Tag Archives: ed piskor

Preview: X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #2

X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #2

Writer: Ed Piskor
Penciler: Ed Piskor
Cover Artist: Ed Piskor

It’s here…the final chapter of Marvel’s best-selling prestige series X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN! Out with the old and in with the blue and gold as the X-Men enter the radical ’90s! Revisit innumerous classic storylines like the return of Jean Grey! The trial of Magneto! X-Tinction Agenda!!! And many, many more! With appearances by Jubilee, Gambit and the Reavers! Brought to life by the multi-hyphenate master of graphic fiction himself, Ed Piskor!

X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #2

Review: X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction Agenda #1

Ed Piskor continues his amazing ride through the history of the X-Men with X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1. It’s the “Mutant Massacre” through the “Siege Perilous” as far as X-History!

Story: Ed Piskor
Art: Ed Piskor

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Review: X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1

X-Men: Grand Design - X-Tinction #1

Cartoonist Ed Piskor wraps up the 1980s era of X-Men comics in the first chapter in the final installment of mutant magnum opus, X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1. On the first page, he picks a narrative through-line (The fate of baby Cable and his parent Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor) and a Big Bad (Mr. Sinister) and then runs with it to an optic blasting, dimension hopping, ginger psychic battle finale. Along the way, he writes one badass Storm and synthesizes complicated X-Men concepts like the Siege Perilous, Roma, the Outback years, and the deal with Forge and the Goblin Queen into one action-packed, entertaining narrative.

X-Men Grand Design: X-Tinction #1 has all kinds of interdimensional and psychic events in it, and this gives Piskor an opportunity to diverge from his underground comics meets Paul Smith, early John Romita Jr, and Marc Silvestri (Any time the Reavers appear.) style and use cool techniques like “ghosting” his figures against a black ground. He first uses this when Kitty Pryde is stuck in her phase state, or when Storm is on a physical journey with Forge’s ally Naze to get her abilities back. It transports the reader to a world beyond the melodrama of superhero comics and uses the mutant powers to further the story or tell something about Storm, Cyclops, and Madelyne Pryor instead of just making the punching look cooler.

Speaking of punching, Ed Piskor does not neglect one of X-Men comics’ usual strengths: well-choreographed team fight sequences. And he uses those fights in an economical way pulling off a three panel sequence that some writers and artists would pad for half an issue. Other than his retelling of the classic hand to hand fight between Storm and Cyclops for the X-Men leadership, my favorite fight in X-Tinction is a three panel old school/new school fight when Archangel flies Iceman up to freeze some of the Goblin Queen’s goons and Colossus and Rogue punch them out. In a single panel and thanks to some big Jack Kirby poses, you know that Colossus and Rogue are the team powerhouses while Archangel and Iceman rely more on strategy and subterfuge in a callback to the fights in the first volume of Grand Design.

The only real weakness I could find in X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1 is toward the end of the issue. Up to this point, Piskor is easily juggling the Storm and Madelyne Pryor/baby Cable subplots and crafting a downward spiral for the X-Men as their team’s strength is diminished by the Marauders and the Mutant Massacre. This leads into the Outback years, the big Madelyne Pryor reveal, and after some psychic foreshadowing: the return of Jean Grey. However, Piskor immediately throws the original five X-Men into the narrative without mentioning X-Factor or establishing their return. It makes for a cool team-up sequence, but muddies the narrative a little bit.

However, Piskor does redeem himself with a funny final couple pages where the different X-Men basically ask each other, “What the hell is going on?” Like Arcade, Ed Piskor has set up a death trap of continuity mimicking the increasing density of the X-Books with multiple titles and crossovers in the late 1980s, and it looks like he will use X-Tinction #2 to get our heroes, er, readers out of it. Even if the different characters’ backstories are a little opaque and it’s hard to keep track of a growing cast of characters, Piskor’s storytelling is always smooth with clear narration and bright eyed artwork.

