I haven’t bought a lot of Marvel or DC recently, not out of some personal or permanent dogma regarding either of the “Big 2” U.S. comic publishers, I just haven’t been confronted with anything that’s either captured my imagination or appealed to me intellectually.
I am, however, or rather was a giant X-Men fan.
That doesn’t make me unique.
Perhaps no other comicbook bloc was more popular in the history of american comics as ’90s X-Men. We can talk about Golden Age Superman and Captain Marvel during an era where almost all media entertainment and information, especially for children, were print based but the sheer number of X-Men related titles was nothing short of staggering.
They printed Stryfe’s Strike File… two variations of it… and EVERYONE had it. They were stacking so much money I think the current EiC of DC Comics rode that notch on his resume and his relationships forged during the time – he was the X-Men group editor – for close to thirty years now.
It took prime Todd McFarlane on Marvel’s flagship character – and still by far, following licensing money, the most valuable single superhero property by A LOT – for there to be another single comic book that could be talked about in the same air as the ’90s X-Men factory.
And my fandom was not just limited to the Claremont run.
The cartoonist behind X-Men: Grand Design, one Ed Piskor, has said (on his dope Youtube Channel that he shares with fellow cartoonist Jim Rugg: Cartoonist Kayfabe) considers a stopping point for the title to be Claremont’s exit but I still was very much into Fatal Attractions w/ that Joe Quesada and Greg Capullo art and Generation X with sublime early Chris Bachalo scribblings and would love an Ed Piskor take on all those Cable-adjacent events that came after the Claremont X-Men era and condense them into something concise and coherent. I’d buy the shit out of Piskor-remixed X-Cutioner’s Song, Phalanx Covenant, and aforementioned Fatal Attractions. And I LOVE Age of Apocalypse.
Since then though, sans an interesting and odd run written by Grant Morrison TWENTY years ago that brought back that new weird, displaced, un-marvel Marvel flavor that X-Men embodied, I’ve pretty much found myself almost immediately disinterested in every attempt of mine to realign myself with a worthwhile X-Men comic.
Then I saw this baby.
In the midst of peek Scott Summers baby momma drama with X-Men Grand Design: X-Tinction Piskor is playing in my era of X-Men that I typically associate with Marc Silvestri and Dan Green. Silvestri lives just up the coast from me so believe me he isn’t complaining about anything but at time I find myself the guy having to bring up his name with my chest while others go on about Byrne, Romita Jr., Paul Smith, and Jim Lee.
Ed Piskor and I are kindred spirits in at least one regard.
No I have no Eisner Awards (my claim to fame was being a write-in for a Hugo Award for fan writing and finishing top 9 – my mother is very proud) like Piskor but I have seen all of the MCU Marvel films and while I really appreciate the quality control and business acumen of Kevin Feige and everyone on down creatively at Disney for what they’ve created, a not so small part of my fucking soul rebels against any world, even one I prosper in, where the Avengers are hotter than the X-Men. This happenstance is anathema to any possible utopia I can define.
I don’t know if Piskor or any other Grand Design can counter this lesser Avengers-first future we have found ourselves in but he has made a damn entertaining read and it’s one of the best varieties, that kind you didn’t know you needed until you got it. It’s the comics purple tape dressed in the battle of mutant gingers.
Flatscans have had decades of their X-Men comics, Piskor got something for us too long dormant Omega levels sitting poolside.