont is aiming for, including a couple big cool Gambit moments. Really a damn shame these two didn’t get a longer run before budding heads; this is really the last story Claremont did himself. The flipside is even better though, with Magneto/Rogue/Zaladane in the Savage Land. It’s a wonderful culmination and conclusion to all the work Claremont has done with the character of Magneto, rising him above simple labels of “good guy” and “bad guy”, a complete transformation from silver age villain, to possible reformation, and now something else entirely. Claremont’s best character in possibly his best story.

“Torn” has some great moments, but it’s terribly decompressed, and doesn’t hang together that well. But, it’s appearence here means the better Astonishing X-Men stories like “Gifted” and my personal favorite, “Unstoppable”, are guaranteed to be even higher.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

July 26, 2013 at 8:49 am

Well, none of these made my list, but it’s good to see Mike Carey get some love: I voted for another Carey story). He’s probably my favorite X-Writer since Morrison.

I don’t see how anyone could vote for X-Tinction Agenda or X-Cutioner’s song (outside of nostalgia, anyway), as I thought they were both pretty mediocre. They each had their good chapters, but I don’t care for them that much on the whole. But oh well.

“Torn” was where Whedon’s run really started to nosedive for me. His run had good character work throughout (even if I hated the “Cyclops can’t control his powers because he chose that over not having them at all” development), but his plots started to get pretty poor starting with “Torn.”

Glad to see “Crossroads” made it on. I really enjoyed that story arc, especially the Rogue/Magneto Savage Land parts.

Wow. People like Torn a lot less than I do. It was my number two pick!

Scratch a grand total of four of my ten off the list.

I’m happy to see that the Rogue in the Savage Land arc made it (though only by some gerrymandering, unfortunately) because I thought that was really good stuff. I really wanted to vote for Torn, but ran out of spaces.

Really sad to see X-Cutioner’s Song make the list at all, and especially to see it place so high over much much better stories.

I am 3 for 10 at this point

#6 Carey’s Supernova’
#8 Crossroads–More for the outer space adventure, my first issues loved it
#10- Earthfall

I feel as if I might go 10/10

I’m missed out on both X-Tinction Agenda and X-Cutioner’s Song, just read summaries and such, same goes for Crossroads.

Supernovas, I loved as it had Bachelo so already a plus and then I pretty much feel instantly in love with Mike Carey based off of this arc. ‘

Either a good sign or a bad sign that Whedon/Cassaday’s best arc is at 26. Can’t imagine any of their other arcs being that high on the list. Its by far their best arc so it is a good representation of their era.

I wonder if X-Cutioner’s Song and X-Tinction agenda placed so high due to name recognition that other (perhaps superior) stories don’t have due to the fact that “crossovers” and the idea of named storylines/arcs weren’t very popular pre-late 80′s.

I’m glad the weakest of Whedon’s run is showing so high. That means we can look forward to the other three arcs doing well. Two of my nine have appeared so far.

Meghan Ansbach

July 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

I assume all of the X-Men crossovers will show up on this list (except for maybe Onslaught), so there are no surprises here. Torn was also my least favorite Whedon storyline, but I’m sure the other three are yet to come.

“Crossroads” was a super enjoyable read so I was happy to see it on this list. And while Mike Carey isn’t one of my favorite X-Men writers, I still think him to be pretty solid, so it’s good to see him getting some love.

@MarkBlack

I was wondering the same thing. I somewhat like X-Tinction Agenda for what it did and that we actually saw some more of Genosha, but it was disjointed at the same time. But I could see it maybe getting some votes by some.

X-Cutioner’s Song is just baffling. It would be baffling anywhere on this list to me, but #27?

I thought I had an idea of where this list was headed, but now I have to wonder if we’ll get something like the Muir Island Saga in the top 5.

@Smokescreen or Inferno or the Acts of Vengeance storyline

Stephen Conway

July 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

X-Tinction and X-Cutioner are both really unappealing to me, haven’t read Crossroads but it sounds okay, Supernovas looks really interesting and Torn is decent but weak by the standards of Whedon/Cassaday. That Torn placed so high makes me think we’ll see all of their collaboration place.