Ed Piskor’s X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1 is an achievement in focus as he chooses not one, but two characters with convoluted backstories (Cable, Madelyne Pryor) to be the anchor point of his exploration into late 1980s X-Men comics. For all the cool digressions and sizzling subplots, Piskor rides the momentum of this mother/father/child/ex-girlfriend/creepy scientist guy melodrama from page 1 to page 40 and even plays telekinetic baby keep away along the way. Like Renaissance painters who would find their own story out of a complex tapestry of Biblical stories and classical mythology, Ed Piskor turns the “X-Overs” of the late 80s into a powerful family drama that happens to involve eye beams and psychic powers.

Story/Art/Letters: Ed Piskor
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.2 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Read

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1

X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1

(W) Ed Piskor (A/CA) Ed Piskor
Rated T+
In Shops: May 29, 2019
SRP: $5.99

The series that has critics and fans raving returns for its final installment! The ruination of the X-Men revisited! Re-live the now-classic storylines like Mutant Massacre and The Fall of the Mutants. With appearances by Longshot, Cable, and The Marauders! Created soup to nuts by comic book superstar Ed Piskor in the Mighty Marvel Manner!

X-Men: Grand Design - X-Tinction #1

Daniel Clowes and Ed Piskor Get Fantagraphics Studio Editions

Coming October 2019, Fantagraphics Books will release two new stunning additions to their Studio Edition series: Daniel Clowes: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition and Ed Piskor: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition.

The Fantagraphics Studio Edition series illuminates the compelling, painstaking process by which great comics are created. Each deluxe, oversized volume collects over 100 pages of high resolution, un-retouched original art scans, capturing subtle nuances of the artist’s skillful brush strokes and pen lines. These full-size reproductions retain original pencil marks, corrections, and marginalia—fascinating imperfections that provide insights into the creative process of these master cartoonists. This is truly the closest most of us will ever get to sitting in the artist’s studio. 

Daniel Clowes: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition turns the spotlight on one of the medium’s most dynamic creators. This edition draws from Clowes’s nearly 35 years of comics art, ranging from some of his earliest published work, 1986’s Lloyd Llewelyn, to his seminal one-man anthology, Eightball (in which Ghost World was originally serialized), and includes samples from his most recent graphic novel, 2016’s best-selling time travel thriller, Patience.

Daniel Clowes: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition

Ed Piskor: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition highlights the work of this star cartoonist, focusing on his two best-known series: Hip Hop Family Tree and X-Men: Grand Design. In addition to excerpts from these two major comics projects, this edition features dozens of other gems from Piskor’s archives, including commercial art, designs for a line of Public Enemy action figures, and much more.

Ed Piskor The Fantagraphics Studio Edition

Each book will retail for $150. Both Daniel Clowes and Ed Piskor will be doing limited signing events around the US to promote the book.

Small Press Expo Announces Tillie Walden and Ed Piskor at the National Book Festival

Small Press Expo (SPX) is proud to announce it is again a sponsor of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. As a part of this sponsorship, SPX is supporting both Tillie Walden and Ed Piskor in their appearances at the Library of Congress National Book Festival.

The National Book Festival, the largest book festival in the United States, takes placeSaturday, September 1, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. There will be over 100 authors across all genres giving talks and signing books at the festival.

Tillie and Ed will be part of the Graphic Novel portion of the Genre Fiction Pavilion, along with Roxanne GayPatrick McDonnell, and Pénélope Bagieu.

Tillie Walden

  • Onstage at Genre Fiction withPénélope Bagieu 3:10- 3:40PM
  • Signing at 5:30-6:30PM

Ed Piskor

  • Onstage at Genre Fiction 3:40-4:10PM
  • Signing at 5:30-6:30PM

Preview: X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis #2

X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis #2

(W) Ed Piskor (A/CA) Ed Piskor
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 29, 2018
SRP: $5.99

SPACE INVADERS!
The Shi’ar! The Brood! The Starjammers! Watch as Marvel’s merry mutants take to the stars for the very first time all over again. See the inaugural X-Men adventures of Kitty Pryde and Carol Danvers. Marvel at the conclusion of the now-classic DARK PHOENIX SAGA. A great entry point for new and lapsed X-Men fans alike!

