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I was a New Mutants fan in the late eighties, and I dipped my toes into the X-Men here and there. And then the franchise started to multiply and I got totally lost, and then I went off to college and read my way through other people's collections of other titles, and finally stopped trying to keep track of any of it and the New Mutants were over by then anyway, which made it harder for me to care.

Twenty years later, after the third time somebody gave me the hairy eyeball when I said my favorite Phoenix was named Rachel, I thought perhaps I should fill in the gaping holes in my experience. I've been reading the nine volumes of Essential X-Men reprints, which the seattle public library has. They're black-and-white reprints of X-Men & a couple of crossovers originally published 1975-1990 (the last one includes Uncanny X-Men #244-264 & Annual #13.)

snipped: long plea for help regarding untangling what's reprinted where, and in what order. )

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