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X-Men: Grand Design - Second Genesis

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The sequel to the critical smash hit X-MEN GRAND DESIGN is here - and it's ALL-NEW and ALL-DIFFERENT! Witness Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Storm, and Sunfire suit up as X-Men for the very first time all over again! And then the Shi'ar! The Brood! The Starjammers! Watch as Marvel's merry mutants take to the stars. See the first X-Men adventures of Kitty Pryde and Carol The sequel to the critical smash hit X-MEN GRAND DESIGN is here - and it's ALL-NEW and ALL-DIFFERENT! Witness Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Storm, and Sunfire suit up as X-Men for the very first time all over again! And then the Shi'ar! The Brood! The Starjammers! Watch as Marvel's merry mutants take to the stars. See the first X-Men adventures of Kitty Pryde and Carol Danvers. Marvel at the conclusion of the now-classic DARK PHOENIX SAGA. All through the lens of indie auteur ED PISKOR, who lovingly researches, writes, pencils, inks, colors and letters every page just for you! This volume also includes an issue of Giant Size X-Men and pinups by Art Adams, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee and Joe Madureira masterfully recolored by Ed. Presented in the same dynamic, oversized format of the best-selling Hip Hop Family Tree (9" x 13"). COLLECTING: X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN - SECOND GENESIS 1-2


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The sequel to the critical smash hit X-MEN GRAND DESIGN is here - and it's ALL-NEW and ALL-DIFFERENT! Witness Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Storm, and Sunfire suit up as X-Men for the very first time all over again! And then the Shi'ar! The Brood! The Starjammers! Watch as Marvel's merry mutants take to the stars. See the first X-Men adventures of Kitty Pryde and Carol The sequel to the critical smash hit X-MEN GRAND DESIGN is here - and it's ALL-NEW and ALL-DIFFERENT! Witness Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Storm, and Sunfire suit up as X-Men for the very first time all over again! And then the Shi'ar! The Brood! The Starjammers! Watch as Marvel's merry mutants take to the stars. See the first X-Men adventures of Kitty Pryde and Carol Danvers. Marvel at the conclusion of the now-classic DARK PHOENIX SAGA. All through the lens of indie auteur ED PISKOR, who lovingly researches, writes, pencils, inks, colors and letters every page just for you! This volume also includes an issue of Giant Size X-Men and pinups by Art Adams, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee and Joe Madureira masterfully recolored by Ed. Presented in the same dynamic, oversized format of the best-selling Hip Hop Family Tree (9" x 13"). COLLECTING: X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN - SECOND GENESIS 1-2

30 review for X-Men: Grand Design - Second Genesis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scott (on temporary hiatus)

    While I liked but was sort of underwhelmed by X-Men: Grand Design (Piskor's first volume, about the original line-up's formation and early years) I found his follow-up / companion piece, Second Genesis, much more accessible and enjoyable. This edition focuses on writer Chris Claremont's long-running and legendary years (1975-1991) at the title's helm, and introduces those wonderfully diverse characters - Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Wolverine, and Kitty 'Shadowcat' Pryde, among others - that n While I liked but was sort of underwhelmed by X-Men: Grand Design (Piskor's first volume, about the original line-up's formation and early years) I found his follow-up / companion piece, Second Genesis, much more accessible and enjoyable. This edition focuses on writer Chris Claremont's long-running and legendary years (1975-1991) at the title's helm, and introduces those wonderfully diverse characters - Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Wolverine, and Kitty 'Shadowcat' Pryde, among others - that now capably filled out the 'X' ranks. Honestly, these folks just seemed more interesting to me. This volume just seemed lively - along with the requisite 'X' action and drama there was certainly more humor this time, and that made it a lot of fun to read. It is again presented in the 'treasury edition' format, with the aged-looking pages and artwork that is a throwback to the 70's style.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    A great primer for anyone who's been interested in the X-Men's history but too intimidated by the sheer amount of it. This covers the introduction of the 2nd X-Men team and their adventures for the next 100 issues or so, from Giant size X-Men #1 to Uncanny X-Men #186. Some of the classic stories are during this time period like the Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past (which is curiously omitted). This was during Chris Claremont and John Byrne's heyday and I would encourage those interested A great primer for anyone who's been interested in the X-Men's history but too intimidated by the sheer amount of it. This covers the introduction of the 2nd X-Men team and their adventures for the next 100 issues or so, from Giant size X-Men #1 to Uncanny X-Men #186. Some of the classic stories are during this time period like the Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past (which is curiously omitted). This was during Chris Claremont and John Byrne's heyday and I would encourage those interested to actually go back and read all these issues. Although Claremont can definitely sound wordy for modern comics, the 70's and 80's were the best time period for X-Men comics. They consistently knocked it out of the park. Pisker's art is a bit frowny for my taste and I'm definitely not a fan of the drab coloring. (Yes, I know it's supposed to look like an old comic.) the oversized treasury edition is great. I did think the Ed Piskor recolored version of Giant Size X-Men was superfluous and just a way to drive up the cost.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter Derk

