In one fell swoop, I have now completed two long-standing X-Men titles: X-Factor and Excalibur. That brings the count of completed ongoings to four (New Mutants and Dazzler being the others - I still haven't gotten around to Alpha Flight volumes 1 or 2, nor finishing Maverick and apparently didn't know Bishop: The Last X-Man was meant to have been started). New Mutants was a core title, as was X-Factor. To a degree, Excalibur was, or at least it was moreso than Alpha Flight or Deadpool.
The three expatriates from the X-Men - Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Colossus - mosey on back to the X-Men proper. Kitty and Kurt hadn't been official X-Men since their injuries during Mutant Massacre. Colossus hadn't been since he joined Magneto during Fatal Attractions after his sister Illyana's death. Wolfsbane moved on with Douglock to the Warlock comic when Marvel launched their strange M-Tech line of comics, Captain Britain and Meggan don't do much for a while, Pete Wisdom will join up with X-Force once Warren Ellis comes in for his strange editor-authorship of three of the X-titles, and Rachel is still lost in the time stream.
X-Factor is replaced with Mutant X, wherein Havok is not actually dead but is thrust into a gothic What If-type world. Which makes me wonder if this was the first time Marvel ever had an ongoing set in another universe. I mean besides What If... which was a new universe every issue. Interesting.
Excalibur is replaced with...well...Gambit's first ongoing I guess. The expansion of the X-line in the 90s was one of consistent bloat, but at least it happened gradually. Once we get to the Jemas-Quesada era it's like force feeding feed to geese. Seriously, on my X-Men reading map-list-thing I'm on page 43 of 130 pages and I've read the majority of the X-Men comics from 1963 to 1998 now. Post 2000, there's a LOT of effing X-Men in my future.
|"Havok! Nooooo! They'll make a terrible and complete unconnected TV series out of your next comic if you die!"|
|"Uh, THE END."|
So Meggan and Captain Britain at long last get married after quite a long courtship honestly. Just a few years after Cyclops and Jean Grey, though they were on and off since the 60s. Or clones. Or cosmic demigods. Or time travelers. Or alternate world enemies. Or...
|And looking like Kitty and Piotr will be on the same endless track.|
So there we have it. Overall I'd say X-Factor was my favorite series of the two. I absolutely love the original five X-Men era all the way till the end. Peter David's run was wonderful and made me realize how great the lower tier X-characters could be under the right creative team. He'd come back to those characters later on in another X-Factor series that went almost as long as the original series.
Excalibur had great runs under Claremont and Davis (twice for him). Warren Ellis had an interesting run that was nowhere near as cynical or dark as I'd expected. I think my reading of the AoA series X-Calibre shaded my approach to his run. Ellis' Pete Wisdom character was a fun addition, even with the creepy relationship he had with Kitty (she was meant to still be a teenage here, but Ellis wasn't aware of that at the time thinking she was college age - blame the editors). There has never been a real reunion of these characters despite there being a couple more series under this title. Claremont even helmed some of those. Most recently it's looking like there will be a reunion in the X-Men Gold annual complete with Alan Davis cover homaging the very first issue of Excalibur. And Meggan is carrying a baby! Whoo-hoo! Baby Britain!