Mike Carey's five-and-a-half year X-Men run ends this week with X-Men: Legacy #260, the conclusion of the two-part "Half a Step" arc that sets up the book's post X-Men: Schism status quo, and paves the way for new series writer Christos Gage.
Carey's stint started with X-Men #188 back in July 2006, and the series subsequently saw several shifts in status quo as well as the "Legacy" suffix added in 2008 with issue #208. In total, Carey's written 73 consecutive issues of X-Men — plus the "Endangered Species" one-shot and back-up stories that teed up "Messiah Complex," the New Mutants issues of "Age of X" and two annuals, one in 2006 and one in 2009.
"I've really loved working in the X-Men universe," Carey said in a November interview with Newsarama. "You kind of feel like this is a house you lived in as a child, and here you are building new rooms onto it."
In terms of sheer numbers, Carey's ahead of noted X-Men runs by writers like Grant Morrison (41 issues), Matt Fraction (35 issues) and X-Men co-creator Stan Lee (19 issues). According to our research, Carey's actually No. 2 among writers for the longest consecutive X-Men runs, and No. 3 for actual "X-Men" comics written. Read on to see how it all breaks down.
[Newsarama note: For the purpose of this article, we're only counting nominal "X-Men" comics, though there are plenty of impressively lengthy runs throughout the X-books, such as Peter David's current stint on X-Factor and Larry Hama's many issues of Wolverine.]
Years on the book: 1975-1991 (Uncanny X-Men), 2000-2001 (Uncanny X-Men), 2001-2004 (X-Treme X-Men) 2004-2006 (Uncanny X-Men)
Consecutive issues: 186 (Uncanny X-Men #94-#279)
Chris Claremont's 16-year original run on Uncanny X-Men represents one of the most prolific periods in superhero comics, generating a steady stream of classic stories like "The Dark Phoenix Saga," "Days of Future Past" and God Loves, Man Kills. His 186 issues — which started with scripting plots by Len Wein, and include a stretch co-plotted by John Byrne — shaped modern perceptions of the team, and outdistances Peter David's Incredible Hulk (137 issues) and Stan Lee's 114 straight issues of Fantastic Four. Brian Michael Bendis is getting awfully close, though, when each incarnation of Ultimate Spider-Man is combined — currently at 165 issues and counting.
That alone would be a staggering feat, but Claremont also returned to Uncanny X-Men briefly in 2000 and for a bit longer in 2004, and wrote all 46 issues of X-Treme X-Men — plus the first four years of New Mutants, Excalibur, X-Men Forever and a lot more. So, yeah. The guy's written a lot of X-Men comics.
Years on the book: 2006-2011
Consecutive issues: 73 (X-Men #188-X-Men: Legacy #260)
Carey's 73 issues of X-Men and X-Men: Legacy represent not only the second-longest consecutive run in X-Men history, but also one of the longest runs of his career, outpaced only by Vertigo title Lucifer. In terms of pages, though, when combined with additional material like two annuals, one-shots and "Endangered Species," it ranks as Carey's personal No. 1.
His run started as a typical X-Men team book — well, not completely typical, since the roster included Sabretooth, Mystique, Omega Sentinel and Lady Mastermind — before evolving into an ersatz Professor X solo book with the title switch to X-Men: Legacy. Rogue eventually stepped into the title role, and the book has continued to focus on her as the cast grew — and by all indications, she'll still be at the center of the series when Christos Gage takes over in January.
Years on the book: 1992-1997
Consecutive issues: 70 (Uncanny X-Men #286-#350, plus four issues of Astonishing X-Men during "Age of Apocalypse" and a "Minus 1" issue in 1997)
Lobdell might be currently writing three different books for DC's "The New 52" — Red Hood and the Outlaws, Teen Titans and Superboy — but he'll always be closely associated with Marvel's mutants, picking up where Claremont left off and guiding the team through '90s events like "Fatal Attractions," "Age of Apocalypse" and "The Phalanx Covenant." He started off co-authoring three collaboratively written issues, before taking over as sole writer with Uncanny X-Men #289.
Lobdell's original run ended with Uncanny X-Men #350 — where he shared a co-writing credit with incoming writer Steven Seagle — but he rejoined the book briefly in 2001, and also wrote adjectiveless X-Men for a couple years in the '90s, putting him at right around 100 total issues of X-Men. That's not counting, of course, his issues of Excalibur, X-Factor or Generation X, the influential mutant teen book he co-created with Chris Bachalo. Scott Lobdell: another guy that's written a lot of X-Men comics.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!