X-Men: God Loves Man Kills (Marvel Graphic Novel #5)
Issue(s): X-Men: God Loves Man Kills (Marvel Graphic Novel #5)
Along with being a showcase for some great painted art by Brent Anderson, this graphic novel is an opportunity for Claremont to delve into the anti-mutant angle of the X-books that (i feel) has been hinted at but not properly developed in his main Uncanny X-Men run to date.
He introduces William Stryker, a religious leader modeled after the likes of Jerry Falwell, who leads a crusade against mutants.
Beyond stirring up bigotry, Stryker also leads Purifier soldiers who attack the X-Men...
...kidnapping Xavier and brainwashing him so that his powers can be used to kill all mutants.
Stryker is ultimately shot by a policeman in order to prevent Stryker from shooting Kitty.
The X-Men find an ally in Magneto...
...whose past militant actions are perhaps justified by the events of this issue.
This story does a lot to further the work Claremont set up in Uncanny X-Men #150 in establishing Magneto less as a crazed super-villain and more a militant mutant rights activist.
This book also contains the relatively famous scene where Wolverine pops his two outer claws out one at a time around the head of a goon, and then says "Wanna go for three?".
While the X-Men ultimately reject Magneto's way, his influence is seen in this book as they tolerate his use of torture...
...and maybe this scene with Nightcrawler is showing how the the influence is rubbed off (although i'm sure Nightcrawler, especially, would never go as far as Magneto).
Here's the street gang Mark mentions in the comments.
Quality Rating: A
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP has this taking place between the downtime scenes in Uncanny X-Men #168. It has to take place before Cyclops leaves for Alaska in that issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showColossus, Cyclops, John Cheever, Magik, Magneto, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rev. William Stryker, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Stevie Hunter, Storm, Wolverine
I have one of these... original, perfect condition... what is it worth?
Posted by: Ken Begrmann | February 20, 2011 2:46 AM
Wolverine showed he had control over individual claws near the end of Iron Fist #15.
This story has one bad note: the inclusion of a street gang too idiotic to know when they're outmatched, even when one of them gets easily killed. Street gangs began popping up WAY too much during Shooter's reign, and bizarrely were usually depicted as near super-villains to the point where street fighting was labeled a "martial art" in Marvel reference books(No, it isn't!).
Neal Adams was actually supposed to be the artist on this(or possibly a different X-Men story intended for graphic novel-hood), but he dropped out after doing 6 or 7 pages. They were later printed in either Comic Book Artist or Back Issue, and Marvel printed them even later.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 4:42 PM
I recently realized that Wolverine was shown popping a single claw in his first X-Men appearance in Giant-Size #1, so i've updated the above.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 18, 2011 11:15 PM
This Graphic Novel actually made it on the evangelical TV show "700 Club", where the host bizarrely claimed that Stryker had been "crucified" at the end(fanzines quickly pointed out this was crap).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 10, 2014 6:35 PM
The title of this book stands as a bit odd. The tale of the Sphinx from Nova and Solomon Kane, as well as a few other items, would seem to verify the following:
The Biblical Yahweh had thousands, diagetically, slain on his orders.
Posted by: PB210 | March 8, 2014 7:21 AM
In Comics Interview #34, Rick Bryant claimed he did backgrounds on the art.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 15, 2014 4:40 PM
Any idea if Bryant's contribution should be considered pencils or inks/finishes?
Posted by: fnord12 | March 15, 2014 6:59 PM
I first read this graphic novel ignorant of its context. Now I know more about the period of X-Men it's set in, I can't help but notice that the New Mutants are conspicuously absent. If it wasn't for the fact that the school is clearly not a building site, I'd say that this would fit better before the Brood storyline than after it.
Posted by: Stephen | March 15, 2014 8:06 PM
His description sounded like both.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 16, 2014 6:06 PM
Thanks. Updated the credits here and Uncanny X-Men #159.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 16, 2014 6:58 PM
So I noticed while reading this that Kitty AKA Sprite is known as Ariel and wearing a green outfit and green face paint. I know that earlier in X-Men, Professor Xavier recommended her using the Ariel name but she went with Sprite instead. It is odd considering Chris Claremont was the writer of the X-Men and the author of this graphic novel. Also she is known as Ariel in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983). Does anyone know why this was?
Posted by: Ryan | April 18, 2014 7:48 AM
It seems Claremont and Byrne went back and forth between Ariel and Sprite for a while before Kitty actually got a name (Claremont initially wanted to name her Thunderbird, apparently!). It seems they settled on Ariel and then changed it back to Sprite at the last minute. But for some materials that already came out or were in the works, like the Handbook, and also a coloring book i once had, still used the name Ariel. Considering the lead time on graphic novels it may have been the same situation here.
Storywise, just as Kitty is shown to be changing her costume a lot, i'd say that it's ok for her to go back and forth on names, too.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 18, 2014 9:10 AM
Was she not calling herself Ariel around 169-170? That was not Caliban's first appearance, but there must have been some design in Claremont having a Caliban and an Ariel, the two supernatural characters from The Tempest, earth and air spirits, the misunderstood monster and the elusive nymph, etc.
Posted by: Todd | April 18, 2014 11:19 AM
In #169, she says to Storm "I'd ask you to call me by my codename... if I didn't think it was so dumb" and then "Sprite's a kid's name. I'm an X-Man". Later, Caliban calls her "Sprite-child".
In that link in my comment above, Byrne is quoted saying he backed away from the Ariel name when he saw the Tempest on PBS and realized that the character was male. So it probably was the original intention to tie the two together (confirmed further down in the post) but i guess they never did anything with it.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 18, 2014 2:33 PM
Has anyone considered the security guard that shot Reverend William Stryker at the end of X-Men: God Loves Man Kills might have been Mystique in disguise?
Also I wonder if this gang is the same one wearing X-Men masks controlled by Masque in #260!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | May 6, 2015 5:13 AM
Similar to how Claremont revealed the Trasks and Starks were related, I wonder if he might have intended Stryker to secretly be the son of Baron Strucker?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | May 6, 2015 5:16 AM
Now this is what the graphic novels really could have been, especially after the start with the Death of Captain Marvel: great art and a longer format to tell a great, meaningful story.
@ Nathan Adler - since the gang all seems to be dead, I would think probably not. But it's an X-Men story and people in X-Men stories rarely stay dead.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 8, 2015 11:33 AM
Indications that the book was never intended to be in continuity from the outset, and changing Neal Adams for Brent Eric Anderson probably didn't help. This would explain why it can't really be placed.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 22, 2017 10:48 PM
I'm almost reaching this book in my X-Men chronological read and I'm wondering what makes the MCP place this issue (along with the X-Men & AF (1998) mini and also X-Men Vs Hulk (2009)) in a gap of UXM #168.
Why couldn't it be placed like you did, between UXM #167 and #168?
Posted by: Bibs | July 7, 2017 9:43 AM
X-Men/Hulk is a continuity mess:
Posted by: Michael | July 7, 2017 10:15 AM
Thank for sharing that.
Oh man, what a mess! I see that there are a lot of details here that makes this GN, Wolverine mini and both of those continuity inserts very hard to place:
Wolverine/Lockheed meeting before they're supposed to, Cyclops being present in the stories, Wolverine being in Japan, Storm's haircut, Hulk being Savage in a time he's not supposed to, etc.
Well, following MCP's placement (X-Men-wise), I think it goes like this:
UXM #168 (p. 1-21) - Wolverine goes to Canada
I haven't read any of these yet, so I can't really judge the placement right now.
Posted by: Bibs | July 7, 2017 1:14 PM
@ Bibs -
If you go to Marvel Team-Up #135 you'll see some of the timing problems in this stretch in the comments.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 7, 2017 3:10 PM
For what it's worth, the Marvel Masterworks collections -- which aren't always great at placing these things -- int he same collection as "Uncanny" #169-75 and, interestingly the Wolverine miniseries.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 7, 2017 7:02 PM
Ok, now that I've read this GN, I understand why it can't take place between #167 and #168 - the whole Kitty being demoted to the NM arc.
Placing this between the last Pages of #168 and after Wolverine returns from Canadá in Wolverine v1 #1 seems ok, the only problem I can find is Kitty's costume and codename.
Posted by: Bibs | July 13, 2017 4:49 AM
Given how well known this book is, I didn't really like it that much :(
The allegory felt too much "on the nose", nothing really happens in the book and it just feels too long.
And I love Claremont Uncanny X-men with all my heart. I just feel this story is too short for the whole book.
Posted by: Karel | September 30, 2017 11:00 AM
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