Review: X-Men God Loves Man Kills by Chris Claremont

X-Men: God Loves, Man KillsX-Men: God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Early Thoughts:

Lately, I have been reading many “X-Men” comics, especially the ones from the 70s and 80s and I have stumbled upon this unique little story. Since I had heard so many good things about this story, I decided to check it out myself and what I got was probably the darkest, most disturbing, most engaging and most brilliant piece of work I have ever read from any comic! This story is called “God Loves Man Kills” and it was an “X-Men” story written by Chris Claremont along with artwork by Brent Anderson, which was created without the constraints of the comic industry. So expect some really shocking moments awaiting you in this volume!


What is the story?

Basically, this story is about Reverend William Stryker, a well respected religious man who has done many televangelists programming around the country. Unfortunately, William Stryker is actually a truly evil man who wants nothing more than to exterminate the mutant race by sending out his assassins, the Purifiers, to eliminate anyone who is a mutant while preaching to the world about how mutants have no place in the world. So, when the X-Men find out about William Stryker’s devious plan in exterminating the mutant race, they have to do everything in their power to stop William Stryker’s plan from succeeding!


What I loved about this comic:

The story itself: Oh my goodness! After I had heard how harsh this story was, I was a little reluctant in reading this story. However, once I had read this story, I was totally blown away by the truly effective storytelling this story had to offer! Chris Claremont has certainly done an excellent job at comparing the X-Men’s situation in being mistreated by the public because they are different from the humans to how the minority community is being treated in society as they are also mistreated because of their skin colors or their different religious affiliations. Even though this idea has always been the norm for the “X-Men,” Chris Claremont had made this story truly memorable as it was one of the few “X-Men” stories to actually capture the realistic and harsh view of racism and prejudice in our society in a very compelling way. I will admit that there were some very harsh and disturbing moments in this book, especially with the opening scene of two mutant children being killed by the Purifiers and being hung by the swing sets to be shown as an example about what would happen to other mutants like them (personally, anything that deals with innocent children being killed for no reason is disturbing to me) and it is moments like that that really makes you think about the disturbing nature of racism and prejudice. I also loved the way that the X-Men not only try to save mutant kind from threats like William Stryker, but how they try to explain to the audience about the importance of being different and how no matter how different you are from other people, you are still human and that message was brought out in a very compelling way that made me root for the X-Men all the way. I also loved the way that Chris Claremont had written the villain William Stryker. William Stryker was not written as your usual “trying to take over the world” villain, but he was written as a villain who had a past that will horrify you and shaped what he has become and uses religion as a way to exterminate a race that he believes is evil. Also, the fact that William Stryker was a normal human being, but was able to cause harm to the X-Men made him a truly formidable villain in the “X-Men” universe.

Brent Anderson’s artwork: I loved Brent Anderson’s artwork because it has that retro 70s/early 80s look that I have always enjoyed looking at when I was small. I loved how Brent Anderson’s artwork has that scratchy look and it really complements the story extremely well and captures the dark scenes in this story, especially with the opening scene of the two mutant children being killed and while this event takes place during the night, you can see the blue colorings giving an eerie feel to this scene.


What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

Since this story was written without the advisory of the comic industry and is not really within the X-Men continuity, there are many disturbing and harsh elements throughout this book. There are many deaths throughout this story, especially with the disturbing opening scene of the two mutant children being killed and hung by the swing sets. Also, there is some strong language in this book that might offend some readers, especially since they are used in a way to describe how certain words can hurt people if used in an offensive manner. Also, this story is a bit too dark for younger teens since it deals with racism and prejudice in a very realistic and disturbing manner and because of this, this story is often not really counted as apart of the X-Men stories although it inspired a movie and some stories in the future, however, it is one of the most popular and well-written stories ever created.


Final Thoughts:

All in all, despite the very dark nature of this story, “God Loves Man Kills” will remain to be one of the most inspirational stories ever created! It was one of the few stories that actually shows the true dark side of racism and prejudice and even though there were some harsh moments in this story, those moments clearly show us the true nature of racism and prejudice and I think that this story will always stand the test of time no matter what generation reads it.