Arantza Sestayo, Todd Johnson, Shawn Martinbrough, Ed Piskor, and Larry Stroman are Coming to Baltimore Comic Con

September 28-30, 2018 sees the return of the Baltimore Comic-Con at the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center. Tickets to the show now can be purchased online with debit/credit card. The Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to announce first-time guests Arantza SestayoTodd JohnsonShawn MartinbroughEd Piskor, and Larry Stroman to the show in 2018.

Arantza Sestayo was born in San Sebastian, Basque Country Spain. Her artistic process is self-taught and she developed professionally through portraiture, in ceramic design, and in the production of cartoons in Camelot Studios of Castellon. Her journey in illustration began with publications such as Red Ears of erotic and humorous comics, the Swedish children’s magazine Psago Prinsessan, and the American publishing house S.Q.P. In Spain, she has contributed to Wicked Kisseswith Norma Comics and participated in the book Vampires from Heavy Metal. Her art has been featured on merchandise from Schmidt, Bioworld, and Heavy Metal. The municipality of Castellon commissioned an illustration for a facade of the Ateneo Assembly Hall, and published Duende as a compilation of her work. She exhibits at events related to comics and movies, such as Expomanga, Salon del Comic de Irun, Cavacon in Italy, and the Terror Film Festival of San Sebastian. Currently, some of her work has can be seen on products at Penguin Random House, and in the special edition Game of Thrones 20th Anniversary by HarperCollins Publisher. This year, her piece Ophelia has been awarded third place at the Imaginative Realism of Art Renewal Center.

Todd Johnson is a writer based in Detroit, Michigan. Johnson previously operated a successful chain of comic book retail stores, the Comics Cafe. In 1993, along with artist Larry Stroman, he published a creator-owned series called Tribe with Image Comics. With over one million copies sold, Tribe still holds the title of the largest selling African American comic of all time. In 2018, the creative partnership is relaunching Tribe to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Shawn Martinbrough is the author of How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling, published by Random House and reprinted in several languages. He is a critically acclaimed creator/artist whose DC Comics, Marvel, and Dark Horse Comics projects include Batman: Detective ComicsLuke Cage NoirCaptain AmericaThe Black Panther, and Hellboy. Shawn has co-created characters featured in the feature film Deadpool, the animated Batman: Gotham Knights, the FOX television series GothamThe Gifted, and the Justice League feature film. Shawn is the artist of Thief of Thieves, published by Skybound/Image Comics, written by Robert Kirkman. Shawn’s work has been covered by Vanity Fair, USA Today, BBC World America, ABC News, NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, BET, Essence, Ebony, The New York Daily News, AOL, Publisher’s Weekly, SIRIUS/XM Radio, and others. Shawn is a Native New Yorker and an alum of both the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art/Performing Arts and The School of Visual Arts.

Ed Piskor has been cartooning professionally in print form since 2005, starting off drawing American Splendor comics written by Harvey Pekar. The duo continued working together on two graphic novels, Macedonia and The Beats. Ed began self-publishing Wizzywig after developing a huge interest in the history of hacking and phone phreaking. His New York Times Best-Selling series Hip Hop Family Tree, which was originally serialized on Boing Boing, has gone back to print numerous times, and won the 2015 Eisner Award for “Best Reality-Based Work.” His series for Marvel, X-Men Grand Design, was released in 2017 to wide acclaim. He is currently working with Marvel on the follow-up series, X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis.

Larry Stroman is a Boston-born artist who has honed his craft in New York City, Berkeley, Chicago, and Detroit. After gaining attention illustrating Epic’s Alien Legion, he went on to illustrate various Marvel comics such as the Uncanny X-MenGhost RiderPunisherWolverineBishopBlack Panther, and the most popular run of X-Factor. He worked on Dark Horse’s The Markand co-created DC’s Darkstars. In 1993, along with writer Todd Johnson, he published a creator-owned series called Tribe with Image Comics. With over one million sold, Tribe still holds the title of the largest selling African American comic of all time. In 2018, the creative partnership is relaunching Tribe to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Stroman’s career has spanned three decades and he still remains a sought after artist.

