The definitive, chronological, and up-to-date guide on collecting X-Force and X-Statix comic books via omnibuses, hardcovers, and trade paperback graphic novels. A part of Crushing Krisis’s Collecting X-Men: A Definitive Guide. Last updated May 2013.
In 1991 Rob Liefeld relaunched the remainder of the New Mutants team as the militaristic X-Force, a more proactive and violent X-team.
In fact, most of the actual New Mutants had been jettisoned entirely – Cannonball and Boom Boom were the only pair remaining that preceded New Mutants #86, joined by Domino, Shatterstar, Warpath, and Feral – though Rictor, Sunspot, Moonstar, and Siryn would later appear.
The majority of X-Force’s initial 1990s run may never be collected outside of crossover issues. Liefield was at the peak of his popularity at the time, but was critically savaged and would depart soon thereafter to launch Image comics. After Liefeld an ever-changing roster of artists handled pencils.
Though written consistently by Fabian Nicieza for several years. the book is notable for a continuously shifting roster of unremarkable artists and continuity issues ranging from character’s names to the way certain powers are portrayed.
New Mutants #86-94: X-Force: Cable & the New Mutants Hardcover (ISBN 0785149708)
Collects New Mutants #86-94 and Annual #5, which includes Cable’s first appearance.
Annual 7: New Warriors Classic, Vol. 2 (ISBN 0785142630)
Collects New Warriors (1990) #7-10, Annual #1; New Mutants Annual #7, Uncanny X-Men Annual #15, and X-Factor Annual #6.
#1-15: X-Force Omnibus, Vol. 1 Oversized Hardcover (ISBN 0785165959)
Collects New Mutants (1983) #98-100, Annual 7; X-Men Annual (1970) 15; X-Factor Annual 6; X-Force (1991) #1-15; Spider -Man (1990) 16; Cable: Blood & Metal #1-2; and material from New Warriors Annual 1, X-Force Annual (1992) 1
#1-4: X-Force: A Force to be Reckoned With Hardcover (ISBN 0785149848)
Also collects the preceding New Mutants #98-100, as well as a crossover into Spider-Man #16.
#3-4: X-Force and Spider-Man: Sabotage (ISBN 0871359537) out-of-print
Collects crossover to Spider-Man #16. Long out of print and not likely to be re-printed, as it contains a protracted fight inside the World Trade Center.
#5-15: X-Force: Under the Gun Hardcover (ISBN 0785149856)
Also collects elements of Annual #1.
Annual 1/1992: Not collected in full. Crosses over with the other X-annuals. Occurs after #11.
#16-18: X-Cutioner’s Song Oversized Hardcover (ISBN 0785156100)
A beautifully produced hardcover that collects the entire crossover: X-Factor #84-86, Uncanny X-Men #294-296, X-Force #16-18, and X-Men #14-16 – plus the epilogue in Uncanny X-Men #297, and Stryfe’s Strike File. Previously collected in an out-of-print paperback.
#19-25: X-Force: Assault on Graymalkin Hardcover (IBSN 0785158995)
Also includes New Warriors #31.
#25: X-Men: Fatal Attractions Omnibus Oversized Hardcover (ISBN 0785162453)
Releases 4/18/2012. A massive collection focusing on the core of the Fatal Attractions story from Uncanny X-Men and X-Factor. Collects Uncanny X-Men 298-305, 315, & Annual 17; X-Factor 87-92; X-Men Unlimited 1-2; X-Force 25; X-Men 25; Wolverine 75; & Excalibur 71.
#25: X-Men: Fatal Attractions out of print (ISBN 0785100652)
Collects all of the anniversary hologram cover issues, which were loosely connected: Excalibur #71, Uncanny X-Men #304, Wolverine #75, X-Factor #92, X-Force #25, and X-Men #25.
#26-31 & Annual 2/1993: X-Force: Toy Soldiers Hardcover
Also collects Annual 2 & Nomad #20. Annual 2 occurs around the start of this collection.
#32-37 & Annual 3: X-Force: Child’s Play (ISBN 0785162690)
Also collects the titular crossover with New Warriors #45-46.
