In 2019 Shelfdust asked over a hundred comic book critics, podcasters, vloggers and commentators to pick their personal, subjective favourite ‘first’ comic book issues of all time. From their choices we counted down the top fifty entries, which you can find here! But we’re not leaving it there. Now the list is over and we know which comics made the list, we’ve invited critic and podcaster Matt Lune to host a weekly show right here on Shelfdust! Each week Matt will be sitting down with a different comic critic to look at every comic which charted into the top fifty, one issue at a time.

This week it’s time to do it all again… again, as we look at the comic which ended up in 7th place: X-Men #1 by Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Scott Williams Jim Rosas and Tom Orzechowski

Announced as “the dawn of a new era!”, the first issue of X-Men by Claremont and Lee changed everything for everyone. The X-Men – who were reassuring soap opera figures – suddenly turned into blunt-force action heroes through the mighty penmanship of Jim Lee. Even as Claremont allowed the characters time to ruminate on their pasts, Lee was dragging them off into the here-and-now, their prickly creative partnership setting off all kinds of problems down the line whilst filling the issue with a taut, wiry energy. This week Claire Napier is back to talk all about it!

The episode can be found here. If you like Spotify then head here, or you can find it on Apple by searching for Shelfdust Presents. For a direct download, you can get your hands on the episode here!

Come back next week….. as Matt will be talking to august (in the wake of dawn) about All-Star Superman #1!


Claire Napier is a writer and editor, and has been published by The Guardian, ComicsAlliance, and of course at WomenWriteAboutComics, for which she served as Editor in Chief for several years. You can find her on Twitter hereyou can find her website here, and you can buy her comic Dash Dearborne here!

Matt Lune is a critic and podcaster who has written for publications including PanelXPanel, The MNT and Multiversity. You can find him on Twitter here!


This podcast is made possible thanks to the Shelfdust Patreon page! To find out more, head to our Patreon page here!