Return of Uncanny X-Men

by Matt Tuck

X-Men-94-197x300 Return of Uncanny X-MenMarvel recently announced plans to give X-Men back the Uncanny in their title. For hardcore X-fans, this is much more than a single word; it’s a legacy. 

The X-Men have undergone many changes over the years, but it’s the Uncanny X-Men that holds the dearest place in most fans’ hearts. Starting with issue #142 in 1981, the title was christened with its new adjective, and a legendary 545-issue run began. While this may seem like a small change (after all, it’s only the addition of one word in the series’ title), it’s symbolic of the shifting of the status quo.

In the 1990s, the X-Men were the banner carriers for Marvel. The letter X was on a bevy of titles every month; there was Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force. At the time, Excalibur was tied to the X-titles, and there also was the solo Wolverine series, and that’s just to name the ongoing comics and not to mention the various limited series, like Gambit and Deadpool. It was only natural that in 2000, Fox produced the first X-Men movie, which essentially kicked off the modern era of superhero movies, paving the way for the current Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Then something changed.

Over the past few years, Marvel shied away from the X-Men. Wolverine was killed off (but did any of us believe he was gone for good?), “Uncanny” was removed from the title, and mutants in general were put on Marvel’s back burner in favor of the Inhumans. The conspiracy theory is that since Fox owned the film and television rights to all-things X-Men and mutants, Disney/Marvel didn’t want to promote characters that would help the film/TV competition. The Inhumans, then, got the push since that was a property fully under Disney/Marvel’s control. Now that Disney is finalizing the Twenty-First Century Fox acquisition and the Inhumans’ television debut flopped, the company is once more giving the X-Men their time in the spotlight.

With the renewed attention being placed on Marvel’s merry mutants, that will translate into value for those X-keys that have been collecting dust in your collection. Don’t forget that Disney has previously confirmed that the slate of upcoming X-Men-related movies are still on the schedule, namely X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants. As the hype builds for those films in addition to the bigger presence on comic shelves, your key issues are going to be worth more in the coming years.

X-MEN #1

Any of the original number ones from the Stan Lee era are holy grails, but X-Men #1 had been relatively easier to attain than, say, Fantastic Four #1 or Amazing Spider-Man #1. Still, X-Men #1 is and always will be a grail for collectors. Even though prices were already high for this issue, it’s still going up. Take the 4.5 grade, for example, which has been the most commonly bought on eBay over the past year. That particular grade has gone from averaging $3,318 in 2016 to $4,165 in the last 12 months. Even a lowly 0.5 has seen a price jump of over $500 in the last two years and most recently sold for over $1,300.


Another perennial grail among collectors, this is arguably the most sought after X-Men key. In the silver age of comics, the X-Men weren’t popular up until this issue. Then Len Wein, Dave Cockrum, and Gil Kane revamped the team entirely, and everything changed. In GSX #1, not only will you find the debut of the “good team” of X-Men, (which we can hope will be resurrected for the new Uncanny X-Men series) but it also marks the first appearances of fan favorites Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus, as well as the second full appearance of Wolverine and his first with the X-Men.

If it’s any indication of things to come for GSX #1, consider this: in the last six sales of a mid-grade 6.5, five of those brought $800 or more. There was even a 1.8 that sold for $515 this past May.

X-MEN #94

This is a huge key for X-Men fans because this was the first issue written by Chris Claremont. He went on to an astounding 16-year run on the title from 1975 to 1991, which culminated in the team becoming the flagship of Marvel for a time. All the characters, all the legendary stories – they all started here.

Most grades have experienced a slight price hike in the past two years, but you’ll want to be ahead of the curve as the numbers indicate its on the way up. A 9.0, which has seen 44 copies sold in the past 12 months, was averaging $735 with a high of $905 in 2016, and it just sold for $925 on July 14 and brought $930 in March. That’s the most a 9.0 has sold for in three years, and we’re only halfway into 2018.

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