-= REC.ARTS.COMICS.MARVEL.XBOOKS =-
Frequently Asked Questions
Version 2001.01, last updated January 2001
Compilation Copyright 2001 by Katharine E. Hahn
SEND ADDITIONS / CHANGES / DEAD LINKS / MOVED LINKS / UPDATES TO:
Kate the Short, firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)
Subject: Table of Contents
If your newsreader has a search/go-to command, you can quickly page
through this FAQ by searching for any of the Contents as spelled. A
plus sign in parentheses (+) indicates a change to the contents listed
since the last FAQ update.
The RACMX Glossary:
ABBREVIATIONS FOR MONTHLY MARVEL COMICS
COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS
Subject: ABBREVIATIONS FOR MONTHLY MARVEL COMICS
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
Cable = Cable
DP = Deadpool
Excal = Excalibur
GenX = Generation X
MutX = Mutant X
NM = New Mutants
Unlim/XMU = X-Men Unlimited
UXM = Uncanny X-Men
Wolv/Wolvie = Wolverine
XFac = X-Factor
XFor = X-Force
X-Men/Unadj = X-Men
In general, the main confusion comes between Uncanny X-Men and X-Men,
mainly because up until a few years ago, Uncanny was just called "X-Men,"
there being no actual title called "X-Men" to confuse it with. If you're
talking about Uncanny, use it consistently and clearly in your post--the
other possibility is calling X-Men "unadjectived X-Men," but nobody really
wants to write "unadjectived," so give yourself a break and call Uncanny
Uncanny (or UXM), and X-Men just X-Men. You'll get used to it as you go
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, or to put the dash "-" in X-books when talking about the
comics as opposed to the newsgroup. You may also call the newsgroup racmx
Subject: COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS
The Net is a place of lazy typists. In their perpetual search to say as
much as possible with as few keystrokes as necessary, many abbreviations,
terms, and words that are quite mystifying to the uninitiated are used.
Here, then, is a glossary of some terms commonly used around the 'Net, as
well as some more specific to xbooks:
* FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. You're reading one. We hope you're
* :-) : A smiley. Can appear in many different forms or directions, but
the basic idea is that of a smiling face, turned on its side. Used to
express a gentle joke or "no hard feelings" on the net, where the
lack of body language and voice tone often leads to misunderstandings.
(g), shorthand for "grin", and (s), "smile", are also used.
* 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 timelines.
* AOA: Age of Apocalypse, Marvel's 1996 alternate-reality crossover for
* BOB: Bob Harras, former group editor of the X-titles, current editor
in chief at Marvel, and source of much annoyance to some xbookers due
to his perceived ineffective ways. The term BOB apparently had its
origins when far too many xbookers watched too many episodes of "Twin
Peaks." Many people on xbooks differentiate between BOB, the symbolic
icon of All That is Bad in the X-titles Since (whenever--fill in
your favorite date), and Bob, the hard-working editor who presumably
is doing the best job he can under the present circumstances.
* canon: A term taken from the humanities, meaning the approved sources
(or of them). Xbooks convention 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
* 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 was the original (UXM #141-
142), and 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.
* IMO: In My Opinion
* 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.
* MCP: Marvel Comics Presents, a now-extinct bimonthly title which
featured four eight-page stories about different characters every
* 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 is the
Official Marvel guidebook on what characters can 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 at xbooks after quitting X-Factor.
* pastries: The traditional prize for any xbooker who gets his/her name
in the subject of a post by another user.
* rac: rec.arts.comics, now broken into many smaller groups, including
rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. Sometimes done as r.a.c. "rac" is
sometimes 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
* rac.*: Used as a general abbreviation meaning "all of the
* racm: rec.arts.comics.misc, the main group of the rac. hierarchy.
* racmp: The current abbreviation for rec.arts.comics.marketplace,
which can't be racm because that's .misc. Also rac.mp.
* 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 written.
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 appears, and every mutant
character who had been around forever is 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
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.
* The Sledgehammer of Angst: Properly, "Fabian Nicieza's Sledgehammer
of Angst! (TM)", this term originated in David Henry's infrequent
reviews of X-titles on racx, and refers to the typically heavy-handed
way in which that writer of X-Men tended to lay on the plot troubles
and theatrics. While Nicieza laid down the Sledgehammer recently due
to a change in his writing style, the term has entered general use in
xbooks and is included here for that reason.
* 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
* xbooks: A common abbreviation of rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. To
keep from being confused with the actual comics themselves, xbookers
are encouraged to refer to the newsgroup as xbooks, and the comics as
* xbookers: Netters who frequent xbooks.
* XTAS: 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.
Kate the Short * http://www.enteract.com/~katew/