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X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

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The Uncanny X-Men. Magneto, master of magnetism. The bitterest of enemies for years. But now they must join forces against a new adversary who threatens them all and the entire world besides... in the name of God. One of Chris Claremont's most powerful and influential stories, the partial basis for "X-Men 2," is reprinted here for the first time in years. Collects Marvel G The Uncanny X-Men. Magneto, master of magnetism. The bitterest of enemies for years. But now they must join forces against a new adversary who threatens them all and the entire world besides... in the name of God. One of Chris Claremont's most powerful and influential stories, the partial basis for "X-Men 2," is reprinted here for the first time in years. Collects Marvel Graphic Novel #5: God Loves, Man Kills.


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The Uncanny X-Men. Magneto, master of magnetism. The bitterest of enemies for years. But now they must join forces against a new adversary who threatens them all and the entire world besides... in the name of God. One of Chris Claremont's most powerful and influential stories, the partial basis for "X-Men 2," is reprinted here for the first time in years. Collects Marvel G The Uncanny X-Men. Magneto, master of magnetism. The bitterest of enemies for years. But now they must join forces against a new adversary who threatens them all and the entire world besides... in the name of God. One of Chris Claremont's most powerful and influential stories, the partial basis for "X-Men 2," is reprinted here for the first time in years. Collects Marvel Graphic Novel #5: God Loves, Man Kills.

30 review for X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Outstanding story!!! This is a graphic novel in the sense that it’s not a TPB collecting comic book issues previously published separately but it has been always published as a whole book. Also, this particular edition includes sketches by Neal Adams who was intended to be the original illustrator for the book, moreover, some interviews with the creative team. Creative Team: Writer: Chris Claremont Illustrator: Brent Anderson Colors: Steve Oliff DEUTERONOMY 17:2-5 Why? Because you have no right t Outstanding story!!! This is a graphic novel in the sense that it’s not a TPB collecting comic book issues previously published separately but it has been always published as a whole book. Also, this particular edition includes sketches by Neal Adams who was intended to be the original illustrator for the book, moreover, some interviews with the creative team. Creative Team: Writer: Chris Claremont Illustrator: Brent Anderson Colors: Steve Oliff DEUTERONOMY 17:2-5 Why? Because you have no right to live. This is easily one of the X-Men strongest stories ever told. Obviously, The X-Men has several popular storylines like Days of Future Past, The Dark Phoenix Saga, the Age of Apocalypse, Inferno, etc… and the list would go on and on, and each story is indeed prime examples of the strength in this title of Marvel Comics, but I think that this one, God Loves, Man Kills rises as something quite unique. Since, here, the X-Men aren’t facing super-villains, alien conquerors, interdimensional demons, not even Sentinels, but the most dangerous kind of beings ever found on this planet… …the humans. Normal humans, without any kind of super-powers, but full of hatred, racism and intolerance… …and using religion to validate their actions. Reverend William Stryker, leader of the Stryker Crusade, a televangelism movement which focused its ministry against the mutants, manipulating the public opinion, but even worse, creating a secret paramilitary force with the “holy” mission of killing all mutants and their sympathizers, and they won’t stop at nothing… …not even murdering innocent children, which they actually do, in the story! It’s very likely that if you have watched the X-Men films, you are familiarized with the character of William Stryker, but as a member of US Army, well, the comics character has a military background, but I’m sure that showing a televangelist as an evil villain in a super-hero movie could be kind of controvertial, so they changed it, but here, in the original graphic novel, Stryker is indeed a televangelist justifying his unspeakable crimes with the excuse that he is just doing God’s work. Imagine, Adolf Hitler meets Jimmy Swaggart. And obviously, while the Stryker Crusade already started its extermination raids, it’s imperative to deal with The X-Men as soon as possible to ensure its success about “cleansing” the humanity. MUTANT ROLL CALL Human?! You dare call that thing… human?!? In this graphic novel the X-Men team is: Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine (in his brown suit, yes!), Colossus, Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde (that she was using the “Ariel” codename at that moment), along the Professor Charles Xavier and Illyana Rasputin (Colossus’ sister but before she’d get her “Magik” appearance, so she isn’t a member of the X-Men but just a student in Xavier’s School). But the X-Men will get an unexpected ally in this story… …Magneto! Since, they all are facing a common enemy, and both sides sweared to protect mutantkind. Each side has used different methods to uphold that vow, but after abrupt developments in the cruel conflict, their ways begin to blend in worrisome outcomes. The role of Kitty Pryde in this story has double impact, since she isn’t only a mutant, but she is Jew, so she knows about dealing with hatred without motives… ...and without limits. God help us all.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kemper

