A whole load of X-Men

I started this post as the Image Comics Expo was taking place, and found it impossible not to get distracted. Stunning creative teams developing unique high concepts for a publisher that is already releasing some of the best comics around. It felt like a real statement of intent from Image: we want to properly compete with Marvel and DC for your money, and we’re going to do that by bombarding the market with books you’re not going to be able to resist buying. What an excellent strategy!

Anyway, back to that massive haul of comicbooks I recently retrieved from the family home. There’s a fairly random mishmash of Uncanny X-Men and X-Men in the piles pictured above, running from the early 1990s (just after Chris Claremont left the books) to the early 2000s (including Claremont’s disastrous return to the line), most of which was purchased on eBay a few years back during a period when I was attempting to fill in gaps in my collection. There’s also a few Uncanny X-Men Annuals, a couple of Onslaught one-shots, and the New X-Men and X-Factor instalments of the Messiah Complex crossover.

Then there’s Gambit volume 3 #2-6, #8-9, and #12. Launched in 1999, Fabian Nicieza did a great job writing the character, and for the majority of its 25 issue run it was the best X-Men book around (which isn’t saying much given the quality of the other titles at the time, but still). Cancelled as of issue #25 (just a few short months before Grant Morrison redefined the X-Men concept), it remains the longest running Gambit series. Alas, volume 5 won’t be challenging it for that accolade, having been cancelled with #17.

Oh, and not forgetting X-Force volume 1 #1. Actually, maybe we will forget it. Which is fairly easy for me, given that I’ve never read it.