Let's Read
The Claremont Run

Over a sixteen year period from 1975-1991, comics legend Chris Claremont served as writer on the Uncanny X-Men–not only authoring the book–but building an entire universe of characters and redefining what it means to be a mutant.

Prior to 1975 and the publication of Giant-Sized X-Men #1, the X-Men, mutant heroes sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them, had fallen into irrelevance and relegated to newly numbered reprint issues. Beginning with Uncanny X-Men #94, Chris Claremont–then a fledgling young writer–took the reigns on the book, transforming the series from one of Marvel's forgotten titles to its most popular book for over a decade.

Claremont's impact didn't end with the X-Men; his approach to gender and sexuality, use of queer subtext to evade harsh editorial mandates, and innovating long-form storytelling completely changed not only the ways comics were written, but the way we tell stories altogether.

Under Claremont, the mutant metaphor connected the series with new audiences and told stories of oppression, marginalization, pain, grief, and–most importantly–our communities' ability to form found families in spite of those traumas. We were told stories of redemption and righteous indignation, of agency and powerlessness, of triumph and also of incredible loss.

But, most importantly, we were told a story that–regardless of our place in the world–assured us that we could always find the people with whom we belonged.

let's get running

In November of 2020, I decided to publicly undertake a project that many before me had previously completed–to read, and write about–the entirety of Claremont's Run on the Uncanny X-Men. What started as purely jocular Twitter threads quickly became an in depth exploration of what Claremont's Run meant to me as a queer reader and how I connected to it as a kid.

Since then, I've met dozens of incredible friends as committed to undertaking the Run as I was–and only hope to add more voices along the way.

I wanted to build a space where anyone, regardless of the depth of their knowledge about Claremont's Run, could come and find a place to start a readthrough of their own. And with that, the Read The Run Project was born.

Let's read the Claremont Run together.
Hope you survive the experience.

Latest Issue

Uncanny X-Men #211

"Hi there! I'm Scalphunter. We're the Marauders. We kill mutants. Who's next?"

The Mutant Massacre is here and its murder in the Morlock Tunnels as the band of mutant mercenaries known as the Marauders lays waste to the vulnerable community.

Too late to have stopped the massacre and too battered from their fight with Nimrod to overcome the Marauders altogether, the X-Men head into the Tunnels to rescue whatever surivors they find... and make it home with as few casualties as possible.

If only it were as easy as it sounds.


Want to read along on the Run with us? Use the reading lists below to start your own read through of Chris Claremont's incredible Run.

Using the clever breakdown suggested by Scotto at @uncannyxcerpts on Twitter, I've split our reading list of the Claremont Run into the three eras outlined below.

If you're interested in a version of the reading list you can download to keep track of your read through, use the downloadable spreadsheet available by clicking the yellow button below.

This reading list isn't perfect.
Honestly, I'm almost certain there are mistakes. If you catch any or want to make order change recommendations, please feel free to reach out to me on the @ConorReadsXMen Twitter account.

1. Second Genesis
Beginning with Giant-Sized X-Men #1, the new era of X-Men kicks off with a globe-spanning team of new mutants assembled to rescue the original team from the maw of the island that walks like a man–Krakoa. (Yes, that Krakoa.) While Claremont didn't write Giant-Sized himself, the iconic characters introduced by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum–Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus (just to name a few)–would all become definitively characterized under Claremont's pen. While this era of the Claremont Run begins with Uncanny X-Men #94, it's worth considering reading them through Classic X-Men Vol. 1 for ex post facto content in many of the stories and backups that account for some of Claremont's finest character work. Some recommend reading the Uncanny issue first and then the Classic so the additional content can be. more easily spotted. Your call.

Classic X-Men #1-19*
(Giant-Sized X-Men #1, Uncanny X-Men #94-113)

*If using the Classic X-Men volumes to complete the Run, make sure to switch back for Uncanny X-Men #106 and Uncanny X-Men #110, which are not reprinted in the Classic volume.

**This era of the Run contains the Phoenix Saga, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #101-108 (CXM #9-15, with above exception.)

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2. Worlds Apart
Under Claremont, the trope of "wow, this could have been avoided if literally anyone thought to place a phone call" takes form–important across this next series of issues as the X-Men split across the globe for world-spanning adventures, ending on an Isle where the Run itself will later close.