    Good stuff, but not as good as the first volume. Also, as someone who's read a bunch of early comics, I can tell you the utility for volume 1, which saves you the trouble of reading comics from the era when writers and artists were still figuring things out, is higher than this one. This one covers over some really good comics, still some of my favorites. While I'm heavily in favor of reading the first volume to skate through early X-Men history, which is more fun to talk about than actually rea Good stuff, but not as good as the first volume. Also, as someone who's read a bunch of early comics, I can tell you the utility for volume 1, which saves you the trouble of reading comics from the era when writers and artists were still figuring things out, is higher than this one. This one covers over some really good comics, still some of my favorites. While I'm heavily in favor of reading the first volume to skate through early X-Men history, which is more fun to talk about than actually read, this volume skates you through issues that are pretty great to read in full. The whole Dark Phoenix Saga is a really good X-Men story, tons of fun, and I'd recommend you go ahead and just read it. I guess it's a Piskor thing, sometimes stuff skips around. You're in one story, then bam, you're in another. Seemed more pronounced in this one. The transitions could be smoother. A good comic, a good project. I'd love to see this treatment on some of the very early issues of some other books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    2.5 This book stinks. Literally. I once lived downwind of a paper mill and this is exactly what this book's odor reminds me of. I thought it was an oddity with the copy of Vol. 1 I read but, here it is again, so it must be the ink or the paper used. And it really taints the reading experience. Volume two covers X-Men history from issues 94-186. 30 issues more than the last volume and during a time when the stories were far richer than the punch-up of the month they had been before Claremont took ov 2.5 This book stinks. Literally. I once lived downwind of a paper mill and this is exactly what this book's odor reminds me of. I thought it was an oddity with the copy of Vol. 1 I read but, here it is again, so it must be the ink or the paper used. And it really taints the reading experience. Volume two covers X-Men history from issues 94-186. 30 issues more than the last volume and during a time when the stories were far richer than the punch-up of the month they had been before Claremont took over. The result is a mostly soulless retelling of some of the most memorable moments in the series with lot of bizarre changes. Days of Future Past is ignored entirely. Storm's mohawk becomes a reaction to losing her powers, rendering a powerful statement of self-expression into an emo tantrum. Every plot point is handled so perfunctorily and the pacing so fast that the whole book feels like a "Last time, on X-Men" montage. Piskor does sprinkle some fun Easter eggs throughout, Like being Donald Pierce's cyborg arm being drawn as a Nintendo power glove, but the total package is still rushed and devoid of the emotional beats that made This era of the X-men so beloved.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diz

    Classic 80s X-Men stories told with a quirky, off-beat art style? Sign me up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wes Benchoff

    Streamlines the canon for old fans and brings new readers into some of the best years of the X-men with style and includes a gorgeous re-colored edition of Giant Size X-Men #1, which holds up very well. If you read this and enjoy it I would highly recommend any of the late 70's/80's X-men or the spinoffs that these stories are taken from. Streamlines the canon for old fans and brings new readers into some of the best years of the X-men with style and includes a gorgeous re-colored edition of Giant Size X-Men #1, which holds up very well. If you read this and enjoy it I would highly recommend any of the late 70's/80's X-men or the spinoffs that these stories are taken from.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    Wow this is a very nice retelling of the X-Men and all the various timeline additions that have the retconned into that timeline over the years. Great job by the writer making it all make sense. Very recommended