    Treasure of the Rubbermaids 11: Generation X The on-going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years. Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths. Now that there are umpteen million versions of X-Men out there in comics, cartoons, movies and just as many spin-offs, it’s kind of hard to remembe Treasure of the Rubbermaids 11: Generation X The on-going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years. Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths. Now that there are umpteen million versions of X-Men out there in comics, cartoons, movies and just as many spin-offs, it’s kind of hard to remember that there was a time when there was just one comic featuring the mutants being published by Marvel. Even more amazing is that from the mid ’70s into the early ’90s, The Uncanny X-Men was written by one guy, Chris Claremont. That’s a run that will probably never be matched again, and he turned a small-time Marvel title into one of the most popular comics of its time. He also wrote classic storylines like the Dark Phoenix saga and Days of Future Past that helped change comics from kid’s stuff to the kind of stories that would keep generations of nerds in their parents’ basements while they zealously guarded their Mylar wrapped treasures and bitched about movie casting on the Internet. One of the things that Claremont did well was to play up the outcast nature of the mutants, and then tie that into stories of bigotry and persecution. This graphic novel from 1982 is a great example of that, and it’s an extremely adult storyline that came out several years before Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns got released and credited with making comics ‘mature’. A religious leader named Stryker has launched a national campaign against mutants. While he wages a political and propaganda war to strip them of their rights, Stryker has secret paramilitary teams targeting and killing mutants. Stryker also has a plan that involves kidnapping Professor Xavier. However, his brutal tactics have brought about a temporary truce between Magneto and the X-Men as they work together to save the Professor and stop Stryker. The storyline here is surprisingly sophisticated and dark for it’s time with the book beginning with the vicious murders of a couple of mutant children. Stryker’s efforts to win over the American public with his media campaign and the effect it has seems all to realistic and chilling. Unfortunately, Claremont’s dialogue hadn’t caught up to the rest of the ahead-of-its-time comic story telling so there’s lots of exposition along with a side order of cheese. Still, this was an above average comic that gave a taste of where the genre would be going in the future. It held up well enough that elements of it would be used twenty years later in the second X-Men movie

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    From the opening panel itself, you'd know this one is NOT going to be a child's play. * Racism, (or Speciesism?) * Hunting mutants, * Religious blasphemy, * Satanism, * Murdering children, * Genocide, * Fear. This one got it all. The story takes place in US of A where couple of terrorists with mutant powers exists and have carried out some attacks. People are getting scared and they turn to a dangerous man: William Stryker, A religious fanatic who pretty much shouts at the camera about how they n From the opening panel itself, you'd know this one is NOT going to be a child's play. * Racism, (or Speciesism?) * Hunting mutants, * Religious blasphemy, * Satanism, * Murdering children, * Genocide, * Fear. This one got it all. The story takes place in US of A where couple of terrorists with mutant powers exists and have carried out some attacks. People are getting scared and they turn to a dangerous man: William Stryker, A religious fanatic who pretty much shouts at the camera about how they need to stop the mutant kind as they are Satan's tools for Armageddon. Well, any sensible person can see through the bullshit. But fear has clouded people's rationality. Dark, isn't it? Thank god it's all just a comic and not some disturbing reflection of current affairs. On the lighter side, Every single Magneto's entry is epic! The repeated religious texture of the plot kind of gets a bit boring towards the end. Nevertheless it's one helluva story!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019