Classic X-Men #20-30*
(Uncanny X-Men #114-128)

Uncanny X-Men Annual #3

Classic X-Men #31-34*
(Uncanny X-Men #125-128)**

*If you're using the Classic X-Men to read through the earlier part of the Run, enjoy an early welcome of Run-editor and contributor Ann Nocenti, responsible for penning a number of the backup stories that close each reprinted issue.

**Even before the Dark Phoenix Saga kicked off, Claremont was beginning to bring his books to a darker place. Uncanny X-Men #125-128 tells the story of the Proteus Saga, a can't-miss contribution to the greater X-Mythos.

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3. The Dark Phoenix Saga
The time for the first major event of the Claremont Run–and first example of his innovation of long-form storytelling in media–has finally arrived. This isn't your twice-massacred Fox Movie Universe Dark Phoenix Saga, this is one of the all-time definitive X-Men stories, and Claremont's first major masterpiece–and a monument to the height of his and John Byrne's collaborative relationship.

Classic X-Men #35-44
(Uncanny X-Men #129-138)

Phoenix: The Untold Story*
*Optional for the read, Phoenix: The Untold Story offers an alternative, albeit non-canon [appropriately so] ending to the Dark Phoenix Saga, and an interview with Claremont, Byrne, EIC Jim Shooter, Editors Louise Jones and Jim Salicrup, and inker Terry Austin that helps contextualize the fallout of the Dark Phoenix Saga and offer insights into how Claremont's storytelling evolved in relationship to his books' artists.

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4. New Beginnings
Following up on the Dark Phoenix Saga's tragic conclusion, the Uncanny X-Men are in need of new additions, new beginnings, and new revelations. Officially introducing landmark point-of-view character Kitty Pryde to the team, this next era of Claremont's Run helps bridge the gap between the Dark Phoenix Saga and the darkness that lies ahead.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #4

Uncanny X-Men #139-140, 141-142*, #143-150

Uncanny X-Men Annual #5

*Uncanny X-Men #141-142 covers the Days of Future Past storyline, a critical tale that introduces a number of important elements to the X-Universe: time travel, alternate realities, government-sponsored fear and hatred, and lesbian terrorists.

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5. Darker Days
Body horror, binaries, Belasco, and BAMFs await you in the next period of Claremont's Run. Featuring the incredible Brood Saga (UXM #161-166) and welcoming Claremont-favorite and modern-Avengers mainstay Carol Danvers to the Run, the next 20+ issues of the Run kills more X-Men than it knows what to do with. But do things ever really stay dead in the Marvel universe?

Avengers Annual #10*

Uncanny X-Men #151-160

Magik: Storm and Illyana (Limited Series)**

Uncanny X-Men #161-166***

*In response to the widely panned and largely reviled Avengers #200, Claremont returns one of his favorite characters to his custody and gives her an opportunity to reclaim her stolen agency.

**The first limited series of the Run, the Magik limited series has alternative placement within the Run. While it will later intersect with New Mutants #14, the book's plot more specifically takes place between panels in Uncanny X-Men #160.

***Uncanny X-Men #161-166 contains the space operatic Brood Saga.

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6. Renewal and Rot
Things begin again at the Xavier Mansion, and the Claremont Run welcomes its first additional ongoing: The New Mutants. But just beyond the veil, darkness grows on the edges of the Run...

Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants

New Mutants #1-3

Uncanny X-Men #167*

Uncanny X-Men Annual #6

New Mutants #4-7

Marvel Graphic Novel #5: God Loves, Man Kills**

*Uncanny X-Men #167 officially concludes the Brood Saga introduced during the last period of the Run–but the books intersection with the New Mutants firmly places the Saga's conclusion after their introduction to the Run.

**While originally non-canon, Claremont and Anderson's addition to the Marvel Graphic Novel series has since retroactively joined the X-Universe proper. It won't be mentioned throughout the Run, but the seeds of Claremont's redefinition of the mutant metaphor take place here. Even if it's not plot relevant, its themes make it essential reading for Runners.

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7. From the Ashes
Just about everyone's favorite trade paperback of old, From the Ashes properly welcomes Paul Smith (first scene during the Brood Saga) to the Run as his art becomes the definitive visual identities of a number of the Run's main cast members–and provides perhaps the best accidental-recipe for retcon-mandate-mastery in the entire Claremont Run.

Uncanny X-Men #168-170

Wolverine Vol . #1-4 (Limited Series)

Uncanny X-Men #171-175

Uncanny X-Men Annual #7*

Uncanny X-men #176

*Y'all... there is no way I can adequately prepare you for how positively insane (and delirously fun) this story is. Hope you surive the experience.