Still 3/10 for me. Nothing from 30-26 made my list.

I like #273-277 a lot. Jim Lee did a really good job with the X-Men/Shi-ar/Skrulls/Starjammers battle royal in these issues. The Magneto story was a fitting capstone to Claremont’s evolution of the character that began back in #150. Magneto is one of my favorite characters, but I don’t really feel the need to see him appear anymore, because it feels like Claremont wrote a full story for the character that ended here.

X-Cutioner’s Song is enjoyable if for nothing else than the nostalgia factor. I also have an affinity for all the Cyclops/Cable/Apocalypse/Sinister stuff, so I probably enjoy this story more than most people.

Torn, I enjoyed at the time, but have never gone back and read again. I liked Morrison’s X-Men alright, but by the time Wheedon’s book came out, it was refreshing to see a more “traditional” form of the X-Men.

I’ve never read SuperNovas, but would like to, since I’ve seen a lot of praise for Mike Carey’s X-Men.

If I had read X-Tinction Agenda back when it had first come out, I would probably have more nostalgia for it, but I can remember the Uncanny X-Men issues selling for about $20 each back in the early 90s as a result of both the bubble and Jim Lee mania. As a result, I didn’t get to read it until after returning to comics in the aughts after a four year hiatus. As a fan of the original Genosha story (#4 on my list) from #235-238, this story was disappointing to me as a result of the addition of Cameron Hodge. I thought the character was kind of a dumb concept to begin with, but to then add a giant meachnial spider version of him to what was an otherwise serious (by comics standards) story really subtracted from the whole thing for me.

None of these were on my list.

Man, Stryfe is so 90′s it causes me physical pain (or is that joy? I don’t know).

I am glad to see the Rogue/Magneto Savage Land story make it in.
Not ashamed to say that Jim Lee drawing Rogue in the Savage Land helped to reinforce my love for that character.

@MarkBlack

I figure Inferno for the top ten…I would guess low top ten, but top ten, based on name/nostalgia. I threw it a vote based on the early parts of it (Marauder resolution and X-Factor meeting, which were big deals at the time), but my issues with it are that the X-Men are more a side act and that the whole thing is resolving New Mutant/X-Factor storylines. I think you could actually pull the X-Men out of it and get to almost the same place at the end of it. Though the What If? that came out of it where we got baby-eating Wolverine was fun.

I am curious to see how high Onslaught placed now that X-Cutioner’s Song is here.

Looks like my list will be a greatest hits list. I haven’t seen a single one of my picks yet and there’s no way any of them miss. I guess this comes from only reading up to about Uncanny 350 or so.

Everyone who has not read Supernovas should find a copy wherever they can and read it. It’s what got me sucked back into Xmen proper just in time for the Messiah crossovers. Before that I was just buying trades and the 1 every 6 months issue of Astonishing Xmen.

Also as a result I have followed Mike Carey like everywhere he goes., his Xmen run was fantastic for me.

Supernovas is the only modern X-title I own (in trade). That was a great storyline. Oddly enough X-tinction Agenda was the first trade I ever owned (got it as a present back in the 90′s).

Good picks all. I wouldn’t have put X-Tinction Agenda quite that high, but, eh, it’s much better than most people think it is (whenever the “90s Crossovers Suck!” trend pops up).

@Smokescreen “Dissolution and Rebirth” was 248-252, the “Dissolution” part was the team (except Wolverine) breaking up and going through the Siege Perilous portal. The “Rebirth” was a) Storm regressed to childhood starting over and B) the fact that they were promised new lives by going through the portal in the first place (although those actual “rebirths” don’t happen until issue 256.

Anyway, onto the list: Nothing I voted for on here today. I didn’t vote for any of the crossovers, but I do approve of “X-Cutioner’s Song” being higher than “X-Tinction Agenda”; as I said in my post for yesterday’s list, I never enjoyed the Genosha stories.