    This is the comic book that inspired some of the important elements featured in the groundwork for the arguably best X-Men film from the first trilogy franchise, X2. This is why reading God Loves, Man Kills will certainly be recognizable to a reader who has seen the said film adaptation first. With a total of sixty-four pages and illustrated by artist John Byrne, Chris Claremont took the task of tackling hard issues such as racial discrimination and religious persecution in this story. As a lapse This is the comic book that inspired some of the important elements featured in the groundwork for the arguably best X-Men film from the first trilogy franchise, X2. This is why reading God Loves, Man Kills will certainly be recognizable to a reader who has seen the said film adaptation first. With a total of sixty-four pages and illustrated by artist John Byrne, Chris Claremont took the task of tackling hard issues such as racial discrimination and religious persecution in this story. As a lapsed Catholic from a developing Asian country, I'm inherently curious of how fictional mediums handle social issues with meaningful messages so this particular comic book got me intrigued. Its premise had a lot of promise and potential but I would also assert that the delivery can certainly get awkward in some of the pages. The connections it aimed to make is one concerning that of prejudice against mutants which could be liken to that of racial intolerance. When this was written, the civil rights movement being pushed through at that time was the plight of the African-American community (much like the circumstances in X2 reflect the gay rights movement). There was even that moment seven pages in to this comic book where Kitty Pryde, after standing up to a man who was a "mutantphobe", was reprimanded by an older female black friend. This is when Kitty lashes out at her, claiming that she would be more furious if that man used the N-word against her. The book actually does spell out the actual word, much to my shock. I was just as shocked with the opening two pages where we see two black children being gunned down because they were born mutants. Claremont quickly establishes early on that this story is not going to be an easy walk-in-the-park. It was written after all to question and challenge the brutality, hatred and ignorance that people of color have suffered, and how much they have strived to fight and rise against it. To do so, he likens that to the prejudiced situations mutantkind itself faces daily from humans, and the X-Men's role in standing up against this blatant discrimination. To represent that opposing side, Claremont also creates the character of Revered Stryker who is hell-bent on purging mutants, believing that they are impure and unnatural, and therefore deserve to die. As an affront to God Himself, mutants are the scourge of the earth that Stryker and his followers have to cleanse. The terrifying implications of a religious order (particularly that of a Christian sect) using brute force and moral panic to advocate and sustain their crusades are uncomfortably familiar, especially if you have my background. However, as much as I enjoyed the honesty and appreciated the straightforward and cringe-worthy delivery of such a social issue, a part of me also doubts that God Loves, Man Kills has aged well. If you pick this up now, you might find it offensive or pandering, depending on your upbringing and personal politics. Personally, I can accept and even commend the effort to discuss a social issue within the confines of fiction and in a comic medium at that. It certainly can give weight to said medium as a source of insight and meaningful discussion (much like Alan Moore's Watchmen which satirizes the symbol and meaning of superheroes in a world where they were real and have participated and influenced certain milestones in human history). Nevertheless, using the civil rights movement of the African-American community and equating it with the struggles of a fictional group such as the X-Men and mutants in general can seem like a manipulation of sentiment and emotion. if not a disservice to the former group's own genuine hardships during the time this was written. Is it too far-fetched, or is it going too far to liken and compare both parties? That is not for me to say conclusively. This is a rather polarizing story for anyone who has read it. One can argue, however, that X-Men is supposed to be a representation of any diverse and oppressed group of people who wish to have equal rights with the majority. That's how I choose to view them and since I don't live in America and can't understand the nuances or feel the aftermath of the Africa-American civil rights movement, I can't make criticisms concerning whether or not God Loves, Man Kills gave it a dignified portrayal or not. What I can give a more informed opinion of is the treatment of religious groups for this comic book specifically with Reverend Stryker. As a character, he was completely despicable and even irredeemable to the very end. I would argue that this has been a constant misrepresentation of the Christian community in general. Though there are fanatics both in the past and the present who force-feed their own set of beliefs especially those that condemn and persecute minorities of race, sexual orientation, etc., it's bordering on lazy writing to utilize such a one-dimensional character that also reinforces an unfortunate stereotype. A good story requires a villain to serve as the evil force which the heroes must fight and defeat; but an excellent one requires a villain whose intentions and motives may be disagreeable but who should be just as well-developed (and perhaps even slightly sympathetic) as the protagonists in order to make a compelling conflict work which then make an emotionally satisfying resolution. In this sense, God Loves, Man Kills fails to deliver because the issue was tackled one-sided and interpreted in black-and-white terms. Reverend Stryker was simply unrelatable. Speaking of believable villains, Magneto does take part in this story as an ally and whose help is something that the X-Men reluctantly accepts. They have a common enemy in Stryker and with Magneto in the pages, Stryker's flaws become more pronounced that it's very easy to choose to the devil you know. In this case, it's Magneto, and he is almost always single-handedly incapacitating the rest of Stryker's "purifiers"; these armed men and women who are avid mutantphobes and are unquestioningly torturing and killing mutants. I was really happy with Magneto's participation in this story as well as the pay-off in the end when he once again argues that humankind cannot be trusted and that the X-Men should stand with him and not waste time protecting a species that denounces them. It was Cyclops who maintains that peaceful co-existence is still possible between their kind and the humans, emphasizing that (and I will use a Once and Future King reference here because I just finished reading said novel last week, and the film did use it as both Xavier and Magneto's favorite book) 'Right should be established through Right and not Might.' It is notable though that Professor X almost wanted to go with Magneto: Y'all should know by now that I SHIP IT and that I always look forward to referencing just how much Prof X and Mags LOVE EACH OTHER BEYOND ANY OF US CAN COMPREHEND, so let me grab this opportunity and talk about Cherik for a moment. It's interesting that Charles almost concedes and takes Magneto's hand in those panels. I'd like to believe that he must have unconsciously recognized that this was the moment he's been waiting for; to be reunited with his former best friend and fight by his side JUST AS WHAT WAS WRITTEN IN THE STARS. However, he is also quickly reminded that he has an obligation as the founder, mentor and surrogate father of the X-Men so choosing to be with Magneto means abandoning them. That's the kicker. That's probably the only thing preventing Charles at this point to take the hand of his beloved "bookend-soulmate" (HEY IT'S BEEN QUOTED BY HIM) and FLY OFF SO THEY CAN FINALLY TIE THE KNOT. I don't think it's even his principles he cares about anymore. He has witnessed and experienced first-hand (and in the most gruesome way during this comic book) the evil that men like Stryker can inflict on their kind so he might have been convinced just a little bit that now is the time for some of that Might that Magneto has been advocating from the beginning. But Cyclops gives this speech that reminds him that he's not just the sole dreamer of peaceful co-existence. The X-Men share that dream and want to do everything they can to see its fruition. Kitty, amazingly, invites Magneto to JOIN THEM instead but Mags is just as stubborn in his own set of beliefs so he declines. He does, however, genuinely wish their team can succeed in achieving a democratic treaty with the humans because once they don't, he will come back into the picture and reinforce something more radical and long-term to accomplish mutant supremacy. Now that's a highly-developed and engrossing villain who continues to grow and surprise us, and often we find ourselves agreeing with him even with his severe methods. Overall, God Loves, Man Kills provides a channel for discussion concerning the real-life implications of prejudice and ignorance against minorities of different cultural backgrounds. It can be viewed as a cautionary tale. It can be considered as a crucial story that solidified the X-Men as THE group of marginalized superheroes that are also champions for the sectors in our society who are denied the same rights as everybody else just because they are different from the rest. This was the driving narrative for the X2 film after all, and this was the comic book which helped build that version which I maintain is the better one of the two. So go ahead and pick up God Loves, Man Kills. It's considered a classic important work to some and if you are an X-Men fan in a way where you think their class struggle resonates with you then this might appeal to you. The violence and cruelty is very hefty though so I feel like I should warn you about that. RECOMMENDED: 7/10

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ronyell

    5.5 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 al 5.5 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. Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈

    Yeah, yeah, this is yet another legendary X-Men story. I see why: it's a good take on the epic struggle between the X-Men and anti-mutant kind. It's also a bit about Magneto and Charles' different views on how to handle that struggle. Magneto thinks they should fight fire with fire and Charles thinks they should turn the other cheek. I'll take a page out of James McAvoy's book and say Charles is pretty stupid with regards to this argument. It will never work, Charles. They will only try to kill Yeah, yeah, this is yet another legendary X-Men story. I see why: it's a good take on the epic struggle between the X-Men and anti-mutant kind. It's also a bit about Magneto and Charles' different views on how to handle that struggle. Magneto thinks they should fight fire with fire and Charles thinks they should turn the other cheek. I'll take a page out of James McAvoy's book and say Charles is pretty stupid with regards to this argument. It will never work, Charles. They will only try to kill you again. Anyway, this starts with two black mutant children being murdered by the extremists who call themselves Purifiers. It's a page from every story of a hate crime in a backwoods town in the US. It's horrifying and sad and the Purifiers even attempt to display their bodies as a message of what their goal is. Magneto shows up and weeps for them and the lot they were dealt just by being born. Magneto remains one of the most complex, well written Marvel characters of all time. He's not a one note antagonist for the X-Men. In some ways, they have the same goals but Erik just goes about it differently. Here, he is angry but above that, remorseful. I love him the most in this story. It goes a little downhill from there, unfortunately. I actually hate Kitty in this book. I can't stand what she said to her teacher and she doesn't really have an excuse for that. Claremont expects me to forgive the use of that word because he's trying to make a point about mutant discrimination being similar to that of racism. Except everyone and their mom knows mutants are a metaphor for marginalized people. There was no point to use that word and I keep remembering that fucked up image of Jean whipping Storm (dressed as a slave) in the Phoenix Saga arc. What the fuck, man? Stryker's descent into the villainy wasn't the worst backstory I've seen for a villain. A lot could be said about his character and extremists that exist today. Especially the religious ones. That was fine, I guess. The ending is strange in that Charles seems convinced they should join Magneto for approximately 2 seconds and then changes his mind right back when Cyclops isn't having it. This was not a particularly great character study for any X-Man. As I said, I loved Magneto the most here but no one was really memorable to me. I don't quite get the hype for this story. I would rather watch X-2, to be honest.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    The Reverend William Stryker and his eugenics-themed team of Purifiers set out to rid the world of mutants in a self-righteous fascistic campaign that has apparently entranced the general public. As Stryker prepares for his Nuremberg-rally-esque speech at Madison Square Garden, he manages to capture the Professor and use his psychic powers to nullify the rest of the X-Men. God Loves, Man Kills is an embarrassing early 80s effort from Marvel as they allegedly attempt to address racism in this book The Reverend William Stryker and his eugenics-themed team of Purifiers set out to rid the world of mutants in a self-righteous fascistic campaign that has apparently entranced the general public. As Stryker prepares for his Nuremberg-rally-esque speech at Madison Square Garden, he manages to capture the Professor and use his psychic powers to nullify the rest of the X-Men. God Loves, Man Kills is an embarrassing early 80s effort from Marvel as they allegedly attempt to address racism in this book. It's embarrassing because of the ham-fisted way Chris Claremont goes about it - the bad guys are cartoonishly bad while the question of racism is never really addressed in any meaningful way. It's like reading a child's attempt at writing a grown-up book. Stryker is the crazy fire-and-brimstone preacher/demagogue that is the go-to archetype for hack writers when they want to portray a contemporary American villain type and I'm sure most Christians would be disgusted to even be considered on the same side as this lunatic. He's so one-dimensional that you can't take him seriously even for a second so that his character completely scuttles the story all by himself. The X-Men meanwhile somehow find Stryker's Purifiers a challenge - they're just conventional henchmen with guns - but only because there wouldn't be a story if they didn't. It's such a contrived setup, written in Claremont's trademark exposition-everywhere style which weighs down entire panels with unnecessary thought bubbles telling you what's happening on the page if you're too stupid to understand from the drawings. Moreover, this kind of book is totally pointless - the X-Men were created out of the civil rights movement. The story of the X-Men has always been a metaphor for black people or any oppressed group in society. Writing something as on-the-nose as God Loves, Man Kills is redundant because every X-Men story deals with prejudicial hatred and what being an outsider is like. It's a waste of time talking about how someone like Stryker could gain the kind of prominence that he does in this book - mostly because he couldn't, not in the 80s, not now, not ever - or that any large group of people could consider him in the least bit credible - the resemblances to Hitler are too similar, deliberately so - instead, God Loves, Man Kills is too stupid to even discuss sensibly as its too extreme. About the only good thing the book has going for it is that it partially influenced Bryan Singer's X2, the best X-Men movie to date, though Singer turned the story toward a gay rights focused direction (the contemporary civil rights struggle) and jettisoned the right wing Christian nonsense making his story far better in the process. It's also worth noting that Magneto's philosophical viewpoint is explored which would go on to define the character in the years that followed Brent Anderson's art is just ok - it's very dated thanks to the characters' outfits while the X-Men themselves look very thick for some reason (not stupid just overly solid). The danger room sequence in particular is a laughable attempt at injecting excitement into the story (remember this is supposed to be about racism) and only serves to underline how limited the artist's imagination was in conceiving such clunky "futuristic" apparatuses. I suppose there is a kind of charm to those desk-sized computer designs. Also if you're a fan of Astro City, Anderson's style isn't as accomplished there as it is here (though to be honest I'm not a fan of his work in AC either). God Loves, Man Kills is a really overrated book that's hopelessly dated, badly written, poorly conceived and executed, and does nothing to memorably or intelligently talk about racism ("it's bad" is about as deep as it gets). Granted, a couple of its ideas went on to become developed in more interesting X-Men works but it's not enough to salvage this sloppy, stupid mess of a comic.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    A 1982 graphic novel dealing with racism. In this tale a religious minister with secrets of his own gets the masses to rise up against the mutants while the mutants somewhat ironically try to approach the problem with reason. As one can expect the affair gets out of hand and superhero tactics ensue. This particular comic influenced the film, X2. I'd say the mental nightmares for Xavier were the best. A lot of this was above average to somewhat good in story elements. Some of the superheroes had t A 1982 graphic novel dealing with racism. In this tale a religious minister with secrets of his own gets the masses to rise up against the mutants while the mutants somewhat ironically try to approach the problem with reason. As one can expect the affair gets out of hand and superhero tactics ensue. This particular comic influenced the film, X2. I'd say the mental nightmares for Xavier were the best. A lot of this was above average to somewhat good in story elements. Some of the superheroes had that whole thinking of what I'm going to do while doing it which slows everything down. X Men fans will like it, regardless, I suspect. ARTWORK: C plus; STORY/PLOTTING: B minus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B minus; WHEN READ: mid January 2012; OVERALL GRADE: B minus.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicolo Yu

