Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Best Comics of 1980's; X-MEN: God Loves, Man Kills

The X-Men have become so convoluted and oversaturated that it's sometimes hard to recall that their popularity was at one point much-deserved. At the pinnacle of their reknown in the 1980's, (1982,) one of the men who had sky-rocketed them into the spotlight (Chris Claremont) teamed with artist supreme Brent Anderson (Ka-Zar, Astro City) to deliver "God Loves, Man Kills." (Big shout-out to all the creative team including Oliffe on the colors which really set the tone.) The story was released as "Marvel Graphic Novel # 5."

It was ahead of its time on many fronts. This graphic novel was a very stark and dreary look at super-heroics when such things were not commonplace. It was a bit heavy for a Marvel Comic in general, in an age when there was a pretty intensely followed house style.

Claremont really worked the novel to decry much of what is wrong with mankind, focusing on the specifics of those joint beasts, religion and politics. He delineated the previously subtle allegorical aspects of mutant kind with the real world counterparts of race, sexuality, and other 'differences.' There was no mistaking the fear and hatred that these comic book heroes would now face.

Utilizing Magneto, the modern atrocities were even linked back to the Holocaust. (Claremont has always brought the religion of Magnus and Pryde into the forefront, as well as plainly depicted how all prejudice is connected.) This story was innovative on many fronts; advancing the mainstream comics storytelling expectation, propelling the X-Men into an expanded universe--and setting up much of today's stories, and bringing a new level of 'relevancy' to Marvel Comics in particular.

This story was also used as the springboard for the second live-action X-Men film, X-2, wherein Springer took the allegorical nature of societal contempt for mutants and masterfully executed a powerful film.

The original album is available, as well as many reprint editions. It was also re-released as a smaller bookshelf edition. Worth the hunt, worth the read, and still maintains its standing as one of the best comics ever done--certainly one of the best of the 1980's.

To find and buy this issue, my recommendation for online sales is;
http://www.mycomicshop.com/?AffID=274971P01>Buy comic books at mycomicshop.com

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