How to Read X-Men Comics in 2022 (Reign of X, Hellfire Gala, and Inferno)

Hellions

With Jonathan Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X, the X-Men universe got something of a soft reboot. Because of this, reading absolutely everything that’s currently going on with the X-Men is less confusing than it used to be.

Last year, I laid out a reading order for this new series, beginning with House of X and Powers of X and leading up through X of Swords. You can check out that full reading guide here to get yourself caught up. Since then, I’ve had a lot of requests for a follow-up to that piece. And now, we finally have enough material available in collected editions that I can do this properly.

After X of Swords, you’ll enter Reign of X, which is still ongoing at the time of this writing. If you want to read the entirety of the X-universe in 2022, I highly recommend collecting the Reign of X trades. (If you want to read X-Men from the very beginning in 1963, well, I’ve started mapping out that journey too, but that’s a conversation for another time).

As I pointed out in my previous post, this roadmap is based on the order that Marvel chose for their collected editions. Reading it this way will give you an experience that (sort of) mimics the one you’d get had you been reading every floppy from month to month. However, if you’re interested in a true chronological reading experience, then you’ll want to be aware of the Dawn of X Timeline website, which orders everything in as close to chronological order as possible.

One other thing to be aware of is that not all of these trades are out yet at the time of this writing, so the contents of the later Reign of X books could change between now and release. And sometimes, not even the contents listed on the back of the books are correct (though the backs of the Reign of X books have been a lot more accurate than the Dawn of X books). A vast majority of the information in this article is confirmed from the books themselves (I own all of the currently available trades), but I will be very clear about which books I don’t own yet. In those cases, I’m pulling information from Marvel’s marketing (which isn’t always accurate, especially in the case of Reign of X).

With all that said, let’s jump into some X-Men!

Reign of X Vol. 1

S.W.O.R.D.

This collection spins directly out of X of Swords, introducing the newest iteration of the S.W.O.R.D. series and delivering the next issues of X-Men, X-Factor, and Hellions. I’m always a little disappointed when these volumes contains five issues instead of six (especially since these trades are so far behind at this point), and this is a five-issue collection.

Here’s the Goodreads listing for the book, and the issue order is below.

  • S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #1
  • X-Men (2019) #16
  • X-Factor (2020) #5
  • Hellions (2020) #7
  • Hellions (2020) #8

Reign of X Vol. 2

Marauders

What’s this? Has Marvel heard my plea?

Well, probably not, but we do have six issues in this volume. We also see post-X of Swords New Mutants, Marauders, Excalibur, and X-Force. Have I said that I love the swashbuckling Marauders side of Kate Pryde? I did? Oh, okay.

Here’s the Goodreads listing, and the issue order is listed below.

  • New Mutants (2019) #14
  • Marauders (2019) #16
  • Excalibur (2019) #16
  • X-Force (2019) #15
  • X-Force (2019) #16
  • X-Men (2019) #17

Reign of X Vol. 3

Wolverine

Well that didn’t last long, did it? It looks like we’re back down to five issues per volume. We do get to see more Wolverine drawn by the absolutely incredible Viktor Bogdanovic, though it’s just a prologue to issue #8. Still, Bogdanovic’s art is phenomenal, so getting more of it is always a plus, if you ask me.

Oh, and Cable’s back!

Here’s a link to the Goodreads listing for the book, and the issue order is below.

  • Marauders (2019) #17
  • New Mutants (2019) #15
  • Cable (2020) #7
  • Wolverine (2020) #8
  • Wolverine (2020) #9

Reign of X Vol. 4

Children of the Atom

This is another collection with just five volumes, but we do see the start of yet another side book, Children of the Atom. The first issue of Children of the Atom is bigger than the other issues in this book, so I guess I’ll cut them some slack here.

Here’s a link to the Goodreads listing, and the issue order is below.

  • Wolverine (2020) #10
  • Excalibur (2019) #17
  • X-Factor (2020) #6
  • Cable (2020) #8
  • Children of the Atom (2021) #1

Reign of X Vol. 5

S.W.O.R.D.

This collection really feels like it needed six issues. This collects two issues of Excalibur and two issues of S.W.O.R.D. (which we haven’t heard from since the first Reign of X collection. This also includes the Marauders tie-in to the King in Black event.