    For Halloween book number 3, I picked a graphic novel that is not a horror story. Rather, it is a commentary on the influence of religion, especially Evangelical Christianity, on society, juxtaposed with the race struggle as depicted in X-Men comics. This is an influential story, if only that it served as the inspiration for the second X-Men movie and the best critically received of the trilogy. This is Chris Claremont at his finest, as he is unencumbered by page size and count and the oppressive For Halloween book number 3, I picked a graphic novel that is not a horror story. Rather, it is a commentary on the influence of religion, especially Evangelical Christianity, on society, juxtaposed with the race struggle as depicted in X-Men comics. This is an influential story, if only that it served as the inspiration for the second X-Men movie and the best critically received of the trilogy. This is Chris Claremont at his finest, as he is unencumbered by page size and count and the oppressive Comics Code Authority. This is a story that has aged well, as its concerns are still relevant in this days of suicide bombings, Arab Spring uprising and American Conservative revival. Why this book for a Halloween reading? Though it does not feature ghouls and its ilk, what could be more frightening than a charismatic preacher who can influence the hearts and minds of his flock and set them to commit genocide? Faith can be a dangerous thing, especially when it sets ordinary people to murder his neighbor. It is frightening because it is real. This is an essential X-Men read, but not in this format. I suggest hunting for the original European sized album. In this edition, the art has been reduced to comics sized when the original pages were designed for a magazine sized page. This reduced format does not do justice to the Brent Anderson art, which can be enjoyed fully in the larger pages.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zach Freking-Smith

    I think whenever someone tells me that they support Trump, I'm going to hand them this book and say, "This is you. These people in this book are you. Look at your life. Look at your choices." It's a very gripping, chilling, and real story about a reverend who has all the power in the world and wants to use it to wipe out mutantkind because they "aren't human beings". The scariest part is how many people support him in his crusade against these people. Horrifying. Check it out, definitely worth th I think whenever someone tells me that they support Trump, I'm going to hand them this book and say, "This is you. These people in this book are you. Look at your life. Look at your choices." It's a very gripping, chilling, and real story about a reverend who has all the power in the world and wants to use it to wipe out mutantkind because they "aren't human beings". The scariest part is how many people support him in his crusade against these people. Horrifying. Check it out, definitely worth the read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    I just couldn't really get into this much. I get what it's going for, and I know how important it is to talk about racism and address it, but this just didn't work for me. Maybe it's a product of its time but it felt very...hamfisted? Best way I can probably describe it. It starts off interesting enough. Watching two innocent mutants, who happen to be black, gun downed by the extreme religious pieces of shit ran by Stryker. When there's an attack on the X-Men, the X-men and Magneto actually team I just couldn't really get into this much. I get what it's going for, and I know how important it is to talk about racism and address it, but this just didn't work for me. Maybe it's a product of its time but it felt very...hamfisted? Best way I can probably describe it. It starts off interesting enough. Watching two innocent mutants, who happen to be black, gun downed by the extreme religious pieces of shit ran by Stryker. When there's an attack on the X-Men, the X-men and Magneto actually team up for a bit to take down the evil. This is kind of, and I really mean KIND OF, a blueprint for X2 but I think X2 is way better. Good: The themes and the start are solid. Bad: Everything else. I know people LOVE this story but this didn't do ANYTHING for me. A 1.5 out of 5.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christopher (Donut)

    I guess I feel about this now what I did when it came out.. that it is a mediocre to bad X-Men story, and far, far from the profound, timeless parable that Chris Claremont (and everyone else?) considers it. So that collecting a run of Uncanny X-Men, say 138-143, and calling it Days of Future Past, makes a much better graphic novel than this grandiose super-comic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    I'd heard so much about this story for years, mainly how it served as the inspiration for the X2 film, but I never realized it was a standalone, not-quite-in-contiuity graphic novel in four parts. So despite it coming out in '82, it was a LOT more hard hitting than I'd ever expected. OK, so cold-blooded child murder basically on page one? The X-Men cartoon this ain't! Claremont only cranks up the stakes from there, introducing the now-familiar plot of using a mind-controlled Xavier to destroy all I'd heard so much about this story for years, mainly how it served as the inspiration for the X2 film, but I never realized it was a standalone, not-quite-in-contiuity graphic novel in four parts. So despite it coming out in '82, it was a LOT more hard hitting than I'd ever expected. OK, so cold-blooded child murder basically on page one? The X-Men cartoon this ain't! Claremont only cranks up the stakes from there, introducing the now-familiar plot of using a mind-controlled Xavier to destroy all mutantkind with Cerebro. Throughout we see the classic X-lineup of Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Kitty Pryde (herein called Ariel) shockingly allied with Magneto (who had primarily just been a cackling supervillain up to this point in comics history) rise to the challenges posed by deranged televangelist William Stryker, the origins of whose hateful motivations are revealed in a few shocking panels. Ultimately, though, -and as the panels below showing the aftermath of an altercation between Kitty and a mutant-hating fellow student- what really struck me about this classic X-Men story reading it for the first time in 2017 was how sadly topical it's central metaphor about intolerance and media manipulation remains today, 35 years later. Love is love, people are people, God is a personal choice. Back then as today as always.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Latasha