Mike Carey is great. Probably the best X-Men writer since Morrison (I did not like Claremont’s post-”X-Treme” work or Brubaker or Fraction’s stuff (Fraction did not “get” the X-Men’s voices in my mind, they were all out of character; teaming it with that awful Greg Land art didn’t help). But man, Carey nailed it, and his twists and turns after “Supernovas” were great. I always thought it was a shame that when “X-Men” ended and they gave its numbering to the goofy “X-Men Legacy” concept that they kept him on that project instead of moving him to “Uncanny.” He’d have been a terrific lead-franchise writer.

“Crossroads” (which I always just called The War-Skrull Saga since there’s a Hulk “Crossroads” story) is possibly the last good Claremont story on “Uncanny.” The main plot is good and twisty and the Rogue subplot is interesting because it sets up the undoing of Magneto’s reformation that comes to fruition in “X-Men” 1-3.

Whedon is always good but “Torn” is the arc I’m least familiar with. I’ll have to go back and re-read it.

And the tally so far is:
The Uncanny X-Men (1981-2011): 12 (Not incl. crossovers)
X-Men (1963-1981): 3
Crossovers: 5
New X-Men (2001-2004): 2
X-Men (1991-2001/2004-2008): 1 (Not incl. crossovers)
Astonishing X-Men (2004-2013): 1
And zero for the rest!

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

July 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Jeff said:

“Mike Carey is great. Probably the best X-Men writer since Morrison (I did not like Claremont’s post-’X-Treme’ work or Brubaker or Fraction’s stuff (Fraction did not ‘get’ the X-Men’s voices in my mind, they were all out of character; teaming it with that awful Greg Land art didn’t help). But man, Carey nailed it, and his twists and turns after ‘Supernovas’ were great. I always thought it was a shame that when ‘X-Men’ ended and they gave its numbering to the goofy ‘X-Men Legacy’ concept that they kept him on that project instead of moving him to ‘Uncanny.’ He’d have been a terrific lead-franchise writer.”

I agree with you on everything you said here, though I thought Carey’s “X-Men Legacy” was really good, too. One of his Legacy stories actually made my top ten: I hope it makes this list.

The X-Offices really missed a golden opportunity by not putting him in charge of the line.

Fraction and Brubaker didn’t seem to really “get” the X-Men all that much. Their best arcs (“Utopia” and “Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire,” respectively [not counting crossovers]) weren’t that great in the grand scheme, and the rest of their work was mediocre to poor. It doesn’t make them bad writers: it’s just that not every writer can write the X-Men well.

It really is interesting to me how certain creators “fit” with some characters and don’t with others.

I guess it shows how long I was away from the X-Men that I had no idea Mike Carey had ever written them. I definitely need to go back a few years, because it seems like there actually was some good stuff just before Marvel Now. I read a random trade from Whedon/Cassaday (Danger’s intro) and loved it. I also need to read all of “Wolverine and the X-Men” from what I’ve heard.

For those of you who are upset that “X-Tinction” and “X-Cutioner’s” were on the list, I totally see where you’re coming from, but you have to understand that for a lot of us (myself included, but I didn’t vote so you can’t blame me) the ’90s was our main X-Men reading era. That’s the first time I remember actually reading issues as they came out, instead of reading my brother’s beat up old copies.

Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode

July 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Now I’m 3/10, with two of my votes showing up here.

X-Cutioner’s Song was number 1 on my list. This was the first X-Men crossover I ever read and I think it’s still a lot of fun. I remember I got really into the X-Force back issues that took place prior to this and I remember falling in love with characters like Cable, Stryfe (no really, he’s probably my favorite X-Villain. Something about a mysanthropic nihilist who hated everybody in the world appealed to me during my awkward teenage years), Cannonball, etc. I had to read the storyline that “resolved” a lot of those plot threads, and I my somewhat high expectations were exceeded. Plus, the X-Men were in the costumes I remembered from the TV show, which was really cool to me. Lots of action, lots of big character moments, and lots of plot-twists – everything I could ever want from a crossover, and all of it, I believe, very well done. Plus, I was introduced to great pencillers like Greg Capullo, Andy Kubert, and Jae Lee. Brandom Peterson is a little rough here, but besides that I think the writers and pencillers turned in some of the better work from their runs on these books. All in all, one of the X-Men’s better crossovers, imho. Kind of sad it’s shown up this early, I really do think it deserves a top ten spot (ok, at best the ten spot but still!)