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1. Away Game
Off in space, Editor in Chief steals Marvel's Merry Mutants for a twelve-issue toy commercial–but when they come back, what will happen to the team? And what the hell is going on with Nova Roma?

Uncanny X-Men #177-179

New Mutants #8-12

Marvel Team-Up Annual #6*

New Mutants #13-14

Uncanny X-Men #180**

New Mutants #15-17

Uncanny X-Men #181-183

Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #1-6 (Limited Series)

* While not written by Claremont, MTU Annual #6 is an important scene setter for an upcoming arc of the New Mutants.

**I'm not going to tell anyone to read Jim Shooter's 12-issue toy commercial Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars #1-12... and Claremont does a good enough job filling in the blanks on what transpires while our heroes are stolen away to Battleworld. Importantly, it is among the first moments that Magneto is cast as... a hero?

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2. Public Enemies
First hinted toward during God Loves, Man Kills, the hatred and persecution of mutants begins to take full form as the X-Men transition from superheroes to public enemies. Elsewhere, the New Mutants welcome legendary artist Bill Sienkiewicz to their run.

New Mutants #18-20*

Uncanny X-Men #184-187

New Mutants #21

Uncanny X-Men #188

New Mutants Annual #1, New Mutants #22

Uncanny X-Men #189

New Mutants #25

Uncanny X-Men #190-192, Uncanny X-Men Annual #8

Uncanny X-Men/Alpha Flight #1-2 (Limited Series)

Firestar #1-2 (Limited Series)**

Uncanny X-Men #193

Firestar #3-4 (Limited Series)**

Uncanny X-Men #194

Power Pack #11-12***

Uncanny X-Men #195

*The first major storyline for our New Mutants welcomes Bill Sienkiewicz to the Run and moves the New Mutants into darker territory.

**Optional to the Run, this fun miniseries by Tom DeFalco that explains Firestar's presence in Uncanny X-Men #193 and formally brings her from the small screen into printed media.

* These two issues of Power Pack (written by Louise Simonson) tie into UXM #195, but aren't totally essential reading.

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3. Past Sins
Across both series, past sins come back to haunt the Fathers of the Atom, culminating in the high-drama, courtroom spectacular: the Trial of Magneto. Elsewhere, the Brotherhood rebrands and the oppressed become oppressors.

New Mutants #26-31

Uncanny X-Men #196-198

New Mutants #32-34

Longshot #1-6 (Limited Series)**

Uncanny X-Men #199

New Mutants Special Edition #1

Uncanny X-Men Annual #9

Uncanny X-Men #200**

New Mutants #35

** Ann Nocenti–who if you didn't take the Classic X-Men pathway through the earlier eras of the Run–makes her writing debut to the Run, introducing the wildly surrealist Mojoworld and David Bowie surrogate Longshot.

*** Before 2021's Trial of Magneto, there was... the Trial of Magneto. Also, there are trouble-causing incest Nazi twins. I promise it reads more serious than it sounds.

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4. Life After Death
If sins came back to haunt the team, ghosts come back to find them in this next period of Claremont's Run. New lives are born, new loves abandoned, and new purposes found.

Uncanny X-Men #201

New Mutants #36

Uncanny X-Men #202

New Mutants #37

Uncanny X-Men #203

Nightcrawler #1-4 (Limited Series)*

Uncanny X-Men #204-209

New Mutants #38-40

Avengers #263, Fantastic Four #286***

* Written by Dave Cockum, all about our favorite Fuzzy Elf.

*** We're still early in the Run, but for the second major time in the Run, Shooter exerts his will over Claremont's desires... bringing back from the ashes someone who mandates earlier impacted.

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5. Third Genesis
What's old is new again as the Run adds its third major title–and first ongoing not penned by Claremont, X-Factor Vol. 1. Originally scripted by Bob Layton, Claremont-ally and editor-past Louise Simonson takes over the series and aligns it with more closely with Claremont's storytelling beginning with X-Factor #6.

X-Factor #1-5

X-Factor #6-7*, X-Factor Annual #1, X-Factor #8

New Mutants #41-44, New Mutants Annual #2, New Mutants #45

Uncanny X-Men Annual #10**

* Beginning with X-Factor #6 (although skipping X-Factor Annual #1), Louise Simonson takes over authorship of X-Factor, firmly securing the title within the wider confines of Claremont's Run.