    This is the first X Man book I've read. I knew what it was about going in but hearing it and seeing it is so different. This was such a tense book. The first few pages are something you can never unsee. It's heartbreaking. This story is still relevant today and that's such a sad, sad thing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diz

    This story of an out-of-control evangelical minister whose goal is to eradicate mutants from the planet seems really relevant to today's political climate. My only complaint is that there are several fake-out deaths. The first time is cheesy, but when it happens again later in the book, it feels like emotional manipulation. However, the message that we should accept those who are different from us is what kept me interested in this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Connolly

    Perfect. I’m not sure I ever said that before but it was a perfect book. Also had a great into and interviews at the end too. The prologue stands out as being particularly well done. 5 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Possibly the boldest statement in mainstream comics ever written. God Loves, Man Kills breaks the monthly comic format and delivers an extended mediatation on what it means to be one of societies outsiders via the well known X-Men mutant metaphor and it does it with style and power. A bold statement because there are no enemies here except society itself and Claremont doesn't avoid controversy when he points his finger at the door of either religious intolerance or self-imaging and advertising. O Possibly the boldest statement in mainstream comics ever written. God Loves, Man Kills breaks the monthly comic format and delivers an extended mediatation on what it means to be one of societies outsiders via the well known X-Men mutant metaphor and it does it with style and power. A bold statement because there are no enemies here except society itself and Claremont doesn't avoid controversy when he points his finger at the door of either religious intolerance or self-imaging and advertising. One of the strongest moments in the novel occurs when Charles Xavier goes on TV to face-off in debate against the villain of the piece, William Stryker who believes that mutants are a religious abomination and should be wiped out, cleansed from the earth. Everyone acknowledges that Xavier has the better argument, but Stryker has the day as the better speaker and his influence spreads quickly. Claremont has no sense of subtlety, but in tackling issues head on he hardly needs it. In the first scene two black mutants are shot dead. Kitty Pryde is scene beating on a fellow student for calling her teacher a nigger and later on Stryker is compared to Hitler and his mutant cleansing to the Holocaust. It's not subtle but it works because the cultural relevance is powerful,religious bigotry is rampant in America and mass movements will take hold through the power of rhetoric and TV debate (look no further than the American election circus). There's another subtext too which is tied into the main thread nicely. Xavier is manipulated by Stryker into turning against the X-Men and using Cerebro against them through a plot the sees him believing that he is God and the mutants, his creations are turning against him. It's a great interplay between the idea of God making mankind in his image and mankind playing at being God and the different consequences that could occur. Stryker is essentially playing God as is Xavier with his mutants only both in different ways and for different reasons. Each in their oen way, though, they let the power go to their heads with dangerous consequences. There are no big heroes in this story. The X-Men are more victims than saviours, their powers a threat to society and barely any use to themselves, and they ultimately find it necessary to team-up with Magneto in order to stay afloat. It's an uneasy alliance and the realisation that they need each other doesn't sit well. However, at the end of the story Xavier is almost convinced that Magneto's way forward, for Homo Superior to end the persecution by ruling the world, is the right way, and as a reader one feels more compelled by this argument than in previous X-Men comics, thanks to the power and viciousness of the threat. It's quite a brutal, dark graphic novel and Brent Anderson's stunning artwork compliments the story perfectly. Being a one-shot it's stylistically very different to the X-Men monthly that ran at the time and the smaller, bleaker panels with darker colouring and less flamboyant, grittier art really add to the flavour of the tale. Claremont's dialogue and setup is also radically different. It's less talky, less expository and more like a modern comic in the telling and one begins to feel that maybe at times Claremont was restricted by what he felt he needed to do with the monthly comic format. Make no mistake, this is a terrific graphic novel that demands to be more widely read. Sadly, falling within the X-Men canon it will probably be only looked at, generally, by X-Men fans, even though it served as the inspiration for Singer's excellent X-2

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trey

    There's a lot I like about this story, even though it's also got its share of melodrama and overwriting which hasn't aged well. But William Stryker is a great character -- most other anti-mutant demagogues or fundamentalists in comics aren't this fully humanized -- and Claremont of course has a firm grasp on the X-Men. It's also readable without knowing anything about the X-men, and encapsulates the themes, character elements, and superhero elements that have made it an enduring property. And al There's a lot I like about this story, even though it's also got its share of melodrama and overwriting which hasn't aged well. But William Stryker is a great character -- most other anti-mutant demagogues or fundamentalists in comics aren't this fully humanized -- and Claremont of course has a firm grasp on the X-Men. It's also readable without knowing anything about the X-men, and encapsulates the themes, character elements, and superhero elements that have made it an enduring property. And although I noted that the writing can be obvious, one thing that's struck me about these older comics is that you're never lost. Pick any issue at random, and you'll be told not only who the characters are and what they can do, but through captions and thought balloons you get what's important to them and what they're struggling with. Even in the middle of a storyline, you can jump in and figure it out, and although modern iterations of the X-Men are written more naturalistically, I can't make that same connection to the characters if I haven't been reading along for months beforehand.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    Fairly good story. Self-contained, but beefed up the mythos well. Some parts seemed overly dramatic and somewhat stereotypical. The basis of self acceptance and self trust was well played. One shocker for me, being a first time reader, was the use of the Twin Towers as a torture spot...almost a little too close to home. I so miss those beautiful buildings.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brandon St Mark