Supernovas was also on my list. This was a great start to an impressive run by Carey, introducing some interesting new characters and he was paired with one of my favorite pencillers of all time, Chris Bachalo. During what I consider a pretty bad period for X-Men comics, this arc (and really, all of Carey’s run) were a rare bright spot.

X-Tinction Agenda I considered, but it’s probably my personal least favorite of Claremont and Simonson’s crossovers. I love the Genoshan tech and stuff we see in this story, plus there’s some awesome moments like Wolverine versus Angel, but otherwise this story really seemed to drag on a lot longer than it needed to. Lee turns in some solid pencilwork, and I actually like Liefeld in general, but Bogdanove really didn’t fit in with these guys (he was much better suited to a book like Man of Steel, which I believe he hopped on as soon as this storyline was over), plus the fill-in on New Mutants was pretty bad. Artwise, this would have been much stronger if they’d limited it to 2 months instead of three and if Whilce Portacio had started his X-Factor run with this cross-over instead.

I’ve started reading Crossroads and I can see why people are so fond of it. So much happens and the art is pretty amazing, some of Lee’s better work from this period.

While I don’t like Whedon’s run, Torn is probably the one arc of his that I do enjoy. Unlike the others, it doesn’t feel AS padded to me as the others, plus the premise is much more interesting than the incredibly bland Ord and his Breakworld. It makes more sense and feels less cliched than Gifted, and the less said about Dangerous the better. Overall, it’s it’s perhaps Whedon’s best arc imho, plus Cassaday always draws some pretty pictures.

Once again, another nice installment of this list, but with my top pick already out of the way, I’m a little worried about some of my other picks showing up. Oh well, at least I like the first half of this list lol

The first issue I read was X-Men 202, the first issue I remember buying as it came out was probably 226 and I became a regular reader with 234. The late 80s and early 90s was my wheelhouse for X-Men, but I still find storylines like the World Tour (where we first meet Alpha Flight and Wolverine falls in love with Mariko) to be far more interesting and dare I say important than the X-Cutioner’s song. I even liked the Kulan Gath storyline better than X-Cutioner’s song.

Maybe it was because I read backwards from those first issues and because Classic X-Men was so readily available that those storylines seem more important to me than what was to come.

I’m sorry I’m not trying to slag those storylines, there are parts of X-Tinction Agenda I really love, but they just aren’t my favorite issues. But to be fair, I also think X-Men 197 is one of the best issues ever. So my taste isn’t beyond reproach.

Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode

July 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm

@TJCoolguy

Yeah, I read it in the lat 2000s after I decided to jump into the “deep end of the pool” as I call it with the 90s X-Men. I kinda figured there’s be some snobism about the 90s cross-overs, but I’m actually shocked at how much hate people have for X-Cutioner’s Song. Honestly, I would have put it behind AoA when it comes to best 90s X-Men crossovers. Nicieza did a great job of plotting the whole thing and pacing it out over 12 issues, because compared to the 9-part X-Tinction Agenda, it hardly feels padded. That’s probably because they were resolving or at least doing something major with running subplots like Stryfe and Cable’s origins, X-Force being a liability to the X-Men, Angel and Apocalypse’s baggage w/ each other, Sinister’s obsession with the Summers, etc. So much stuff seemed to get resolved or at least get a major development. At the very least I figured people would feel better about it than Phalanx Covenant, but then again what placed higher right? lol

Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode

July 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

@ Mark Black

197 or 297? Because I have a hard time believing there’s a lot of hate for a Claremont/JR Jr era issue compared to 90s stuff lol

Another batch with nothing I voted for. I’m still 1/10. I did almost vote for the X-Cutioner’s Song epilogue issue of UXM #297. The interactions there between Xavier and Jubilee were really strong, and really sweet.