  8. 5 out of 5

    C. Varn

    I admire what Piskor is trying to do here: take the X-men narrative and make it coherent in a style that reflects classic comics. This volume moves from the classic era of X-men's silver age to the Giant-sized reboot and into the Claremont era which defined the X-men for that point forever. The issue is that it feels rushed and plots that are were complicated are reduced, added too, and made more seamless. Piskor's art is interesting and very retro but lacks some of the strength of Cockrum and B I admire what Piskor is trying to do here: take the X-men narrative and make it coherent in a style that reflects classic comics. This volume moves from the classic era of X-men's silver age to the Giant-sized reboot and into the Claremont era which defined the X-men for that point forever. The issue is that it feels rushed and plots that are were complicated are reduced, added too, and made more seamless. Piskor's art is interesting and very retro but lacks some of the strength of Cockrum and Byrne. Furthermore, that becomes slightly more obvious when Piskor's recoloring of Giant-sized one is included in the package. Furthermore, Piskor has to consolidate more: this covers Uncanny X-men 94-186 and covers some key Claremont works like the Pheonix and Dark Pheonix saga. Piskor does cover more issues which have a more complicated plot and character development in a similar space. While I do still appreciate Piskor's attempt to make a singular and definitive continuity, I would take the discontinuity of the whole and the developed arcs in the original as my definitive so far.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell

    Like reading a condensed version of the early X-Men. Complete with semi-crappy pulp style art. It actually continues to work better than I think it should. Not sure how enjoyable it would be to those who this isn't a refresher. It was definitely readable if not amazing. Like reading a condensed version of the early X-Men. Complete with semi-crappy pulp style art. It actually continues to work better than I think it should. Not sure how enjoyable it would be to those who this isn't a refresher. It was definitely readable if not amazing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Piskor does a fascinating job weaving the ongoing serial of the X-Men's adventures together into one, wait for it, grand design. A way the story ebbs & flows is fascinating, and some tales get emphasised for how they fit into the larger story, and others get a panel or eliminated entirely. #JusticeForAlphaFlight Piskor does a fascinating job weaving the ongoing serial of the X-Men's adventures together into one, wait for it, grand design. A way the story ebbs & flows is fascinating, and some tales get emphasised for how they fit into the larger story, and others get a panel or eliminated entirely. #JusticeForAlphaFlight

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    See my comments on the first volume if you are curious about these books, but let me add that one of Mr. Piskor’s greatest feats here is the way he condenses years of issues into single pages or sometimes even single frames or panels. I didn’t read or follow much of what happened to/with the X-Men over many years, but I feel he’s made nice selections of what moments and events to feature and recreate in detail and what is best summarized. And he’s not done yet. This volume begins with the introd See my comments on the first volume if you are curious about these books, but let me add that one of Mr. Piskor’s greatest feats here is the way he condenses years of issues into single pages or sometimes even single frames or panels. I didn’t read or follow much of what happened to/with the X-Men over many years, but I feel he’s made nice selections of what moments and events to feature and recreate in detail and what is best summarized. And he’s not done yet. This volume begins with the introduction of the new team from Giant-Sized X-Men #1 (which is reprinted at the end) and moves thru the Dark Phoenix saga by it’s midpoint. The latter half is much of what and why I fell away from reading this title, as it’s a bit of a soap-opera (although their personal lives and conflicts has always been a big part of the story) and a space-opera, with the Shi’ar empire. And does anyone like the Alien-like brood, or the Moorlocks? I’m not as familiar and therefore fond of those storylines, but that is what makes an overview like this a quick, enjoyable way to get thru these parts of the overall saga. And Mr. Piskor is not done yet. There is more of the “grand design” to reveal.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jack Phoenix