In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Arthur Adams (Guardians of the Galaxy), Joel Adams (Bucky O’Hare Graphic Novel Coloring Book), Neal Adams (Deadman), Zeea Adams (Neal Adams Monsters), Ethan Scott Ambruson (Azteca: Ciudad Paradiso), Marc Andreyko (Jeepers Creepers), Arantza (fantasy artist), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Mike W. Barr (The Outsiders), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), Marty Baumann (Big Hero 6), John Beatty (Batman), Carolyn Belefski (Curls), Simon Bisley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bodycount), Ziggy Blumenthal (Operation Pajama Pants), June Brigman (Power Pack), Pat Broderick (Micronauts), Harold Buchholz (Mystery Science Theatre 3000), Mark Buckingham (Scooby Apocalypse), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Buzz (Superman: The Coming of the Supermen), Jim Calafiore (Leaving Megalopolis), Frank Cammuso (Wrong Earth), Chris Campana (Pathfinder: Worldscape – Vampirella), Greg Capullo (Dark Knights: Metal), Joe Carabeo (Black Magic Tales), Christa Cassano (Ghetto Klown), Howard Chaykin (Captain America), Joyce Chin (All-New Wolverine), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Michael Cho (Batwoman), Amy Chu (Red Sonja), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Steve Conte (Action Figure Kingdom), Katie Cook (Thanos Annual), Denys Cowan (The Question), Paris Cullins (WWE Superstars), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), J. Robert Deans (The Bear from A.U.N.T.), Tom DeFalco (Spider-Girl, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jose Delbo (Spongebob Comics), Vito Delsante (Midnight Tiger Stronger), Todd Dezago (Tellos), Dave Dorman (Black Hops: U.S.A.-*-G.I.), Charles C. Dowd (Lilith Dark), Emily Drouin (Eplis), Anne and Jerzy Drozd (Science Comics: Rockets), Todd Emko & Piggy (A Piggy’s Tale), Garth Ennis (Jimmy’s BastardsFriday and Saturdayonly), G.D. Falksen (The Ouroboros Cycle), David Finch (Trinity), Meredith Finch (Rose), Ramona Fradon (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Franco (Encounter), Jenny Frison (Wonder Woman), John Gallagher (Captain Canuck Season 4), Will Gallagher (EPIC Bros.), S.L. Gallant (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs. the Six Million Dollar Man), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (DC Nation), Steve Geiger (Web of Spider-Man), Joe Giella (The Flash), Mike Gold (The Pilgrim), Michael Golden (Micronauts: Wrath of Karza), Daniel Govar (Thanos: A God Up There Listening), Jimmy Gownley (Zootopia), John Patrick Green (Mickey Mouse Shorts: Season One), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Tom Grummett (The New Titans, courtesy of Hero Initiatiive), Laura Lee Gulledge (Will & Whit), Bob Hall (Squadron Supreme), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), Glenn Hauman (The Whisper Campaign), Marc Hempel (Sandman), Clinton Hobart (Disney fine artist), Ken Hunt (Lady Death: Devotions), Jamal Igle (Molly Danger), Tony Isabella (Black Lightning), Klaus Janson (NightwingSaturday and Sunday only), Todd Johnson (Tribe), Justin Jordan (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps), Chris Kemple (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Karl Kesel (Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77), Tom King (Batman), Barry Kitson (The Flash), Todd Klein (Black Hammer: Age of Doom), Evelyn Kriete (Weird Tales), Alisa Kwitney (Mystik U), Jade F. Lee (Rolled & Told), Leo Leibelman (Heavy Metal), Paul Levitz (Brooklyn Blood), Mike Lilly (The Tick), Joseph Michael Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Kevin Maguire (Man of Steel), Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space), Mike Manley (Judge Parker), Chris