PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN – X-Tinction #1 (of 2) from Marvel Comics. Available May 29th, 2019, the creative team for this issue features writing and illustrations from Ed Piskor.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN – X-Tinction #1
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!
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN – X-Tinction #1
Creator Ed Piskor works his charms over the mid-eighties X-men. Retelling, in his distinctive fashion, the Mutant Massacre, The Fall of the Mutants, and the Inferno story lines.
It’s not a cover song. Nor is it a remake. Ed Piskor, creator of the extensive Hip-Hop Family Tree tomes, employs his fine-tuned skillset to yet another chapter of the famed history of the X-men.
Having previously covered their inception to the Dark Phoenix Saga in previous Grand Design installments, Piskor moves along to what should be considered the cult favorite era of X-Men history.
It’s surprising that Piskor is so good at delivering the pathos and emotion that drives the characters, while still stripping back the layers of story and distilling everything to its purest essence.
Without issues and issues to read, you still understand the turmoil and edge to the relationship of the Summers clan. You understand the camaraderie between Wolverine, Colossus, and Nightcrawler, even though the latter two scarcely feature.
Yes, there are some liberties taken in terms of timeline and continuity, but this shouldn’t deter even the staunchest X-men purist, as these minor alterations serve the overall picture much better than the original order.
This isn’t just a must-read for the nostalgia-tragic and X-fans of the world. Piskor’s work goes from strength to strength. Even though you may know these stories well, you’ll still wait in anticipation for another installment.
That is testament to not only the original work and the way it endures, but to what Ed Piskor adds to the legacy.
Only Ed Piskor can draw Ed Piskor and do the writing justice. On the surface, this is all homage. Pure pop art. Graphic Design excellence that presents something the way you remember it, while performing it in a new and unique fashion.
Yes, that is a contradiction, but sometimes you need to just appreciate the beauty in the work.
The colors, print, and design perfectly communicate the feel of reading a comic in the 80s. The reverence for the time period runs so deep in Piskor’s veins that it bleeds out onto the page.
The costume design, body language, and character work are all high-level art from a magician who can conjure authenticity out of something he drew this year.
Nothing is played down; the period aspects are all held up proudly for everyone to remember how revered and popular this work was. Why we loved it and continue to react so passionately to it the way that we do.
Sequentially, Piskor tells a story in beats. But he does it by mixing so many facets of the comic book medium that your brain will explode. Comic strips. Splash pages. Shocking visual moments. Introspective and broody characters. The advent of the anti-hero. If it feels like something’s been glossed over, it hasn’t.
It’s you. Go back and read it again.
More than just a simple history lesson, Grand Design’s X-tinction is the most streamlined investigation into the beginning of the most convoluted periods in X-history. Piskor’s passion and ingenuity is on dazzling display as he maintains the heart of a period where the X-men were at there peak. Like an alchemist transforming precious metals, this book is entertaining, creative, and encapsulates the time period of its stories to perfection. This is all presented in a visual encyclopedia with footnotes that would put David Foster Wallace to shame.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN – X-Tinction #1 can be purchased on ComiXology and available at your local comic shop and online retailers on Wednesday, May 29th!
Writer/Artist – Ed Piskor
Publisher – Marvel Comics