    This was a really great story. A lot of people call Watchmen required reading, and it definitely is another great comic, but if there was only one comic I could recommend to someone, I would choose this over the Watchmen anyday. Especially with our currently political and religious climate (at least in the US), this is still poignant and necessary. If people really wanted to make america great again, they'd do well to listen to what this book is saying, ijs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Lavín

    I love a good bash against religion. I truly, truly do. I'm just a sucker for them. This book is 30 years old and, as with any old comic, the art and some of the dialogue do seem very dated. I think the dialogue in comic books (or graphic novels, whatever) suffers more from dating because it's a bit more down-to-earth and colloquial, which makes the language mutations (see what I did there?) more noticeable. Also, a lot of self-explanation in the dialogue occurs, which can be a bit annoying. I'm s I love a good bash against religion. I truly, truly do. I'm just a sucker for them. This book is 30 years old and, as with any old comic, the art and some of the dialogue do seem very dated. I think the dialogue in comic books (or graphic novels, whatever) suffers more from dating because it's a bit more down-to-earth and colloquial, which makes the language mutations (see what I did there?) more noticeable. Also, a lot of self-explanation in the dialogue occurs, which can be a bit annoying. I'm sure there's an official "comic-book" term for this. When they say (or even worse, think) things like "I'm doing this because of this" instead of just letting us infer it with regular dialogue and, you know, the drawings. Explaining us things trough tiny inner monologues felt a bit like lazy narrating/drawing. However, the message of the novel and even the whole idea behind the X-Men series is still as fresh as it would've been in the 80s and will most likely keep on being that way for a long time. People are still not being defined by what they choose to be, but by genetically-defined arbitrary stuff. And, just as bad, people are still doing stupid ass stuff inspired by religion, thinking of anyone that doesn't agree entirely with them as enemies, and will be doing so as long religion as we know it keeps on existing. But I'd get off-topic if I start going down that road and it's not like I would say anything that we don't already know. Being an X-Men story, this one has a lot of example metaphors for what we do to rationalize our own discrimination. One that struck me the most was that before executing (or trying to execute in Kitty's case) somebody, they hang a MUTIE sign upon them and it is the sign where they aim at. The reason they do this is clear enough; this way their brutality seems understandable, even appropriate when shooting a pair of kids, to themselves. The mutie sign helps transform their victims into something that should be dead, something that isn't human. And quoting from old testament to make reverend Stryker sound evil. Hell, I just love it when they do that.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    OK, finally got around to re-reading it. My edition was released in 1982, so I guess the first time I read this I was 20 years old... Re-reading it today, 30 years later, I had absolutely no memory as to what the story was, not the remotest bit of memory. However, it's not every comics that gets to sit on a shelf for 30 years without either being sold, given away or dumped in a 30 year period. So, this must have had some sort of effect as I still had it. WARNING - May Contain Spoilers... My current OK, finally got around to re-reading it. My edition was released in 1982, so I guess the first time I read this I was 20 years old... Re-reading it today, 30 years later, I had absolutely no memory as to what the story was, not the remotest bit of memory. However, it's not every comics that gets to sit on a shelf for 30 years without either being sold, given away or dumped in a 30 year period. So, this must have had some sort of effect as I still had it. WARNING - May Contain Spoilers... My current impression... yes it's a good story, although presented in the format of a classic 80's Claremont. The villains are well established and the good guys are the X-Men (with Magneto as well). Although I think that having a debate with this sort of people is useless... it's best to let your opinion known without actually "fraternizing" with these sorts of closed-minded people... they usually tend to dig their own graves. But then again... The only thing that evil needs to triumph, is for good people to stand by and do nothing. Some parts were a bit over the top, but then again, this is a comic book. The art was good... but could have been much better with a bit of forethought on the artist's part. I couldn't believe that Prof. X would be so easily mindwashed or be ready to abandon his convictions at the end of the book. Overall, there was no character development but I did notice a few similarities with the 1st movie. The use of a religious zealot as the villain was pretty cliché and gives a bad rap to religion overall. And I don't remember what the mentality of it was 30 years ago, but I did cring at Kat using the "N-word". Also, she needs to learn that whoever throws the first punch is the bad guy, as much as the guy shooting his mouth out deserved it. I don't think that punching him would have altered his opinion, in fact it could very well augment and, somewhat, justify it. Violence is the last resort of the incompetent. If you're ever challenged to a duel... then you get the choice of weapon... I find that the best weapon to use is Words and Wit... The pen is mightier than the sword.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nico Chiodi