    Piskor's narrative of a consolidated X-Men history stays strong as he dives into more familiar territory for the modern comic fan, even if some of the power and emotion from those original, groundbreaking stories are inevitably lost. Piskor's narrative of a consolidated X-Men history stays strong as he dives into more familiar territory for the modern comic fan, even if some of the power and emotion from those original, groundbreaking stories are inevitably lost.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mickey

    Though this book is packed with energetic art and an optimistic storyteller, the staccato pace makes for a highly unpleasant reading experience. A dozen or more stories are told, or referenced, in this book. Some last 2-3 pages. Others, only a single panel. Once I have purchase on a theme or narrative, the rug is pulled out from under me. Characters come and go. Locations shift rapidly. The only unifying factor seems to be the retro color scheme, which gets tiresome about halfway through. I prefer Though this book is packed with energetic art and an optimistic storyteller, the staccato pace makes for a highly unpleasant reading experience. A dozen or more stories are told, or referenced, in this book. Some last 2-3 pages. Others, only a single panel. Once I have purchase on a theme or narrative, the rug is pulled out from under me. Characters come and go. Locations shift rapidly. The only unifying factor seems to be the retro color scheme, which gets tiresome about halfway through. I prefer volume one because all its disparate parts coalesced into something intelligible. I finished this volume and all I have are a thousand random character/plot/setting details and none of them fit with each other.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This second volume collects the stories from the 1980s: a decade when arguably the most interesting X-Men characters were introduced, the most memorable stories were told, and, thanks to creators like Chris Claremont and Art Adams, the series solidified itself as one of the most popular and recognizable comic book titles of all time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mateen Mahboubi

    Much like Vol. 1, Piskor takes us on a journey through the history of the X-Men at breakneck speed. I enjoy the art and colouring but think that the story would have benefitted slowing it down and taking more time with some of these rich storylines. Dozens of issues are synthesized to pages here and unless you're familiar with the history, you might feel left behind. Lots of fun easter eggs though. Here's Piskor dropping a Jay-Z reference on us. Much like Vol. 1, Piskor takes us on a journey through the history of the X-Men at breakneck speed. I enjoy the art and colouring but think that the story would have benefitted slowing it down and taking more time with some of these rich storylines. Dozens of issues are synthesized to pages here and unless you're familiar with the history, you might feel left behind. Lots of fun easter eggs though. Here's Piskor dropping a Jay-Z reference on us.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Abe Something

    What I love about these Piskor retellings is how they lay bare just how random the X-Men comic was for so many years. One insane event after the next.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John H

    Just like with the first one, it's difficult to make an entirely coherent story from all the various X-Men threads, but I still love the attempt and the art. Just like with the first one, it's difficult to make an entirely coherent story from all the various X-Men threads, but I still love the attempt and the art.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Miller

    The period in X-Men history covered by this book is among the most iconic - and when you see it all laid out in only a hundred and seventy some pages, it really hits home how bizarre that period is. It all starts with a total line-up change, occasioned by fighting an island. Not an island full of people, just an island. At its most memorably insane, a major character dies after a criminal organization/kinky historical reenactment society accidentally unleashes a malevolent cosmic entity inside h The period in X-Men history covered by this book is among the most iconic - and when you see it all laid out in only a hundred and seventy some pages, it really hits home how bizarre that period is. It all starts with a total line-up change, occasioned by fighting an island. Not an island full of people, just an island. At its most memorably insane, a major character dies after a criminal organization/kinky historical reenactment society accidentally unleashes a malevolent cosmic entity inside her, leading the team to fight in vain for her life against aliens in space. Really, it's kind of weird how often the X-Men, ostensibly an allegory for oppressed humans on Earth, fight aliens in space. In the original comics, the excellent characterization of the new X-Men went a long way toward grounding the action and making the series both relatable and wildly popular. This retelling doesn't have the space to explore the characters' inner lives the way Chris Clairemont would, but Ed Piskor's art provides a compelling indication of both the strangeness and excitement of the group's adventures. It also doesn't have the space to recount the events of Days of Future Past, which is a damned shame.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael Emond