Here’s a link to the Goodreads listing, and the individual issues are listed below.

  • Excalibur (2019) #18
  • Excalibur (2019) #19
  • S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #2
  • S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #3
  • King in Black: Marauders

Reign of X Vol. 6

X-Men

With Volume 6, we get six issues again! Huzzah! This time around, we get more S.W.O.R.D, as well as two issues each of X-Men and Marauders. Plus, we see the long-awaited return of X-Force!

Here’s a link to the Goodreads listing for this volume, and the full issue list is below.

  • S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #4
  • X-Men (2019) #18
  • X-Men (2019) #19
  • Marauders (2019) #18
  • Marauders (2019) #19
  • X-Force (2019) #17

Reign of X Vol. 7

New Mutants

Six more issues! And we even get two issues of New Mutants (we haven’t heard from them since Volume 3). I should point out that the back of the book has a misprint, which mislabels Children of the Atom as starting in 2020 (when it actually began in 2021).

Here’s the Goodreads listing, and you can find the full list of issues below.

  • X-Force (2019) #18
  • X-Force (2019) #19
  • Children of the Atom (2021) #2
  • New Mutants (2019) #16
  • New Mutants (2019) #17
  • Cable (2020) #9

Reign of X Vol. 8

Excalibur

Do you even remember the Hellions at this point? We haven’t seen them since Reign of X Vol. 1, but they’re coming back around with not one but two issues.

Here’s a link to the Goodreads listing for this volume, and the list of all six issues is below.

  • Cable (2020) #10
  • Children of the Atom (2021) #3
  • Excalibur (2019) #20
  • X-Men (2019) #20
  • Hellions (2020) #9
  • Hellions (2020) #10

Reign of X Vol. 9

Omega Red

Reign of X is on a roll with these six-issue collections! And this time, we get even more Hellions, as well as the return of Wolverine and X-Factor (both of which we haven’t seen in a while).

Here’s the Goodreads listing, and the list of all six collected issues is below.

  • Hellions (2020) #11
  • Wolverine (2020) #11
  • Wolverine (2020) #12
  • New Mutants (2019) #18
  • S.W.O.R.D (2020) #5
  • X-Factor (2020) #7

Reign of X Vol. 10

Way of X - Pixie and Nightcrawler

With this volume, we’re back down to five issues, but I’ll forgive Marvel for this because it features not one but two #1 issues, both of which are heftier than a normal issue. In fact, this volume is actually thicker than the previous one (which had six issues), and according to the Amazon listings, this one is eight pages longer than Vol. 9.

Here’s the Goodreads listing for this volume, and the issues are listed out below.

  • X-Factor (2020) #8
  • X-Factor (2020) #9
  • X-Corp (2021) #1
  • Marauders (2019) #20
  • Way of X (2021) #1

Reign of X Vol. 11

X-Men - Cyclops and Jean Grey

Okay, so this one’s a bummer, because it has five normal-sized issues, meaning the book itself is quite a bit slimmer than the previous volumes. This brings us two issues of Children of the Atom, the second issue of Way of X, and two issues of Cable.

Here’s the Goodreads listing, and here’s the issue order as collected in this volume:

  • Way of X (2021) #2
  • Cable (2020) #11
  • Cable (2020) #12
  • Children of the Atom (2021) #4
  • Children of the Atom (2021) #5

Hellfire Gala: Red Carpet Collection

Hellfire Gala

Okay, so this is where things are going to get a little bit confusing. The previous collections lead into an event called the Hellfire Gala, and Marvel decided, for whatever reason, to collect this series three different ways. The easiest, in my opinion, is the oversized hardcover Hellfire Gala: Red Carpet Collection. This is what I own, and it would be my personal recommendation. However, I will also list out your other options below, with the caveat that I don’t own those physical books so I’m going off of Marvel’s information (which might not be 100% accurate).

I should also point out that the issue mapping is way, way different than what’s on the back of the book.

So here’s the Goodreads listing for Hellfire Gala: Red Carpet Collection, and the issue mapping is listed out below.