I can’t say I was crazy about Supernovas. It just never ended up doing much for me.

The rest of these were all pretty good, though.

@Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode 197 – there isn’t any hate for it, but it’s a pretty standard stand alone issue with very far-reaching impact. But it’s one of my favorite Kitty Pryde issues. I was just giving an idea of where my tastes lie.

Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode

July 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

@ Mark

Aahhh, I see. When you said “beyond reproach” I figured you were being a little self-deprecating about your tastes, ie that people might think there was something wrong with them because, like me, you liked stuff that is not, perhaps, seen as all that good by most people. And as for 197, solid-stand-alone stuff seemed to be stuff JR and Claremont were pretty good at. Not enough of that stuff these days if you ask me.

X-Tinction Agenda – hmmm, not the greatest crossover. at the time The X books were struggling to find writing/art teams after the Image fallout and it maybe wasn’t the right time to do a crossover. And the X-Factor issue without X-Factor…..

Supernovas I recall being quite good but nowehere near my top ten

Crossroads was. Loved the Claremont/Lee issues. Claremont got his dynamism back when he was ponce again paired with a good artist. The team’s back together and looking good. Shame it all gets blown away in the reshuffle around X-Men 1 :-(

X-Cutioner’s Song I’ve never felt happy with: Bogdanove’s art has never worked for me and I think the X-Factor issues look awful. Sorry. Liefield misses one issue and in another is very oddly inked leaving mjust Uncanny and Claremont/Lee firing on all cylinders. @Smokescreen you’re right this is the “get the team back together” story as the Wolverine/Psylocke/Jubille group finally meets up with the Storm/Gambit/Forge/Banshee group but really you want to look at X-Men Annual 14/Days of Future Present as Storm/Gambit meet Forge/Banshee as the real moment there starts to be an X-Men again.

Torn is Joss Weedon. None of his Astonishing run did it for me.

I read Torn and Crossroads, the others I have the X-Men issues of or started (SuperNovas).

When I was thinking of the ballot I never actually submitted, Crossroads was on it (the space part). I was mostly a DC reader then, 275, bought while skipping one of the last two days of school, was the first X-men I bought since 258. I wish the Crossroads team lasted longer; the Blue/Gold era did not do anything for me.

I thought it was funny when someone commented it was Claremont’s ‘last good’ Uncanny story, funny because he only had one more (not counting his two returns).

X-Cutioner’s Song, Fatal Attractions, X-Tinction Agenda, and (to a slightly lesser extent) Phalanx Covenant were all lumped together in my mind as these ginormous, super important events in X-Men history growing up. I had not read any of them until a few years ago, and yeah…none of them are all that great.

X-Cutioner’s Song, I just don’t even…I always thought Stryfe was supposed to be some sort of super menacing badass, but he was just a whiny brat with mommy and daddy issues and the emotional capacity of a 7 year old. I understand that he was an abandoned child twisted by Apocalypse (or the clone of one possibly maybe?), and that’s as good an excuse to have some psychological issues as any in the X-Men universe, but his character was victim of really lousy writing in this. I’m forgiving of instances of poor writing if the overall plot is mostly enjoyable (looking at you, X-Tinction Agenda), but that was not the case here. At all. It should have stayed a story about an assassination attempt on Xavier instead flying off into the nonsense it did. It tried to do too much and failed in every way.

X-Tinction Agenda started out alright with all of the various members of all of the X-teams finally working their ways back to each other, and Lee’s art was pretty good, but that’s about all the good will I can throw its way. A definite low point in Claremont’s run, but he made up for it with the Crossroads stories.

The X-Men half of Crossroads was a kind of silly funtime space romp, but it was enjoyable. Unfortunately Xavier’s reintroduction to the comics felt rushed and was never really given any sense of the emotional heft that his return deserved. I wonder if there was some editorial pressure to bring Xavier back? I guess all of that was reserved for the other half of the story — Magneto’s falling off the path of redemption.