    My complaint about this series is still the same and it only gets worse. The art is horrid and the idea behind it is flawed. You get a super rushed history of the X-Men (which is confusing enough) but Ed also randomly changes parts of the history to explain the stories in a way that never happened in the original comics. Now I have read the last volume so a bit of this might be by design because he is telling the X-Men history as if the events of Days of Future Past had not happened so we get t My complaint about this series is still the same and it only gets worse. The art is horrid and the idea behind it is flawed. You get a super rushed history of the X-Men (which is confusing enough) but Ed also randomly changes parts of the history to explain the stories in a way that never happened in the original comics. Now I have read the last volume so a bit of this might be by design because he is telling the X-Men history as if the events of Days of Future Past had not happened so we get to see the Mutant registration act unfold...however, that still doesn't explain all the little changes he makes BEFORE that event and doesn't explain ALL of the changes he makes after the event. And since this isn't explained and I had to piece it together after reading volume 3, I am left wondering "why"? Why not explain this was your plan, and why make the changes that have nothing to do with that event? And even with that explanation, my HUGE complaint is - who is this series written for? X-Men fans who read these original stories won't enjoy this fractured, randomly changed, history ( I sure didn't). And people who never read the original tales will not get a sense of the history because it is told so badly and is so super compressed. Big fail.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judah Radd

    I’m just going to copy/paste my review for the last volume, since it applies word for word, verbatim: Handle with caution!!! This is a really cool thing. This guy basically took the entire history of X-Men, and wrote a really cohesive, illustrated summary. It’s a good refresher for people who have been away from comics for a while and want to jump back in to X-Men. It’s also a nice thing for people reading new X-Men to read just to give them the bare bones of what happened prior. However... This is I’m just going to copy/paste my review for the last volume, since it applies word for word, verbatim: Handle with caution!!! This is a really cool thing. This guy basically took the entire history of X-Men, and wrote a really cohesive, illustrated summary. It’s a good refresher for people who have been away from comics for a while and want to jump back in to X-Men. It’s also a nice thing for people reading new X-Men to read just to give them the bare bones of what happened prior. However... This is no substitute for the original books. It lacks the drama and narrative flow that makes those books amazing. You will feel nothing reading this. It’s a by-the-numbers retelling. Well made, well researched, convenient... but soulless. I recommend reading the real thing, but if you never plan on doing that, this is a useful tool.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Jumps around just as much as the first volume. But this one is a bit better only because the material covered is much more interesting. Piskor takes a bit more time focusing on all the most important stories while just taking a panel or two to gloss over stories that, while still good, do not affect the overall main storylines. Too bad he skips the Deadly Genesis story, which retcons some of the introduction of the new X-Men and adds a new layer of depth to the story. But I can see exactly why h Jumps around just as much as the first volume. But this one is a bit better only because the material covered is much more interesting. Piskor takes a bit more time focusing on all the most important stories while just taking a panel or two to gloss over stories that, while still good, do not affect the overall main storylines. Too bad he skips the Deadly Genesis story, which retcons some of the introduction of the new X-Men and adds a new layer of depth to the story. But I can see exactly why he did that. Since he would not be covering the later half of the story, it would be left kind of incomplete. Also, I think I would have been fine without the inclusion of the old issues recolored by Piskor. Instead it would have been cool to see Piskor's notes, storyboards, pencils, and any other cool stuff they could dig up. Would have been more interesting in my opinion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Russell Grant