#38: X-Men: Origin of Generation X (Phalanx Covenant) out of print (ISBN 0785102167)
The “Generation Next” crossover that launched Generation X; collects X-Factor #106, X-Force #38, Excalibur #82, Uncanny X-Men #316-317, X-Men #36-37, Wolverine #85, Cable #16, & Generation X #1.
#38-43: X-Men: Phalanx Covenant hardcover (ISBN 0785162712)
Collects X-Force #38-43, Excalibur #82, and X-Factor #106
Annual 3/1994:Not collected. The annual can be placed after issue #41.
(Here X-Force becomes Gambit and the X-Ternals #1-4 for four months as part of the Age of Apocalypse crossover, which does not interrupt the numbering .)
#44-48: Cable & X-Force Classic, Vol. 1 (ISBN 0785184325)
Also collects Cable #21-28.
X-Force and Cable Annual 4/1995: Not collected. The annual is placed after #47.
#48-56: Not collected. #48 crosses over to Uncanny X-Men #323, so may not actually be a part of the collection above.
#59-66, X-Force and Cable Annual 5/1996 and 6/1997: Not collected. The 1996 annual precedes this run of issues; the 1997 annual occurs between #64-65.
#67-70: X-Men: Zero Tolerance Oversized Hardcover (ISBN 0785162402)
This forthcoming volume will collect Generation X #26-31, Cable #45-47, X-Men #65-70, X-Force #67-70, Uncanny X-Men #346, Wolverine #115-118, and X-Man #30. A prior X-Men: Zero Tolerance TPB (ISBN 078510738X) in the old “Marvel’s Finest” trade dress collected only #27 from GenX, and omitted X-Force #70 and the UXM issue.
#70-100, X-Force & Champions Annual 1998, X-Force Annual 7/1999: Not collected. The 1998 annual occurs around #85; all 1988 Annuals were crossovers with other characters. Annual 7/1999 occurs between #95-96.
#101: X-Men: Powerless (ISBN 0785146776)
Collects Uncanny X-Men #379-380, Cable #78, X-Force (1991) #101, Wolverine #149, and X-Men #99.
#102-109: Counter X, Volume 1 (ISBN 0-7851-3304-6)
#110-115: Counter X, Volume 4: Rage War (ISBN 0785159738)
Also includes “102 Rough Cut”
Here the traditional X-Force team is scrapped in favor of what will become X-Statix. See X-Statix, below, for the Omnibus that collects these issues and a description of the run.
#116-129:X-Force: Famous, Mutant & Mortal Hardcover out of print (ISBN 0-7851-1023-2)
The hardcover edition is extremely out of print, and very expensive to buy! The final #116-129 run was previously collected in two softcover editions that are out-of-print, but still cheaper to purchase:
Beginning in September 2002, writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred created an off-beat, indie-flavored X-book with their own cast of characters.
Though critcally acclaimed for the duration of its run, X-Statix has very little to do with the main X-Men continuity. Because a majority of the characters were created specifically for this title and died during its run, it is not essential to read this comic to follow the overall story of X-Men.
X-Statix is really weird. Do not think of it as an X-Men comic, or even a Marvel superhero comic. There are no “villains” to speak of, though the team certainly faces ongoing challenges. It is an indie comic about relationships that happens to use the concept of mutants as its framework. It has close to zero connection to X-Men continuity. Think of it like Reality Bites or Chasing Amy - or even Hunger Games - something that is incredibly self-aware and constantly comments on the real world culture surrounding the fiction.
The adult themes in X-Statix are really too vast to list entirely. Sex, sexual identity, racial identity, drugs, suicide, ethics of pharmaceuticals – it goes on and on, but each one is framed in terms of what it would mean to be a superhero struggling with that incredibly common human condition.
