Spoiler alert: There will be mild spoilers for X-Men comics from the last 18 months. Recent events will be spoken about in the broadest of terms, but older elements will be discussed with more detail.
If you have been paying attention to the X-Men over the last 18 months you will know that there has been a lot of exciting things going on. It first started with House of X/Powers of X, which opened the door to whole slate of X-Men comics under the banner of Dawn of X. To cap off a year of exciting X-Men stories in this new era, all the titles came together for a massive crossover called X of Swords. So what comes next?
Reign of X.
Find out everything you need to know about Reign of X. This guide explains what it is, which comics are involved, what you need to know beforehand, and points out the good jumping-on points for new readers.
What Is Reign of X?
Reign of X is a banner for the X-Men comics set after the just completed X of Swords crossover event. It’s not a comic book event and there is no specific reading order for it. It’s what Marvel is calling this period of X-Men comics, similar to how the previous year of X-Men comics was referred to as Dawn of X.
This will start in December 2020 and will continue into 2021. As for how long the Reign of X will run for is anyone’s guess. If I had to make a predication, I would assume it would be referred to as Reign of X (formally or by fans) for about a year or so, until some pivotal moment comes along and justifies a new era.
Can I Start Reading X-Men Here?
Yes and no – it will depend on the comic. Some of the series that fall under the Reign of X banner will be better jumping-on points than others. Some will continue plot threads that happened before X of Swords began, others will have stories that address the aftermath of X of Swords. When digging into each series, I will point out which ones are good places to jump on.
What Should I Know Going In?
If you haven’t read X-Men in a few years or are brand-new to the comics, there are a few things that you should know before going in. The X-Men franchise has gone through some radical changes about 18 months ago, which dictate a lot of what has happened forward. You can find out what has happened by reading House of X and Powers of X miniseries.
If you don’t have time to read those, here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know. The majority of Earth’s mutants have moved to the sentient island of Krakoa, where they have formed their own nation, with its own set of rules and cultures. The island also produces plants that can be crafted into wonder drugs, which the mutant society exchanges them to most of the world for global recognition and goodwill. Throughout this new status quo of X-Men, other new elements have been introduced into the franchise such a mutant resurrection and villain reform.
The other thing you should probably know is that the X-Men have just completed a big crossover-event. Many of the Reign of X comics will explore the aftermath of it in different ways.
Which Comics Are Part Of Reign of X?
The following comics will be part of Reign of X. As mentioned before, some of these will be better jumping-on points than others. Read on to find out more about each.
Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Phil Noto.
X-Men is the flagship title and is written by Jonathan Hickman, who has been the visionary behind many of the ideas for the X-Men franchise in the past 18 months. This issue will explore fall out from the X of Swords event, with much of it looking like it will be told from the perspective of Cyclops.
This X-Men comic has been built around one-off stories. Each have expanded the tapestry of this era of X-Men, while exploring themes such as politics and post-humanism. While the proceeding issue may not continue plot-threads immediately, Hickman likes to return them them a few months later. (For example, plot threads from X-Men #5 will be picked up again in X-Men #18) As a result, the done-in-one nature makes for a potential jumping-on point each issue. But if you want to get the most of out of the series, you are best checking out the first two trade paperback collections.
X-Men by Jonathan Hickman Volume 3
Collects: X-Men #16-20
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Valero Schitti.
S.W.O.R.D. is a brand new series, which was hinted at in the conclusion to Empyre and in X of Swords. Traditionally, S.W.O.R.D. has been a S.H.I.E.L.D.-like organisation, that focuses on space threats. With this new series, it has been folded into the X-Men franchise as the Krakoan space agency.
You don’t need to have read anything prior to understand this comic series.
S.W.O.R.D. by Al Ewing Volume 1
Collects: S.W.O.R.D. #1-5
S.W.O.R.D. by Al Ewing Volume 2
Collects: S.W.O.R.D. #7-11 and Cable Reloaded #1
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Stefano Caselli.
Marauders #16 returns to plot-threads from before X of Swords. In it, Kate Pryde and Emma Frost begin to plot their revenge against fellow Hellfire Club member Sebastian Shaw.
To get the most out of this story, I highly recommend checking out the Marauders Volume 1 and 2 beforehand. It’s also a really fun comics, with plenty of humour and a swashbuckling sensibility.