I haven’t read Supernovas. I read a plot summary of it as part of getting myself up to speed with the X-Universe and feel like that’s as far as I’d care to go. It’s part of an era that I mostly completely skipped over, and the idea of Rogue having her own team was never an appealing idea to me. It’s why I completely skipped over Legacy aside from a couple event tie-ins.

Torn, like all of Whedon’s run, is wonderful. A rare sympathetic moment for Emma, which she never really had since she became part of the team during New X-Men. Whedon managed to balance individual moments and team dynamics better than anyone had at least since the first couple years of Claremont’s run, though I think Whedon managed to do it better than Claremont ever did. His tenure with the franchise was all too brief, but that perhaps makes it even more special. I sometimes wonder what things would have been like if he’d been given more control of the franchise as a whole, because lord knows the franchise was in need of very serious help at that point, but in hindsight I’m think I’m more thankful that he had his own little corner of it to do what he wanted to in.

I never read “Supernovas.”

Everything else I did read, but were beat out by better storys…

“X-Tinction Agenda” or “X-Cutioner’s Song” weren’t on on my list, because “Fatal Attractions” beat both.

“Crossroads” wasn’t on my list, because “Mutant Genesis” beat it.

“Torn” wasn’t on my list, because “Gifted” beat it.

Good to see Crossroads on here. That era is when I first got into the X-Men and seeing years worth of subplots and character arcs wrapping up (because Claremont was on his way out soon) made me want to read everything from Giant Size #1 on up. So there you go, a kid can step to a continuity heavy book and get into it.

X-Cutioner’s Song was…the start of an era that lost me. Things became so convoluted that I gave up. After the Image crew bolted they really left things in a shambles. That’s why they aren’t writers.

X-Tinction Agenda is a very lopsided read. The Lee are is good, the Liefeld art is horrible and the Bogdanove art is even worse, which is really hard to do. But the story and shuffling of characters were done well.

None of these are favourites, but I still liked all these stories okay when I read them (X-Cutioners Song was surprisingly fun).

I just remember #275 could have been really cool, even teasing us with a great Jim Lee double-spread promising a long-overdue rematch with the Imperial Guard. Then on the next page…the fight’s over. Gladiator and his team that pounded the X-Men in the Dark Phoenix Saga, and they’re beaten off-panel?

Guess that’s a pretty 90s move to skip actual storytelling in favour of a pretty pin-up.

Glad to see Mike Carey get some recognition . Although I didn’t care for his Legacy stuff. Supernovas and especially Blinded by the Light were solid.

Have great fondness for the Crossroads issues. #273 was a great downtime issue seeing r erroneous together after so long.

I recall enjoying Torn the most of Whedon’s run because of the suspense with Emma.

Didn’t get to vote on this . Not sure what would have been my no. 1 …maybe Inferno.

Mike Loughlin

July 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm

The Magneto portions on Uncanny X-Men 274 & 275 made my list. Jim Lee’s art had so much pop to it, even when some of the fundamentals were lacking (see the above comment on pin-up shots vs. showing the action). Claremont conveyed Magneto’s regret and resolve with aplomb. It’s easy to forget how good he was with melodrama.

I didn’t vote for Supernovas, but it might have made my top 15. Carey, Bachalo, and an oddball team was a great combination.

Torn was my favorite Whedon arc. The characterization carried it, and I liked the scenes with scared Wolverine. I’m not a huge fan of Whedon & Cassady’s Astonishing X-Men, but Torn was okay.

The ’90s crossovers weren’t favorites of mine, but I liked the David/Lee X-Factors. David didn’t take the story seriously, which was a relief amongst the other comics’ teeth-clenchingly serious tone. The epilogue in Uncanny 297 was great, though.

John Cassady is awesome. One of the top talents of his generation of illustrators. For my money he was more responsible for Whedon’s run working on whatever level that it did than Whedon himself was.