** Uncanny X-Men Annual #10 is noted for having truly odd story placement, certainly occurring after the Longshot miniseries, but seemingly before the Mutant Massacre–during which time, major player Longshot is not present. 10 points to whoever can no prize this one.

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6. Mutant Massacre
The first major line-wide crossover in the X-Universe–and one that will predispose the dozens and dozens to follow–takes shape over the next eleven issues... and a match is lit that may one day build to an Inferno.

Uncanny X-Men #210

X-Factor #9

Uncanny X-Men #211

New Mutants #46

X-Factor #10

Power Pack #27

Thor #373-374

X-Factor #11

Uncanny X-Men #212-213

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7. Broken Bonds
In the fallout of the Mutant Massacre, the team sheds and gains new members and resets in the wake of major tragedies–leaving the team looking completely different from how it did when the Claremont Run began.

Uncanny X-Men #214

New Mutants #47-50

X-Factor #12-16

Uncanny X-Men #215-218

New Mutants #51-52, Annual #3

Fallen Angels #1-8 (Limited Series)*

* A limited series written by Jo Duffy that isn't essential to the Run, but certainly wildly fun to read.

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8. Damaged Goods
With the scars of the Mutant Massacre still healing, our three main branches of the Run all contend with damages done and fallen angels before the true Fall begins.

New Mutants #53-54

Uncanny X-Men #219

Fantastic Four vs. X-Men #1-4 (Limited Series)

Uncanny X-Men Annual #11

X-Factor #17-18, X-Factor Annual #2, X-Factor #19-23

New Mutants #55*-58

Uncanny X-Men #220-224

* Beginning with New Mutants #55, Louise Simonson takes over writing duties from Claremont, remaining on the book to near its conclusion.

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9. Fall of the Mutants
The second major crossover of the Run–and one perhaps most marred by disputes with Marvel UK–takes shape in dark skies over Dallas. The X-Men–and the New Mutants–will never be the same.

X-Factor #24-26

New Mutants #59-60

Uncanny X-Men #225

New Mutants #61

Uncanny X-Men #226-227

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1. Outback Era
In the wake of the Fall of the Mutants, the Uncanny X-Men make a move to lead new lives in one of the most beloved eras of the Claremont Run.

Uncanny X-Men #228-234, Uncanny X-Men Annual #12, Uncanny X-Men #235-238

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2. Where There's Smoke
Across two series and some 150+ issues ago, a girl was kidnapped to a demonic realm for a singular purpose. Even earlier, a woman survived a plane crash the same day one might called a sister died on the moon. There's fires burning in the distance, and debts to be paid in this countdown to... the Inferno.

New Mutants #62-67, New Mutants Annual #4, New Mutants #68-70

X-Factor #26-32

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3. The Sword is Drawn
What do we do when we've lost everyone we ever loved? We invoke Arthurian legend and manifest a cosmic entity, of course. For the first time since he left the New Mutants, Claremont's pen finds its way onto a new book–and with it, he'll write a whole new legend.

Excalibur Special Edition #1

Excalibur #1-5

Wolverine Vol. 2 #1-10

X-Factor #33-35, X-Fctor Annual #3

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4. The Inferno
Madelyne Pryor. Jean Grey. Illyana Rasputina. Darkchylde. Sinister. Demons. Fairytales. Horror stories. It's time for what some consider the climax of the Claremont Run. It's time for the Inferno.

Uncanny X-Men #239

X-Terminators #1-2 (Limited Series)*

Daredevil #262**

X-Terminators #3 (Limited Series)

New Mutants #71

X-Factor #36

Uncanny X-Men #240

Power-Pack #42-43**

Daredevil #263**

X-Terminators #4 (Limited Series)

New Mutants #72

Uncanny X-Men #241

New Mutants #73

Excalibur #6-7

X-Factor #37

Uncanny X-Men #242

X-Factor #38

Uncanny X-Men #243

X-Factor #39

* Written by Louise Simonson, the X-Terminators limited series sees the exploits of X-Factor's young wards as the Inferno rages across Manhattan.

** As always, Weezie brings the kids along for an X-Crossover, this time joined by Ann Nocenti, in the middle of her acclaimed run on Daredevil. (These tie-ins not required, but a hell of a lot of fun.)

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5. Inferno Aftermath
The Inferno may be extinguished, but the ash pile is still smoldering. This is the Inferno aftermath.

