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Review: X-Men: Grand Design #1

A thrilling new series chronicling all of X-Men history! X-Men: Grand Design stitches together the most important moments in mutant history, creating a comprehensive narrative celebrating the X-Men’s past, present, and future. The first in a trilogy, X-Men: Grand Design returns to Charles Xavier’s assembly of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and Beast! A must for fans looking to brush up on their X-Men lore or as jumping-on point for Marvel’s merry mutants.

Ed Piskor takes on the history of the X-Men. That concept alone should get folks excited for it and make it on everyone’s buy list. Much like his multi-volume take on the history of rap, X-Men: Grand Design takes us through the important history of the X-Men. This first volume takes us from the early days of mutants, think before Namor’s attack on New York City, to just before the X-Men’s battle with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Touching upon some of the most important, and key, moments of X history, Piskor has delivered a comic that feels like the definitive continuity laying things out in order and doing it all in a way where we can easily see where key events relate to each other.

And this comic dives into the obscure early years delivering Professor X’s early years as a kid, his meeting with the Shadow King and Magneto, and his formation of the X-Men. This feels like a solid refresher for this long time X fan but also a perfect read for anyone interested in learning more about the history of this iconic group. Piskor does it in a way so that this first issue also sets up key things to come laying it all out in a timeline and a way that’s easy to follow and see how the dots connect.

Piskor does it all with his amazing art style. There’s no changes at all, this is Piskor’s style as varied from Marvel’s “house” as can be. The look brings an indie sensibility about it all, enhanced by Piskor’s writing. Just an awesome combination of story and art.

What tops off the issue is an index in the back giving even more information about what’s presented and where you can find the various stories touched upon. It changes X-Men: Grand Design from a comic to a visual history project, a source to reference for years to come.

Piskor is giving us the definitive history of the X-Men like he’s done with hip-hop and doing so in a way where it feels fresh and new despite 54 years of existence. He’s doing what feels like the impossible, taking a complicated history and distilling it down to the important moments and presenting it in a way that’s perfect for new and long time fans alike.

Story: Ed Piskor Art: Ed Piskor
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review