GRAPHIC NOVELS

X-Men: Grand Design

Marvel. Apr. 2018. 120p. ISBN 9781302904890. pap. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781302503680. COMICS
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OrangeReviewStarAlternative comics writer and illustrator Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree) brings his unique artistry to the X-Men universe, here taking previously published story lines written by giants such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Chris Claremont that involve the X-Men and putting them together into one coherent narrative. Characters Watcher and Recorder narrate the entire story from afar as they orbit the earth. The origins of Professor X and Magneto are examined as are the beginnings of several X-Men favorites. Heroes include Cyclops, Jean Grey, the Angel, Iceman, and the Beast, as they battle many foes, including Toad, the Blob, and the Juggernaut. The overarching story includes the powerful Phoenix Force as it travels to Earth seeking its new physical host. Piskor's illustrations reflect his retro-pop art style, which makes the panels visually enthralling. Volume 1 collects X-Men Grand Design issues 1–2 as well as the 1963 first issue of X-Men, newly colored by Piskor.
VERDICT Fans of Piskor's previous work, X-Men enthusiasts, and especially new readers trying to understand the provenance of the characters and series will thoroughly enjoy this well-designed volume.
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