Mariano (Claire Lost her Bear at the World’s Fair), Mark Mariano (Adventure Time), Billy Martin (Star Wars Adventures), Shawn Martinbrough (Shadowman), Ron Marz (Fathom Vol. 7), Ed McGuinness (Avengers), Bob McLeod (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero), Carla Speed McNeil (Empowered & Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Dawn McTeigue (Divinica), Adriana Melo (Plastic Man, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Frank Miller (Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of AlexanderSaturday and Sunday only), Stuart Moore (Deadpool the Duck), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Mark Morales (Justice League), Michael Moreci (Nightwing), Tony Moy (Mainstream), Trevor Mueller (Albert the Alien), Adriane Nash (The Whisper Campaign), Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground), Denny O’Neil (DC Universe Holiday Special, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jerry Ordway (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs The Six Million Dollar Man), Rachel Ordway (The Elvis Adventures), John Ostrander (Suicide Squad, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Tom Palmer (Avengers), Dan Parent (Betty & Veronica Friends Forever), Jeff Parker (Future Quest Presents), Paul Pelletier (Titans Special), Andrew Pepoy (Mighty Moe Szyslak), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Green Lanterns), Tom Peyer (Captain Kid), Richard and Wendy Pini (Elfquest), Ed Piskor (X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis), Chase and Mark Poulton (Pizza Tree), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), David Proch (Quarter Moon), Tom Raney (Giantkillers), Mark Redfield (Hunted), Frank Reynoso (Garbage Pail Kids: Fables, Fantasies and Farts), Roy Richardson (The Flash), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Craig Rousseau (Startup), Stephane Roux (Faith: Dreamside), Jim Rugg (Street Angel), Andy Runton (Owly), P. Craig Russell (Salome and Other Stories), Stuart Sayger (GI Joe: A Real American Hero vs. The Six-Million Dollar Man), Brian Shearer (William the Last), Jeff Shultz (Archie Jumbo Comics Digest), Mimi Simon (Judge Parker), Louise Simonson (Action Comics#1000), Walter Simonson (Thor), Matt Slay (Equilibrium), Dan Slott (Tony Stark: Iron Man), Andy Smith (Demi-God), John K. Snyder (Fashion in Action), Scott Snyder (Justice LeagueSaturday only), Mark Sparacio (Chelsea Dagger), Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity SiblingsSaturday and Sunday only), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Jim Steranko (Action Comics), Paul Storrie (The Viking Queen), Larry Stroman (Tribe), Rob Stull (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Peter Tomasi (Superman), Tim Truman (Grimjack), David Trustman (God Slap), Sarah Trustman (The Memory Arts), Billy Tucci (Shi), Ted Tucker (Disney World caricature artist), Gus Vazquez (Sunfire and Big Hero Six), Emilio Velez Jr. (Dodgeball Teens), Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl), Mark Waid (Captain America), Adam Wallenta (Punk Taco), Adam Warren (Empowered & Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Michael Watkins (Pantha), Larry Watts (Evil Dead 2: Cradle of the Damned); Todd Webb (Mr. Toast Comics), Dexter Weeks (Savage Eve), Lee Weeks (Batman), Mark Wheatley (Stargate Atlantis Singularity), Bob Wiacek (All New Wolverine), Matt Wieringo (Stargate Atlantis Gateways), Marcus Williams (Hero Cats of Stellar City: Year One), Javier Cruz Winnik (A Reason to Smile), Renee Witterstaetter (X-Force Epic Collection), Rich Woodall (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), John Workman (Kick-Ass), Thom Zahler (Time & Vine), Mike Zeck (The Punisher), and Liang Zhao (The Phantom).

