X-Men: Grand Design - Xtinction #1 // Review
Kubert School alumni, current Eisner Award Nominee and co-founder of YouTube channel Cartoonist Kayfabe, Ed Piskor delivers the penultimate issue to his magnificent mutant epic after a break between the previous saga. A genuine Cartoonist from pencils down to the letters, Piskor wears all of the hats and takes total control over this project. Making his way through the ’80s with this brand new chapter, Piskor takes readers back in time recounting the events of the Mutant Massacre and all the way up to the rebirth of Jean Grey. An absolute must-read for fans looking to learn more about their favorite mutants or simply recount their long-standing legacy once again.
As Storm sets out on a spiritual quest to regain her powers after the previous chapter, the remainder of the X-men are left to deal with the Mutant Massacre. As Mister sinister works from the shadows, his plans come to fruition as he draws the X-men into his sights. After a heated battle, Sinister comes out on top and steals Cyclops and Madeline Pryor’s son, Nathaniel. With the help of Forge, Storm can complete her task and the two head back to the physical realm. At a loss for option Pryor succumbs to a sinister being after learning the truth being Nathaniel’s capture. Dawning new powers and a new name, The Goblin Queen aims to take on not only Sinister, but the reincarnated Jean Grey as well.
Piskor brings these beloved tales from the past back into the forefront but can reduce the decompression and tell fully rendered stories between single panels and pages alone. Cutting out the fat allows Piskor the ability to showcase his ability to recount these moments but through his own lens. Almost as a journalist recounting a biography, Piskor displays the history in all of its glory and cuts straight to the heart of each story.
The sheer cartoonist ability Piskor puts on display shifts in succession with each new chapter. The newspaper feels, and aesthetic of the paper alone is enough to bring the reader right back into the past. Ed’s signature pencils are the perfect compliment for the retro nature of the series. From his incredible color pallets to the use of screen tones adding that vintage silver age feel, this series is easily Piskor’s best work to date.
With one final issue to wrap the series up look forward to a recount of fan favorite, Days of Futures Past. Ed Piskor is one of the few actual cartoonists left in the business currently, each work he produces is a genuine labor of love and a gift to the medium as a whole. As the Eisner Awards rear the corner, Ed stands a chance to win Best New Series for his time with the X-Men, both perfect candidates for that honor.