I certainly did not vote for “X-Cutioner’s Song.” At the time it came out, I felt it rambled all over the place, it just raised even more questions about Cable, Stryfe & Sinister instead of answering any of the ones that already existed, it made the previously nigh-unbeatable Apocalypse look like a chump, and it completely interrupted Peter David’s storylines in X-Factor which I found to be infinitely more interesting. To this day, twenty years later, I have yet to re-read it. I have literally zero interest in it.

That said, I actually DID vote for Uncanny X-Men #297 by itself. As disappointed as I was in “X-Cutioner’s Song,” I thought Scott Lobdell’s epilogue to it was a very moving, well-written story. But I see that Brian counted #297 as a part of the whole crossover. So, um, I guess that means it received 1/13th of a vote from me.

I never got what the appeal of the on again off again Magneto-Rogue romance was. There aren’t many characters that would have less in common. Age, eras, personalities, social background….the only thing they have is they’re both mutants.

@Jeff

Thanks for the clarification on what the title “Dissolution and Rebirth” was going for because I always read it as dissolving the team and then creating a new team to carry on (which, 4 issues is plenty of time to do that in or at least start it with most of a team). So yeah, my confusion about it stems from “Well, they dissolved the team pretty well…but where’s the new team?”, which didn’t really appear until Extinction Agenda (though I believe you’re on target when you cite the Annuals; haven’t looked at those in forever).

What I’m curious about going forward: wondering if Uncanny X-Men #1 gets in just because it’s Uncanny X-Men #1 (which I, and I’m guessing quite a few others, have as a Marvel Milestone reprint…but it seems pretty non-descript comparatively speaking); do any of the Classic X-Men back-ups make it in (I can think of at least 2 that would be worth a look); will we see anymore annuals here; does anything from X-Men Unlimited make it in.

25 stories to go and a lot I expected to see not here yet plus some things that I think are locks is making this interesting.

Sheesh, look at this–at one time, Lee was able to do a multi-issue run longer than just six issues, and now look at him (and most artists at the Big Two) these days. No one ever sees a lengthy run on a title with the same artist anymore, and it’s a darn shame.

such a lovely list. not bad.

Xcutioners song was great.

I just cant take the whining about 90′s xmen any more.

Particularly about the art. Ouside of 4-5 artists, there were dozens of fine artists on the Xbooks

I can’t take the whining about the whining.

Some people like X-Cutioner’s Song, some people thought it didn’t deliver on what it promised. It’s not a big deal.
I am surprised that it has such a favorable response among X-Fans here, not at all angered or upset by it. Fun lists.

I know it’s been beaten to death, but total number of feet on these covers: two. They’re not even on the same character!

This list has been a lot of fun. I am suprised by how interested I have been in this. Aside from Morrison and a few stray early 80s issues, I’ve never been into x-men comics. It’s really the ancillary stuff (the cartoon, movies, the sweet arcade game, even the metric ton of toys and cards we had as young’uns in the early 90s) that kept me engaged.

The thing that always bugged me about X-Cutioner’s Song (the first X-crossover I read) was that it’s clearly supposed to be pronounced like ‘executioner’, but the kewl 90s title makes it read as ‘excutioner’, whatever that is… somebody in charge of making excuses, maybe?

Crossroads : It’s secret invasion 15 years before Secret Invasion.
And it was all in regular issues – with an other wonderful B-story.

With Claremont, every cent was worth it.

Thank you guys for reminding me of Uncanny 297. Whatever you can say about “X-Cutioner’s” as a whole, that issue was damn near inarguably good. Things like that are why us ’90s kids love Jubilee, and are super excited that she’s back AND being written by an amazing writer.

Favorite part of X-Cutioner’s Song was Cable, Wolverine and Bishop forming a nice buddy-cop trio to go on the attack together, love when they’re just sitting around waiting for the rest of the teams to make a plan until…

Cable: “I’m bored.”
Wolverine: “Me too.”
Bishop: “Let’s go.”
Cable: “We’re gone.”

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