Tag Archives: x-men: grand design – second genesis

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

The Beatles Yellow Submarine (Titan Comics) – The classic animated film starring the biggest band ever in comic form and as music fans, we’re excited to check it out.

Bone Parish #2 (BOOM! Studios) – A fantastic debut issue has us excited to check out more of this series focused on a new designer drug made up of ground up corpses.

Extermination #2 (Marvel) – Events have been all over in quality in recent years but the first issue of this one surprised us in the quality and how far it was willing to go.

Harbinger Wars 2 #4 (Valiant) – Their recent event wraps up and we want to see how it ends so we have a better idea as to where the Valiant universe is heading next.

Hunt for Wolverine: Dead Ends #1 (Marvel) – This hit and miss series of miniseries had important moments and this issue ties them all together, we hope.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid #1 (BOOM! Studios) – If you’re a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan, Shattered Grid was a must read comic story and this issue wraps it up.

Rick & Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1 (IDW Publishing/Oni Press) – Two properties we can’t believe are coming together.

Scarlet #1 (Jinxworld/DC Comics) – We loved this series when it debuted focused on a rather militant activism. Politically relevant, we can’t wait to see what comes next.

Web of Venom: Ve’Nam #1 (Marvel) – Venom’s history has been fleshed out in recent months and this miniseres is giving us even more. This is how you add to a character’s history.

X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis #2 (Marvel) – Ed Piskor has been knocking it out of the park with his reinterpretation of the X-Men’s comic history.

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!

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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Action Comics #1001 (DC Comics) – There’s fires being set in Metropolis and Superman may be behind them. This series focuses on the Man of Steel who’s now a bachelor…

Bone Parish #1 (BOOM! Studios) – There’s a new drug that involves grinding up corpses. There’s some mob aspects and a hell of a twist towards the end.

Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1 (Valiant Entertainment) – The first volume was fantastic and we’re expecting no less from this brand new volume.

Doomsday Clock #6 (DC Comics) – An issue devoted to adding depth to the series’ two new villains and what happens when they meet the villains of the DC Universe.

Harbinger Wars 2 #3 (Valiant Entertainment) – Valiant can do events and this is no exception.

Hellicious #1 (Starburn Industries Press) – An over the top laugh for those who enjoy I Hate Fairyland. Little demonic girl… nuff said.

Infinity Wars Prime #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s cosmic event continues as it moves to the next phase.

Justice League Dark #1 (DC Comics) – There’s a new Justice League focused on the fallout of Justice League: No Justice and magic getting all wacky.

The Long Con #1 (Oni Press) – A disaster has befallen a major geek convention but are there survivors in the quarantined zone? A fun goof on con-life.

Mr. and Mrs. X #1 (Marvel) – Rogue and Gambit are married… lets see where that goes.

The New World #1 (Image Comics) – Ales Kot’s new series about the United States after the Second Civil War. This should be a good one!

Shanghai Red #2 (Image Comics) – The series is fantastic so far following a young woman’s revenge against the men who kidnapped her and threw her on a boat. It’s a brutal revenge tale.

Teen Titans #20 (DC Comics) – Damian is leading a new team of heroes with some interesting members and a hell of a dynamic.

Transformers: Unicron #2 (IDW Publishing) – The major event continues as Starscream attempts to step up and lead his Decepticons against Unicron!

X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis #1 (Marvel) – Ed Piskor continues his take on the X-Men with this remixed history. Absolutely fantastic.