X-Men: Grand Design Will Try To Turn 30 Years Of Comics Into A Single Story

Have you ever tried to explain the X-Men comics to a friend who doesn't really read comic books? I mean, like, all of their various adventures and plotlines and alternate timelines and deaths and resurrections? Of course not, that would be virtually impossible -- and that's exactly what Hip-Hop Family Tree creator Ed Piskor and Marvel are going to try to do in X-Men: Grand Design.

Image: Marvel Comics

On paper, Grand Design's core concept is pretty straightforward: Take the first 280 X-Men comics -- that's all the issues from September 1983 to September 1991 -- and distill them down into a single 300 or so-page comic book that weaves together the series' most major events into one, cohesive story. That's how Piskor first inadvertently pitched the idea to Marvel back in 2015 and, not long after, the publisher got in contact to take him up on his offer. Since then, Piskor's been carefully illustrating and scripting in secret, waiting until now to unveil his and Marvel's plan to the world.

The various X-Men comics series' convoluted backstory has always been sharpest of double-edged swords. Ludicrous, cannon-altering decisions such as turning the Phoenix into a cosmic entity instead of a natural manifestation of Jean's powers are part of what makes reading and rereading X-Books fun for hardcore fans. But by that same token, the sheer density and complexity of the X-Men lore is often what keeps new readers from being able to just get into the comics for the first time.

Obviously, condensing down 280 issues of X-Men books is a daunting task whose end result could easily be an unsatisfying mess. But if executed properly, X-Men: Grand Design could streamline decades-worth of mutant history into a single, definitive volume that would change the way that we make sense of Marvel's mutants, which could be a very, very good thing.


    I would say, Yes. A very good thing indeed. The complete-ist in me will want this.

    Is that Jean Grey/Marvel Girl in the gloves and lighting shirt? When did that happen?

      I think that would be one of Kitty Pryde's more outlandish costumes; IIRC it was a running joke for her early appearances that she couldn't settle on either a good name or a costume that wasn't eye-bleeding. Add that she's next to Magik, and I think it's a good bet that Kitty's on there twice, once on each side.

    Hopefully it is a success and then we get a second volume for 1992-2000.

    Thank You! I felt like I was the only one who thought the whole Phoenix concept is what turned the X-Men stories into a total mess/disaster. The only thing I liked about the awful Last Stand movie (aside from Kelsey Grammer's Beast being featured in the WORST of the sequels) was the explanation of the Phoenix being a split personality of Jean. The Phoenix has ruined the X-Men comics. I just wish more readers would appreciate character development and storytelling instead of focusing on mutants with more powers than one person would ever need. How many mutants does anyone remember for who they are instead of how cool they look and what powers they have? When I saw the end of X2 I was immediately pissed off. I knew it was a horribly bad idea to introduce Phoenix. The continuity mess and constant change-of-hand of writers who caused way more harm than good (ex: Bendis/Morrison) is why I stopped reading X-Men. The film series also became a Trainwreck with Wolverine overshadowing everything, just like in the comics.

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