My Rating?

5 pows

Review: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix SagaX-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Flashback:

To be honest, I actually first heard of the famous “The Dark Phoenix Saga” through an episode of the 90s “X-Men” cartoon series and that was probably my favorite episode of the entire series! Now, I had the opportunity to read this story in its original comic form and I was totally blown away! Chris Claremont had a huge reputation of being the best “X-Men” writer in history and after reading this saga, I am starting to believe that and John Byrne’s illustrations clearly define the true art of this exciting saga that defined “X-Men” history!


What is the story?

After the X-Men defeated Proteus, they head back to New York to their secret headquarters and they are surprised to see Professor Xavier back at the headquarters. However, the X-Men will soon realize that a secret and powerful organization known as the Hellfire Club is watching their every move and they have plans for Jean Grey and her phoenix powers! Can the X-Men defeat this powerful organization of mutants? Read this comic to find out!


What I liked about this book:


Chris Claremont’s writing:
Oh my goodness! After I heard that Chris Claremont was known as the author who started the popularity of the X-Men, I just had to check out the “Dark Phoenix Saga” for myself and I was astonished at what I read! I loved the way that Chris Claremont provided a detailed plot about how Jean Grey has to cope with a terrible power inside of her and how the X-Men have to come to terms of possibly destroying her to save the universe. I also loved how much emotion Chris Claremont put into this volume as the other X-Men obviously did not want to kill her and it was great seeing the close relationship that Cyclops and Jean Grey share with each other. I also loved how Chris Claremont gives the audience enough information regarding the last few issues to help us understand the story much better and I will admit that the first time I have read this comic; I was a bit frustrated with all the words on one page. But then I realized that the deep and detailed plot of the story on each page actually became more interesting as the comic goes on and it really helped me understand the characters even better. I also loved the new roster of the X-Men which included Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Beast and it was even more exciting seeing the introduction of a young Kitty Pryde and Dazzler!


John Byrne’s illustrations:
I just loved John Byrne’s illustrations in this comic book! John Byrne gives us an old school styled look to the original X-Men (Wolverine’s signature yellow and blue outfit, Nightcrawler’s black and white outfit and Colossus’ red and yellow outfit) and it just reverts me back to the good old days when most comic books were illustrated in that old school way! There were so many memorable images in this comic such as Jean Grey reverting to the Dark Phoenix and you can see that she is truly beauty, but always has a frightening expression on her face as she destroys everything in her path. The image that truly stood out the most for me was the image of Wolverine being stuck in the sewers and he states:


“Okay, suckers—you’ve taken yer best shot! NOW IT’S MY TURN!!”

This image was so memorable and brilliantly done to me because it truly showed Wolverine looking so menacing when the Hellfire Club tried to kill him and this image was a inspiration for Joss Whedon’s run of “Astonishing X-Men” when the same thing was done to Kitty Pryde. John Byrne does an excellent job at making the characters extremely detailed from making the rivers have ripples to presenting shocked looks on the characters’ faces especially the X-Men’s shock at discovering the Dark Phoenix.


What made me feel uncomfortable about this comic:

Probably the only problem with this comic is that since it was written around the late 70s to early 80s, there tends to be too much dialogue and explanations of the previous issues filling up the page and many readers who are new to the X-Men franchise might be frustrated with reading all this extra information about the situation, just like I was the first time. Sometimes it slows the story down than necessary, but at the same time, it gives the audience enough information about the situation at hand.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “The Dark Phoenix Saga” is the saga that truly defined the true storytelling of the “X-Men” franchise and is currently on my top favorite “X-Men” storylines list along with Joss Whedon’s “Astonishing X-Men” run and hopefully, the current “X-Men” would have the same drama and wonderful storytelling that “The Dark Phoenix Saga” had.

My Rating?

5 pows