X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis review


It’s time for another celebration of the rich history of the X-Men as Ed Piskor follows up his Eisner nominated X-Men: Grand Design with his next journey through the greatest X-Men moments. Picking up where the original left off, Second Genesis takes us from Giant Size X-Men #1 that introduced the world to the new team line-up right up to Forge’s debut and Storm’s subsequent loss of her powers.

As with the previous entry in this series, every facet of this book displays how much love Piskor has for the X-Men comics. Unlike the previous entry which covered several creators work, Second Genesis is firmly ensconced in the Chris Claremont era. Widely considered as the definitive X-Men run, this period introduced mainstay characters including Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Rogue and many more. It also produced some of the most memorable moments in the series’ history including The Dark Phoenix Saga, the invasion of the Brood, the debut of the Morlocks, Rogue’s theft of Ms. Marvel’s powers and Wolverine’s wedding to Mariko Yashida. Once again, Piskor does a terrific job of cherry picking the key and most memorable moments of X-Men history and weaving them into a single abridged narrative. This edition retains the same old school narration style from Marvel’s older comics which gives the series a very authentic feel. With a clear admiration for Chris Claremont’s work, its storytelling style meshes perfectly with the classic X-Men tales this collection covers.

Once again, Piskor brings his old school approach to the art department. There are elements of Jack Kirby and John Byrne present alongside the alternate style he is mainly known for. This could sit aside any X-Men comic released during the period and would fit right in. On the design front, this edition once again uses the Treasury format, so it can sit aside the previous volume and Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree series. And it still has the retro style aged brown paper that will take you back several decades by the smell alone. To top it off, there is a reprint of the classic Giant Size X-Men #1 recoloured by Piskor which is not only a welcome addition but also serves to show how well his work fits in with the classic material. There’s also some classic X-Men pin-ups from legendary Marvel artists Jim Lee, Arthur Adam, Joe Madureira and Todd McFarlane that are also recoloured by Piskor.

Second Genesis is a perfect follow up to Piskor’s brilliant first volume and encapsulates everything that made the X-Men series great. Anyone who has an appreciation of classic comics needs to check this out.

X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis is out now from Marvel

9781302904906 – P/B £24.99

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