REVIEW: ‘X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills-Extended Cut,’ Issue 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills-Extended Cut

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills-Extended Cut #1, written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Brent Anderson, colored by Steve Oliff, and lettered by Tom Orzechowski, is published by Marvel Comics. This issue reprints the first half of the X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel that was first published in 1982; a new story by Claremont and Anderson serves as a framing device. The X-Men face their greatest threat yet as Reverend William Stryker leads a crusade against mutant-kind, convinced they are an affront to God. When Professor Xavier is kidnapped by Stryker’s Purifiers, the X-Men must join forces with their longtime enemy Magneto.

God Loves, Man Kills remains one of the most influential X-Men stories, over 30 years since its debut. A large part of that is due to Claremont’s writing; he helped shape the X-Men into the characters they are today. He manages to balance the fantastic with the human elements, such as Kitty Pryde losing her temper and starting to phase. More often than not, all of the characters feel human. They laugh, they love, and they feel. Various writers, including Jonathan Hickman, have taken Claremont lessons to heart while writing X-Men stories.

The characters who get the most focus are Kitty and Magneto. Kitty plays a huge role in the new opening sequence, as she finds a girl who Magneto befriended and tells her the “story” of Stryker’s battle with the X-Men. In the graphic novel proper, she is willing to fight for what she believes in, even getting into a fistfight with a boy who backs Stryker’s crusade. When Professor X is believed to be dead, Kitty lashes out at her friend Illyana, before ultimately collapsing in grief. Similarly, Magneto is the first major character to appear and has a rather sobering moment when he finds two of the Purifiers’ victims. Though both characters are on the opposite side of the hero/villain spectrum, both have pride and empathy for their people. The fact that both characters are Jewish only adds depth to that.

Anderson brings a human flair to the X-Men in this story. They’re only in their costumes in two sequences, and it helps to underline that for all their powers and skill our heroes are only human. He also has a knack for facial expressions; characters’ faces twist in horror upon receiving bad news, light up in joy, or narrow in fury. Comics are a visual medium and these visuals help sell the human element of the book.

Rounding out the artistic talent is Oliff on colors. This book uses mostly dark hues, which lends a sense of foreboding to the proceedings. Nowhere is this more apparent than the opening sequence. We see two young mutants running from the Purifiers in the dead of night, and one of them is gunned down. His sister’s face is speckled with red, and the flash of the Purifiers’ guns gives off a harsh yellow light. It makes for an extremely unsettling, and horrifying opening but also helps sell the stakes of the story.

X-Men: God Love, Man Kills-Extended Cut #1 is a new look at one of the most influential, important X-Men stories. Readers looking to get into the X-Men will want to pick this issue up, as it’s a perfect distillation of why these heroes continue to endure-especially in these times.

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills-Extended Cut #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

X-Men God Loves Man Kills
5

TL;DR

X-Men: God Love, Man Kills-Extended Cut #1 is a new look at one of the most influential, important X-Men stories. Readers looking to get into the X-Men will want to pick this issue up, as it’s a perfect distillation of why these heroes continue to endure-especially in these times.