The definitive, chronological, and up-to-date guide and trade reading order on collecting Grant Morrison’s New X-Men and X-Men, Vol. 2 comic books via omnibuses, hardcovers, and trade paperback graphic novels. A part of Crushing Krisis’s Collecting X-Men: A Definitive Guide. Last updated July 2016 with titles scheduled for release through April 2017.
X-Men was rechristened New X-Men when Grant Morrison took the helm with issue #114, indicating his radical (and sometime controversial) departure from X-Men status quo.
Morrison created the first definitive period in the book’s history, stripping down the team to the bare bones of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Beast – all acting as the staff at the Xavier school. Notably, he forged the Cyclops and Emma Frost relationship that exists to this day, and was the first writer to develop Jean Grey in years.
Associated Content provides a fantastic guide to understanding Morrison’s run on the book and the symbolism of each team member.
After Morrison’s run ended in 2004 the book reverted back to its prior X-Men, Vol. 2 name while maintaining its issue numbering. Meanwhile, the remainder of his team moves to Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men.
- Grant Morrison omnibus edition
- Grant Morrison oversized hardcovers & paperback collections
- Grant Morrison individual trades & digests
- X-Men, Vol. 2 #157-187: Reloaded by Chuck Austen & Peter Milligan (2004 – 2006)
- X-Men, Vol. 2 #188-207: by Mike Carey (2006 – 2008)
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Begins July 2001, parallel to the launch of Chris Claremont’s X-Treme X-Men, Uncanny X-Men #394, the launch of what would become the X-Statix team in X-Force #116, Wolverine #164, Cable #93, and Deadpool #54.
The thirty-one issue run of New X-Men is collected three ways – one massive tome, six smaller books, or three bigger ones. The final two issues of the New X-Men era cross over to an Uncanny X-Men collection and are collected separately; they are written by Chuck Austen.
#114-154 & Annual #1: New X-Men Omnibus (2012 printing) (ISBN 0785165053)
The improbable has occurred – Marvel reprinted their most in-demand omnibus! The prior edition (ISBN 0785123261, glued binding) had crossed over from collection to collectible, but this new edition is available for retail price. It is printed with much thinner paper, which makes for a lighter, thinner edition. The original volume has the cover of #114, shown above. Reprinted again in 2015 and in 2016.
#122-126: New X-Men by Grant Morrison – Book 3 (ISBN 0785155260)
Previously released in full-size format as New X-Men Vol. 2: Imperial (yes, Imperial included both Book 2 and Book 3 of this new digest series).
#134-138: New X-Men by Grant Morrison – Book 5 (ISBN 0785155368)
This story is considered by many fans to be the peak of Morrison’s run on the book. Previously released in full-size format as New X-Men Vol. 4: Riot at Xavier’s
#139-145: New X-Men by Grant Morrison – Book 6 (ISBN 0785155376)
This Wolverine/Cyclops adventure focuses on Fantomex’s origin in the accelerated time laboratory “The World.” It is not strictly necessary to read this portion of Morrison’s run. Previously released in full-size format as New X-Men Vol. 5: Assault on Weapon Plus.
#146-150: New X-Men by Grant Morrison -Book 7 (ISBN 0785155384)
Morrison rushed through the Magneto-filled climax of his run, which makes this trade one of the most uneven. Previously released in full-size format as New X-Men Vol. 6: Planet X.
#151-154: New X-Men by Grant Morrison – Book 8 (ISBN 0785155392)
This alternate-future tale has little impact on the present-day, other than canonizing the Scott/Emma relationship. Previously released in full-size format as New X-Men Vol. 7: Here Comes Tomorrow.
all paths lead to this paperback:
#155-156: Uncanny X-Men Volume 6: Bright New Mourning
Also collects Uncanny X-Men #435-436 & #442-443.
Begins in July 2004 concurrent with the X-Men Reloaded event – parallel to Uncanny X-Men #444 and the launches of the Whedon/Cassidy Astonishing X-Men, Excalibur (vol. 3), and New X-Men: Academy X. Also, it was just two months into the run of Cable & Deadpool.