    4.5/5 I'm in uncharted territory here, as Piskor continues the history of X-Men starting with Giant Sized X-Men and hitting the Dark Phoenix Saga and beyond. I've not read any of these original books. Being a superhero fan in the late '80s/early '90s I figured it impenetrable and instead dived into 10 Batman. Superman books a month as a DC/Death Of mark instead. Reading this, I wasn't entirely wrong. Characters keep showing up and it's all a bit much but Piskor does a great job staying on top of 4.5/5 I'm in uncharted territory here, as Piskor continues the history of X-Men starting with Giant Sized X-Men and hitting the Dark Phoenix Saga and beyond. I've not read any of these original books. Being a superhero fan in the late '80s/early '90s I figured it impenetrable and instead dived into 10 Batman. Superman books a month as a DC/Death Of mark instead. Reading this, I wasn't entirely wrong. Characters keep showing up and it's all a bit much but Piskor does a great job staying on top of everything. I think? I don't know how many years/issues this covers, but it reads clean and I adore the art. The use of white, of all things, as a colour is really striking. It adds up to being another great read. I have no idea where Piskor's 3rd book will take the story, I'm guessing AGE OF APOCALYPSE, but I'm in.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    Similar to the first collection of Grand Design issues, Piskor’s art and presentation of basically a full decade of X-Men storylines (the mid-70s to early 80s this time) is visually appealing and narratively a mess. In just 90 pages he rushes through a cliffs notes version of the Second Genesis, Phoenix Saga, Brood Saga, The Morlocks, and kind of The New Mutants. I’d heard of most of those from seeing related episodes of the 90s X-Men cartoon, but am not familiar with the original comics to fill Similar to the first collection of Grand Design issues, Piskor’s art and presentation of basically a full decade of X-Men storylines (the mid-70s to early 80s this time) is visually appealing and narratively a mess. In just 90 pages he rushes through a cliffs notes version of the Second Genesis, Phoenix Saga, Brood Saga, The Morlocks, and kind of The New Mutants. I’d heard of most of those from seeing related episodes of the 90s X-Men cartoon, but am not familiar with the original comics to fill in the blanks of Piskor’s reverent nerd “and remember when..” sprint through them all. I can imagine this being great for anyone who actively has nostalgia for them. I’m still tempted to read the final collection of these (that I’m guessing covers the mid-80s into the 90s) for the art alone, even though I suspect it’ll be another cliffs notes sprint through the notable plot points.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Pretty much everything I said in my review of the first volume still applies. This volume covers the period from around 1975-1985. X-Men continuity starts getting pretty weird in the 80s, and that's all reflected here. Piskor does manage to make things somewhat coherent, but it's all still a (glorious) mess. His art style doesn't work quite as well on the 80s material as it does on the 60s stuff, but it does still work, and he adjusts it a bit without losing what makes it unique. This is still ve Pretty much everything I said in my review of the first volume still applies. This volume covers the period from around 1975-1985. X-Men continuity starts getting pretty weird in the 80s, and that's all reflected here. Piskor does manage to make things somewhat coherent, but it's all still a (glorious) mess. His art style doesn't work quite as well on the 80s material as it does on the 60s stuff, but it does still work, and he adjusts it a bit without losing what makes it unique. This is still very much a worthwhile read, and in some ways, even more fun than the first volume.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Silas

    This second volume of X-Men: Grand Design is a bit more interesting than the first... which I think is largely because the original stories are a bit more interesting, though it seems to spend a little bit more time on some of the more important stories, as well. It remains an excellent overview at a large swathe of stories, covering a lot of ground quickly. I have read a few more stories from this volume than the last, and it handles them reasonably well. I started reading X-Men comics during t This second volume of X-Men: Grand Design is a bit more interesting than the first... which I think is largely because the original stories are a bit more interesting, though it seems to spend a little bit more time on some of the more important stories, as well. It remains an excellent overview at a large swathe of stories, covering a lot of ground quickly. I have read a few more stories from this volume than the last, and it handles them reasonably well. I started reading X-Men comics during the next volume, so I'll have an even more concrete opinion on that one, but this was solid, and filled in a lot of gaps for me, and though its density makes for slightly slower reading, it's still not overly-cumbersome, either.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Norman Cook