  • Marauders (2019) #21
  • Classic X-Men (1986) #7 (B story)
  • X-Force (2019) #20
  • Hellions (2020) #12
  • Excalibur (2019) #21
  • X-Men (2019) #21
  • Planet-Size X-Men
  • Election Comic Strips (webcomic)
  • X-Corp (2021) #2
  • New Mutants (2019) #19
  • Marvel’s Voices: Pride (“You Deserve” story)
  • Wolverine (2020) #13
  • S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #6
  • Way of X (2021) #3
  • X-Factor (2020) #10
  • Hellfire Gala: Official Guide

Hellfire Gala (alternatively)

SWORD - Dr Doom

So, there are two additional ways to read this material in collected editions, and I’ll walk you through both of them.

Hellfire Gala (paperback)

This is for people who only want the core Hellfire Gala story, with absolutely none of the setup or side stories. The Hellfire Gala trade paperback collects:

  • Marauders (2019) #21
  • X-Men (2019) #21
  • Planet-Size X-Men
  • S.W.O.R.D. #6

I don’t actually own this book, so I can’t say if that list accurately reflects the order (or even the content, really) of the volume. I assume this would be the order, based on the order of the Red Carpet Collection. And if you want to see the paperback volume on Goodreads, here’s the link.

Reign of X Vol. 12

Now, there are future Reign of X books that will be collecting this material. I won’t be buying the next couple volumes, because they’re just re-collecting what I already own in the Red Carpet Collection, so I won’t be able to confirm 100% that the info below is correct. I’ll do my best, though.

This collects:

  • Marauders (2019) #21
  • X-Force (2019) #20
  • Hellions (2020) #12
  • Excalibur (2019) #21
  • X-Men (2019) #21

Reign of X Vol. 13

This collects:

  • Planet-Size X-Men
  • X-Corp (2021) #2
  • New Mutants (2019) #19
  • Wolverine (2020) #13
  • S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #6

Again, I’m not sure if these volumes are mapped out exactly like this, but I assume they would follow the same mapping as the Red Carpet Collection.

Reign of X Vol. 14

X-Men 2021 - issue 1

This one frustrates me a little bit. I feel like, since Marvel’s selling Hellfire Gala in three different collections, they could at least have the decency to include an extra issue in Reign of X Vol. 12 and 13 so that Red Carpet Collection owners won’t have to double dip. But alas, here we are, double dipping with Way of X #3 and X-Factor #10.

With this volume, we also begin a new X-Men series in a post-Hickman world, along with yet another #1 issue.

This one is due out July 19, 2022, and it collects:

  • Way of X (2021) #3
  • X-Factor (2020) #10
  • Children of the Atom (2021) #6
  • Marauders (2019) #22
  • X-Men (2021) #1

I will verify the collection details when this book comes out.

Reign of X Vol. 15

New Mutants 20

This one is due out August 16, 2022, and it should collect:

  • X-Men: The Trial of Magneto (2021) #1
  • X-Men: The Trial of Magneto (2021) #2
  • S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #7
  • New Mutants (2019) #20
  • New Mutants (2019) #21
  • Marauders (2019) #23

Again, I’ll verify the collection details when the book releases.

Reign of X Vol. 16

Wolverine 14

This is due out September 20, 2022, and it should collect:

  • Cable: Reloaded (2021) #1
  • X-Men: The Trial of Magneto (2021) #3
  • X-Men: The Trial of Magneto (2021) #4
  • X-Men: The Trial of Magneto (2021) #5
  • Wolverine (2020) #14

And once again, I’ll confirm the contents of this book once I own a physical copy of it.

Inferno

X-Men - Inferno

This is Jonathan Hickman’s Inferno miniseries, not to be confused with the Inferno event that happened in the 1980s or the Inferno miniseries that launched in 2015. This is available in oversized hardcover, which collects:

  • Inferno (2021) #1
  • Inferno (2021) #2
  • Inferno (2021) #3
  • Inferno (2021) #4

If you really want to get nitpicky, I would probably say to hold off on X-Men (2021) or Cable: Reloaded (2021) until after Inferno, but you should read all of Trial of Magneto first. These collected editions could have probably been mapped a little better (like, Trial of Magneto could have been omitted from Reign of X so fans could just read the paperback immediately after Hellfire Gala). But I don’t make these decisions.

And that wraps up this phase of our journey. After Inferno, Jonathan Hickman left the X-Men, so his oversight of the X-verse has come to an end. The Reign of X series does continue beyond this point, but I’m going to save that reading order for later, when we have more trade paperbacks on store shelves.

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