Marauders By Gerry Duggan Volume 3
Collects: Marauders #16-20 and King in Black: Marauders #1
Marauders By Gerry Duggan Volume 4
Collects: Marauders #22-27
Written by Tini Howard. Art by Marcus To.
This issue will focus on exploring the aftermath of X of Swords, which includes the search for Captain Britain. This makes a lot of sense as Excalibur was one of the more central comics to the crossover event.
This will be one of those issues where you will want to have read X of Swords first.
Excalibur By Tini Howard Volume 3
Collects: Excalibur #16-21
Excalibur By Tini Howard Volume 4
Collects: Excalibur #22-26
Written by Benjamin Percy. Art by Joshua Cassara.
In this new era of X-Men comics, X-Force is Krakoa’s CIA. The team’s task is to protect the island and prevent threats from happening. Throughout the course of the series, their actions have gotten more and more questionable and in X-Force #15 it appears to escalate that trend.
X-Force by Benjamin Percy Volume 3
Collects: X-Force #15-20 and Wolverine #13
X-Force by Benjamin Percy Volume 4
Collects: X-Force #21-26
New Mutants #14
Written by Vita Ayala. Art by Rod Reis.
In Krakoa’s wilderness, the team of young mutants will encounter an old foe. Marvel are keeping secret who it is at the moment so you will need to read the issue to find out who it is.
New Mutants #14 will be a great jumping-on point, with new writer Vita Ayala starting their tenure on the comic. More often than not, when a new writer joins a comic it gives the series a new creative direction to separate it from what has come before.
New Mutants by Vita Ayala Volume 1
Collects: New Mutants #14-18
New Mutants by Vita Ayala Volume 2
Collects: New Mutants #19-24
Wolverine #8 aka Wolverine #350
Written by Benjamin Percy. Art by Adam Kubert and Victor Bogdanovic.
While it might be the 8th issue of the current Wolverine series, this comic also marks it the 350th Wolverine comic when you combine all previous issues together. This milestone issue will kick-off a brand-new story which sees Wolverine taking on a dangerous old compatriot known as Maverick.
This over-sized issue will be a good story, which kicks off a brand-new story and doesn’t rely on what has happened in recent X-Men comics.
Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Volume 2
Collects: Wolverine #8-12
Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Volume 3
Collects: Wolverine #14-19
Written by Leah Williams. Art by David Baldeon.
X-Factor is a series that is based around the resurrection aspect of X-Men, which features the mutants that carry out the process and those who investigate irregularities surrounding it. X of Swords had some big ramifications for resurrection, so expect for these to be explored from issue #5 onwards.
You will probably get more out of this story if you have read X of Swords beforehand.
X-Factor by Leah Williams Volume 2
Collects: X-Factor #5-10
Written by Zeb Wells. Art by Stephen Segovia.
This issue explores the aftermath of X of Swords for the cast of villainous mutants. It looks like it will focus on Mr Sinister and his sneaky plans.
You will probably get more out of this story if you have read X of Swords beforehand.
Hellions by Zeb Wells Volume 2
Collects: Hellions #7-12
Hellions by Zeb Wells Volume 3
Collects: Hellions #13-18
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Phil Noto.
This issue will involve some character-centric aftermath X of Swords and pick-up from where it left off from before the event. This sees the teenage time-traveller in search of missing mutant babies.
If you want to check out this series and want to get caught up with what has happened, check out Cable Volume 1. This collection has all of the pre-X of Swords issues.
It’s worth noting that Cable will be concluding with issue #12.
Cable by Gerry Duggan Volume 2
Collects: Cable #7-12
Children Of The Atom
Written by Vita Ayala. Art by Bernard Chang.
Children Of The Atom was meant to come out back in the first half of 2020, but was delayed by the COVID-19 shutdown. But it’s finally here and part of Reign Of X.
The series will explore five new characters, who will act as sidekicks to the X-Men.
Based on the trailer, it looks like the series will explore how young people experience fandom in different ways to older generations.
Children Of The Atom
Collects: Children of the Atom #1-6 and material from Marvel Voices (2020) #1
Way Of X
Written by Si Spurrier. Art by Bob Quinn.
This brand-new series will star Nightcrawler and focus on the spiritual side of mutant society. Talking to Hollywood Reporter, Spurrier discussed that it will include the formation of a new mutant religion, but it will be more than that, stating:
“I should probably just tell a lie for the sake of a neat elevator pitch and say that Way of X is a story about the creation of a new mutant religion. But it’s not — not really. That’s kinda where it starts, for sure. Nightcrawler realizes something’s wrong with the hearts and minds of mutantkind and sets out to fix it. But as he quickly discovers, this isn’t a job for priests and prayers… The question is, what do they have to become in order to fight it? Preachers? Cops? Executioners? Or something entirely new?”
