There were many new Marvel books that hit shelves this past week, but for me, the one that really feels of the moment we’re in is nearly forty years old.
X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills Extended Cut #1
Writer: Christopher Claremont
Artist: Brent Eric Anderson
Originally published in 1982 as the fifth in Marvel’s then-blossoming line of graphic novels, God Loves, Man Kills finds the X-Men teaming up with their arch enemy Magneto to take on William Styker, an evangelical priest espousing the extermination of mutants. Elements of the story would eventually find its way into the X-Men film universe, with William Stryker appearing as a government soldier. It’s a darker and heavier tale than the monthly books were telling at the time, and it lent itself perfectly to the longer, uninterrupted format.
In the new Extended Cut version of God Loves, Man Kills, creators Claremont and Anderson have created a new bookend story for the piece featuring Kitty Pryde and a character named Kate that previously appeared in X-Men: Black – Magneto. While the art looks great, the opening segment feels fairly essential and doesn’t immediately add much to the classic story.
However, what makes this issue something of an essential purchase and worth double-dipping if you already own a version of God Loves, Man Kills is the in-depth interview with Chris Claremont. The always verbose writer delves deep into the creation of the story, why it worked as a graphic novel, and its continued relevance, not just in the lives of the X-Men, but in the world we currently live in. Artists will also enjoy the interview with Brent Anderson, who details his return to the series along with his original approach.
X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills is a classic story whichever way you read it, but the Extended Cut offers enough in the way of new art and interviews that X-fans will want to reread it in this new format.