Tag Archives: x-men: grand design

Pharoah Miles’ Favorite Comics of 2018

Vietnamese Memories

Vietnamese Memories – This series by Clement Baloup is not only timely but tells stories that rarely get the time of day, even in comics

Tao Te Ching – The creative team behind this book does more than an adaptation of this important tome, they make it understandable to every reader

The Prince and The Dressmaker – In probably one of the most heartfelt stories I have read this year, Jen Wang, proves to be a master storyteller in story and art, in a story that proves that people are more than meets the eye

X-Men: Grand Design - Second Genesis

X-Men: Grand Design – Ed Piskor has proven himself to be one today’s premiere creators with his Hip Hop Family Tree series, and he shows his love for the X-Men in this series that packs so much in in one panel, it puts most creators to shame.

Old Man Hawkeye – Although this series is meant to be a precursor to Old Man Logan, I found this story to be even more compelling than the story that follows this, as we meet many old faces, as well as new ones, giving fans a dystopian world very much like Walking Dead, but with superheroes.

How To Read Nancy – Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden give comic book fans a treasure trove of information in what really is a textbook but also a graphic novel, as this book both entertains and educates fans on the history of this comic strip and how one should deconstruct a comic strip in the first place.

Abbott

Abbott – In what is part thriller/ supernatural romance, we get a tale of an investigative reporter in Detroit searching for the truth about some ghastly unsolved murders that the police have ignored, one of them being the death of her husband.

Sleepless – As a fan of historical medieval stories, like The Tudors and The Borgias (both series) this series begins with heartbreak as the protagonist, Lady Pyppenia, is the sole heir to the throne, one currently occupied by her uncle, who sees her as a threat, as the series antes up on “ palace intrigue” as she navigates the scary waters of being a royal, as well as romance, as she starts to fall for her guard, the Sleepless Knight, Cyrenic.

Shards Volume 2 – As one of the best upcoming comic studios in the past few years, we get another collection from this talented collective, with their wide array of stories and characters that leave readers engrossed in these worlds, leaving nothing to chance.

Power& Magic: Immortal Souls – In an excellent collection from this small press company out of Oregon, we get a second volume of stories about witches who just so happen to be LGBTQ or POC or both, in what is a pure joy to read from such interesting voices

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation

Destiny, New York Volume 2 – In the continuation of this excellent series, we drop back into the world of Logan and Lilith, and the mysterious magical underworld that lies in plain view, as they face controversy , secrets and ultimately, loss.

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation – In this fantastic adaptation, we finally get to see Anne in all her complexities, as the heartbreak will get the reader even if you know what will happen

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

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s got everyone excited? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Comichron – January estimates find Doomsday Clock steady, Hawkman soaring; Comichron adds on-sale dates to comics charts – For those who enjoy the horse race.

IGN – Secret X-Men Movie ‘143’ Reportedly in the Works – Intriguing.

Newsarama – Sony Signs Wizard World Deal To Target Con Attendees – Will this save the struggling conventions?

The Beat – As The Crow Flies and Roughneck win at ALA Awards – Well deserved.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Armstrong and the Vault of Spirits #1

ICv2 – X-Men: Grand Design

Comic Attack – Xenoglyphs Vol. 1

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.”

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.

Brett

Top Pick: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1 (DC Comics) – I’ve read it and it’s amazing. Writer Mark Russell and artist Mike Feehan deliver what might be the best series of 2018 already. Yes, it’s that good. Russell has taken the classic cartoon character and reimagined him as an in the closet gay Southern playwright with a backdrop of the McCarthy hearings. It sets an amazingly high bar for the rest of the year.

Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny #1 (IDW Publishing) – The popular toy line comes to comics and it’ll be interesting to see what IDW does with it.

Transformers vs. The Visionaries #1 (IDW Publishing) – Speaking of toys, the end of the last Hasbro even had the Visionaries come to the Hasbro comic universe and I can’t wait to see where things go from here. It was an unexpected shocking twist of an end.

The Walking Dead #175 (Skybound/Image Comics) – A new group has been made contact with and this issue kicks off a whole new arc. Can’t wait!

X-Men: Grand Design #2 (Marvel) – Ed Piskor knocked it out of the park with the first issue and what was one of the best releases by Marvel in 2017.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Secret Weapons #0 (Valiant) – When your favourite miniseries of 2017 has a bonus issue released, then you’re a little excited for it to arrive.

Last week’s comics – Due to a problem with the courier service, the entirety of Eastern Canada didn’t get their comics last week. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on those as well this week.

Around the Tubes

We hope everyone is having a wonderful day today! Sound off in the comments below if you have gotten any neat geeky things this holiday season!

While you get things going this morning, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Screen Rant – Batman Comics Are Fighting For Transgender Awareness – This was awesome to see.

Blavity – Atlanta Brothers Create And Launch A Line Of Black Superhero Comics – Going to have to check this out!

CBLDF – Turkish Courts Order 12 Anti-Erdoğan Cartoons Removed from Twitter – Nothing to see here, just an autocratic regime.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Aquaman #31

Herts Advertiser – Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again

Atomic Junk Shop – Elsewhere

The Beat – Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1

Herts Advertiser – Marvel Generations

Comic Book – X-Men: Grand Design #1

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

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