This series ran for five issues and was concluded in the X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation one-shot.
Way Of X by Si Spurrier
Collects: Way of X #1-5 and X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1
Written by Tini Howard. Art by Alberto Foche.
As part of the current status quo of X-Men comics, Krakoa’s major export has been the three miracle drugs that they produce. This element has been touched on lightly in X-Men and Marauders, but X-Corp will explore the day-to-day element of it much more deeply.
The cast will include Monet, Angel, and Jamie Maddrox.
X-Corp by Tini Howard
Collects: X-Corp #1-5
The Hellfire Gala
Written and art by Various.
The Hellfire Gala is the latest X-Men crossover, which will revolve around a gala ball. The majority of the current X-titles will come together to tell a patchwork of stories all set on the same night. This will lead to major reveals, including an official X-Men team, and other surprises.
The recommended reading order for the Hellfire Gala is:
- Marauders #21
- X-Force #20
- Hellions #12
- Excalibur #21
- X-Men #21
- Planet-Size X-Men #1
- New Mutants #19
- X-Corp #2
- Wolverine #13
- S.W.O.R.D. #6
- Way of X #3
- X-Factor #10
This gala event has been collected into two different editions:
X-Men: Hellfire Gala Red Carpet Edition
Collects: X-Men #21, Marauders #21, Excalibur #21, X-Force #20, New Mutants #19, X-Factor #10, Hellions #12, S.W.O.R.D. #6, Way of X #3, X-Corp #2, Wolverine #13, and Planet-Size X-Men #1.
This is a hardcover edition that collects everything related to the Hellfire Gala.
X-Men: Hellfire Gala
Collect: Marauders #21, X-Men #21, Planet-Size X-Men (2021) #1, and S.W.O.R.D. #6.
This is a paperback editions that collects the essential issues of the Hellfire Gala.
The Hellfire Gala is a launching pad for the next two comics listed below.
X-Men (2021 Series) #1
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Pepe Larraz.
When the ongoing X-Men titles launched as part of the Dawn of X, Jonathan Hickman took on the flagship title, simply called “X-Men”. When compared to previous flagship titles, Hickman’s title was non-traditional. It told one-off tales with a rotating cast and was used to explore and set-up various situations that had arisen from the recent changes to the X-Men.
This will change following the Hellfire Gala as a more traditional X-Men team will established. To differentiate the tones and approaches, the flagship title will be relaunched with a new #1.
This new series is a superhero comic similar in ways to X-Men comics of old, but told through the lens of the Krakoa era.
X-Men by Gerry Duggan Volume 1
Collects: X-Men (2021 series) #1-6
X-Men by Gerry Duggan Volume 2
Collects: X-Men (2021 series) #7-12
The Trial of Magneto
Written by Leah Williams. Art by Lucas Werneck.
Spinning out of the Hellfire Gala, this five-part miniseries investigates a murder that has happened at the gala. Features of the cast of X-Factor, who are on the case.
Did Magneto break the laws of Krakoa by murdering a non-mutant? You’ll have to read to find out.
X-Men: The Trial of Magneto
Collects: The Trial of Magneto #1-5
Written by Victor LaValle. Art by Leonard Kirk.
Coming towards the tail end of the Reign of X era is this five-part miniseries, which picks up the loose thread of House of X – what happened to Sabretooth. In this miniseries, you get to find out.
Sabretooth: The Adversary
Collects: Sabretooth (2022 series) #1-5
Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Valerio Schiti, R.B Silva, and Stefano Caselli.
This is a four-part miniseries that ties up many of the plot threads that Hickman had set up in House of X/Powers of X and his X-Men series. This includes Moira, Mystique and Destiny, and Nimrod.
This and the next comic will help set up the next era in X-Men comics.
X-Men: Inferno by Jonathan Hickman
Collects: Inferno #1-4
X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine
Written by Benjamin Percy. Art by Federico Vicentini and Joshua Cassara.
These twin miniseries are a time-travelling romp that see Wolverine attempting to stop a threat to the future of Krakoa.
Just like House of X and Powers of X, there’s a specific reading order to these twin miniseries. You can find more on how to read them in this reading order.
