Tag Archives: holocaust

God Loves, Man Kills (comic)

The X-Men has always been a metaphor for human rights, equality, and acceptance. Nowhere is that more apparent than in this 1982 graphic novel. In God Loves, Man Kills, a deranged minister leads an anti-mutant campaign, calling for the death of all mutants in the name of God. Stryker is a capable politician and the public seems to support him, and hatred and fear of mutants reaches a fevered peak. To add even more drama to the story, Stryker kidnaps Professor X and manipulates him and Cerebro to attack all the mutants. The X-Men’s main enemy, Magneto, joins them in a shaky alliance against Stryker. If that sounds familiar, it’s because they recycled the basic story for X2: X-Men United. Chris Claremont’s story is still relevant and celebrated more than thirty years later. He touches on themes of racism and persecution. He makes direct references to the holocaust and genocide, and isn’t afraid to use N-word to make a point. Brent Anderson’s art fits the story perfectly.  The panel layout adds a nice sense of pacing. Sometimes it’s very structured, sometimes the art overlaps and flows into another panel. It makes it feel more dynamic and spontaneous. God Loves, Man Kills is more than just a comic, it’s accepted literature.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Maus

Maus is one of those graphic novels that you give to people who think that graphic novels are all about superheroes and childish things. Art Spiegleman’s graphic novel is based on the true story of his father Vladek, and how he survived the Holocaust. The characters are depicted as animals. Jews are mice, Nazis are cats, and other animals represent various nationalities.

The framing is also interesting. It is set up as Art interviewing his elderly father over several visits, and it flashes back to the events leading up to and including Vladek’s experiences in the camps. Not only does the novel delve into the traumatic experiences, they also show how damaged Vladek is as a result. He is a broken individual, hard to deal with, hard to love, but impossible to ignore.

This graphic novel transcends being a mere comic. It is a literary masterpiece, proof that comics are a valid form of literature. I would recommend Maus and/or Watchmen to any first time comic reader.

Critically Rated at 16/17

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