X-Treme X-Men #25-30 (2003): God Loves, Man Kills II

Lady Deathstrike rescues William Stryker—the cult leader from the God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel—from an airborne prisoner transport.

It’s a solid action sequence and a good start to this story.  Plus, it gives me the opportunity to use my tag about how X-Men love to crash planes (see below).

An X-Treme team go to the crash site to find him, but it’s a trap and many of them are captured by Stryker’s Purifer army.  Simultaneously, Lady Deathstrike goes to Chicago and kidnaps Kitty Pryde.

There are several kidnap/escape sequences woven through this story, but the gist of it is that the characters end up at a place called Mount Haven, which houses some new mutants (who are never seen again).  They’re led by another religious leader who is battling Stryker.  Yuriko was mind controlled.  So was Kitty (kind of).  On and on.  It’s a messy story with way too many “twists” to retain any kind of coherence.  And we spend lots of time in Kitty’s “memories” of Colossus and Ilyana, which is admittedly rewarding to fans of those characters—it’s the kind of “soap opera” writing that Claremont does well.

If you’re going to name a story arc after one of the best Graphic Novels in Marvel history, you better make it good.  This story isn’t terrible, but it’s also not nearly good enough. Yet, it is also much better than the other issues in this series so far.

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