Do You Have To Read Everything?
Nope. While they are all set in the same universe, each X-Men comic has it’s own distinct flavour of storytelling and explores a different corner of the franchise. As a result, you can pick the comics that interest you the most.
Reign of X Anthology Collections
Similar to what was done with Dawn of X, Marvel are releasing anthology-style collections that encompass the whole X-line during the Reign of X. These are perfect for those who want to read everything in the rough order everything was coming out and enjoy the trade paperback experience.
If you’re looking for a complete story then it’s best to pick-up the collected editions listed under each series instead.
Here are the anthology collections that have been announced so far:
Reign of X Volume 1
Collects: S.W.O.R.D. #1, X-Men #16, X-Factor #5, and Hellions #7-8
Reign of X Volume 2
Collects: New Mutants #14, Marauders #16, Excalibur #16, X-Force #15-16, and X-Men #17
Reign of X Volume 3
Collects: Marauders #17, New Mutants #15, Cable #7, and Wolverine #8-9
Reign of X Volume 4
Collects: Wolverine #10, Excalibur #17, X-Factor #6, Cable #8, and Children of the Atom #1
Reign of X Volume 5
Collects: Excalibur #18-19, S.W.O.R.D. #2-3, and King in Black: Marauders #1
Reign of X Volume 6
Collects: S.W.O.R.D. #4, X-Men #18-19, Marauders #18-19, and X-Force #17
Reign of X Volume 7
Collects: X-Force #18-19, Children of the Atom #2, New Mutants #16-17, and Cable #9
Reign of X Volume 8
Collects: Cable #10, Children of the Atom #3, Excalibur #20, X-Men #20, and Hellions #9-10
Reign of X Volume 9
Collects: Hellions #11, Wolverine #11-12, New Mutants #18, S.W.O.R.D. #5, and X-Factor #7
Reign of X Volume 10
Collects: X-Factor #8-9, X-Corp #1, Marauders #20, and Way of X #1
Reign of X Volume 11
Collects: Way of X #2, Cable #11-12, and Children of the Atom #4-5
Reign of X Volume 12
Collects: Marauders #21, ‘X-Force #20, Hellions #12, Excalibur #21, and X-Men #21
Reign of X Volume 13
Collects: Planet-Size X-Men #1, X-Corp #2, New Mutants #19, Wolverine #13, and S.W.O.R.D. #6
Reign of X Volume 14
Collects: X-Factor #10, Way of X #3, Children of the Atom #6, Marauders #22, and X-Men #1
For some odd reason, Marvel have decided to rename the Reign of X collections at Volume 15 and renumber them. Treat the below as a continuation of the above collections.
Trials of X Volume 1
Collects: X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1-2, S.W.O.R.D #7, New Mutants #20-21, and Marauders #23
Note: Trial of X Volume 1 is available on 19th of September, 2022.
Trials of X Volume 2
Collects: Cable: Reloaded, X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #3-5, and Wolverine #14
Note: Trials of X Volume 2 is available on 15th of November, 2022.
Trials of X Volume 3
Collects: Wolverine #15-16, Excalibur #22, X-Men #2, and Hellions #13-14
Note: Trials of X Volume 3 is available 28th of December, 2022.
Trials of X Volume 4
Collects: Hellions #15, X-Force #21-22, S.W.O.R.D. #8, and Way of X #4-5
Note: Trials of X Volume 4 is available 11th of January, 2023.
Trials of X Volume 5
Collects: X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1, X-Men #3, Excalibur #23, and X-Corp #3-4
Note: Trials of X Volume 5 is available on 14th of February, 2023.
Trials of X Volume 6
Collects: X-Corp #5, Marauders #24-25, X-Force #23-24, and Excalibur #24
Note: Trials of X Volume 5 is available on 7th of March, 2023.
Trials of X Volume 7
Collects: X-Men #4, New Mutants #22-23, and Wolverine #17-18
Note: Trials of X Volume 5 is available on 21st of March, 2023.
The above are the volumes that have been released/announced so far and it’s very likely that there will be more to come. I will update this list when that happens.
After Reign of X
As established up the top of this guide, the modern era of X-Men comics is built up in various stages. First came Dawn of X, then Reign of X. The next step in the evolution of the comics line is Destiny of X, which comes after the conclusion of Inferno and X Lives/X Deaths of Wolverine.
Just like the previous eras, I have put together an extensive guide.