Food for Thought: An Astonishing X-Men Release Schedule

Posted by on Saturday, December 6th, 2008 at 02:05:22 AM

We’re doing a podcast this weekend looking back on the soon-to-be collected Astonishing X-Men run by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. Re-reading the series, it struck me that the series started shortly after Grant Morrison left New X-Men, which turned out to be almost five years ago. So I dug up release dates for Whedon and Cassaday’s full run, and salted in some other significant Marvel books of the past half-decade:

New X-Men 154 3/21/2004
Astonishing X-Men  1 5/30/2004
Astonishing X-Men  2 6/27/2004
Astonishing X-Men  3 8/1/2004
Astonishing X-Men  4 8/29/2004
Astonishing X-Men  5 9/26/2004
Astonishing X-Men  6 11/7/2004
New Avengers  1 12/1/2004
Ultimates 2 1 12/8/2004
Astonishing X-Men  7 12/22/2004
Astonishing X-Men  8 2/20/2005
Astonishing X-Men  9 4/3/2005
Astonishing X-Men  10 5/15/2005
House of M 1 6/2/2005
Astonishing X-Men  11 7/24/2005
Astonishing X-Men  12 9/4/2005
Astonishing X-Men  13 2/26/2006
Astonishing X-Men  14 4/30/2006
Civil War 1 5/3/2006
Astonishing X-Men  15 6/25/2006
Astonishing X-Men  16 8/27/2006
Astonishing X-Men  17 9/24/2006
Astonishing X-Men  18 11/19/2006
Astonishing X-Men  19 12/27/2006
Astonishing X-Men  20 2/18/2007
Captain America 25 3/8/2007
Astonishing X-Men  21 5/6/2007
Ultimates 2 13 5/16/2007
World War Hulk 1 6/14/2007
Astonishing X-Men  22 8/26/2007
Astonishing X-Men  23 11/11/2007
Astonishing X-Men  24 1/27/2008
Secret Invasion  1 4/2/2008
Giant Size Astonishing X-Men 1 6/1/2008

I’m surprised to realize that over the span of Astonishing publication record, everything from Avengers Disassembled to the start of Secret Invasion happened over in the main Marvel line. The much-delayed Ultimates 2 had its full thirteen issue run in the midst of AXM‘s middle half. Spider-Man unmasked and remasked. All of Greg Pak’s Hulk stories took place. Civil War outpaced the release schedule of AXM. Ten Marvel-based films were released into the theaters. EIGHTissues of Planetary were published.

I’m not trying to cast aspersions on the book, though I reserve the right to on the podcast. I just think it’s fascinating how the run existed, almost hermetically sealed, for four years while so much other stuff happened to the rest of the Marvel publishing line. I didn’t even realize Marvel had put out so many “worldshaking” events in the past five years. To be honest, I thought Morrison had been gone from New X-Men for much longer than he has, a hazy distant memory from the end of college.

As a young man I could keep track of release dates like nobody’s business: every few months I’d start or quit working at a book/record store, every semester I’d get a new timeslot on college radio. Comic shops were regularly dying off. Routinely, everyone would have new roommates, significant others and class schedules and this information could be used to triangulate the exact time a piece of media was released.

Maybe things like that are less dynamic now. Maybe I’ve filled my head with release dates for too many things already. Maybe I’m just old. This timeline surprised me a bit, so I thought I’d share it.

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