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God Loves Man Kills (Retro-Review)


Writer: Chris Claremont

Artist: Brent Anderson

Publisher: Marvel 

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills was released in 1982 and now, 37 years later, it was read by quite the newbie. How did this classic story go down for someone who isn’t that familiar with the mutants’ lore? Well, this is not really a review but rather an expression of appreciation. 

It starts quite literally with a bang. The title does not indicate a quick and fun story, but the first pages are a dead giveaway that this book will leave an impact. Some people are hating mutants to the extreme and aren’t afraid to show by doing the unthinkable. Immediately it is a reminder of certain times in history I can’t believe actually happened. Fear mongering seems to never go out of style unfortunately. People respond more to a story that scares them, compared to the facts of how unlikely the threat of “the others” actually is. 

I felt very uncomfortable reading about the ABC special where Professor X had a debate with Reverend Stryker. It is what I have always hated most about news programs, the media chooses to show their viewers “the scary parts”. They manipulate their program by cutting off the neutral party and giving the radical speaker all the airtime he needs to get his poisonous message across. 

Our beloved team of mutants are obviously having a rough time. What’s so much worse is that it’s not only through debates that the reverend seeks to destroy them, he has an actual team of exterminators to hunt and kill mutants. They seem to be incredibly resourceful and feel so strongly about Reverend Stryker’s opinion that they would die for his cause. Which leads to the debate of: how far do the X-Men go to get answers once they capture some of Stryker’s sheep? As Nightcrawler says “But if we use our foe’s methods, my friend, how then are we better than they?” 

Threats like this bring the victims closer together, so it’s not surprising that Magneto shows up to fight alongside the X-Men against the reverend and his followers. They have to set their differences aside if they want to feel safe again. Even more so because the team got separated due to the reverend’s evil plans. Professor X, Storm and Cyclops get captured and used by Stryker. He put his bet on Charles Xavier’s ability to locate every mutant out there, every threat that is to be eliminated. It is one of the more frustrating things when the bad guy has a well thought and planned out scheme ready to get him to reach his goals. This frustration however turns into getting more respect for the X-Men who had to fight against this. 

Every time one (or more) of the mutants got into trouble, I was on edge, I even got scared. They get in trouble many times, which surprised me for being one of the shorter books I’ve read. Even though this wasn’t a long read, I got to know the X-Men a lot better. One hero I hadn’t met before but really showed who’s boss was Kitty, one of the youngest yet bravest of the party. 

The dialogue is so well written, my feelings get hurt, heart strings get pulled, anger gets fuelled. Chris Claremont is doing some incredible story telling. The artistic team did an amazing job too, Brent Anderson’s art is timeless while Steve Oliff did a perfect job enhancing the stories’ emotions as the colorist. I also have to praise the letterer Tom Orzechowski, there are a lot of dialogues and monologues yet it never feels tiring to read or difficult to follow on the pages. 

God Loves, Man Kills is a story everybody should read. This story will leave an impact and I’d love to know how you felt after reading Chris Claremont’s story. Please head over to The Comic Lounge’s social media and comment on the post of this article to share your thoughts.

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