This article is from the X-Men
Comic Books FAQ, by Kate the Short (email@example.com) with
numerous contributions by others.
10 Commonly Used Abbreviations And Terms
Abbreviations for discussing the various titles are hardly standardized,
but if you need some the following are all serviceable and properly
behaved, well-suited to be inserted into any needful post:
AF = Alpha Flight
Excal = Excalibur
GenX = Generation X
NM = New Mutants
Ultimate / UltXM = Ultimate X-Men
Uncanny / UXM = Uncanny X-Men
XFac = X-Factor
XFor = X-Force
Unlim / XMU = X-Men Unlimited
X-Men / New XM = (New) X-Men
X-Treme / XXM = X-Treme X-Men
In general, the main confusion comes between Uncanny X-Men and X-Men.
Uncanny was originally called X-Men, then changed its title. Up until a
few years ago, Uncanny was just called "X-Men," there being no actual
title called "X-Men" to confuse it with. To make things even more fun,
X-Men was renamed New X-Men when X-Treme X-Men debuted. If you're
talking about Uncanny, use "Uncanny" or "UXM" consistently and clearly
in your post. Similarly, call New X-Men just "NXM," and call X-Treme
X-Men "X-Treme." You'll get used to it as you go along.
Another thing to remember is that xbooks is a newsgroup, while the X-
books are the comics. To help prevent confusion, this FAQ recommends
calling the comics X-titles, and calling the newsgroup racmx (pronounced
The Net is a place of lazy typists. Here, then, is a glossary of some
terms commonly used around the 'Net, as well as some more specific to
* FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. You're reading one. We hope you're
* 616: This is an identifier from Alan Davis' stint on Excalibur.
Roma, in her role as the omniversal guardian, and the people
working under her adopted a numbering system for the multiple
parallel Earths that exist throughout crosstime. The mainstream
Marvel Universe and its associated continuity are numbered "616":
Earth 616, Captain Britain 616, and so forth. Often used when
comparing the mainstream Marvel continuity to that of alternate
* AOA: Age of Apocalypse, Marvel's 1996 alternate-reality crossover
for the X-titles. You will sometimes see references to the AOA
versions of characters as AOA-Rogue or AOA-Jean.
* canon: A term taken from the humanities, meaning the approved
sources (or of them). The newsgroup considers only the comics and
the OHOTMUDE canon; other things like letters pages and Wizard
articles are considered enlightening but not Truth. Collectible
card games are considered extremely unreliable. Your milage may
vary, but that is racmx custom.
* Counter-X: A radical retooling of the titles X-Man, Generation X,
and X-Force that only lasted one year. Only X-Force survived, and
it was radically retooled a year later.
* dino: First used, puportedly, by the irascible Mike Ellis, "dino"
is a term that he supposedly borrowed from the mudding environment
of the Internet. It is now used as an identifier for X-readers who
feel more at home with X-titles the less grim, gritty, and pocket-
stuffed the costumes are.
* fanboy: One who must insanely consume all possible crossovers and
tie-ins to their dedicated icon, and who cannot accept that any
other comic company could be putting out characters as totally
cosmic as the ones they collect.
* DOFP or DOF*: Days of Future Past, and its related storylines Days
of Future Present, Days of Future Yet to Come, Days of Future
Tense, and Wolverine: Days of Future Past. The first DOFP was the
original (UXM #141-142), and it set up the others. DOFPresent was
an Annuals crossover, the next two were Excalibur stories, and the
last was a Wolverine limited series. All of them deal with a
dystopian future where Sentinels rule, and DOFP is where Rachel
Summers and the Hounds came from.
* IMHO: In My Humble (or Honest) Opinion
* IIRC: If I Recall Correctly
* LS: limited series, sometimes known as a mini-series.
* Lurker: An individual who reads the newsgroup, but for some reason
chooses not to post.
* nimbo: A person who is both a ninja and a bimbo. An invaluable term
in discussing any book drawn by Jim Lee.
* OHOTMU: Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Once upon a time,
the OHOTMU was the penultimate source of Marvel trivia, history,
characters, and backgrounds. Unfortunately, its recent incarnation
skipped out on all the background stuff and just gave us fighting
stats, which sorely annoyed the old OHOTMU fans. The OHOTMU was the
Official Marvel guidebook on what characters could do what and why,
and is usually invoked as a reference to settle various arguments.
Very few long-time Marvel readers will accept the newest version of
the OHOTMU as more definitive than the older two, however. The
older one is also known as the OHOTMUDE (for Deluxe Edition).
* PAD: Peter A. David, writer of stuff, who was once the writer on
X-Factor (#70-#89). An infrequent poster on rac.misc, he no longer
hangs out on racmx.
* rac: rec.arts.comics, now broken into many smaller groups,
including rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. Sometimes done as r.a.c.
"rac" is sometime used as an abbreviation of the term "rec.arts.
comics" in any instance; like "rac.marvel.xbooks". Often used the
same way as "rac.*", below. Newsgroups abbreviations are often
capitalized or not depending on the whim of the typist; "RAC" =
"rac" = "R.A.C.", for instance.
* rac.*: Used as a general abbreviation meaning "all of the
* racmu: rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe, where Spiderman, FF, New
Warriors etc. belong.
* racmx: rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks.
* racx: Abbreviation of rec.arts.comics.xbooks, the original
incarnation of racmx.
* rac'ers: Netters who frequent any of the rac. groups.
* retcon: Short for "retroactive continuity." For the full story on
retcon, see the full rac.* FAQ, posted montly on rac.info. A retcon
is the act of a writer "squeezing" something into past storylines
when no evidence of it at all existed when those storylines were
The best example of this in the X-titles is Cable. When Liefeld and
Simonson created Cable, he had never been seen, mentioned, or
listed in any Marvel comic before. Suddenly, he appeared, and every
mutant character who had been around forever was saying, "Ah,
Cable, haven't seen you around for a while." Well, duh, he hadn't
been invented yet. This mass infusion of history which had never
existed before is a classic retcon. racmx'ers also sometimes call
Jean Grey's "resurrection" in place of being Phoenix a retcon.
While "retcon" is usually used in a derisive, insulting sense, this
is more due to the fact that most retcons are the tools of
modestly-skilled writers working under deadline with an improper
grounding in continuity and thus end up being badly handled, as
opposed to any inherent fault in the idea of the retcon.
* troll: A newsgroup poster who posts trivial or inflammatory
material in order to irritate other posters and, hopefully, trick
them into making foolish spectacles of themselves. Avoid responding
to obvious trolls at all costs, no matter how tempting a target
they make themselves.
* xbooks: A common abbreviation of rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. To
keep from being confused with the actual comics themselves,
racmxers are encouraged to refer to the newsgroup as racmx, and
the comics as the X-titles.
* X:TAS: A quick abbreviation for X-Men: the Animated Series. Can
also be used to set apart XTAS characters from their "normal" comic
counterparts: Rogue-TAS versus Rogue, for instance.
* YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary.