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December 29, 2017

The All-New Uncanny X-Piles #187

Welcome back to another edition of The All-New Uncanny X-Piles! Yeah, it’s been a long time since we were here and truth be told it’s because the world of Marvel’s mutants in comics has been quite the lackluster venture and there’s been other comics worth spending that hard earned money on when New Comic Book Day rolls around. But when word got out that award winning storyteller, Ed Piskor would be adding his own touch to the world of the X-Men it was worth a look to see what he was bringing to mutantkind!

 

X-Men: Grand Design #1
Publisher: Marvel
Artist: Ed Piskor
Colorist: Ed Piskor
Cover: Ed Piskor

The X-Men’s history is extensive, detailed, and at times can be frustratingly confusing for some. However, Grand Design attempts to make sense of the timeline while making the big picture even richer in the world of mutants. By doing this he takes us back but not to the formation of the team and it’s first five members but to when Namor attacked and flooded New York in his battle with the original Human Torch. This is the moment that becomes the catalyst for human/mutant relations for decades to come since Namor was the first mutant in the Marvel Universe. It’s this little change of Piskor’s that also sets Brian Xavier on a path that would influence his son’s mutation. From here we see the evolution of not only Charles but Magneto and those who would come to flesh out the history of the X-Men for decades to come.

If you’ve been a fan of the X-Men for a while this is a series that you should have added to your pull list since day one. Piskor isn’t just slapping some events together to retell the beginning of the X-Men but he’s masterfully aligned the pieces of a very elaborate and often out-of-whack puzzle to tell the story of some of the greatest characters from Marvel. Even if you’re well versed in the history and lore already, Piskor’s storytelling here keeps it quite fresh while making the entrance to the X-Men’s world a bit more accessible to any new reader who might not have been around when these classic events were introduced to the fans. As the story builds you begin to see how large the mythos has become and how well Piskor handles the already vast amount of characters in this issue alone. You can see that he has not only done his research here but refuses to just regurgitate historical facts about the team’s early days. There’s heart in this and he captures the voice of every single character even when the Watcher is moving things along.

Not just content with handling the narrative but Piskor knocks out the visual storytelling as well. If you’re familiar with his work from Hip-Hop Family Tree then you already know what to expect. It’s this overall visual presentation that helps to immerse you in the story. From his signature style to the panel layouts this trip to the X-Men’s past is one of the best. Even the look of the paper stock helps to give you that fresh off the spinner rack comics feel and brings it all full circle. Though his style might be cartoony for some, Piskor has no problem bringing the drama and weight to certain emotional scenes to propel his narrative along. I also personally liked his Iceman design because it gives him a dirty snow look which adds to the “realism” of the character’s early snow form. That 90s hover chair is also welcome in any time period but that’s just a longtime favorite of mine so it was good to see that as well.  Now, as good as the issue looks that last page was one of the standouts. From the pose of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who look like they’re about the drop the most fire mixtape to an unexpected cameo as well.

When the issue hits its cliffhanger there’s an added reading list for those that want to see where certain events originated from. Like Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’ Marvels added a new depth and excitement for the early Marvel Universe, Ed Piskor’s X-Men: Grand Design is on track to do just the same for the mutants! 4/5

For more All-New Uncanny X-Piles click here!

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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