X-Factor #40, X-Factor Annual #4

Uncanny X-Men #244-246

New Mutants #74-78, New Mutants Annual #5

Excalibur #8-10

Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem

Excalibur #11

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6. Acts of Vengeance
The part of the Run that feels most like Claremont treading water–and perhaps the first signal to its impending conclusion.

Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown #1-4 (Limited Series)*

Uncanny X-Men Annual #13, Uncanny X-Men #247-258

* Not necessary reading for the Run, but a gorgeous and fun book written by the Simonsons.

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7. The Cross Time Caper
Somehow, even with alternate dimension Nazis, the Cross Time Caper is a light reprieve from the Run's recent relative darkness.

Excalibur #12-24

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8. Beginning of the End
Things begin to wind down in the Run and we close out our first ongoing of the Run–Excalibur. You can really start to feel the 90s come alive as we approach the end, and start to feel the franchise slipping from Claremont's grasp.

New Mutants #88-94

Excalibur #25-34*

Uncanny X-Men #259-267

X-Factor #41-49

* Last issue of Excalibur covered in the Run.

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9. Days of Future Present
A time and series spanning crossover that revisits the nightmarish future timeline of Rachel Summers.

X-Factor #50-55

Fantastic Four Annual #23*

X-Factor Annual #5*

New Mutants Annual #6*

Uncanny X-Men Annual #14*

New Mutants Summer Special #1

* These issues are part of the Days of Future Present event.

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10. X-Tinction Agenda
Where does a self-hating mutant go when he passes through the Siege Perilous? The X-Tinction Agenda is perhaps the first temporally relevant political reference and use of the mutant metaphor in series.

X-Factor #556-59

Uncanny X-Men #268-269

Uncanny X-Men #270*

X-Factor #60*

New Mutants #95*

Uncanny X-Men #271*

X-Factor #61*

New Mutants #96*

Uncanny X-Men #272*

X-Factor #62*

New Mutants #97*

* These issues compose the X-Tinction Agenda crossover.

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11. Countdown...
It's almost the end of the line for the Claremont Run, as all of the pieces begin to move in place for Claremont's final story of the Uncanny X-Men. And with it, we read our last issues of Louise Simonson's incredible contributions to the Run.

Uncanny X-Men #273-277

New Mutants #98-100*

X-Factor #63-68, X-Factor Annual #6

* This is the last issue of New Mutants in the Run, and the last issue of New Mutants Vol. 1.

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12. The Muir Island Saga
The Claremont Run, for all intents and purposes, started on an Island marred by Xavier's mistakes. Now, it'll end on one all the same. This is the Muir Island Saga, and the true end of Chris Claremont's Run.

Uncanny X-Men #278

Uncanny X-Men #279*

X-Factor #69

Uncanny X-Men #280

X-Factor #78

* Midway through Uncanny X-Men #279 and feeling understandably pushed out by Harras, DeFalco, and Lee, Claremont quit the book, submitting a half-finished script to be finished by Fabian Nicieza.

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13. An End, A Beginning
Before he knew his time on the Uncanny X-Men would end, Claremont scripted the first three issues of the next great X-Men story. They might not be part of Claremont's Run, but they are his goodbye.

X-Men Vol. 2 #1-3

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Want more ways to experience the Run? Visit the other incredible projects below for more information on Claremont's legendary time as steward of the Uncanny X-Men.

Uncanny x-cerpts

Covering a new issue of Uncanny X-Men every week–starting in the Silver Age and ending who knows when–Scotto's writeups of each issue make an incredible companion to any X-Men read through as his posts discuss the X-Men with incredible depth, insight, and a whole lot of humor.

The claremont run

An academic approach to the Claremont Run, Dr. J. Andrew Deman and his team prove that Run is something worth reading. With specific attention to the sociopolitical contexts of the Run and its impacts on gender and sexuality in storytelling, The Claremont Run Project treats this unprecedented run on the X-Men with a reverence deserving of its cultural importance.


Each week, X-Fan extraordinaire Connor Goldsmith invites a guest onto his show for a deep dive on one of homo superior's incredible characters. Particularly committed to honoring the importance of Claremont's Run on many of the X-Universe's mutants, CEREBRO makes a great companion to anyone undertaking a readthrough of Claremont's Run.

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About the Runner

Conor Mulvaney is a 27 year old web developer-turned-MSW focusing on behavioral intervention research. When he's not performing factor analysis, he's tweeting about the Claremont Run or writing about political things.

Hope you survived the experience.

© ReadTheRun. All rights reserved.
All covers and panels courtesy of Marvel Comics