Review: X-Men Grand Design- Second Genesis #1

X-MEN GRAND DESIGN SECOND GENESIS #1 (OF 2)Cartoonist Ed Piskor leaves the Silver Age and enters the Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and John Byrne era in X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis #1 retelling the story of the X-Men from Cyclops and Professor X’s assembly of the “All-New, All-Different” team of Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Sunfire to rescue the original X-Men from the mutant island Krakoa to the conclusion of the classic “Dark Phoenix Saga”. The comic’s biggest strength is Piskor’s meticulous attention to craft including panel layouts and lengths, color choices, and lettering. With so much material to cover, there are no wasted beats in his storytelling, no filler. This does harm its emotional resonance which pales in comparison to Claremont’s original saga that partially worked because the longform storytelling created a connection between readers and characters and developed various relationships in more depth, like Wolverine and Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and Cyclops, and Professor X and Lilandra to name a few in this time period.

However, for the most part, Second Genesis #1 is beautiful, yet streamlined take on one of the most important pop culture icons from a talented writer/artist. Even though there are appearance from various secondary foes and antagonists and even mentions of and cameos from heavy hitters like Magneto and Galactus, Piskor establishes from page one that the Hellfire Club will be the chief opponent of the X-Men in Second Genesis while continuing the larger Ur-narrative of the Phoenix that he hinted at in the first volume of X-Men Grand Design. And the force or character that these two powers rotate around is Jean Grey and later the Phoenix force taking on the appearance of Jean Grey as Piskor agilely summarizes the retcon that allowed for Jean Grey’s “ressurection” and absolving of a murder of planets in a sequence of dark panels that show her go from a powerful mutant to almost a fetus. He even shows his horror chops in his recreation of the famous scene in the “Phoenix Saga” where Jean absorbs radiation and crash lands the X-Men team after they rescue Professor X from mutant hater and experimenter Stephen Lang. A classic countdown sequence combined with some shocked facial expressions builds the suspense that culminates in a firebird rising from Jamaica Bay.

Although Second Genesis #1 is much more plot-driven, and the best X-Men stories I would argue are more character driven (And Claremont managed to cram a lot of plots in too.), Ed Piskor still takes care to flesh out the individual X-Men’s flaws, personality traits, and memorable moments. There’s a baseball game with Nightcrawler playing catcher, early in the book, Colossus and Wolverine link up in a trademark fastball special, and there’s even a panel with Storm’s claustrophobia. Piskor writes and draws Kitty Pryde as plucky and ingenious without being annoying and accidentally saving the X-Men with her phasing ability as Claremont and Byrne were trying to finish off their great epic while also introducing an actual student for the Xavier institute per editorial mandate. She adds bursts of joy and energy between the shadow and flame of Dark Phoenix and whited out psychic duels between Mastermind and Cyclops. The Phoenix and Hellfire Club predominantly take center stage while Professor X’s deal with Lilandra and Shi’ar runs off to the side, and even though some of my favorite X-Men were on this incarnation of the team, they lack a strong identity unlike the original five plus Havok and Polaris in X-Men Grand Design.

Don’t get me wrong. For all its flaws in the characterization department (For example, Piskor puts Professor X and Cyclops at a graveyard at the top of the page, and Thunderbird’s death at the bottom and barely hints at his headstrong nature.) and lack of focus on the Jean/Scott dynamic when Jean is at the center of the story, Second Genesis #1 is the rare mainstream comic created auteur style by a single creator. Ed Piskor gives the subplot heavy, soap operatic narrative of the X-Men a strong thread to follow and lets his nostalgia and love for the source material shine on every page. His art style is retro without being simplistic, and there is a kind of minimalism to his use of captions and dialogue, especially compared to the overwrought style of Claremont. In fact, his strongest emotional beats involve few words at all like Jean and Scott spending one last night in bed before the X-Men’s honor duel against the Shi’ar, and he punctuates these emotional crescendos with the use of black and white instead of the colorful costumes, spaceships, and energy bursts that permeate this book and the X-Men canon as a whole.

Even if it focuses more on singular narrative building than the growth of one of superhero comics’ greatest ensemble casts, X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis #1 is a wonderful example of the cyclical nature of myth as Ed Piskor filters the beginning of Chris Claremont’s run on X-Men through a lean, visually striking storyteller’s lens or his childhood fantasies through a steadier, yet no less energetic hand. I’d probably rather reread the “Dark Phoenix Saga” though.

Story/Art/Letters: Ed Piskor
Story: 7.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

X-Men: Grand Design Goes Back to Print

Marvel Comics is going back to press for second printings of issues 1 and 2 of X-Men: Grand Design, the critically acclaimed comic book series by Eisner Award-winning, indie cartoonist Ed Piskor. The second printings will feature all new covers by Piskor and will go on sale on February 14, 2018.

The project, which has been worked on for two years, has exceeded stores’ initial orders. Piskor, who is best known for documenting the history of hip hop with the award winning Hip Hop Family Tree graphic novels, is writing, illustrating, coloring and lettering X-Men: Grand Design, for an epic undertaking that distills three decades of complicated comic book continuity into one compelling, self contained story.

X-Men: Grand Design will return late this summer with X-Men: Grand Design, Second Genesis issues 1 and 2. That will “fold-in the gold standard stuff with Wolverine, Phoenix, Storm Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Kitty Pryde.”

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