Like Watchmen, it is a comic dissecting the convention of superheroes. Except, instead of a dystopian 1984 we get a celebrity-as-reality obsessed modern day with absolutely no overarching plot. About the same amount of sex, though
#1-26: X-Statix Omnibus Oversized Hardcover out-of-print (ISBN 0785158448)
At a whopping 1,200 pages this book collects X-Force #116-129; Brotherhood #9; X-Statix #1-26; Wolverine/Doop #1-2; X-Statix Presents Dead Girl #1-5; and material from X-Men Unlimited (1993) #41, I ♥ Marvel: My Mutant Heart, and the Doop story from Nation X #4. It went out-of-print within a month of release.
Previously collected in the following out-of-print volumes:
#1-5: X-Statix, Vol. 1: Good Omens out of print (ISBN 0-7851-1059-3)
#6-10: X-Statix, Vol. 2: Good Guys and Bad Guys out of print (ISBN 0-7851-1139-5)
Also collects Wolverine/Doop #1-2 and X-Men Unlimited #41.
#11-18: X-Statix, Vol. 3: Back from the Dead out of print (ISBN 0-7851-1140-9)
#19-26: X-Statix, Vol. 4: X-Statix vs. The Avengers out of print (ISBN 0-7851-1537-4)
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl (ISBN 0-7851-2031-9)
Collects the 2006 5-issue limited series exploring what happens in the Marvel Universe after characters are killed. Co-stars Dr. Strange.
Two limited series reintroducing the core X-Force characters after many of them spent several years out of circulation in the Marvel Universe. This occurs around the same time as the launch of Astonishing X-Men.
X-Force & Cable Volume 1: The Legend Returns (ISBN 0-7851-1429-7)
Created by the original X-Force authors Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefield, and similarly critically panned.
X-Force: Shatterstar (ISBN 0-7851-1633-8)
Collects the 2005 mini-series X-Force: Shatterstar #1-4 along with Shatterstar’s introduction in New Mutants #99-100.
Begins April 2008, in the wake of the events of Messiah Complex – parallel to Uncanny X-Men #495, the transformation of X-Men (vol. 2) into X-Men Legacy, and the launch of Cable (vol. 3), as well as Wolverine #63, X-Factor #28, Wolverine: Origins #22, and after the final issues of Cable & Deadpool and New X-Men (Academy X).
A re-launched X-Force keeps the ends justify the means premise of the original, but gets away from featuring a younger team of mutants. This violent strike-team is sanctioned by Cyclops and lead by Wolverine, with core members Archangel and X-23, plus a rotating cast of Warpath, Wolfsbane, Elixir, Domino, and Vanisher.
The series is written by the continuity-obsessed team of Kyle/Yost, and has remained a fan-favorite for its duration. The first two volumes are extremely strong.
X-Force is available in a set of five oversized hardcovers:
#1-11: X-Force Vol. 1 Oversized Hardcover (ISBN 0785143238)
#14-16: X-Force/Cable: Messiah War Oversized Hardcover out of print
Collects X-Force #14-16, X-Men: The Times and Life of Lucas Bishop #1-3, Cable #11-15, Messiah War one-shot, and X-Men: Future History – The Messiah War Sourcebook.
#12-13 & 17-20: X-Force Vol. 2 Oversized Hardcover (ISBN 0785149597)
Collects Annual #1 and X-Force Sex & Violence #1-3.
#21-25: X-Necrosha Oversized Hardcover (out of print)
In indirect crossover. Collects X-Force #21-25, New Mutants #6-8, X-Men: Legacy #231-233, and X-Force/New Mutants: Necrosha One-Shot, as well as some background material.
#26-28: X-Men: Second Coming Oversized Hardcover (out of print)
A direct crossover between all of the core X-titles. X-Force and their secret operation is a major topic! Collects Second Coming: Prepare, Second Coming #1-2, Uncanny X-Men #523-525; New Mutants #12-14, X-Men Legacy #235-237, and X-Force #26-28.
X-Force is also available as series of slimmer trade paperbacks
#14-16: X-Force/Cable: Messiah War (ISBN 0785131736)
Collects X-Force #14-16, X-Men: The Times and Life of Lucas Bishop #1-3, Cable #11-15, Messiah War one-shot, and X-Men: Future History – The Messiah War Sourcebook. Also available in hardcover.