In the Marvel Universe, House of M occurs halfway through the run.
All of the X-Men titles experienced a “Reload” after Morrison’s lengthy storyline concluded. Chris Claremont retook the role of writing on Uncanny with original Excalibur artist Alan Davis. Meanwhile, former Uncanny and X-Treme artist Salvador Larroca switched to the once-again adjectiveless X-Men book for the majority of this run, along with a handful of writers – primarily Peter Milligan.
Morrison wasn’t the only element that exited during Reload – X-Treme X-Men was canceled, and New X-Men’s school theme continued in the newly launched Joss Whedon Astonishing X-Men series as well as inNew X-Men: Academy X.
The team for the beginning of this run was Gambit, Havok, Iceman, Juggernaut, Polaris, Rogue, Wolverine, and an intermittent Emma Frost. At #171 Wolverine and Emma Frost switch, with Emma becomes a permanent member and Wolverine appearing sporadically. The team varies for the Apocalypse arc.
For reasons that are not clear, this entire run is currently out-of-print – perhaps to make way for a collected edition? The interior quartet of books are easy to find, but the bookends are exorbitantly expensive.
#157-165: X-Men: Day of the Atom (ISBN 078511534X)
#166-170: X-Men: Golgotha (ISBN 0785116508)
[Ed. Note: This is a truly dull and unimportant arc, except that it establishes Polaris’s ongoing madness.]
#171-174: X-Men: Bizarre Love Triangle (ISBN 0785116656)
#175-176: X-Men/Black Panther: Wild Kingdom (ISBN 078511789X)
Collects X-Men #175-176 and Black Panther Vol. 4 #8-9, and lays the groundwork for Storm’s later marriage to Black Panther.
#177-181: Decimation: X-Men – The Day After (House of M) (ISBN 0785119841)
Collects X-Men #177-181 and Decimation: House of M – The Day After.
Begins in July 2006, parallel to Uncanny X-Men #475, the beginning of the Wolverine Civil War arc in #42, Cable & Deadpool #28, New X-Men (Academy X) #26, X-Factor #7, the launch of Wolverine: Origins, and during the run of Astonishing X-Men #13-18.
In the Marvel Universe, it begins in the midst of Civil War.
The team revolved in these issues, but generally included some combination of Cannonball, Cyclops, Iceman, Mystique, Rogue, White Queen, and Wolverine, in addition to other heroes.
The creative team for these twenty issues was writer Mike Carey with artists Chris Bachalo and Humberto Ramos – both of whom use a less-realistic, animated style of illustration. After Messiah Complex, Marvel rechristened the book X-Men Legacy, though it continued its numbering.
#188-199: X-Men: Supernovas (ISBN 0785123199)
Features a team lead by Rogue that includes Iceman, Cannonball, Cable, Mystique, Lady Mastermind, Karima Shapandar, and an unwilling Sabretooth. This collection is a major favorite of fans, partially due to outstanding artwork from Chris Bachalo. Also collects an annual. Also available in oversized hardcover. [Ed Note: I feel that Bachalo’s artwork really benefits from the oversized format, and this HC tends to be pretty cheap.]
#200-204: X-Men: Blinded by the Light (ISBN 0785125442)
A brief, somewhat-confusing story that helps to set up the situation between Rogue and the Marauders in Messiah Complex. This volume can be very hard-to-find.
X-Men: Endangered Species
Collects a Beast-centric story about trying to find the scientific means of jump-starting the mutant gene from a series of backups from the prior run of issues. While it’s low-key, it’s effectively a prelude to Messiah Complex (and has the same trade dress). Also available in oversize hardcover.
#205-207: X-Men: Messiah Complex (ISBN 0785123202)
Collects X-Men: Messiah CompleX One-Shot, Uncanny X-Men #492-494, X-Men #205-207, New X-Men #44-46, X-Factor #25-27, and X-Men: Messiah CompleX – Mutant Files. Also available in oversize hardcover.