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X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills s/c

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills s/c back

Chris Claremont & Brent Anderson


Page 45 Review by Stephen

"We have done you no harm... Why are you doing this?"
"Because you exist. And that is an affront to the Lord."

An original, album-sized softcover from around the time of UNCANNY X-MEN #170-ish, this was the first time Magneto was treated as anything other than a megalomaniacal supervillain. The helmet came off, the POV was reversed, and Claremont took a hard look at the very foundation of the series: what it was like not just to be rejected but persecuted for who you were, how God made you, and murdered because of it.

It opens with two children aged eleven and nine, hunted down, shot then strung up on swings, with placards bearing the accusation of "Mutie". They're found in the night and freed from their chains by Magneto who then tracks the source of the hate-mongering to its predictably evangelical source: creationist Reverend William Stryker. Hence the title, a direct retort to those religious leaders conveniently forgetting that there was no sub-clause to God's Commandment "Love Thy Neighbour" - no specific exceptions like "Unless they verily be queer".

With overt parallels to racist lynching and violent homophobia, it was an affecting piece for a young superhero reader to be introduced to, drawn with much restrained humanity by Brent Anderson, one of Neal Adams' many successors who went on to breathe equal humanity and life into Kurt Busiek's magnificent ASTRO CITY series.

In fact a substantially different version of this book was going to be drawn by Neal Adams himself, and his six pencilled pages are reprinted here along with a candid explanation for his departure along with interviews with Chris and Brent detailing the evolution of the book. Bits have aged better than others (we could do without yet another Danger Room training session) but never before had the series felt so grounded on a city's roughest districts or been so direct about its message which alas has not dated at all.

"One more genocide in name of God. A story as old as the race."

This book introduces the Purifiers for the very first time and you'll surprised about how much of this made its way into the second X-Men film.
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