X-Force: Sex and Violence (ISBN 078514434X)
A three-issue limited series focusing on Wolverine and Domino. Though this was released after X-Force ended, it is best read here. Also available in hardcover.
#21-25: X-Force: Necrosha
A standalone paperback collection of X-Force’s participation in Necrosha, which was the major driver of the crossover plot. Also collects X-Necrosha and X-Necrosha: The Gathering.
#21-25: X-Necrosha (ISBN 078514675X)
An indirect crossover about the resurrection of dead mutants. Because issues don’t directly cross, it is not essential to read the entire storyline to understand the X-Force portion. Collects X-Force #21-25, New Mutants #6-8, X-Men: Legacy #231-233, and X-Force/New Mutants: Necrosha One-Shot, as well as some background material. Also available in hardcover (which is out of print, but still available at original prices).
#26-28: X-Men: Second Coming (ISBN 0785157050)
A direct crossover between all of the core X-titles. X-Force and their secret operation is a major topic! Collects Second Coming: Prepare, Second Coming #1-2, Uncanny X-Men #523-525; New Mutants #12-14, X-Men Legacy #235-237, X-Force #26-28. Also available in hardcover.
You may also wish to purchase X-Men: Second Coming Revelations, which contains companion stories to Second Coming. It does not prominently features any X-Force cast members.
Begins in October 2010, just after Uncanny X-Men #526, X-Men Legacy #238, X-Factor #207, and New Mutants #15, and along with the debut of Wolverine, Vol. 4, Daken, and X-23.
The Heroic Age starts at the same time as this title.
This Rick Remender penned series has topped fan-favorite lists since its first issue. Surprisingly, that’s not because of the hyper-violent team-up of Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke, Deadpool, and Fantomex. Instead, it’s largely due to Remender’s obsessive knowledge of X-Men continuity, which he uses to pluck lost characters and plots out of obscurity without forcing you to go back for a re-read.
The entire first 18 issues of the title work as a single meta-arc of The Dark Angel Saga, which is stunningly just as operatic in scope as the classic Dark Phoenix Saga from 1980. They will surely be collected in a single hardcover in late 2012.
#1-4: Uncanny X-Force: Apocalypse Solution (ISBN 0785148558)
An action-packed debut with beautiful, vividly-colored artwork. Also includes a portion of Wolverine: The Road to Hell. Also available in hardcover.
Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force / The Deep (ISBN 0785157417)
While this three-issue limited series was released concurrently with Dark Angel Saga, it makes the most sense read here (especially since Fear Itself is disclaimed as occurring just prior to Schism). Illustrated by painterly artist Simone Bianchi. Also collects Fear Itself: The Deep #1-4, an entertaining prelude to The Defenders staring Namor, Loa, and Dr. Strange. Available in hardcover.
X-Men: Schism (ISBN 0785156887)
Collects the Schism mini-series, X-Men: Choosing Sides, and X-Men: Regenesis. This event reshapes the X-Men line. Wolverine plays a central role in Schism, while Psylocke makes a surprising choice in the Regenesis one-shot. According to writer Rick Remender, Schism occurs prior to the Dark Angel Saga (but on the whole, Schism can easily be read afterwards – aside from a panel or two of Archangel). Also available as an oversized hardcover.
#14-19: Uncanny X-Force: The Dark Angel Saga, Book 2 (ISBN 078515888X)
I highly endorse this collection. Available in hardcover (so you aren’t surprised, this will surely be upgraded to a single oversized hardcover collection in the next year or two).
#20-24 & 19.1: Uncanny X-Force: Otherworld (ISBN 0785161821)
A story featuring Psylocke’s brother Captain Britain, as a lead-in to his joining the cast of the Remender-written Secret Avengers. This is slightly uneven due to sketchy and sometimes inscrutable artwork. Available as a hardcover.
Uncanny X-Force relaunches as a team of hunters lead by Psylocke, featuring Storm, Spiral, Fantomax, and Puck. Meanwhile, Cable leads a second team in Cable and X-Force.