    One of the things I love about the X-Men is, as writer Chris Claremont says, that they are the ultimate minority. Hated by humanity because they look different and act different, mutants remain loyal to those who would kill them if they could, and try to talk peace to them. Even Magneto, the X-Men's classic villain, is not un-relatable: he lived through the Holocaust and fears that humanity is planning another genocide on his people: he thinks that if he were to rule, it would be so much better. One of the things I love about the X-Men is, as writer Chris Claremont says, that they are the ultimate minority. Hated by humanity because they look different and act different, mutants remain loyal to those who would kill them if they could, and try to talk peace to them. Even Magneto, the X-Men's classic villain, is not un-relatable: he lived through the Holocaust and fears that humanity is planning another genocide on his people: he thinks that if he were to rule, it would be so much better. Because of this, it is easy to see so many different types of bigotry in use: if you want links to the racial civl rights movement, they're there. Likewise, if you want to see the gay or women's rights movements, they're there as well. Stryker and his Purifiers, so creepy because they are only human, and very real humans at that, are a powerful mix of the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to see the best of what mainstream comics have to offer. Instead of slogging through thousands of X-Men comics to see all of this, God Loves, Man Kills, is a quick, moving read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    JB

    I expected a lot more of this one. I heard and read a lot about this story and although it was alright, it kind of dissapoints. Let me start by telling what I did like. I did like the portrayal of Magneto. His grand entrance in Madison Square Garden. I could almost hear the metal squeaking as he tore of the roof. I also liked the way Stryker recited biblical passages in the "appropriate" situations. I didn't like how Professor X was portrayed. Especially in the end. He was a mess, even questioni I expected a lot more of this one. I heard and read a lot about this story and although it was alright, it kind of dissapoints. Let me start by telling what I did like. I did like the portrayal of Magneto. His grand entrance in Madison Square Garden. I could almost hear the metal squeaking as he tore of the roof. I also liked the way Stryker recited biblical passages in the "appropriate" situations. I didn't like how Professor X was portrayed. Especially in the end. He was a mess, even questioning his own teachings and almost joining Magneto. What I did like here was that Cyclops reminded the Professor what the X-Men had gone throug, the sacrifices they made. This was a case where the pupil became the teacher. I only recommend this to X-Men fans and people who are interested in a standalone story about the X-Men, with situations reminiscent of the persecution by the Nazi's in WW II.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    Now this is what an X-Men graphic novel should be! Such an excellent read with an outstanding story and good illustrations. A big thank you to Gianfranco for recommending it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joe Jungers

    My first X-Men graphic novel. I raged, I cried, I thought about religion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Skott

    Harsh read but still rings true God loves, Man kills was done in the 80s and paints a bleak picture of our intolerance whether it's of other races, other creeds, or in this case mutants...well done..sad not much has changed since then.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    This was attached to “Days of future past”. The art and tone in Days was dated and cartoonish. Here was opposite: dark, mature themes and violent. William Stryker is crazy dangerous preacher hunting down mutants. Great read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Scherer

    THE definitive X-Men story. Also Reverend Stryker and his murderous intolerance disguised as righteousness is unfortunately super relevant for our current moment.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vikas

    On August 12th 2017, Charlottesville, VA was the host to the Unite the Right Rally, many of whose members included bigots: white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, and neo-Nazis. The event quickly turned violent: as protesters clashed with counter-protesters, the conflict resulted in injuries and even deaths. X-Men, for most of its life, has been one long metaphor for racism and bigotry, but with the oppressed race/religion/group superimposed by “mutants.” Mutants, in the series, On August 12th 2017, Charlottesville, VA was the host to the Unite the Right Rally, many of whose members included bigots: white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, and neo-Nazis. The event quickly turned violent: as protesters clashed with counter-protesters, the conflict resulted in injuries and even deaths. X-Men, for most of its life, has been one long metaphor for racism and bigotry, but with the oppressed race/religion/group superimposed by “mutants.” Mutants, in the series, are human beings born with physical mutations which give them special abilities and/or unusual physical appearances. The title team is composed of a group of these mutants, fighting to “protect a world that hates and fears them.” Throughout the series, they have fought mutant-hating humans, human-hating mutants, and sometimes both. Characters on both sides even developed negative slurs for each other: mutants are often called “muties” or “genejokes” by mutant-haters, while non-mutants are often referred to as “flatscans” by mutant supremacists. The X-Men - caught in the middle - fight to create a world where the two group can live in peace with each other. I’m currently reading the entire Uncanny X-Men comic book series, from the very first issue released in 1963. The first leg of the run - from ‘63 to 1970 - is unremarkable. It’s cheesy, campy, and wordy, with many of those words failing to tell a compelling story. This opinion is not unpopular: in 1970, the X-Men series was essentially discontinued – Marvel only released re-issues for the next five years. When they started releasing new stories again in 1975, Chris Claremont was brought on board. Claremont, who worked on the Uncanny X-Men series for almost 20 years after, literally revived X-Men: raising it from lackluster to one of Marvel’s most popular titles. He did so via complex storylines, complex (including strong female) characters, and complex narratives. He authored many of the most iconic storylines in the series – such as the Dark Phoenix Saga, X-Tinction Agenda, and Days of Future Past. God Loves, Man Kills is about a mutant-hating reverend named William Stryker who hunts down mutants using religious beliefs as his excuse. The X-Men, of course, try to stop him. That’s all the plot you need. This graphic novel is both Chris Claremont and the series at their best. It offers the complete essence of X-Men in less than 100 pages. It is also purely self-contained, meaning that even brand new readers can follow without any context needed from past stories and issues. Any time someone tells you that comic books are dumb and irrelevant, make them read this one. Super heroes are not vaunted for their powers, but for their ideals. The ideal of living in harmony and peace with one another is timeless, and one that we should never give up on.

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