Property review: God Loves, Man Kills

God Loves, Man Kills scan

God Loves, Man Kills

Mar­vel Comics, 1982

God loves, but man kills discriminatively

In the dark recesses of the human soul lies a need to per­se­cute. Every being that can afford to call itself human has the poten­tial and incli­na­tion to sling labels of acri­mony, to breed hatred for the sake of pro­mot­ing them­selves in the hier­ar­chy of life. In the Mar­vel uni­verse, it’s no dif­fer­ent and yet maybe, some­how on a deeper level it’s worse. On a dif­fer­ent plane of per­se­cu­tion from the nor­mal homo sapien ban­ter sit mutants. Homo supe­rior knows that minute dif­fer­ence in makeup means jeal­ousy, anger and retal­i­a­tion. They also know it means the dif­fer­ence between stay­ing alive and using super pow­ers for good and dying a mar­tyr for the cause.

God Loves, Man Kills is the cul­mi­na­tion of Marvel’s attempt at fram­ing the dif­fer­ences in mutant-human rela­tions. The chill­ing mur­der of chil­dren, racism and clas­sism — all for the sake of some­one else being dif­fer­ent — are effec­tively told through the eyes of the X-Men and var­i­ous mutants who come into con­tact with the group and the antag­o­nist, William Stryker. If you’ve seen the excel­lent X2 film, this is the main arc that makes up the bulk of the story. The movie, for all of its inter­weav­ing of char­ac­ters and plot ele­ments from var­i­ous other arcs, is merely the entry point to the source mate­r­ial. But, what’s depicted is far worse. Stryker’s vio­lent and hor­rific past that led to his cru­sade against mutants is the back­bone for the present-day acts of bru­tal­ity. Where the story suc­ceeds is show­ing the gen­e­sis of Stryker’s cause and his means of achiev­ing his goal: The erad­i­ca­tion of the mutant population.

The excel­lent sto­ry­telling is obvi­ous through the pur­pose­ful expo­si­tion and writ­ing. It may not always be clear through the prose of char­ac­ters like Pro­fes­sor Charles Xavier or Cyclops, but the main goal of all of the char­ac­ters in the arc is nicely made bare in what is rel­a­tively short work. The art has a vin­tage ’80s ink­ing and col­or­ing to it, and the level of detail is outstanding.

The X-Men arcs have always had a story to tell, and God Loves, Man Kills is no dif­fer­ent. The qual­ity of the sto­ry­telling, the way it deftly weaves vio­lently opposed view­points and the well-paced action make a pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion. The most inter­est­ing part of it all, how­ever? How it so closely par­al­lels the ills of today’s real soci­ety. This is another notch in Marvel’s favor toward its abil­ity to relate to the real world at hand.

 

Plot: 10

Art qual­ity: 10

Writ­ing: 10

Over­all score: 10

 

How we grade

We score the prop­er­ties in three cat­e­gories: Cast­ing (or voice act­ing in the case of ani­mated), plot and sim­i­lar­i­ties to its source mate­r­ial. Each cat­e­gory receives points out of max­i­mum of 10 per cat­e­gory, and 30 over­all. The per­cent­age is the final score.

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