    Once again, Piskor takes the almost unintelligible continuity of X-Men and makes it comprehensible. This volume takes us from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, the era with which I am most familiar. It was nice reliving some of the stories from this era; there were lots of details I had forgotten. As with any condensation like this, certain moments are left out, and a few are retconned or rearranged (for example, a character from the X-Men movie franchise is introduced into this continuity). Now, Once again, Piskor takes the almost unintelligible continuity of X-Men and makes it comprehensible. This volume takes us from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, the era with which I am most familiar. It was nice reliving some of the stories from this era; there were lots of details I had forgotten. As with any condensation like this, certain moments are left out, and a few are retconned or rearranged (for example, a character from the X-Men movie franchise is introduced into this continuity). Now, there is not much subtlety or nuance here, so don't expect a riveting drama. But for a quick refresher or a nostalgic look back, this is an excellent source.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andy Zell

    This is basically a reference book, and if read that way, it's useful. In these Grand Design volumes, Piskor is retelling the story of the X-Men in a very streamlined fashion. By being a comic book itself, it's way more interesting to read than a Wikipedia page. This volume covers the early years of Chris Claremont's run and includes the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix story, the Brood, and the Morlocks, among others. I've read some of these stories before in the original comics, but I was glad to fill in This is basically a reference book, and if read that way, it's useful. In these Grand Design volumes, Piskor is retelling the story of the X-Men in a very streamlined fashion. By being a comic book itself, it's way more interesting to read than a Wikipedia page. This volume covers the early years of Chris Claremont's run and includes the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix story, the Brood, and the Morlocks, among others. I've read some of these stories before in the original comics, but I was glad to fill in some of the gaps of my X-Men knowledge and revisit the familiar in this truncated version. If you really like X-Men history, this may be the book for you!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shane Perry

    Another excellent entry to this series from Ed Piskor. This volume details the introduction of the new X-men, the Dark Phoenix saga, and more. Piskor’s art is fantastic and easily the stand out part of this book. I’m so glad Marvel chose to publish his work in this oversized format. My only major gripe with this is that the footnotes present in the single issues which tell you the exact issue numbers and give insight into Piskor’s research process are NOT in the main collection. Otherwise this i Another excellent entry to this series from Ed Piskor. This volume details the introduction of the new X-men, the Dark Phoenix saga, and more. Piskor’s art is fantastic and easily the stand out part of this book. I’m so glad Marvel chose to publish his work in this oversized format. My only major gripe with this is that the footnotes present in the single issues which tell you the exact issue numbers and give insight into Piskor’s research process are NOT in the main collection. Otherwise this is well worth your time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Greg Kerestan

    Ed Piskor's "Grand Design" trilogy picks up a little plot-wise here as we begin condensing the Chris Claremont era. This is both a good thing and a bad: it's good because the plot gets increasingly involved, introducing more beloved characters. It's bad because, with so much more going on, the "and then this happened and this happened" plotting feels more and more like Cliff's Notes. Also, the Claremont era is pretty untouchable, canon-wise, so there aren't as many twists and revelations bringin Ed Piskor's "Grand Design" trilogy picks up a little plot-wise here as we begin condensing the Chris Claremont era. This is both a good thing and a bad: it's good because the plot gets increasingly involved, introducing more beloved characters. It's bad because, with so much more going on, the "and then this happened and this happened" plotting feels more and more like Cliff's Notes. Also, the Claremont era is pretty untouchable, canon-wise, so there aren't as many twists and revelations bringing in other bits of canon. Still, a solid entry and a great look at the long-running Phoenix Saga.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve

    Feel pretty much the same way about this volume as I did the first... It's a fun walk down memory lane for X-Men fans (DAZZLER! ROGUE!!!!!!!!!!), but everything is so rushed through, that there's no flow to the story or personality to the characters. The main thing the book did is make me want to go back and re-read X-Men back issues. The endpapers of classic X-Men covers brought back fond memories of my teenage collection... Feel pretty much the same way about this volume as I did the first... It's a fun walk down memory lane for X-Men fans (DAZZLER! ROGUE!!!!!!!!!!), but everything is so rushed through, that there's no flow to the story or personality to the characters. The main thing the book did is make me want to go back and re-read X-Men back issues. The endpapers of classic X-Men covers brought back fond memories of my teenage collection...

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