This has been a set that has long been a dream of mine. Batman is my favorite single character in comics; the X-Men are my favorite team. I don't know how much of that is due to the fact that, when I first got into comics, X-Men, especially from the Bronze Age, were "out of reach" expensive. GS #1? X-Men #94? Yeah, ok. Not going to happen.
But, as I slowly filled out my collection, I tended to buy more and more copies of X-Men...starting with the "cheap" #150-ish to #260. I think my first Byrne X-Men was #141 that I paid $7 for from the Land of Nevawuz in 1990, I believe. Sadly, X-Men got really hot again in 1991, and stores jacked up their prices accordingly. I wish I had known then what I know now...the $3-$4 or so I spent for copies of #183, 178, 194, etc, still aren't worth that. Sigh.
In any event, I started to buy earlier and earlier, and by the time of eBay in the late 90s, I could finally afford "the big ones." And, by that time, the entire market took a dump, so it was a great time to be buying. I don't remember the first #94 I ever bought...I know I TRIED to buy one in a Scott's Valley comic store in 1995-1996, but that guy would not budge off of his mid-grade copy at $150 (more than OPG, for those wondering.)
But, somewhere in the early 2000s, I completed this run, and kept buying and buying and buying, focusing more on the Byrne and earlier run, and stopping buying the vastly overprinted #150-up....except, of course, the keys, which I can never get enough of. I probably have a long box just of Mutant Massacre (#210-213.)
In any event...in the last couple of years, I've wanted to translate that into a 9.8 set, signed, at least by Claremont, since Byrne won't sign, and Cockrum is no longer with us. Here, then, are the results of the last couple of years of effort:
So, I have a #127, #130, and #140 on their way back from CGC as we speak...so that makes 30 of the 50 different books.
#94 is going to be expensive, but not too difficult when I can gather the $$. Of course, I'm missing most of the big guns...#96-#101 especially. They are tough, tough books in 9.8, especially #97-#99.
And, of course, some of the more expensive, like #104, 107, 109, 120, 129 are also missing. I have a #141 that should have graded 9.8, but a grader saw something that wasn't there, and graded it 9.4. It will go back for review at some point.
But, hey...60% there. Of course, I also have a ton of 9.4s and 9.6s as a result, but hey..at least they're not worthless! And...I do have some of the most difficult books, like #114 and #116, which are a BEAR in 9.8. Just hideously difficult. They have some of the lowest 9.8 counts of the entire run, so...yay!
When I get the others, I'll post them.